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公共管理硕士MPA英语精读文章(三十四)

http://zaizhi.b2cedu.com  2012-10-12  来源:华慧高考网  作者:华慧高考…
Unit 34
  
  Text

  In big cities like New York, you can find homeless women with shopping bags wandering on the streets. They choose to live in an isolated, mistrustful world of their own. They are called lady hermits or just shopping-bag ladies.

  Lady Hermits Who Are Down But Not Out

  Every large city has its shifting population of vagrants. But in most cases these are men, usually with an unhealthy appetite for alcohol. Only New York, it seems, attracts this peculiar populace of lone and homeless women who live in an isolated, mistrustful world of their own.

  Shopping-bag ladies do not drink. They do not huddle together for warmth and companionship like bums. They do not seem to like one another very much. Neither are they too keen on conventional people. Urban hermits, one sociologist has called them. They will send their days and nights in the same neighborhood for months on end, then disappear as inexplicably as they came. They know the hours when restaurants put their leftovers in the garbage cans where they search for food. And local residents, seeing the same bag lady on the same corner every day, will slip her some change as they pass.

  Shopping-bag ladies do not overtly beg, but they do not refuse what is offered. Once a shopping-bag lady becomes a figure of your neighborhood, it is as hard to pass her by without giving her some money as it is to ignore the collection box in church. And although you may not like it, if she chooses your doorway as her place to sleep in the night, it is as morally hard to turn her away as it is a lost dog.
来源:www.examda.com
  There are various categories of bag ladies: those who live on the streets, claiming they enjoy the freedom from constraints of society; those who became homeless because a relative died or because they couldn't keep up rent payments, and they didn't know where to go or how to apply for relief; and quasi bag ladies who have an anchor point —— a sister or brother whom they can visit once in a while to take a bath.

  Most shopping-bag ladies seem to be between the ages of 40 and 65. They wear layers of clothes even in summer time, with newspapers stuffed between the layers as further protection against bad weather In general, the more bags the ladies carry the better organist bad weather. In general, the more bags the ladies carry the better organised they are to cope with life on the streets.
来源:www.examda.com
  "You may think I have a lot of garbage in these bags," one shopping-bag lady volunteered over lunch in a church soup kitchen, "but it's everything I need. Extra clothes, newspapers for the cold." Shopping-bag ladies are not very communicative and take general conversation as an intrusion. But after a while, warmed by chicken soup, she began to speak.

  "The place is nice," she volunteered, "people are friendly. Most New Yorkers are very cold. I have sisters in the city, but when you grow up, each goes his own way. Right?"

  "I go out a lot because of my teeth. You know how it is: you pick up something in a restaurant and your teeth turn rotten, no matter how careful you are. People aren't considerate. The restaurants don't wash the glasses properly, and before you know where you are you have caught it. That's what happened to me. I don't like meeting people until I have this dental work done. So I go out to forget my troubles. I sit a little while somewhere, have something to eat at one of these places, then go wherever I have to go. I take all my things with me because you can't trust people."
来源:www.examda.com
  The story of the dental work was a typical shopping-bag lady fantasy. Psychiatrists say that even after long interviews shopping-bag ladies are still at a loss to separate truth from imagination.
来源:www.examda.com
  One quasi bag lady spends about eight hours every day at the foot of the main escalator in a railroad station, although she rents a room in a cheap hotel in the neighborhood. One of the priests from the nearby church found this lodging for her after he discovered that she was entitled to a small disability pension which she had never claimed. But every day from about nine to five, she still takes a milk crate and sits by the station escalator, not doing anything or talking to anyone. It's like a job to her.
来源:www.examda.com
  No one knows how many shopping-bag ladies there are in New York. The figure is going up. Some priests, nuns and researchers spend a great deal of time shepherding or observing shopping-bag ladies and are doing what they can to better the life of the lady hermits who are down.
来源:华慧建工网-公共管理硕士

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