Saturday, November 9, 2013

Truth Serum Series: Rag and Bone Man

I remember the "rag and bone" men and women when I lived in Singapore.  Apparently they still ply the streets there, albeit in fewer numbers.

I took this photo hastily, and while cropping it I noticed what the man seems to be looking at on the far sidewalk.  I'm struck by the juxtaposition of apparent status between the tourists taking photos, and the man trying to earn his living at what most of us might consider to be a less than desirable job.

What might he be thinking?

Did those tourists even notice him on the street?

Sometimes, compassion is fleeting, if present at all...

                 Click on photo to embiggen and read:

Photo/Text © 2013 Rick Burnett Baker
Photo by R. Baker taken on South Bridge Road, Singapore. October 2013.


  1. so true...when i lived in baltimore i used to eat lunch often with the homeless there...would see them at the mission...have carried it with me most everywhere i live...i have gotten away from spending time with them this last year with the new job keeping me away from dtown but i need keeps me humble in being around them....the noticing.

  2. So very true...each person has value. We all need to look around more at those in our environment & not judge anyone to be unworthy......

  3. So you were in Chinatown? the photo in the header is a giveaway. :)

    some of the "rag and bone" men have evolved into slick operations, with trucks and pickups. they buy from people like those in the photo, and sell the stuff abroad.

    yes, this certainly is a truth serum. there are still people earning a living like that.

    always glad to know someone who has lived in my country. :)

  4. the words with the photo are SO true. brings to mind (strange but true) Sue Grafton's newest novel: W is for Wasted. She touches on many of the challenges and reasons why people become homeless.

    thanks for this, sad but also hopeful words here.

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  6. So very true...I notice this as a tourist & in my own city as well.

  7. So true ... the homeless often go unnoticed. You captured both image & sentiment well.

  8. It took picking up a pen and pad of paper for me to become an observant individual. You write that reality well. We tend to use a lot of energy avoiding looking at what is right in front of us.