If you spend much time commuting by train in these parts, you're bound to encounter all manner of folks with outstretched hands. There are musicians (of varying talent) with their change cups duct taped to their amplifiers, well groomed but shabby gentleman begging your pardon as they hawk their tourist guides to Paris, and then there are the dudes with the cards like the one above. These guys go through the train, leaving cards on empty seats, and then make the reverse trip to retrieve them and hopefully a bit of pocket change as well.
You can see a scam in this if you like. The cards always look the same -- same language, same typeface. (Do all of these folks really have two children?) I'm just grateful it's not me with the stack of cards. That's one hell of a tough way to try to make a living.
For a long time, we were just another typical Washington, DC family: two policy-oriented jobs, two kids, and two cars. Out of the blue, my husband got a new assignment; we ditched the old jobs and the cars (but kept the kids) and headed to Paris for what started out to be a three-year, and eventually became a four-year tour.