Hi. I had an experience in Brussels when I was there in June that I want to understand as I'm not sure I did the right thing. My daughter and I and a friend were in Brussels just for the afternoon, and after a harrowing time at the train station after getting off the Eurostar (we thought we'd lost a passport!), we were already a little bit frazzled when we got to the Grand Place. We likely looked like insecure tourists! Not three seconds later, a beggar woman approached us, carrying a child, and told us her story about how hungry her baby was, and could we please feed her and her baby. We hadn't gotten euros yet (we'd arrived from London) and I wasn't oriented to the space enough to even know where we could feed her, and following her to a restaurant just felt...off.
So, I didn't help her, and she finally left us alone.
I'm just wondering if I did the right thing. Likely if i had had some change in my pocket I would've given it to her, so I feel a little guilty for not helping at all. On the other hand, I can't help everyone. Then after she left I started thinking about all of the negative possibilities (pickpocketing mostly).
I'm just wondering if I handled it correctly. It was the only time in Europe we were approached by beggars (but in Paris we WERE pickpocketed, alas) and it made me realize I hadn't read up on it enough, so I want to know for next time the right way to handle beggars.