Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Chinatown Life

I happened to be in Chinatown today, an area pulsating, resonating with the rhythm of life, street life in particular.
What was amazing was that the pasar malam stalls next to Outram MRT station, a yearly fixture for the Chinese New Years have already been set up! Christmas is not even here yet!
Anyway, it has been quite a while since I set foot on Chinatown. I love the buzz of the street life in Chinatown, there are just so much things to see and behold: the cultural and religious charm and that of the busy street life.
However, today's visit was unlike those of my earlier visits. As I was walking along the street in busy Chinatown, I saw a very old woman, pushing a cart laden with flattened cardboxes along the traffic-heavy street in the very hot sun. She was pushing at a very slow pace, inevitably due to her very old age, her small frame and slow tempo of pushing, juxataposed against the heavy flow of traffic which was just inching past her! How dangerous that was! No doubt, she is doing this everyday just to earn a living.
The old woman is familar to me, as I have saw her face in a Channel 8 documentary. She is 90+ years old already, and still have to work long hours a day, salvaging scrap cardboxes and selling them for mere few dollars, ekeing out a living, staking out her little existence in bustling Chinatown with her little frail body struggling everyday to make ends meet... she probably have to struggle this way till the day she passes on... sad isn't it?
The people around and Singaporeans, in general, may be too busy in their daily work to have actually noticed her.. the rugged and strong old lady who is almost a centenarian in age but a lion in strength, fortitude as she soldiers on everyday in life, just to earn a simple living.
Singapore may be rich, but our country still have a portion of those in need of financial help. The income gap between the rich and poor continues to widen... while the little old woman struggles to earn a few dollars each day, I have seen some the very rich simply spending lots of money on luxury items.
Life is as such... there can be no equality, there would always be the rich and the poor.

3 comments :

Anonymous said...

Start a project : "Adopt a grandma or grandpa" !! All it takes is a little time (weekend visits) n a little help in the finance (bring foodstuff during visits like we do with our parents or relatives anyway). A small gesture to bring some joy to these "forgotten" senior citizens.

Singapore Short Stories said...

hi Dutchie, good idea but may not work well here cos even the teens nowadays are not really that close to their grand parents, not to mention to adopt another grand parents.

Anonymous said...

Ulitiarilism theory does not apply in the real world... Inequality of income distribution is inevitable.

Angel is beside you

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