Wednesday, May 21, 2014
A boy sold me a box of ice cream...
On my way home from the gym the other night, a boy probably in approaching early his teen years walked up to me. He was carrying an ice box with him. He opened the ice box and showed boxes of ice cream. He told me he was selling them to help finance his studies.
This was the second time I've experienced something like this. The other similar situation was with a poly student. I was on my way to meet some friends and this poly student approached me. He showed me his ID to prove he is a student of a certain poly. He then showed some papers and asked if I would be willing to help him. I asked him how his grades were. He said they were okay. I told him to study harder before parting with my $10.
The situation with the poly student was not too surprising. The one with the primary school student was very surprising.
I told PG Boy about it. He thinks it might be some modus operandi. I doubted it. Otherwise, someone would have already reported it. To me, if that kid tried to dupe me, then karma will get him for me.
Singapore is generally perceived to be a very wealthy country. It is. Uhm, it has the highest concentration of millionaires. Hello. Any first time visitor to the country would already be wowed by Singapore even before that person has left Changi Airport. When one goes to Orchard or Marina Bay Sands Shoppes, all the luxury shops that sell pieces with astronomical prices are there. The fact that these shops are in business mean they have customers.
But having lived here for three years now, there have been quite a few situations where I wondered about the lives of other groups of people. A few times, I've experienced an elderly asking for loose change because they need to get to some MRT station. I wonder where the frail aunties and uncles selling tissue papers go after an entire day of sitting at some corner. I wondered about those senior citizens who are alone in life and cannot work anymore. Where do they stay? How can they afford the insane rent of flats? (Mr. Lim explained to me once that the government has flats with very low rental for the low-income groups.) A few of those times that I came home very late, I've seen father and daughter and sometimes, senior citizens, going through rubbish bins scavenging for recyclables. There was also one time when I saw an individual sleeping under the stairs of an HDB flat. The person just had a blanket wrapped around him.
I'm confident that the government has programs to help the low-income groups. I wonder if all groups have access to the assistance. Whatever gap I guess is filled in by the non-government organisations.
It still just surprises me, I guess. When I told some of my close visiting friends about these things, they were really shocked to hear that it exists in Singapore.
Hmm, not everything is what they appear to be I suppose.