(Image Source: Coffee in Malaysia)
This is just something short that I wanted to mention.
Last night my wife and I went up to the shopping area at around midnight to pick up a few things. There’s a 24 hour Shop ‘n’ Save there! Afterwards, we dropped by the hawker so I could get a cup of iced Kopi O. I’m addicted to the stuff. My wife had some juice. She likes the Kopi O, but had to get up early for work today, so she had guava juice instead.
Anyhow, as we were sitting there chatting we noticed this little old lady walking up the aisle between the tables. She must have been about 70 years old and used a cane to help get herself around. I was surprised that she was out so late. Like I said, it was around midnight! Still, it seems like people in Singapore stay out later than anywhere I’ve ever lived. It has to be because the country is so safe!
This little old lady walked up to a table of young guys next to us and started speaking in Chinese. I’m not exactly sure what she said, but I picked out the word Kopi O, and I recognized her tone. She was asking the young guys drinking beer to do an old lady a favor and get her a cup of coffee.
I started imagining the worst case scenario, where the guys would ignore her, or blow her off, or, worse yet, say something rude to her. That would’ve been quite a scene! I bet that old lady would have gained retard strength and gone to work on them with her cane.
Instead, it caused a lot of indulgent smiles, and one of the guys got up right away to go get her the coffee she wanted.
I suppose I wasn’t really that surprised. Asian culture is different from Western culture after all. There’s a lot more emphasis placed on respect for elders here. And, in the end, it was somehow satisfying to see this little old lady smiling and laughing over something as simple as being treated to a cup of coffee at the hawker. I’d like to think I would have done the same for her, if she had asked us instead.