This was sometime back before dining in has been disallowed. My wife and I were at one of the specialty Nasi Lemak stalls in Clementi. She went ahead to buy drinks while I joined the long queue waiting for the Nasi Lemak from Jalilahs Corner, a traditional malay food stall. The queue ahead of me had 10 people queuing, all eager to get their portion of Nasi Lemak which is only served on Saturdays and Sundays.
Halfway through the queue, my wife returned with drinks and managed to find an elderly uncle who was sitting down alone as he sipped his coffee. My wife asked his consent and he was agreeable to share the table he was sitting down on with us. She put the drinks down and went forth to order more food from a fish soup stall.
As we started eating, we noticed the elderly gentleman looking at our nasi lemak with intensity. My wife went ahead to ask him if he would like a set. He mentioned that he would have like to have it but as the queue was too long, he could not queue for the duration. Without hesitation, we offered him the takeaway set as a gift to him such that he can satisfy his cravings. Initially, he rejected but eventually accepted on our insistence.
He insisted that he make payment for it and we accepted it. All of us had a hearty nasi lemak meal together even though we were strangers. Yet, the touch of kindness between us was the common language that bonds us as friends.
Wondering about our helperr's share after that? We tried to queue again for the Nasi Lemak from Jalilahs Corner but it was sold out! That quickly! I went to another malay stall around the area and managed to get another set of nasi lemak. We told our helper on what happened and she was happy that her share of food made someone else's day. Also, the nasi lemak we got for her from another stall tasted great to her as well - definitely sweet with a touch of love and kindness to it!
Choa Chu Kang Park boasts a mini garden where the community can come together and try out their art of floriculture. We chanced upon it as we were in the region and it was this place that we met a pleasant woman who has harvested her Kang Kong vegetable and is busy sorting them out under a pavillion. As we walked past, she welcomed us into the pavillion as it was around noon and it was sunny outside.
After exchanging greetings, we asked her about how her gardening has been coming along and she explained that she has been doing this as a pastime for the last 5 years. It was nice of HDB to grant such a space to the community where residents can come together and share the love of gardening.
At one point, as she saw Enyu, she reached into her harvest and after much choosing, she picked the best one and handed it to Enyu as a form of a gift as we parted ways. This made Enyu's day! It was a simple act, but definitely, we are certain that it has opened up a spirit of giving in Enyu's life. We thanked her and wished her a good harvest ahead.
It was a normal day, heading out to buy lunch. I headed down the lift with just a 10 dollar bill in my hand. When the doors of the lift opened, I was greeted with the sight of an elderly gentleman in his 70s sitting down on the public bench of the lift lobby with his arms on his walking frame. This was a time of social distancing and avoiding patronising public common spaces, where usage of public places are frowned upon. Yet, sometimes things are not what it seems.
As I walked out of the lift and nearer towards him, he was gesturing to me to come forward and also spoke out to me in Mandarin - "Can you send me to the hospital?". Immediately I went forward towards him and started to ask what was wrong and how I could help. Apparently, he had sprained his back and had difficulty with walking and moving but he was not in any immediate medical danger. I reassured him and asked him to remain in the most comfortable position. So it was, I was holding on to my 10 dollar bill with no phone to call for an ambulance. I thought that at that time, the most important thing was to stay with him and to hopefully borrow a phone from anyone passing by.
Pacing and looking around, eventually, a lady came down from another lift. I went up to her and explained the situation quickly. Likewise, it was reflex action for her to lend me her phone and we quickly got into contact with getting an ambulance arranged for him. I thanked her on behalf of the elderly gentleman.
The ambulance arrived soon after and the paramedics took over and he was safely escorted to the nearest hospital.
It has been a challenging time for people from all walks of life in Singapore. Especially so are the migrant workers who are staying in the dormitories where the outbreak of Covid has spiralled down the path of multiplication and infective spread.
Weeks has passed since I first joined in the fight at the dormitories. The same PPE is donned by all the healthcare workers and auxillary support staff, working for hours in each shift. The amount of sweat that comes out from each shift due to the heat always drenches the pants down to knees. If all of us who are stepping up in an effort to stem the outbreak can endure the hours with full PPE, definitely, every one of us as an individual can do our part to wear a mask and practise good social distancing in Singapore.
Even if you are going for an exercise, make it a point to wear a mask when going down or up the lift. This virus spreads the worse in confined spaces and closed air circulation. The mask is ultimately meant to protect ourselves and our family.
Let all of us stand in our individual capacity, but united as one Singapore, to overcome these challenging times!
A recent experience at one of the nearby cafes made me ponder about what we as patrons of cafes and restaurants can do more, likewise in the hawker centre as well.
After having a sumptuous meal at the cafe with my family, my dad was there to stack the empty plates onto each other, to facilitate clearing by the staff. It was just a simple act on his behalf to prepare the table for the serving of dessert, but it allowed the staff to clear the table with great ease. The staff came by and thanked my dad for stacking the used plates and cutlery together before she served the dessert.
Simple acts of love doesn't take much effort from us but it does little wonders, just like dessert.
We were at Vivocity over the weekend and walked past this little children play fair set up outside one of the supermarkets. It seemed that baby Enyu wanted to play with the carousel. We saw that at any one time, the carousel can actually allow 3 kids to play with it at the same time. Immediately we looked around and found a dad with his 2 year old girl and offered them to join the carousel on board.
His kid boarded it with glee and all of us had a enjoyable 2 minutes where the children were happily going round and round. Thereafter, he thanked us and left.
We left the carousel happily, glad that we can also share the merry of the merry go round!
Kindness makes the merry go round indeed!
Took a few moments to compile a quick basic first aid kit to provide immediate wound care to anyone who may need it. This kit is for Mr Lim to aid his ongoing efforts as he stands guarding the safety and well being of all the little toddlers!
Today, we went down to the playground as usual but was surprised to find that the toys even though it has been wheeled over as boxes upon boxes in a cart, yet they have not been taken out. Some of the young toddlers were gathered around and waiting in anticipation for the toy box to be opened for enjoyment.
As I approached the playground, immediately I saw Mr Lim standing there looking out for the safety of the children. I showed him the medical kit that was assembled and he called out to one young girl who has fallen down and suffered an abrasion to the right knee cap. It seemed all too timely for the medical kit to be in place!
I sat down with the young girl and Mr Lim and showed him how to do up a basic dressing for the young kid. He was appreciative and even asked some questions on how to handle various wounds! The young girl was better after the wound was cleansed and light bandage was applied. Her mother was thankful as well!
I broached the subject of the toys and found out that the toys have been kept away in view of the recent coronavirus and Mr Lim felt that until a clear go ahead was given, it is best to minimise communal contact of toys. I felt slight disappointed for the kids but likewise, I was aware that this was for the ultimate best interest for the young ones. Agreed with him and he also said that despite the recent outbreak, he will still be standing guard by the playground, looking out for all the children. His love never runs dry! I am truly glad that the medical kit came in handy and hope that it can bring relief to any young ones who may be accidentally injured.
Thank you Mr Lim for continuing to look out for all the young ones!
At first glance, it may seem that there is a fun fair in place at this area, but on closer look, we will see Mr Lim, a 84 year old gentleman whose love for children never runs dry. His schedule runs Monday to Fridays from 430pm - 730pm where he will lug along boxes of toys and walkers for the little ones at the HDB block to play with. Come rain or shine, he is always there, setting up the booth for young ones to play, be it in the open area or within the pavillion.
Speaking to him on why he does what he does, he mentioned to me his love for children is there and believes in a community spirit where he can help and watch young toddlers grow up. Some of these toddlers he has watched them go from crawling to running around. As I spoke to him, there were numerous parents who came with their toddlers who came by to thank him before leaving.
As he talks to me, he shuffles around the playground area with a broom and dustpan in his hand where he keeps the environment free of twigs and fallen leaves such that the toddlers can play safely. Once in a while, he runs over to get this playmat down as the wind blows it, to place it at the base of a slide which he deems is relatively fast where children may get abrasions if there was a improper landing. He also has a collection of plastic balls where he lets all the children play with and he heads over to pick up those that have been blown further away from the play area by the wind.
Sharing with me a bit more, he is a one man show, where he actually runs the whole event every weekday himself. Occasionally some of the other residents do join in and help him carry the toys to and fro and also in packing up. He also makes it a point to regularly wash with dettol all the toys to keep them clean. The local RC, in this case, it will fall under the Holland Bukit Panjang Town Council has helped to provide one storeroom to store all the toys and walkers.
He believes that more can be done in the community. Personally, I think it will be great should the local Town Council encourage with full support the community spirit that Mr Lim helps to cultivate.
Ending off, I thanked him for allowing Baby Enyu to play with the toys. And I asked him whether there are other things that I could do for him. He briefly mentioned a first aid kit such that children if injured have something to fall back on. I promised him that one will be on the way for him as I will get it packed and ready for him.
Thank You Mr Lim for being a light in the community, shining bright to allow the young ones to smile and enjoy!
My wife, baby Enyu and I were just on the way to cross a zebra crossing when we saw a bus heading towards the zebra crossing. The driver saw us and immediately halted to a stop. He gave us a big smile and gestured for us to go ahead to cross first.
We proceeded to cross the zebra crossing and waved at him whilst giving a nod of appreciation at the same time. What was surprising was how baby Enyu also waved back at him. We could see that he had a wide grin and it was indeed a happier day for all of us!
Kindness always surprises!
There is always an opportunity for kindness, and it is up to us to step up towards it.
My Wife and I were just around Ghim Moh Market area for breakfast and we were both enjoying our meals when I felt a little tap to the shoulder.
On turning around , I noticed that it was an elderly man carrying a bag of tissues who has tapped me on the shoulder. He was accompanied by an equally elderly woman with a walking stick for the visually handicapped.
Immediately, I reached towards my pocket to grab a money note to pass to them and asked how they are doing. They spoke briefly and thanked me before moving on. Hopefully, with time and the effort as a community, we can let our elderly generation integrate seamlessly with the changing facets of our nation!
Whenever an opportunity for kindness knocks on the door, let us be the one to open it give the touch of love to others!