Lessons from a Chap Cai Pun stall

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My daily breakfast has been fairly consistent, or rather unimaginative for the past 5years or so. It’s always fried bee hoon and luncheon meat at my workplace’s canteen.

There are usually 3 people manning the morning shift. An elderly uncle in his 70s. A stoic and highly efficient uncle. Straight to the business, no small talk and no smile from this man whom I see every morning. He doesn’t even crack up when Meow tries to be spastic.

The second, a PRC lady in her 40s. Fairly decent, blur at times but nonetheless a friendly creature.

The last, whom I meet if I ended up in the canteen after 9.30am is the stall owner’s boss or lady boss. More chatty with familiar faces.

My lesson learnt?

The generosity of a man’s heart is not based on the wide stretched smile plastered on a person’s face.

It turns out my biggest portion of bee hoon comes from the elderly gentleman, and the least from the lady boss. Uncle makes sure I am well fed everyday. He reckons I need the additional nutrition from the lethargic look I have on every morning. The lady boss gives a tidy portion, enough for a female but definitely not for a male. If you stare at her long enough, she may attempt to pick up more bee hoon only to drop them before it reaches your plates.

So never judge a book by its cover. *Hint! Hint!”

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