Lessons from a Chap Cai Pun stall


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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