Saturday, October 17, 2009

a woman full of "zest"

While cruising along Hougang Ave 8, at about 10pm, I picked up this elderly woman in her 70's near Street 61. "Hello" and she nodded her head as she got into my cab, seated herself, then shut the door very slowly and asked me to send her to Jurong East Street 13 in Hokkien.
"Ho" I replied also in Hokkien (meaning yes or ok) and started driving. I asked if she was going home and she said "Si-ah" (yes). Its so late, I exclaimed, and she told me that she had been playing 'mahjong' with her friends since 1.00pm that afternoon. I asked if she won some money and she said "Boh lah, tah pai su" (No lah, always lose) like today she lost nearly $400/- dollars, and from then on, she kept talking non-stop all the way without me having to ask her further questions. She sat up and spoke very steadily, about her adventures on board casino ships, Genting Highlands casino and also in gambling dens, other than that, her friends would always invite her for 'mahjong' sessions in their homes. She told me that she is very lucky to have very filial and good children, all 6 of them married, (3 boys and 3 girls), and all of them earn very high salaries. Every month, her children would give her so much money, thousands of dollars, and allowed her to do whatever she likes to do as she pleases. She says she is still fit and strong, and lucky not to have old age illnesses, so just carry on and enjoy what she likes to do, gambling.
"Aiyoh" and heaved a big sigh, only one regret, I don't know how to save money, how to? I am simply addicted to all kinds of gambling. I always lie to my children that I usually go visit my friends for tea, for chit chats or go for short sightseeing trips, but I think they know I try to hide what I do. Still, my children don't question me, but tell me to take care and go ahead enjoy myself.
I told her that she is indeed very lucky and truly blessed to have good children and can lead such a lifestyle and how I wish I can be in her shoes. She smiled and said, "My lah, my lah, boh ho lah, mm tung teh!" (Don't, don't follow, no good) and we both started laughing away as we arrived at her destination. She gave me $20/- "SSHHhh...Gia lah, gia lah!" (Take, take!) as she started to alight.
I said "Kum siah, kum siah, sio sim, sio sim!" (thank you, thank you and careful, careful!)
We waved and I made sure she walked safely to her lift landing before I drove off. Wow!! what a spritely and energetic woman she is, as I drove off, still thinking of what she told me........... I think the best classroom in the world is at the feet of an elderly person.

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