Every now and then we stumble upon heart-warming stories that gives us a reason to believe that there is still good in the world.
One such incident was experienced recently by a man called Andrew Wong as an elderly cleaner offered to buy him a drink after she saw him sweating profusely while eating a hot meal.
Mr Wong said in a Facebook post on Monday (21 June) that it all started when he was having dinner, which consisted of fried oyster and chili ban mian, at Geylang Bharu Blk 69 Hawker Centre.
He explained that an elderly woman – possibly in her late 70s or 80s – approached his table to clear out his serving tray and cutlery. Although he said to her that he will return the cutlery to the cleaning table by himself, the woman told him not to do so as it would be more troublesome for her go back and forth to return the serving tray and cutlery to their designated areas.
“She looks rather old, late 70s and perhaps 80, short and frail! We felt quite sorry. We did however notice she works pretty fast for a lady her age,” Mr Wong said.
He added, “A few moment later when she passed by our table, she stopped and through the mask she mumbled something like ‘buying a drink’ in Hokkien. I thought she was asking if we could get her a drink.”
However, it turned out that the elderly cleaner wanted to buy Mr Wong and the other person he was eating with a drink.
She explained that she left some money at the drink stall already and wanted to know if they wanted a cold drink.
“We were dumbfounded and didn’t know what to reply. Politely we told her that is not necessary and tried to explain we don’t drink beverage while eating (quite a lie actually- depending on what drink lah).
“We chatted for a while and asked if she had dinner and if we can get her some food. “How about orh luak? This one we are eating is really good” She laughed and explained that what I am having is orh jian and it is different and she said she had eaten. She then left to carry on with her work,” he wrote.
It was only later than Mr Wong realised that the elderly cleaner offered to buy them a cold drink after he realised that he was sweating profusely while consuming “a very spicy bowl of ban mian”.
“I ran to her and asked ‘Aunty, do you mind if I ask you something. Did you want to buy me a drink because you saw me perspiring, in agony?’ She broke into a hearty giggle and nodded her head. We looked at each other and had a good laugh, then bid farewell,” he noted.
He then went on to conclude that they felt humbled but touched by the elderly woman’s “big heartedness to a pair of strangers”.