Saturday, September 19, 2015


It had been a strange three days of tissue-sellers shoving packs at our noses at meal-times, along the streets and even at midnight supper at Simpang Bedok. At any one meal, at least four sellers would approach our table. Most left after we politely declined.

One was persistent. After I declined with a smile, astonishingly, she literally chased after me. (Haizzz, shouldn't have smiled.) She waved laminated news articles (from where else, mainstream papers lah) in my face, gave a long lecture, and said that the government asked the people to support the poor and the elderly. She added that this year was SG50 and people must help her more, etc. I was slightly stunned.

At the same time, I wasn't pleased to be threatened or guilted into buying tissue packs. I've never bought them from any seller unless I needed it, and wasn't about to start. Experience has taught me that whenever I offer to help them out with subsidies and additional welfare, they either scold me or leave. In that short few minutes, I had to decide what to do with this tenacity that would have been born out of tragedy or an unfortunate twist of fate.

I blinked, and with as gentle a tone as the voice could muster, repeated a firm "I'm sorry, no." And rapidly retreated.

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