Angry Old Beng
One Saturday morning, lim peh woke up late (no work on Saturday, very shiok ah) and went to a coffee shop in my neighbourhood to 打包 炒米粉面 packet fried beehoon-mee for breakfast.
When I reached the coffee shop, there was already a long queue at the stall. Counting the numbers of heads in front of me, I was the number 6th customer and standing in front of me was an Auntie with a head of red-hair.
While waiting for my turn, the queue behind me got longer by the seconds and when I turned around to look at the long queue, I saw about another 8-10 people behind me.
The red-hair Auntie queuing in front of me turned her head to the long queue behind me and saw a man queuing 4-person away from me and said, "Ah Lim, come come, what you want to but, I buy for you la, I in front faster."
I turned around and stared at that man whom the Auntie was talking to.
The man queuing behind us declined the Auntie´s offer and said, "Neh mind la, I can queue up myself."
The Auntie refused to accept "No" for an answer and further offered her help, "Come la, don´t shy, I buy faster, what you want?"
The man accepted her kind offer and told the Auntie to packet Nasi Lemak for him.
Although me was staring at the Auntie, she seemed not to notice my dagger stare and continued to queue up as if nothing happened.
In my mind I was thinking, why these people like that huh? Cannot see that all of us were also queuing up meh?
Then that red-hair Auntie turned around again and called out to another man queuing at the end of the line, "Mr Tan, you also want to buy beehoon mee is it, come come, tell me what you want, I buy for you."
Lim peh turned around to look at that Mr Tan and discovered that he was a man about my age.
Mr Tan immediately declined her offer by saying, "It´s ok, I will line up myself. Thanks"
The Auntie like really cannot take "No" as an answer continued to say, "come la, no need to be shy one la, if not you have to wait very long."
One person cut queue still not enough now offering another one. Guess if me kept quiet, there might be the 3rd, 4th and Xth ones down the road.
Lim peh looked at the Auntie and said, "Hello, why are you buying for others? Can´t you see that there are many of us queuing up too? Why not you buy for everyone behind me? It´s not fair to the people queuing up, right?"
The Auntie was stunned and said, "He is my friend."
"So what if he is your friend? If the person is your child, I won´t mind."
I think that Auntie was really stunned that someone dare to actually interfere into her business of offering to buy thus kept quiet after that or maybe my black face really very fierce.
What surprised me was that of all the people queuing behind me, none said anything. They just kept quiet and watched the free show, dare not even breathe too loud.
Come on, if the person you are offering to help is an elderly, a pregnant lady or a handicap person, I won´t mind to let them cut the queue but those 2 were healthy men.
Even now when me think about the incident, me still angry.
Guess at times, Singaporeans are just too timid and submissive and dare not even voice out their unpleasantness even if unfairness is done to them.
Will you voice out like lim peh or will you just keep mum cos "it´s none of my business"?
lim peh kong wan liao
PS: Now that I think back, I was rather surprised at my harsh word towards the Auntie, maybe there and then, a hungry man was an angry man.