We’re seeing better things ahead

MY favourite kopitiam wasn’t open for business for four days during the Chinese New Year period, so to feed my need for coffee, I went to another one I was familiar with but hadn’t visited for a while.

The friendly atmosphere in this place impressed me immensely. An Indian customer (a regular, I discovered) was communicating fluently in Cantonese with his Chinese friends, while a Nepali employee was able to talk to this customer in Tamil. I was truly fascinated by the kopitiam’s multiracial vibe. I actually know this coffeeshop well as I once worked as casual labour at a fried noodle stall here, earning 50 sen for four hours’ work in 1967. I was then a primary student living in this village. It was good to see it had survived all this time despite rising inflation.

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