Right below my building is a wet market. Everyday going to work, I always pass through it without thought. I was already used to the people and the smell so nothing really fazed me.
Today however, when I was on my way home, I saw a lone man sitting right by his stall.
It was raining hard today. Thunderstorms and all. Actually, absolutely sucky weather today.
On sunnier days and warm rainless nights, this man would usually sell uncooked fishballs and hotpot fares right by the street. “HKD10 for three pieces! HKD10 for three pieces!”
He was a slightly bulkier man, and always wear a wifebeater just like Britney’s ex-husband, Kevin Federline.
What made today different was that I was struck by this thought as I saw this lone fellow sitting by his booth trying to sell the last of his fishballs and hotpot stuff.
“It’s only HKD10 and it’s raining,” I thought. “There’s nobody who would buy anymore, and even then, one more customer doesn’t really make that extra HKD10 worthwhile especially in this shitty weather.”
My training and experience in working in the bank has made me jaded. For me, we would only do trades if it was profitable given our efforts. If we are merely to make pennies from our trade, we would merely forgo it and go for the more profitable one.
HKD10 for me was nothing. In fact, it wasn’t enough for me to eat dinner. HKD10 is not enough to buy a bubble milk tea at Mongkok.
And yet this man is sitting by his stall in the rain trying to sell HKD10 fishballs.
Another thought struck me: In the entire span of things, I am extremely lucky. Praise God.
Right now, I am sitting in my lovely airconditioned apartment typing. My Internet costs HKD271 a month. That’s almost like 27 orders of HKD10 fishballs. And that’s just the Internet service.
Of all things, may I never complain again.
I am very very very lucky, and I have to thank my parents for bringing me up in such a way that I get to enjoy these luxuries, and especially to God for allowing this to happen.
The other thought that struck me was: I admire this man.
Despite his products worth HKD10, this was his livelihood. This is how he is able to feed his family. This is how he is able to live in Hong Kong.
Where it is possible to cheat, steal or beg in the streets, this man chooses to devote his time and effort in an honorable business.
It may be small to my eyes, but this is his work. His life.
And the extra time he has spent in the rain while all the other vendors has gone home shows his industriousness and determination. This man is NOT to be pitied. Not at all.
This man is to be respected, and admired.
Joblessness has made me more philosophical. I spent time at home thinking more nowadays than when I was at work.
Though I spent time napping this afternoon (who would’ve thought I could actually wasste an afternoon napping), I was still productive enough in packing my things in preparation for school and downloading games to my iPhone. I wrote two essays so far from yesterday and today, and thinking of joining Time Asia’s essay writing contest.
Then again, life as a bum has always been good.
Anyway, am updating more regularly these days. This is good.
Life is good.
Have a great week everyone!