There is no hope


I was sitting down at Whampoa market waiting for my chye tow kuay to be ready, and next to me was this gangly, pimply teenage fella sitting across from who I assume to be his mother, who was stacking up hers and her son’s empty bowls and chopsticks because they’d just finished her lunch and it seemed the right thing for her to do, because it’d make it easier for the hawker centre cleaner dude/lady to clean up.

So it was really not very nice of her son, the gangly, pimply teenage fella with the annoying gangly, pimply teenage fella voice – you know, when they’re 17 they still sound as if their voice just broke – to tell her off, saying, “you help them clean up for what? Leave it lah! Go restaurant also like that, come here also like that!”

The mother must have been a little taken aback, because I think ordinarily, she, like all good mothers everywhere, would have given the fella two tight slaps and a smack on the top of his head with the chopsticks held together in her fist.