Friday, March 09, 2007


A couple of seemingly pointless occurrence happened to me yesterday. One, since the longest time, a lady whom I am sure is much younger than me addressed me as "adik" (little brother) instead of the usual "uncle" that annoys my vanity. Yes, I know I am getting on with age, but deep inside I still feel like 18. Well, perhaps that's stretching it a bit, but I remember an old sea dog who once said you will forever be as old as the time you joined the sea. I suppose he means that the seafarers social mindset will be stuck at whatever age he left land for the sea service due to lack of social integration during those years at sea.

The second occurrence is more significant. I was trying to purchase a pack of ciggies and some other small stuff at the local 7-11 with a RM100 bill. Its the only one I had. Guess what ? 7-11 only have a maximum change for RM50. Out of the blue the guy behind me put some notes on the counter and indicate to the cashier to include my stuff in his bill. I was a bit shocked, my mind thinking of what's the catch, why is this unknown person paying for my purchase ? By the time the cashier rang up the sale and handed me my plastic bag the guy was gone.

I chased after him, walked briskly actually while calling out to him. No response. It was until I was directly behind and tapped his shoulders that the turned around and smiled. Turn out he is an OKU, a disabled person. In this case deaf and mute. We hand signalled a while and ended up having teh tarik at the nearby stall. I have been in the company of such person before but never got to really understand them. In school, they have a special class. This is my chance then.

First I asked him why he paid for my purchase. Before that, this is where the obscenely expensive Tumi bag I purchased recently came to the rescue - it came with a pad of paper and pen. His response to my question was that he saw how annoyed I looked and that he intends to diffuse the situation. Well, I'll accept that at face value.

He is 23, just got his diploma and will be going for the SPA interview next week. His father gave him allowance (imagine that - paying for a strangers ciggies), otherwise he has no other source of income. A nice guy really. I wanted to pay him back but he insisted that I just pay for the drinks and he thank me for wanting to communicate with him albeit being stared at by others as we keep pushing pen and paper to each other. Turns out he is just like any of us. Yes, I know this too, but this is real experience instead of just imagining or reading about it.

I didn't ask him but it did make me think, sad actually at the fact that he is unable to enjoy music, listen to sounds of nature, the voice of his loved ones. Things that we all took for granted. Pray to god that we keep all our sensory capacity till the day we die.

1 comment:

Mat Salo said...

Ko pi beli rokok kat 7-11 SS3 tu ke? Excellent stuff Cap, I really enjoyed this one. Not only the story, but the great human being that you are! "MY measure of a person's true charachter is not how he treats those superior to him - that's easy -ar** lickers are easy to spot - but how he treats the lesser ones and the unfortunates" -MS