Singapore — A Facebook user has posted about meeting an elderly blind man who was on his way to sell biscuits to a regular customer at his block even though it was past 11 at night.
In the post on Tuesday (Dec 1), a good samaritan who wished to be known only as Mr Tan shared that he had encountered the man in the lift lobby while he was on his way home that night.
Mr Tan, who thought the man lived nearby, asked him why he had still not made his way home. The man replied that he had come by a regular customer’s block to sell the biscuits. He added that he had not finished selling all his biscuits.
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Mr Tan offered to send the man home but he did not take up the offer and said that he planned to take a Service 855 bus home. However, after some convincing, he relented and accepted the lift home.
Responding to TISG’s queries, Mr Tan said he was very concerned that the man might not make it home safely or may fall down as he looked frail.
He added that he had seen the man going door-to-door selling biscuits since he was younger. He said that whenever the elderly man came to his house, his family would always make it a point to buy biscuits.
Mr Bachan Singh, Deputy Editor of this publication, shared that he had seen the man at a food-stall in Far East Plaza much earlier, in 2016.
Explaining that he recognised the man as someone who sold lottery tickets years ago in Thomson Plaza, Mr Singh wrote that while he was in the queue to buy food, the man made his way to the front of the queue and stood near a heated display case containing “pau” (buns).
The stall was crowded and the stall helpers were busy but the man stood there until one of the helpers noticed him.
In a Facebook post on Nov 16, 2016, Mr Singh wrote: “The helper took out a pau from the hot display case and placed it in the man’s hand. She then put a cup of barley water in front of the hot display case. The pau was so hot that the man started shifting it from one hand to the other, blowing “foo, foo, foo” loudly. He ate quickly, also shifting the hot bites from one side of his mouth to the other. Bits of the filling fell out of his mouth onto the floor. He then gulped down the barley water and left. “Tap, tap, tap” and he was gone”.
He said that while it was kind of the stall to give the man a “pau”‘, it “could have made it less humiliating. The pau could have been placed on a plate. The man accepted the treatment because he had no choice”.
“This is the fate of handicapped people. Not only do they have disabilities, they are also often very poor,” he added.
Mr Singh said that when he spoke to the man in Thomson Plaza years earlier, he found that the man had a “most happy, optimistic voice and a very courteous demeanour. His speech is clearer and he is more pleasant than many so-called normal people”.
Meanwhile, Mr Tan urged those who happen to see the man selling biscuits in the Orchard Road or Redhill areas to “help him along or fetch him a cab”.
He added that the man lived with a brother in Block 720, Ang Mo Kio Avenue 6. /TISG
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