The other side of the city where lions do not roam

You are 60+. You live in a 2 room flat, somewhere on the other side of the city. THe facia of the block has been upgraded and a little landscaped garden has been added to the little plot between the blocks. It is clean and looks better now but inside your flat you realise that you are poor. You are no different from the other poors in neighbouring countries. THere is a stark different though. At 65 you still have to work while your 60 year old friends in other countries could afford to enjoy their retirement. You will work until you cannot walk. Sometimes you long to retire in faraway land……………………

You own a restaurant along Boat Quay. Before 9/11 and before all the other redevelopment have been completed your restaurant was enjoying brisk business. You could afford to splash your money at Genting. Not any more. It is lunchtime now, but only one table is occupied. When will the tourists be coming, you wonder.

You operate a kiosk or warung in SENTOSA the  theme park.  Your place is fairly crowded. You sell goreng pisang, nasi lemak, nasi campor and the labourers , menial workers, the bus and taxi drivers patronize your place. Business is brisk. You are lucky because the guy that operates the boat terminal is contemplating suicide. No one is using the jetty now.  The island will be turned into the Las Vegas of the East. Will you be allowed to operate after the casino is completed? But you are fairly confident that there will always be people who can only afford nasi campor pisang goring  and kopi O plastik.

You are 42, with 4 kids. Your wife works with the govenment. You work as a sales man. You are fairly far sighted. You are already planning to migrate comes your retirement age. You know you need to fulfill the dream to retire in faraway land.

The place has been kind to you. You have been able to earn a living, but slowly you realize it is going to marginalize you if you cannot keep up with the lifestyle. You realize that you are not lions and tigers.


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