setting : restoran ayam penyet
a kid came approaching from my back with a bag full of flavoured crackers and tried to sell the crackers – 2 packs for rm10..he offered me and yot to taste the crackers that he claimed were made by his mother..and upon looking at the packaging, the crackers were in no doubt was home made, just they were all properly packaged..i kindly refused to buy his product but i kept my eyes on that boy..he approached all the other customers coming to that restaurant..a second after that i realised that school hours should not had ended..so what was he doing there..?so i called that boy..i asked him if he went to school that day (assuming he is a student in any one of the schools) and he said he didn’t go..
setting : mcdonalds in one of the shopping malls
i was talking and making plans with yot while enjoying her forever melting ice cream whenever she decided to buy one..she’s just so good in making the ice cream to melt easily..either she’s too warm, or she’s just such a snail when it comes to eating..
and when we were talking, a chinese boy came and place a card on our table..and on the card it’s written that the boy was deaf and he’s selling some crafts to make some living..so i signed to him, with whatever limited NZ sign language i knew..something so simple as simple as “can you speak..?” so he could tell me what each of the crafts/symbols mean..and i signed, i knew some signs too if he showed me..and unfortunately he didn’t understand my signs..probably he didn’t sign in English and i knew nothing Chinese..but i really couldn’t give him the benefit of the doubt so i kindly refused to buy his crafts..
setting : the same place as scene 2, only a few minutes after that
kid : assalamualaikum kak, saya nak minta derma..
me : w’salam..adik nak minta derma untuk apa..?
kid : untuk mak saya, dia sakit, dia dekat pulau pinang..*while his eyes browsed aimlessly to his surrounding*
me : adik datang dengan siapa ni..?
kid : dengan mak angkat..
me : mak angkat adik dekat mana..?
kid : atas, tengah jalan jalan..
me : adik umur berapa..?adik sekolah tak..?
kid : umur 9 tahun, saya tak sekolah..
and suddenly the worker from mcdonalds called that kid and asked him to go away..now here’s what i observed further..
that first kid i met was selling some well packaged crackers – as if it’s not produced from home, it’s produced in a factory (with proper ingredietns and nutritional facts written on the packaging)..and that made me wondered – if his mother owned a factory, why couldn’t she let his son to go to school..?alright..if his mother bought the crackers from some suppliers, why let her son work during school hours..?
with that chinese boy – so if he couldn’t really sign, what’s his method of communication all these while..?he couldn’t even sign the survival way (sign however they wish to sign to convey what they’re trying to say) and he didn’t prepare any pen and papers to make communication easier..i really wish i could explore his bag to see if he’s using any phones..i didn’t mean to be rudely suspicious, he just couldn’t convince me enough..
and that little boy asking for donation..he wasn’t telling the truth i swear! his speech was so scripted and you could obviously see he’s not good at lying..he might even lied about his age because he looked way too small and too young to be a 9 year old..and i could see he’s waving toward his friends who wore the same kind of songkok..yes, they were many of them..
how can i be happy about that..?to me they are no different from being somebody’s slaves only this is in the 21st century when everyone claims to be receiving the benefit of being civilised..human, we are far from being civilised if the invaluable human capital are having denied access to education and no one is there to stand up for them and burn the irresponsible adults for forcing the poor kids to be their life supports..
those kids were thin, looking weary and wore some sloppy clothes on..God knew what they’d been feeding on all day – if they ever got fed..did anyone take care of their health..?the kind of nurturing they received..?
this is my country..