Bouquets

Help given shows true hawker spirit

My 83-year-old mother had a fall at the Old Airport Road Food Centre recently, and I am extremely grateful for the response of the hawkers and others who came to her aid.

She was eating her porridge near the Xin Mei Congee stall, when she felt dizzy and fell over, hurting herself and dirtying her clothes.

The stall owners, Ms Xu Mei Zhen and Mr Teo Min Chuan, rushed to the NTUC Foodfare management office and Ms Celine Yap and Mr David Tan from the office promptly arrived to assist.

The two of them got some soap and water to wash my mother's legs and feet, as she had lost control of her bowels. Ms Yap also bought her a new pair of pants and offered to walk her home.

For me, this is what hawker culture and the classic hawker spirit is about - celebrating cuisine and community.

A hawker centre is more than just about the food.

It is about the people and the community caring for regular customers who treat the place like a second home.

Everyone who came to my mother's aid did not have to do what they did, but still chose to and, for that, my family is extremely grateful.

Yeo Teck Khoon

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 28, 2019, with the headline 'Bouquets'. Print Edition | Subscribe