Staying Sweet for 2020

6 Jan 2020

First Parcel in 2020 for a friend whom I hardly see but is always supportive of my animal work since 2007.

School & work started on the 2nd day of 2020 for most in Singapore.

Since primary school days the ending of the old year and the beginning of the new one carry great significance for me.

As I age, I find myself more selective and making more efforts in the simplest of activities that I partake in around this season. (This would be the main reason why I need to operate alone. 😄)

Ollie poses with a Street Dog Care calendar from Nepal. This was the first gift I mailed out in 2020.

So on the 2nd day of 2020, I decided that leaving my house to make a trip to the post office to mail a calendar to a friend was top priority.

Now the taxi fare to & fro would easily cost me at least $14, and if I were pragmatic, I should have waited a few more days to gather up more errands and mail her the calendar while I was running them. But this friend definitely deserves more, and shall not be part of my errands.

My sore throat was also healing. Although I didn’t think it auspicious to begin the new year with one, it had the benefit of making me stay home to write OM and drink honey water.

After the Westgate Post Office, I stopped by a costume jewelry counter on my way to the supermarket.

The counter was just on the walkway of the mall so it wasn’t even in a proper shop.

Ollie, like Planet Jupiter, wears my choker of 12 moons.

But the salesgirl on duty that day was dressed as if she was working for Cartier.

She showed the low priced trinkets respectfully to customers who were mostly in carefree and casual clothes.

I was immediately impressed by her regal air even though her retail space was tiny & cluttered, and even though she only had a plastic stool to sit on, despite looking like a million dollars.

When she saw me, she was very interested in the rudraksha beads on my wrist and tried to recall their Mandarin name.

“Boudhi Seeds (菩提子),” I offered.

The young Queen smiled.

After she realised I understood Mandarin, she started telling me how she liked the way my choker looked against black.

This 12-moon choker of buffalo horn reminds me of Jupiter and has accompanied to many places. Its bovine presence often allows total strangers to relax and smile at me.

I returned the Queen’s kindness by complimenting her on her youth and dress sense, and she replied, “我只是年轻罢了。而你的时尚是打从骨子里来的.” (Rough Transl: I’m just young, but your style is bone deep).

As I watched Her Grace greeting customers who didn’t even bother to look at her, I felt I needed to give her something to remind her of her sweetness.

So before I left the mall, I bought an extra bottle of honey from GNC and went back to the costume jewellery counter to give it to her.

“May your life be sweet no matter who you meet.”

At first she looked a little puzzled. Then she held up the bottle of honey and revealed excitedly that this was her first gift from Singapore! She had only been working here for a month plus. And for her to receive honey at the start of the new year was auspicious, she gushed.

And standing tall on her fine stockinged legs, the Queen bent low to ask if I could give her a hug!

As I did, I wished her a happy and youthful 2020 and may the honey gift remind her of her own sweetness, and to remain sweet no matter what kind of customers she meets.

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