In recent weeks, I met two octogenarians not counting my family members 😀 who made me see that Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew has company and competition.
First was the chairman of one of Singapore’s oldest property company — it’s been around even be4 Far East Organisation — and tho no longer a household name, it still controls one of the country’s most popular tourist hotels in a prime location.
One of my brothers and i accompanied my aunt from China to call on him, to make a transaction. He met us personally (probably because his father and my grandfather used to be neighbours aeons ago), offered a decent price for what my aunt had to sell and once she accepted, he proceeded to type out a confirmatory document on a computer using Microsoft Word.
Because I was rather stressed by that meeting, what I had witnessed didn’t sink in till this week — when I visited him again with my sister Daffy to offer him more of what my family members owned for his consideration.
More relaxed on the second visit, I then appreciated what I saw, as this grey-haired ever-smiling octogenerian again drafted a new set of customised confirmatory notes for my sister and me, typing straight into the computer and with a click of the mouse sent the documents out from the printer, word perfect!
The second octogenarian who helped put more steel into my back was on the bonding trip to Melaka last month.
To be honest, when I received the program for that trip, I felt like backing out, because not only did we have to start out at the crack of dawn to get to our pick up point, but we had to be on the go till 5pm be4 we checked into the hotel. It was more like boot camp than bonding!
However, I thought, the organiser was likely to lighten the itinerary, because her 87-year-old mother was coming along.
I was wrong, because the feisty old lady was happily getting in and out of the coach, to eat breakfast after the Second Link, rest stops, for lunch, visit to the Nyonya Baba Heritage Museum at which we must have spent an hour, going up and down stairs, wandering thru Melaka’s narrow traffic filled streets to shop and eat snacks, be4 we finally landed at Hotel Renaissance to check in.
Then, within an hour, we were out again to eat dinner and watch a nyonya dish being prepared and cooked. Follwed by shopping for two hours at Dataran Pahlawan. Feisty old lady was still going strong.
Next morning, she was up for breakfast with the rest, despite revealing she barely slept, because she wasn’t accustomed to the bed.
But she was as gamed as the others to go for an hour’s cruise on the Melaka river, then lunch, more shopping this time at Mahkota Parade and then an extension of the return time to Singapore, with an unscheduled leisurely dinner in Kulai.
Feisty old lady didn’t appear any worse for wear than any of us when we finally reached Singapore and split.
I was barely in one piece.
Those who have travelled regularly with me would know that if not for being put to shame by an 87-year-old woman, I would have 1) declined breakfast and stayed on the coach 2) declined the museum visit and other sight seeing activities 3) pleaded to be allowed to go to the hotel early even if just to sit in the lobby while waiting for check-in and 4) declined the boat cruise.
But as I wasn’t travelling with my usual group, I would probably have been more restrained in my demand for my comfort zone to be preserved.
Still, I’m glad that I was prodded to participate in all the activities by an 87-year-old. Because when I’m with contemporaries or younger friends, I could always rely on their indulgence to cop out.
But when someone who’s older than my mother has the stamina to be on the go, despite lack of sleep and little rest, it just won’t do for me to say I’m tired.
And I’m glad that happened as I got more out of the latest trip to Melaka than the previous dozen or so trips I’ve made over the years, when the need to rest kept getting in my way!