Since I started my present job, a few years ago, I have always gone to this barber for my hair cuts. There are a few reasons for this, namely, its cheap, its convenient as I can have it done before reporting for work and his work is not too bad. Although I must caution those who wish to try that he is old school and that is what you should expect if you use his service.
Today, as usual, I was waiting for him to open his shop early in the morning. Soon enough he arrived and started his work on my hair. Just as he started so did his rants about how unfair life has been to him. Actually, I have heard them many times before but hey, its his shop and what else have I got to do, so I'm all ears.
"I'm so unlucky, my mother died when I was just a baby. I never knew a mother's love or affection, unlike other kids who are lucky enough to experience this". "My father was such a useless person, he remarried immediately after my mother's death". "I have never spoken to him since many many years ago". "He is such a useless father, who in their right mind would neglect their children's education to finance his brother's who was then in China". I hate him". "I mean, would you be able to love such a person".
He then reached for a photograph of his mother and with a heavy heart showed it to me. "Thats my mother and with her is my elder sister". "I'm so unlucky, not educated, only completed standard six". "Do you know that I can speak and read English because of my own effort". "Many years ago, a politician showed up in my shop and was very surprised that I was listening to BBC on the radio that one of my patrons had given to me". "She was shouting so loudly that I think people from the whole block could hear her". "So, she thinks just because I'm a barber, I wouldn't know English, does she". "Useless, politician, look down on us barbers".
He then shifted his topic to me. "You are so lucky, with a degree and a stable job, earning good money". I was thinking to myself that well, it depends on what you mean by good money. If he was talking about a normal life with most of the modern amenities, then he is right. However, if he is talking about enjoying life lavishly then he is dead wrong.
Anyhow, he continued. "I have to work everyday, just to survive, because if I stop, the money also stops and I do not have any EPF to depend on". Anyhow, that was when he completed my haircut. I thanked him and paid him RM5 for the job.