Penang, Sunday 12th December 2004
Location: Tesco hypermarket in Gelugor
What is to become of this world? Parents are over-indulging their children. A couple was seen at the hypermarket with 3 boys. Two of them were carrying these Lego plastic containers with RM1 coins. There must be at least 40-50 coins in each container. This foolish couple then let their rowdy sons feed the rubber balls vending machine like throwing money into the tong sampah or gamblers at Genting feeding the one-arm bandits. Don’t they have any brains or any conscience? Shouldn’t they teach their young children to be thrifty, caring and have some money sense? (OK, that’s what others think of us.)
But heck, you should see the expressions on my kids face. You should feel their happiness. What’s RM80-RM100? No amount of money can buy that kind of thrills. Because we do not pamper our children. We do not over-indulge them. We are merely rewarding them. My 8 years old is gutsy enough to ask every cashiers to exchange a dollar note for RM1 coin. No one bothers to entertain this little, eager kid. But hey, I got a tough guy there. I love him so much for being so bold. I know I wouldn’t dare to do what he did. Going around asking and asking. And my other son, he has such discerning taste. He eyes each coloured balls like some rare gems.
So, what we did was drive them to our other house and we dig out every RM1 coin we can find. We do have a lot of coins lying around there. Since we are rather pokkai (broke) and not travelling anywhere during this school holidays, what better way than to indulge their childhood yearnings?
Do they learn anything? Yeap. My little 8 yrs old suddenly remembered God. He prayed to get one rare black coloured ball (which he did and therefore, reinforced his belief). But before that, he prayed for the health of all the sick children. He prayed for the homeless. Isn’t that so sweet?
Then, my little guys gave away many of the balls which are identical to the children who were crowding around them. Another act of sharing and giving. They also dropped some money into the Salvation Army donation box.
So, if I want to indulge my kids by spending RM100 in a single evening on some worthless balls, I feel it is money well-spent. They are going to treasure this ‘spur of the moment’ memories and I hope that RM100 have bought them pleasant things to remember their childhood.
(photo taken by 8 yrs old kid, only part of collection)