Amid adversity, Hong Lim Market hawker treats auntie to free laksa after seeing her struggle to pay

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Singapore – After seeing an auntie struggling with her online payment, a kind hawker couple treated her to free laksa – sparking a call from a woman who witnessed the scene to support Singapore’s local hawkers.

“I was so moved to see that even in the face of adversity, our hawkers are kind and grateful and willing to extend help even at their own expense,” wrote one Cherlyn Seah on Facebook on Saturday (May 22).

She shared a story of the uncle and auntie who owned Famous Sungei Road Trishaw Laksa at Hong Lim Market & Food Centre.

Ms Seah had visited the stall on May 21 during lunchtime to buy their famous laksa. She spotted a lady beside her “anxiously fiddling with her phone.”

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The woman was still struggling with her phone when the stall owner handed Ms Seah her food.

The uncle then told the lady, “It’s okay if you can’t, we can give you a treat.”

“It turned out that the lady was a Chinese national. As such, she had no SGD in cash on her, no local bank account and was trying to make sure her Alipay account worked before placing her order,” explained Ms Seah.

The woman was flustered as Alipay was not working at that time. She repeatedly told the uncle it was okay.

“Both uncle and auntie insisted that she take some food back to her accommodation for free,” wrote Ms Seah.

She also offered to buy the bowl of laksa for the woman.

The woman continued to apologise, noting she could not understand why the payment service application was not working.

The woman also repeatedly said she could not take on either my offer or the stall owners’ and that she would be alright without the food, said Ms Seah.

However, the uncle and auntie had already packed the laksa for the woman despite not placing an order.

The stall owners “pushed the food to the lady and refused to accept payment from me,” said Ms Seah.

The woman expressed her gratitude and promised to come back the next day to repay them.

“Times are tough for uncle and auntie,” noted Ms Seah, who was moved by the scene. “I visited around lunchtime, and there was no queue at their stall.”

“However, they didn’t even bat an eyelid to help the lady, who would probably have gone without lunch if not for their kind offer.”

Ms Seah then called for the public to support local hawkers. “Not all of them are tech-savvy, literate, able to bear the cost of using our conventional food delivery platforms.”

“It would mean the world to them if we took a bit of effort to patronise their stalls in these trying times,” she added.

The Famous Sungei Road Trishaw Laksa stall is located at 531A Upper Cross Street #02-66, Hong Lim Food Centre./TISG

Read related: KF Seetoh appeals to public to help hawkers living on ‘a prayer and hope’

KF Seetoh appeals to public to help hawkers living on ‘a prayer and hope’

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