Monday, 7 May 2007

You've Got a Friend in Me...


Quote of the Day:-

"Not the maker of plans and promises, but rather the one who offers faithful service in small matters. This is the person who is most likely to achieve what is good and lasting."

~Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe~


Christmas Lunch in Uncle Lourdes' home last year: Clockwise from left: Mrs Lourdes (Pauline), My Dear Mum, My Darling Dad, Lourdes, Aunty Theresa Chee and Lourdes' 70 year-old Mother.


Today, I want to share with you the story of Uncle Lourdes. Uncle Lourdes is a cleaner with the Ipoh City Council, and he is 'in charge' of the cleanliness of the Canning Garden Market in Canning Garden, Ipoh. The market has about 56 stalls...


I first met Uncle Lourdes a few years back. I always follow my mum to the market every weekend, and he caught my eye. Perhaps it was because of the fact that he was a lone-ranger cleaning the market by himself, and perhaps because my mum and he always happily greeted each other. But I guess the one thing which really stood out was the fact that the market is spick-and-spanly clean (I kid you not!)...


You know, this dumpster is so clean, my mum actually said she can't use the line "Your room is like a rubbish dump"!


Take a look for yourself how well he does his job! Photo was taken on two different days, but is still a 'Before' and 'After'...


BEFORE...



AFTER...



I am naturally a busy-body, and if you put me and 50 other people in a room where one person stands out for something, chances are, I'd be the first to go, erm, bug the person to tell me more...

So, yeah, I went to chat him up, and I told him how much in awe I was that he had done such a splendid job...

Guess what he said when I expressed my awe?




"God gave me good health and a pair of hands, and I will use my hands to serve mankind in any way possible".




I was a little taken aback, to be honest. I never expected such an answer...ever...


I decided to write about Uncle Lourdes in The Star, to share about this wonderful man we could all do more with. His Story, was the first of ExtraOrdinary People stories. To sidetrack a little, if you know of anyone like Uncle Lourdes whom society can learn from, do let me know...

Anyway, before we knew it, Uncle Lourdes and my family were chatting with each other on a more regular basis...



And last Christmas, he invited us over to celebrate with his family, knowing that we are Baha'i's and do not celebrate X-Mas on our own...

Aunty Theresa Chee (see pic above), whom I call Ee-Poh, is a very close family friend, and she was among the first people to get all excited when she saw the article about Uncle Lourdes, whom she knew from her many visits to the market. This lady is over 80 years old, but is as hail and hearty as any other person I know, and she happily informed us: "I'm coming along! We're (as in my family and hers) family right?"

So, it happens that we all found ourselves sitting in Uncle Lourdes' home on Christmas morning...for lunch...

His family happily welcomed us, and we indeed had a good time. The interesting thing was, bless their souls, they all thought that, as Chinese, we would not be able to stomach spicy food! And Aunty Pauline went to all the trouble of preparing Chinese dishes, not knowing that my family, with the exception of my brother, are the Kings of Cili Padi!

I especially loved their cat...But then again, I love all cats...and dogs...and squirrels...and...=)

It's true what they say about friendships: You never know when, where and in whom you will find a friend...

Who would have thought that a simple gesture of telling Uncle Lourdes what a fine job he had done would have led to this?

If you're ever in the Canning Garden Market, and see him, let him know how much you appreciate his work, won't you? After all, we need people like Uncle Lourdes...Can you imagine how horrible life will be if there was uncollected rubbish everywhere? Can you imagine how much more unpleasant a market would be if they were filthy...filthy?

I can...That's why I appreciate Uncle Lourdes all the more...

22 comments:

Kak Teh said...

Daphne, what a lovely story! How many of us bother to think about people we meet on the streets everyday? The street sweeper, the news vendor, the toilet cleaner? How many of us appreciate whta they do and their contribution to society? Your piece is certainly one that will and should make all of us think. Am sure your mother raised you very well.

yes,do call me aunty teh!

NURAINA A SAMAD said...

hi daphne,

you are a girl after every mother's heart.

what a wonderful human being you are.
may God bless you.

NURAINA A SAMAD said...

hi daphne, i left you an email, in response to your note to me. just to let you know that my father is NOT A samad Said.
My dad is the other (older) Samad -- A Samad Ismail.

Cheers

Take Care

Pi Bani said...

Daph, I seldom go to Canning Garden market although I always lalu-lalang there. (I'm the once-a-week pasar-tani-goer.) But yes, I do agree with you the place is indeed clean.

We do tend to forget the contributions of the man in the street, don't we? Imagine if they all mogok....

Thanks for reminding.

jimi said...

Daphne, he is truly unsung hero that probably wont be noticed.

J.T. said...

Daphne, a lovely story... eh! Kak Teh, Aunty Teh (or Aunty Chocs - see her comment in her blog) took the words right out of my mouth.

There are extraordinary people around us everyday. We just have to stop in our tracks for a while. I bet there will be one right under your nose. Let's start with you Daphne.

Your parents must be so proud of you.

P.S. Pi Bani, if the man on the street 'mogok', we will be living in awful conditions.

Hammerhead said...

Three cheers for Uncle Lourdes! Ok...add 3 more for you!!

the Razzler said...

Daphne .. you certainly are born with a heart of gold!! Your parents must be really proud of you!! ... & so am I!!

My Mum nevers fails to give Ang Pows to all the cleaners in my hometown .. (only about 5 of them) every CNY!! And I have kept the tradition going on although my Mum is no more with us .. She has a heart of gold, too! :) :)

But to be honest .. the cleaners in my home town may take some tips from Uncle Lourdes on the spick-and-spanly clean part .. hehe :) :)

Have a wonderful day!! :) :)

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Nuraina A Samad, Hammerhead, Razzler,

Thanks for dropping by...Yes, all these people are often a forgotten lot...and yet, they are a very important part of society...

My aunts who stay in Canada say their rubiish is collected once a week! And even then, the rubbish-men (called trash engineers) are forever mogok-ing! Sheesh...

Kak Teh, JT, Kak Pi and Jimi: Thanks for the kind words...*Turning bright pink*...;)
Kak Teh, Dad had a hand too lar...=) Kekekeke...

Daphne Ling said...

Oh and Pn Nuraina,
Yeah, I found out he wasn't your dad already. Was telling you what a bodoh girl I was ;)
Cheerio!

U7s6 said...

Hey Dear Daphnee,
You're really a gem. Words fail me utterly, because I really dontnoe how to describe you in words. If more and more people were like you, the world will indeed be more beautiful. After all, who cares about the person who pciks trash, but you?
Take care sayang.

u7s6 said...

Ohh, I am curios: Is this thinking a product of brats? Because if it is, we should write and congrats them on producing such wonderful young people. Anybody want to suport me on this? Or write on my behalf?

aLz said...

i got to this blog from the awesome MM's blog, and mann i was sorry i didn't blog-hop here earlier...

eyh, myself from ipoh too, wherabouts are u @?

btw, i like your writings :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Daphne,
I have been blog hopping. Great work you have here. Like Alz, sorry I didn't find you earlier. Still in it's infancy your blog isnt it? But great work!

Raden Galoh said...

Dearest Daph, sighhh....really huh? We almost overlook these lots... that help even in any way they can...it may not be a big act but without them we'll be chaotic...and that surely does indicate what they do is a big contribution...

You are really a wonderful gem...and able to see things from a dofferent perspective and bring us all to see it the way you see it... am so grateful we know each other and surely would love to meet you one day...

nyonyapenang said...

hi daphne,
a very well written article indeed.

i always believe in having pride in what we do and do it well.
hat's off to uncle lourdes.

Daphne Ling said...

Oh NO! u7s6, Please do not write to BRATs unless I am not mentioned...If you want to write to them, leave my name OUT of it...

Janganlah brew tsunami+tornado+whirlwind+taufan in an eensy-weensy teacup!

Daphne Ling said...

To Elz, Anonymous, Raden, and NyonyaPenang, yes, Uncle Lourdes is an amazing man, and we should really take our hats of to him. He works hard, and is taking care of his 4 children, wife, mother and brother who is mentally ill. The only other person working in the household is his sister (they all live together)...
Great man, huh?

zewt said...

do u happen to be from CGMC?

Anonymous said...

Dear Daphne,
Everyone in society can be taught to be aware of people like Mr Lourdes and what u wrote is an example of how awareness is created. Most of those in similar vocations around us are ignored and even looked down upon, inspite of all the moral and religious teaching most Malaysians go thro.
You are also an example of one who is putting into practise what you have been taught by your elders and your religion.
Cheers.

Spiderman.

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Zewt,

CGMC? What on earth is that? So no...

Spiderman! Cute nick...Thanks for the kind words, and yes, I think that we still do alot to create awareness about the people on the streets...They have a lot to teach us, especially me and my generation =)

Daily Nibbler said...

Hi Daphne,

Thanks for the article. It is people like Uncle Lourdes who make a difference in our everyday lives. It is heart warming a girl like you choose to write about him, for his commitment and hard work to make the wet market a better place for those who throng the market. The sad thing is we always take people like Uncle Lourdes for granted.

Keep it up! It is article like yours that touches lives; a reminder to do our part in our little insignificant way with both hands given to us for the betterment of society we live in.