Yesterday, May 20, 2013, I visited Khin Khin's office. Her neighbour whose husband will not tolerate any man talking to her passed by with two tall glasses of water and came in to talk to her. One glass had 3 stalks of roses and the other was a leafed plant. "Don't call her Aunty," Khin Khin said. "Call her Ayi". I took over the glasses and put them on the table and smelled the roses.
"You don't smell the roses as these are for Buddha," Khin Khin said. "Now you have to pay $5.00 to buy replacement ones." The Ayi did not mind. All Buddhists offer flowers in front of the Buddha picture.
I noted a thin dark girl sitting quietly in the room. "Mrs Robinson's new maid had arrived," she said. As I was going back to the clinic, I offered to send her to Mrs Robinson's condo in Cairnhill Road, saving Khin Khin some time. "Mrs R is not in," she said to the new maid who had just arrived and carried a back pack and two plastic bags. One plastic bag had a frame of the Buddha. She showed me a photo of her parents. The father is 75 years old and is normal health in mind and body. The mother is 59 years old.
"Why don't you just work in Myanmar and be with your parents?" I asked her. She had worked in Singapore for a family in Bukit Panjang 3 years ago. "I can't save money," she had worked in a hotel in Yangon for around S$150 per month. Here, she would earn $500 with free board and lodging and would have some money to ha.