Sunday Mar 22, 2015
I went to the public fitness park at 6 am and at 7.30 am to exercise. I usually discipline myself to do it once, to exercise to keep fit this year. Bright cloudy morning.
As I walked out, the slim Myanmar maid, around late 20s, in bright red T-shirt, longer blue floral white shorts with two ties at the lower side and pony-tail was washing the bright red Porsche. She smiled nowadays when I said good morning or hello to her. This bright red Porsche alone would cost around $300,000 and her salary, assuming $500/month would mean 50 years of being a domestic worker to earn this amount. I hope she would save up and buy land in her village to better her life. Maids work to support their aging parents and siblings in Myanmar.
At the fitness park, I was surprised to meet this lady who walks her 11-year-old Golden Retriever every day. I met her some weeks ago when I walked to the subway to catch a train to work on a Saturday morning. Her dog was trying to sniff me out and she restrained him. "Are you from Grand Spring condo?" I asked. "No, I am from Rose Flower Gardens," she replied. "I was wearing long pants to work when we met some months ago," I said. "So, you will not recognise me. You walk to this neighbourhood too?"
"My dog gets bored walking the same route," the Golden Retriever was dragging her away.
"More likely you will get bored," I could not imagine a dog being bored when taken out in the morning to exercise. "How do you prevent tick infestations of your dog?"
"I spray an organic repellant on his body and paws and so this dog does not have ticks," she said.
"Do you use spot-on insecticide between the shoulders, e.g. Frontline?" I asked.
"Yes, I use it once a month."
"Be careful that you do not get poisoned with the daily spray as you will have inhaled it," I advised. "Even if it is organic, it is still poison!". Many Singaporeans do not bother to look into the medical side effects of multiple pills popped into their mouths including glucosamine and DMSO, anti-perspirant sprays and monthly hair dyes to look younger.
Assuming that a spray is organic, it will be safe for the health of the person and the dog. But long-term use will cause poisoinng of the body system.
The lady smiled and her dog dragged her off. Walking every day seemed to have reduced her weight since I saw her more than 2 months ago and she looked happier. She smiled as she left.
There was another older lady who walked her Golden Retriever along the roads. She also carried pieces of newspapers to scoop up the poo. The dog stopped suddenly as if he wanted to poop and so she got the newspapers ready to place. I stopped walking so as not to distract the dog. Alas, the dog did not do it. She appeared embarassed and I asked: "How many times does he poo a day?"
"Twice," she replied as the dog dragged her off.
In my neighbourhood, I saw a light brown with black soft top, probably an Audi 2-door with a bicycle attached behind the boot, driving out. An older woman walked the road to exercise. A young couple put the golf sets in their car to golf. A Caucasian expatriate with helmet cycling. One man was jogging. An older man with knees bandaged walked past me, avoiding eye contact.
On this Sunday morning in a peaceful country, most of my neighbours are sleeping late and miss the beauty of dawn breaking, the birds chirping and the coolness of the early morning. For the past years, I did not exercise, as is typical of most Singaporeans. Work and raising a family took precedence. There must be time to smell the roses in Singapore when there is peace.