Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Condo-less, Car-less and Credit Card-less Agent

My two good friends, Soh Wah and Soo Kiat, often make good use of their lunch breaks to meet up with friends. Hence, they often invite me to have lunch with them.

Recently, I thought I should reciprocate their kind generosity by inviting them to Peach Garden Restaurant. When I eat on my own, I am quite contented and happy with simple meals like home made soup or a hard boiled egg, fruits and some coffee. When I entertain, it is important that my friends, relatives and clients have the type of food they enjoy. Knowing that Soh Wah and Soo Kiat enjoy the food at Peach Garden Restaurant, I decided to give them a treat.

During the conversation, Soh Wah said, "Choo, you're cute. You are an agent who is car-less, credit card-less and condo-less. You don't drive, yet you are doing quite well as an agent."

"Did you say I am cute.? Wow! That's another "C" added to my name. I definitely have the coveted 5C's that so many Singaporeans desire to have. "Cute Choo Choo. Car-less, condo-less and credit card-less".

Frankly, I am much happier without a car. I do not want to be accused by that German writer who says that some Singaporeans have weird behaviour for they own big cars but park them at home only to take the MRT to save on parking. I am certainly happy with my BMW - bus, mrt and walking. "Like now, I'm happily eating with you, without worrying that I have to pay $13 for a two hour parking! And if I want, I can later read all the daily newspapers in the Lounge without having to buy any papers.

Truly, as an agent, I realise that many clients are not bothered about whether the agents drive or not. They are more concerned with punctuality, sound advice, solid insight and good service. Ironically, although I don't drive, I am always punctual. Maybe that is because I do not have to worry about traffic jams. When you are in the mrt, you only worry about potential terrorists, not traffic jams.

I found out that my friend Soo Kiat has only one credit card, and Soh Wah has almost close to 20 credit cards. "They give me free, so I take lor", volunteered Soh Wah. "Soo Kiat, you often forget to pay your credit card bills, while Choo is someone who is often in the habit of losing her things. It's good that both you and Choo don't have or minimise your credit cards", reiterated Soh Wah. I don't worry about Soh Wah having 19 credit cards for she is prudent, organised and efficient.

"By the way, Soh Wah, am in the process of applying for my one and only Diners Club credit card now because with it, I can get 5% from Sheng Siong."

"Aiyoh, how much do you buy from Sheng Siong.? Apply for OCBC's Robinson's card lah, Choo", advised motherly Soh Wah.

Of course, my friends do not know that despite being single, I actually purchase quite a lot of groceries and necessities from Sheng Siong to bless the poor and needy in Little India and Chinatown. The 5% discount saved can go a long way to helping my orphans in Nepal and Vietnam too.

As to being condo-less, I would also like the German writer to know that yes, I utilise all my homes very well, be they purchased hdb flats or rented house or apartment. Every time I would only use one bedroom and lease out the remaining rooms. My good tenants also help me with the computer and dog-sit my pet and water my plants when I am out of Singapore. I am fully aware that as stewards, we must make good use of all that we have. If at anytime that my home is void of tenants, I will open it up to visiting missionaries and guests. I will never live in a huge house as I dislike housekeeping work and do not want possessions to possess me. Neither do I want the trouble of having maids who enjoy my lovely home while I am out slogging.

"By the way, Soh Wah, any special promotion now at Peach Garden? The restaurant gives 15% discount with UOB Platinum credit card? Please help me pay with your card and I return you now in cash. That way, I save, and you also earn points for your credit card."

Who says I am condo-less, car-less and credit card-less? I enjoy visiting my friends and clients' lovely condos and feel at home when I am with them. I enjoy taking rides from my clients and friends in their beautiful cars of all makes and designs. I "tumpang" (make use of) their credit cards for discounts when I go shopping or have meals with them.

And oh yes! I do not have any property overseas for I will definitely be buried or cremated in this little island. I appreciate our government for their efficiency and foresight and great transport system and wonderful public housing schemes, that even other countries are trying to emulate. I have always enjoyed staying in hdb flats for I only pay $36.50 per month for maintenance. Sometimes I only pay $18.25 when the Town Council subsidises the fees. And oh yes, every time I vote for the PAP, the PAPa without the "a".

Life in Singapore is indeed a many splendoured thing, and easily-contented people like me feel rich, happy and cheerful. It is my prayer that I can be condo-less, car-less and credit card-less, but God, please don't ever let me be heart-less. :-)

Gan Chau


Anonymous said...

Wow, Choo Choo,

tks for sharing such an interesting insight into your personal life.

I am proud of you as a fellow DW agent and a fellow Toastmaster too...

Keep up your good work and may God bless you with many more deals to help the needy in Sg and orphans in the poorer nations.

P.S I like your positive outlook on life....many citizens criticize and denounce Sg but you do otherwise...

Rebecca Lee

Anonymous said...

Lovely, Choo Choo. I agree completely with your various choices. As you know I'm very much the same way myself.

James Dunlap

Hong Kong

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing Choo Choo.
All the best in your writing of articles.
I hope I can emulate your style of living.

See you soon

Rose Ho
(Queenstown TMC & Cairnhill TMC)

Anonymous said...

Dear Cute Choo Choo,

5 Cs are not important. Many people never realize that to achieve the 5 Cs, they enslaved themselves to making monies and end of the day, they do not live a life at all. A person with a Big Heart is most important.

Jane Tan

Anonymous said...

Dear choo choo,
What a delight to start my day with your 5c story. I daresay this will make a great speech!

Catherine from
Vietnam Toastmasters Club

Anonymous said...

Thanks Choo Choo that is beautiful soup for the soul :)
Have a great week!