Mak Cik With a Smile

I was having a long talk with a friend, a sales person came from behind.

“Anak nak kerepek?”

Without looking, I lifted my hand and gently said that I’m not interested. My family isn’t actually fond of kerepek. Plus we’ve already stocked up enough to last 2 more weeks. More kerepek would mean more unburnt fat.

“Terima kasih”, she wanders off to another table.

As she passes by, I saw her. Roughly in early her 70’s, her petite figure was over shadowed with a huge orange plastic bags over her shoulder. She had a slight hunch and with wrinkles all over her face. She moved slowly, yet surely.

A sudden sadness wrapped around my heart.

Millions of question flashed in my head. Where are her kids? Why is she still trying to make a living? What’s forcing her to work? Is she well taken care of? Where does she sleep? Did she walk all the way from home? and the list goes on.

I could no longer bear the thought of her being burdened at such age. I grabbed my wallet, left my friend dumbfounded and chased that makcik before she fades into the night.

Intensely gasping for breath, I asked ,”Ni semua berape?”

She looked me in the eyes, staring in disbelief. As tears build up, she softly replied, “due puloh”.

For the price of RM 20, I bought a temporary happiness. For RM 20, she could go home and not worry about today’s sale. For RM 20, I felt relieved. For RM20, I can stop feeling sorry for myself and be happy, that underneath this thick shield of ego, lies a man with a very warm heart.

Or maybe, I’m easily touched.

ps: Still looking for the opportunity to break down and weep like a broken widow, but what the hell, there’s always tomorrow.

pss: If you can procrastinate your work, you can procrastinate your feelings.

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NoktahHitam

I am web developer, who's main concern is to save the trees. Nonetheless

43 thoughts on “Mak Cik With a Smile”

  1. Often I would double back to buy something off from makcik/pakcik menjual.

    Maybe its for peace of mind and peace of heart. And maybe because I would just picture and ask, “What if my parents were in that shoes?”

  2. You mean double the price? Nah, it’s economically nonviable. Just buy off everything. Bile lapar, you know there’s something in the kitchen.

  3. bro, nice one.
    I wish did the same.
    Ergh. Menyesalnya!

    Hmm, agak-agaknye, ada sindiket ke yang bagi kerja macam tu kat diorang? Sebab, kebanyakannye, anak kecil atau kaum ‘lama’. hmm. Musykil.

  4. that’s something so not expected from you. πŸ˜› but I guess everyone has their softer side and thank God because we all masih ada rasa belas, bertimbang rasa.

    that was so kind of you. I can imagine the joy of that temporary hapiness that you gave her.

  5. Eh bro, pack of tissue tu bukan ke die sapa dgn “Derma ikhlas utk orang bute”? Saguhati je die bagi tissue. Die bukan jual pon. Lagi pon, dah name derma, kene la ikhlas.

  6. the responses peeve me in a way I don’t think personal pujian is the whole point of writing this..
    what can we possibly say?
    senyap. it happens to everyone, reflect on self-conducts je la.

    Still looking for the opportunity to break down and weep like a broken widow, but what the hell, there’s always tomorrow. -as much as letting out is good, im on the view absorbing to the fullest is also good..so yeah i second this

    If you can procrastinate your work, you can procrastinate your feelings. – :up:

  7. you’re amazing! :up:

    i’m easily touched with people like that makcik too. but sometimes there’s other ‘people’ behind them. that’s why sometimes i prefer to ignore them. btw, if you wanna give some donation, you’re more encouraged to do so.

    poor makcik. sometimes we’re wondering wth happened to our kids nowadays.

  8. sbnrnya…aku merefer dlm konteks sindiket cam abdus cakap…tp yeah..aku tak kisah pon sbnrnya dapat tisu or sindiket..yg penting..aku derma ngan ikhlas…hari ni hari jumaat..gi smayang jumaat jgn lupa bawak duit..bukan nak beli pau or makan nasi briyani..tapi…(isikan tempat kosong) πŸ˜›

  9. Double back as in patah balik.
    No wonder, I didn’t quite finish my sentence.
    I’d say no at first, but then the conscience sets in, and I’d turn back.

  10. 1. Kalau takder sindiket, makcik tu memang kesian, kene membanting tulang dah tue-tue ni.
    2. Kalau ada sindiket, lagilah kesian sebab penat-penat membanting tulang, kene kongsi lagi dengan penyangak.

  11. Is she is genuine and if you manage to land a hand, then why not, now days there are so many scams going around, some even sells religious book, but from my view, that makcik is genuine.

    ps: since u r having lots of kerepek, belanje ja Ed, got kerepek ubi or not?

  12. was in the same situation as you, while eating at somewhat famous eatery in shah alam. poor makcik, going from table to table, peddling her kerepek, while all these people enjoying their (slightly overpriced) foods.

    some people even flat out refused to look at her.

    if i was in my 20s, i would be one of those people (being in my 30s has made me mellow) but now, it touched my heart seeing her like that, carrying that big plastic bag, close to midnight when other folks her age are sound asleep. sindiket ke bukan ke, i ended up buying 3 packets of keropok for 10 ringgit.

    the cynical side of me still think that it’s a syndicate and my sympathy is exactly what they’re counting on, but what the hell, it was only 10 ringgit.

  13. i’m always fond of makcik kerepek. sebab suka makan kerepek kot. but mostly because, me & arwah mak dulu jual kerepek nak cari duit lebih. tapi orang dtg rumah la tempah kerepek tu. bukan keluar pegi jual. but still, buat kerepek bukan senang, and yet the money they got isn’t that much either.

    now i don’t have to sell kerepek. but i don’t have my mom around to witness what her kerepek business had made me become . so i make it a habit to buy a lot from makcik kerepek. takpe kalo kau tak mkn kerepek tu, pass kat aku.

  14. sangat heart-breaking bila you questioned about mana anak2 dia, mana dia tido and etc..

    semoga rezeki awak semakin murah eddie! amin amin amin..

  15. Spot on! Ape lah sgt RM10 kan? Take it as sedekah tp dapat keropok.

    Being in what ever age pon, it’s fairly important to empathize unfortunate people. That’s the reason behind this post. I’m not looking for complement, but rather want people to improve their self conduct.

  16. Mie, I’m sure your mother will be super duper proud of you. I know I am.

    Kerepek tu? Alaa simpan la dulu. Kot ade hari aku malas kuar malam, bole la pelahap.

  17. Walaupun takut ditipu oleh sindiket..
    Biar ikhlas,
    tentang tipu atau tidak biar ALLAH yang balas…

    Tangan yang memberi lebih baik dari tangan yang menerima..

  18. or the other explaination could be pakai ilmu supaya orang nampak kesian. u know, kalau ada minyak pengasih, im sure there is minyak kesian…

    hahah. touchynya eddie these days. but i guess everyone becomes like that once in a while.

  19. stuju.. which is sad. im sure nobody likes doing direct selling at that age lah. sindiket or not. untung pun tak seberapa. max prolly RM1 per pack (kalau cost RM0.50 and jual RM1.50)

  20. Speaking of minyak pengasih.. there’s a new thing I heard, minyak perogol. Apparently, bile pakai, nanti girls turn on. Gile scary zaman sekarang.

  21. Kalau jumpa RM50 again next time, better we find these kind of makciks around and buy all of her sellings rather than giving it away to a <12 year old kid as we did last time…I’m pretty sure that boy went to 1901 in Ampang Point for a huge hotdog as a result of his good income, thanks to the sweet-hearted boys like you and me haha…

  22. very touching N.H, setiap kali aku tengok makcik yg jual kerepek kat depan wisma MCA, msti aku akan terfikir benda yang sama mcm kau gak..anak dia mana?kenapa masih kjer dalam usia emas begini? ntah lah..tak dinafikan memang akan wujud rasa kesian tengok warga2 emas ni bersusah payah tgh2 panas.

  23. kebiasaanya orang kita, mudah rasa kasihan. tapi, sangat jarang hulur bantuan. simpati dikirim melalui mata sahaja, bukan melalui tindakan. tapi, kamu tunjuk pada semua bahawa a mak cik juga mahukan happiness =)

  24. i didn’t read all the comment.
    I juz want to comment on the article. my first time since i’ve come cross this blog.this one really touch my heart.
    I can’t help but feeling the same thing everytime I saw a pakcik or makcik selling those keropok / kerepek. But I can’t buy all as you did.
    It will always remind me of my parents, and I always hope that I provide them enuf…
    Well done NH. I adore u.

  25. Nice one Ed. My husband-to-be is also like that. Usually he doesn’t have the heart to turn away the “makciks”, as they remind him of his late grandmother. Me, while I rarely buy the kerepek, usually I borak-borak with them for a while and end up buying them a drink or a meal.

    Through my frequent conversations and investigations, I found out that all of these “makciks” are actually a part of a group. They have a target every day, e.g. RM30 a day. In the morning, a van picks them up from a central point, and whether target sales reached or not, they’ll be picked up at 12pm at another central point. They get around RM 0.80 from each pack of kerepek. So dah penat ke, apa ke, memang kene tunggu juga sampai pkol 11 or 12 malam.

    And, most of them do the job just to fill in their time, as their children are all grown up and living away from home. Setakat ni only one makcik told me she does it for the money. Yang lain, sebab bosan kat rumah. Dari duduk-duduk je baik die keluar kerja.

    I think that says a lot for how their children take care of them, kan? How sad…

  26. So I’ve heard. Using sympathy to sell. Well, it’s better than sexy. I would never buy from sexy. I’ll just look and feast my eyes. It’s a free show πŸ˜›

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