This incident happened a few weeks ago when my colleagues and I took a stroll down Chinatown to lunch at Maxwell Market.
As usual the place was packed with lunch crowd and it took us a while before finding ourselves a table with 5 seats. We were eating halfway when a bus full of German tourist alight from a tour bus to get themselves some fruit juice.
An elderly German couple shared the table with us. As they were sipping from the fruit juice to quench their thirst, they were conversing in German.
One of my colleague who used to study German started to talk to them. Wow! I was impressed by my colleague's good command of German :) At the moment, an elderly man came to clear and clean the table.
The elderly couple saw him, turned to my colleague to asked, 'Darf ich wissen, wie alt ist dieser Mann?'
My colleague paused then gave his reply in German too. I was totally lost in the conversation as I could not understand a single bit of the language hahaha! 30 minutes later, we left the food center to head back to office. This was when I started to ask my colleague the content of the conversation.
He took a deep breath and explained that the German couple asked, 'How old was that old man clearing the table?'
Mid 70s was my colleague's reply. Although the German couple did not mention anything but my colleague felt that they must be thinking how come this elderly man is still working at this age???
He went on with his voice slightly raised ..............'What is happening to Singapore? Is this retirement? That German couple just woke me up, I'm ashamed to be a Singaporean! Our elderly folks worked hard during their younger days to grow the economy of the country. When they get old, this is what they get???? My decision to eventually join my family in China was correct!'