Budget Hotel (written on 31/8/2007)


There is a 5-storey budget hotel very near to my house

The ground floor was operating as a coffee shop

There were many hawker stalls selling many varieties of food

The most popular stall was selling noodle soup

At least 70% of the customers come for that soup

It has been operating for more than ten years

And everyday the crowd was packed to the nose

The budget hotel recently went for renovation

To upgrade its rooms and the coffee shop

It took the owner 6 months to get it done

The upgraded hotel was beautiful and coffee shop looks great

I thought I would be able to frequent it again to read my papers

It has been at least 2 months after completion

And I was wondering why it hasn’t been opened for business

Then I met one of the stalls operators recently

What happened, I asked, to find out the cause of delay!

She told me all the stall operators waited for six months

Patiently they waited but suddenly the boss changed his plan

He wanted them to change all the old utensils, plates, bowls…

To new ones and also to increase their rental

So that they can match the new image of the hotel, a classier one

The boss is rich and has the money to renovate spending millions

But the stall operators were all making a living like any hawker

To change the utensils cause them money, at least a few thousands

And to pay higher rental is a burden on their pockets

All the hawkers protested but the boss did not give way

Fortunately, all the hawkers found a new shop also nearby

Together they moved to the new place

The new classy budget hotel became dead at the ground floor

It has been two months past and I see no sign of new hawkers

A twist of fate, a change of mind to benefit oneself

Without thinking about others and earlier promises

Will definitely affect one’s destiny and future

I believe I am not the only one feeling this way

It was a very simple and nice place to have a drink and eat

A classy one doesn’t mean a better one

People like the nostalgia, THE place to be there

Similarly, I have seen many other coffee shops taken over

And now became McDonald, Starbucks, KFC, Coffee Bean…..

As a vegetarian, I do not miss them for food

But I do miss them where I could sit there for a drink

Read my papers leisurely or passing my time with nostalgic feelings

The past is the past, nothing can bring back the past

Treasure it while we can, be it anything, a heritage or forest….