A gift to a community helper

Time for some homework again!

Email from her English teacher

Clarissa said she wanted to make a fish out of the CD and materials provided so as usual I googled for inspiration.


Bought child-safe glue from Popular and got her to stick on the eye and sequins.

I did the ‘prework’ of cutting out the fins and tail and sticking them on. 😂

Hahaha and this is it!

Anyway my main point of writing about this isn’t so much about how we I made the craft.

It’s about whom we eventually gave it to.

The “community helper” who came to my mind was one of the cleaners of our block / adjacent block, who’d always greet us “good morning” whenever they see us, and we’d say “good morning” back.

Firstly they fit the brief. Secondly they’d most likely be friendly enough to oblige for a photo?

So I suggested to Clarissa, “Let’s give this fish to the cleaner uncle downstairs who always says good morning to us?”

But she frowned slightly and said to me, “No, I want to give this to the charsiew rice uncle!”

Well, I shouldn’t be surprised by her choice because her love for his charsiew rice is real.

There was once we went down to buy charsiew rice, only to find the stall closed for the day.

She was so, so sad and disappointed.

She kept asking me where the charsiew rice uncle went and I said, “Why don’t you ask him yourself the next time you see him?”

“What would he say?” She asked.

“I don’t know,” I said, because I really didn’t know. “What do you think he’d say?”

She considered briefly, “I think he will say, ‘I went on a holiday!’?.. But he will say in Chinese!”


Yet I thought it would be very tough to do this because the charsiew rice uncle is a one-man show. He is the only person manning the stall, cooking, chopping, cutting, serving, collecting money, etc etc and usually he isn’t in the best of moods.

I wasn’t sure if he’d be ready to entertain us or even oblige for a photo.. even though we buy charsiew rice from him every weekend. 😅

So, ahem, since I did the homework, I told the hubs about the little boss’ decision to give the fish to the charsiew rice uncle (He gasped, hahahaha) and asked him to approach him.

I suggested explaining the full story, that it is a homework, our girl wants to give it to you, and can we please take a picture.. But the hubs said, “No I’m just going to tell him my girl loves his charsiew rice and she wants to give him a fish.”

Lol ok whatever works.

So off we went.

I followed to take pictures lol.

Walking, walking.. on a mission!

She was carrying her “wallet” which my mum gave her, and hung the fish over her neck.

We went at 11am, before the lunch peak hours, queued up to buy a packet of charsiew rice (because she wanted to eat it again despite having it for lunch the day before).. and when it was our turn, the hubs told him, “我的女儿很喜欢吃你的叉烧饭,所以她想送你一个礼物。”

He looked surprised at first, and seemed a little shy from the attention. He accepted the fish from Clarissa, who was also feeling a little shy, and even posed for a photo.

Mission accomplished!

I have to say, this is a quite a meaningful piece of homework.

Even though the little boss spent less than 15 minutes sticking on the sequins, she understood the brief very well and chose the person she really wanted to show her appreciation to.

Charsiew rice is the highlight of almost every of her weekend lunches. 😂

She was nervous and shy about approaching the uncle, but she went ahead with it like the trooper she always is.

I’d tried to counter her decision a few times, but she stuck to it and insisted, “I want to give the fish to the charsiew rice uncle because I like charsiew rice!”

As a parent, I’m constantly learning that my child has a mind of her own, no matter how young I think she is. And I actually appreciate, and respect it. Within boundaries, of course.

It has also made me realise how skeptical I have been, as an “adult”.

I didn’t think the charsiew rice uncle would bother. I was even afraid he’d turn us down and not accept the fish.

Perhaps he’d chuck the fish aside when he closes his stall for the day.

Even so, seeing his reaction today, I’d like to think that he was a little touched by a little girl’s gesture.

I hope it made his day a little brighter, and his job a little more meaningful.


The hubs went to the coffee shop in the evening to get dinner.

The little fish, from the bottom of a little girl’s heart, has remained hung up at the stall. 😊

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