Mr Frugal


This afternoon at the gym I had a chance meeting with a friend, someone I have not seen for a while. We decided to go for coffee. I told him I was looking forward to a cappuccino. We ended in Starbucks. Half jokingly, I asked if he could buy me coffee this round, and he said he would. It was very crowded but we found seats. I attended to a text message from work while he ordered. After a while, he came back and said could we go to Yakun instead. He explained he forgot his Starbucks card and it would be expensive. I said sure. At Yakun, it was more crowded. We ordered and my equivalent of cappuccino came, kopi c siew dai. As we were chatting, I remembered more about this friend. He would wake up early to walk to work, which takes about forty-five minutes. He has a car but the ERP charges deterred him. Besides, to him, the parking is just too expensive. Talking about parking, we went for a movie once. He was slightly late, not for the movie but for the appointed time of our meeting. He was perspiring when he arrived. I found out that he had parked some fifteen minutes walk away because the parking there was free. When we had dinner after the show, it was at a place which took a few manoeuvrings to avoid having to pay ERP, parking and what he perceived to be food not worth the expensive price. I remember feeling a little tired of this constant calculation but he reminded me, “Daniel, we are living in the most expensive city in the world”. He is indeed Mr Frugal. During our coffee, Mr Frugal told me he knew I needed some donations for the movie night I am arranging for the children from PAVE. I said yes and suggested he could help me wrap presents for the children. He said he was moved by the pics of the Christmas and New Year’s Eve parties I hosted last year. He added he would want to donate some money. When I gave him the details for the bank transfer, he asked if he could PayLah me instead. As we parted ways, I told him the next coffee would be on me. When I reached my car, I received a PayLah notification. Mr Frugal has donated the highest amount to date. Six hundred dollars. For someone who stinges on himself, he is most generous to others in need. I reached home and started putting up my DIY Christmas tree. In this most expensive city, the spirit of giving is very much alive. And today I feel Christmas is already here. Thank you..


See all upcoming projects and project features