The day started out hot and humid, just like any other typical day in Hong Kong.
Everyone seemed to be in a rush to go somewhere, elbowing and jostling around.
Ai Ling was standing around with a small metal tin in her hand. Every few
minutes, she would be walking around and shaking the tin to rattle the few coins
that were already inside. Everyone avoided her like the plague.
No, Ai Ling was not a beggar. She was one of the many pupils dotted all around Hong Kong
today, selling flags for a charitable cause. It depressed her to see how miserly
Hong Kongers were. From afar, people would spot her with the foreboding tin and
veer away from her direction. Others would walk past, avoiding eye contact. It
made her wonder, "Since when did Hong Kongers become such self-absorbed people
?" With a sign, she continued her task.
By mid-day, Ai Ling was drained. Her stomach was also starting to growl. The
sweltering heat only made things worse. She decided to take a break and have her
lunch. There was a fast food restaurant nearby. The cool blast of air as she
entered was a welcoming treat. She quickly bought her food and sat down to enjoy
both the food and the air-conditioning. She wished she could just sit in there
for the rest of the day. However, she knew that it
would not be right. She had a duty to perform. After finishing her lunch, Ai
Ling continued sitting for just a little longer before reluctantly dragging
herself out into the streets again.
For the next three hours, Ai Ling trawled the streets hoping to meet people
who might be willing to part with a few coins. Ironically, Ai Ling realized that
she had actually collected more money from tourists than from the locals
themselves. What a shame ! Thankfully, she
still managed to fill up most of her metal tin. She felt rather pleased with her
achievement, considering what a tough crowd
she had faced the whole day. Ai Ling then told herself that the next time
she saw someone else selling flags in the streets, she would make it a point to
donate something, even if it was only a token amount. After all, she knew
exactly what they were going through.