By Wu JinFeng
In English :)
The skinny gentleman used to squat and work daily with bicycles beside my dad bookshop at Bedok. Perhaps it was his posture, my impression of him is thats he was very short, alway fussing with some stuff in his shop. Sporting a long mustache, the hair a bit messy, the hand worn with the manual labour, stained with dirt and grease. Twelve tools on the ground and his fluid arm movements dancing a lonely tango of bicycle wheels and parts. Behind him is the Store, like a huge cave that swallows various types of bicycle and parts, only to spit out a narrow channel so that he can enter and leave.
He is the boss, the only assistant is his wife, and customers are the neighbourhood Uncle, Aunt, adolescents and children. We almost never talked... when children came near, he always raised his head and a kindly smile. He knew I was a book store owner's daughter of his neighbor. The father said that he took on the bicycle business started by his father. I remembered the scene of the elderly folks, sitting everyday idly looking at him turn the wheel, day one familiar rotating unimpeded.. the shop closed last year. ..
Early last year, my husband (that's me:)) suddenly shared with me his interest in the old bicycle bell, when I visited Dad on the way to ask him. He finally stood up (He is not short!) Enthusiastically, he went to the store and showed me so old stuff. I later told him that I will buy two old bells which is not longer produced. "Ding Ding Ding..", the sound is crisp loud and very, Dad excitedly said it reminded him of his youth when he listened to the bell ring. The gentleman said that if finds older bell, he will help me to retain and tell my dad. After some months, he really passed me an old bell to me. We returned home and my husband happily the bell fitted and went riding. After such time, we kind of forgotten about the uncle....and his shop.