Illiterate Elderly Hawkers Who Can’t Offer Delivery Forced To Consider Closing Stalls
Some of them, unable to read and write, have trouble taking online orders & suffer poor biz.
The no dine-in rule for Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) has gotten everyone staying in, and for some, relying on food delivery for meals. While online ordering and delivery is a convenient benefit for F&B owners, there are also elderly hawkers who fall off the technological grid.
One instance is Sim Ah Tee, 73, who has been a hawker for over 50 years. He started out with a pushcart in Jalan Besar hawking ‘ko ko mee’, fishball noodles which got its name from the seller hitting bamboo with a stick to produce a ‘kok kok’ sound to attract customers. He moved into his current stall, Ah Tee Ko Ko Mee, at Jalan Berseh three years ago.
Being unable to read or write, Ah Tee was at a disadvantage when the Covid-19 Circuit Breaker started last year. While eateries and hawkers scrambled to offer food delivery, Ah Tee could not keep up with the new technology. “At the age of 70 plus, he’s not agile enough to multitask anymore. He’s still using the old Nokia handphone,” his son Calvin Sim, 49, tells 8days.sg.
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