Friday, December 18, 2009

2 Different Economic Lives

I was overseas and walking down a marina where boats and yatches were berthed.

A security guard stood there ensuring that no one trespassed the gates which even a 5 year old could easily climb over.

The scenery was surreal. Calm and peaceful. Two children around the ages of 5 and 7 were feeding some fishes in the marina. The water was clear and I could see the fishes swarmed to them as they tossed the bread to them.

The white boats and yatches were parked neatly in rows. I couldn't help but notice that they were all white in color and that there were people actually living in them.

I striked up a conversation with the security guard. He was tanned and looked smart in his iron pressed white uniform. Bearning a moustach, he looked pretty friendly and smiled at me as I approached.

"How much to park the boat there?" I asked

"Don't know." he shook his head as he replied in his rather broken english. It was clear that he was not good in the language.

A brief silence and then he said: " Maybe ...3000. Yes , 3000 one month"

He did not seem like he knew the answer but felt obliged to give one anyway.

"Do they need to be members or anything?" I asked further

"Yes..yes..members..., only boat berth pass holders allowed in." he replied, clearly echoing the words on the sign that was placed on the gate to warn any trespasses.

Hoping to bring the conversation further, I asked : "And these people stay in their boats? Where do they come from?"

"Everywhere...they come here and park.... then they go off." He replied.

"Boy..where do you come from??" the security guard directed this question to the 7 year old boy feeding the fishes just below.

"Singapore." the boy replied.

"Where is your daddy" the security guard asked.

"My daddy is at home. Our mummy brought us here." the little boy replied as he continued feeding the fishes.

Another brief moment of silence....

"So where are you from?" the security guard turned and asked me.

"Singapore" I replied.

"Same as that boy." he pointed to the little boy, as if I had not overheard their conversation.

I smiled politely at the security guard as I turned to leave.

Beyond the marina stood houses that had the most spectacular view of the sea. The sun was rising and it was getting hot. The day had just begun for the security guard as he continued to walk around the rather empty marina.

So different are the economic lives of the security guard and the seven year old boy. One is much younger but perhaps has experienced a lot more things compared to the security guard who probably has never left his country before.

At this point, I am just amazed at how different and far apart their two worlds are. One is here on a holiday in a million dollar yatch while the other will most probably never make a million in his entire life.

It is not because one is cleverer or smarter or more hardworking. It is simply the country they were born in and the opportunities that were presented to them.


  1. Wow, FF you not too bad and got chance to get so near to yatches. I only see bum boats or passenger ferries. (Just joking. ha ha)

  2. You can take a short trip =)

    Then you will get to see these sights!


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