As mentioned in my previous posting, I had arranged for 12 children from 5 families staying within the same district to meet up with me at a particular supermarket at 10 am today to shop for the children’s schooling needs. So after withdrawing some cash this morning, off I headed to the supermarket. I got there 10 minutes before 10 am… didn’t see any familiar faces at that time so I remained in the car for a few minutes.
Closing in to 10 am, I got out of my car and waited outside the main entrance. The first 2 families to come were Rin’s and Mrs K’s… they came together – Rin with 2 primary school children (1 boy & 1 girl) and Mrs K’s 3 girls – one going to be in form 5, one standard 4 and the youngest going to kindergarten. Seeing that I was already there, and thinking she was late, Rin immediately hugged me… “Orang dah buat salah ni, kena mintak ampun siap-siap.” Actually she was punctual, I was the one who was early.
Immediately after that I saw Nuri and her 2 girls – forms 5 and 2. However the younger girl, who is also HIV+, despite already going into form 2, is so small you could easily mistake her for a primary school girl. Like last year, her secondary school sarong couldn’t be bought at the supermarket. Her mother would have to sew for her.
Seeing that Lin and Imran weren’t there yet, I told the 3 ladies to grab their own trolleys, go in first and choose the schooling needs for their children; and get back to me if they had anything to ask or if they were ready to check out. I then sent text messages to Lin and Imran telling them I was already at the supermarket, then I went in to join the 3 ladies.
Lin got there a few minutes later. After 20 minutes, seeing that Imran was not there yet, I gave Imran a call. After a few rings, he answered… he just walked in the main entrance to the supermarket, together with his wife and 3 children. Finally I got to meet his wife. I did say I’d visit them at home but simply couldn’t find the time to visit them yet.
So yeah, I just let the mothers help out the children in picking their schooling needs. Not much problem, except Mrs K’s little girl (yes, Baby K’s already going to kindergarten next year) who was sulking because she didn’t get to choose anything for herself yet (she only needed shoes and bag but during the earlier part of the shopping Mrs K was concentrating on getting the uniforms for her 2 other girls). And when the time came to buy her a pair of school shoes, she insisted on putting the shoe box that she had grabbed into the trolley without even trying out the size first. Of course Mrs K used the usual scare-the-kids tactic of “Nanti makcik fizah marah mak tak tau…”
Anyway, the first family ready to check out was Nuri’s. Even after I finished paying for her children at the counter, the other families weren’t ready yet. I then accompanied Nuri to my car. I had some reference books for SPM, PMR and UPSR which I managed to collect from friends late last month when I went for the Canopy Walk at FRIM. Nuri’s form 5 daughter gladly chose the SPM reference books for herself. She had wanted to ask her mother to buy some reference books, not knowing that I had brought along some with me.
Done with that, I went back in. The other families didn’t know that I went out to pass some books to Nuri’s daughter… I wonder what they’d do if they found the tukang bayar missing… hehehe…
The other 4 families got all their stuff almost immediately after one another. So there at the cashier for the back-to-school section, were 4 trolleys full of stuff queuing up, separate receipts for each trolley, but with the same person paying for everything. The cashier must be wondering who this Makcik Kaya was… taking out cash from her bag each time paying between RM320 to RM500 for each family. First in the queue was Mrs K, followed by Rin, then Imran and finally Lin. It was Lin’s daughter who told me that once everything was paid, just bring the receipt to the free gift counter to collect some free gifts. There were free gifts for purchases of minimum RM50 in a single receipt. All the receipts were definitely more than that!
So yep, after paying for all of them, we went to the free gift counter, got a 2012 calendar for each receipt (total 5 calendars) and depending on how much was spent on school shoes for each receipt, there were also water containers as free gift. Since Nuri had gone back by then, I took the calendar for her receipt while the 2 water containers from that receipt were handed over to Imran’s wife for her children.
I then told them about the books in my car. Lin’s daughter took the PMR books while the UPSR books went to Ali’s daughter.
As I was leaving the place, I took a look at my watch… it was 12.02 pm. Hmmmm…. not bad… I managed to complete today’s mission in 2 hours.
A few more families to cover. To be continued next week…