JTC (Jan 21,1960 / Sibu, Sarawak, Borneo East Malaysia)

Travel Singapore Poem - Jua Ji Or Paper Notes

can you speak hokkien?
i asked the middle age
Singaporean woman
manning a sundry shop
with her husband late evening
opposite my hotel The Link

i had intended to buy
some fruits but ended up
having an interesting little
tete a tete with the woman
who seemed to be game for talk

she said yes and I said
'Oh, in Singapore people
prefer to speak Mandarin.'

the woman suddenly blurted out
almost in a reflex manner
'yes, yes but in singapore
people are more interested
in speaking about jua ji.'
Jua Ji are the hokkien words for
'paper notes' or money.

*Hokkien is a dialectic group
from Southern China.

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