The man in the Christmas hat is Cheah, who handles the daily operations of a store in Tampines under a friend’s request. The 61-year-old has been working for over six months in the outlet and enjoys every second of his job. “This job gives me the chance to interact with people of all ages and backgrounds, and I really like that.”
He has been able to meet foreigners and would ask them to teach him a word or two of their native language, such as "gamsahabnida", which means thank you in Korean, and "nīṅkaḷ eṅkē pōkiṟīrkaḷ", which means where are you going in Tamil. However, he admits that he usually gets the pronunciations wrong and this brings laughter to the foreigners.
And when he is not working, he does his regular exercises. In fact, Cheah takes the stairs up to his flat on the 10th storey daily after his work. He advises his peers to regularly exercise – “It is especially at this age that we need to exercise to keep on going. You can’t beat the physical consequences of ageing, but you can fix your attitude about it.” He also does push-ups regularly at home.
He has a dream to see the world and hopes next year to travel with his wife although no concrete plans have been set.