S'pore photographer touched by elderly woman's hospitality despite safe distancing culture

Beautiful act of kindness.

Zhangxin Zheng | April 03, 2020, 01:47 PM

The rise in unlinked Covid-19 cases has definitely gotten more Singaporeans to take safe distancing seriously.

During this trying period, many of us are reasonably more cautious of encounters with strangers as well.

One Singaporean photographer, Darren Soh, was heartened to have met a kind elderly resident at Toa Payoh Lorong 1 when he was documenting the new look of a HDB block in the area.

Hospitable elderly woman offers homemade drink

Soh recalled in a Facebook post that he was taking the photo from the corridor at the 10th floor on April 2 morning.

He was then greeted by a 72-year-old woman who lives there, calling out "Hello! Hello!".

Soh initially thought that she might be trying to shoo him off.

However, the elderly woman surprised him by offering some homemade red date ginger infused water.

"'Weather very hot, come, drink ginger water.' Aunty gave me a toothy grin and shoved the mug toward me."

The elderly woman also encouraged him that while the weather is hot, it's a good thing that he still has work to do.

Invites him to enter to rest and newspaper to read

She also invited him into the house to rest, which Soh kindly declined, as he had been out for the whole day.

The elderly woman then offered him a copy of a newspaper which she got for free earlier in the morning.

Soh was moved by the kind gesture from the elderly woman, particularly during this trying period.

"In this time of suspicious physical distancing, here was someone who stood to gain nothing by her kindness yet deliberately went out of her way to engage a stranger standing on the corridor in front of her flat.

And in many instances, my work really does depend on the kindness of strangers and that kindness come in all forms."

In return, Soh wanted to help her take a photo before leaving the corridor, but the resident was shy and rejected Soh's offer.

He asked those who were familiar with the part of Toa Payoh where he was shooting to "do him a favour", and check in on the old lady to see how she's doing.

You can read the full post here:

Top photo by Darren Soh