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"le er lao peh hor liao bo? (has your father recovered?)" whispered one of the regulars to the kopi-hand.

a short silence.

with a dejected voice, the kopi-hand said "ar buay. (not yet.)"

that was the loudest sentence i heard amidst the chatter.

i skipped my usual saturday morning coffee break for several weeks because of travel. when i returned this week, i learnt that the elderly kopi-hand was ill.

"tia kong yi er ka zheng, ti jio. (i heard his leg was swollen, diabetes)" commented another regular.

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