An old woman who has been operating a drink stall inside a school for 60 years got replaced by a vending machine, leading students to sign a petition for the school authorities to bring her back.
According to a Singaporean girl named Pearl Chang, her grandaunt had been operating a drink stall at the canteen in the Singapore Chinese Girls’ School since the 1950s. Every morning, her grandaunt would wake up early to go to the school to sell drinks for everyone, students and teachers alike.
When there are special events and school activities, Pearl’s grandaunt would also be there. She has become an iconic part of the school culture, with many students becoming her friends.
“I remember from time to time she would be extremely happy like when students give her cards and ex-students come back to visit her. All these small gestures, she loves it even though she doesn’t say it much,” Pearl shared.
But things changed in June 2019 when the school announced that it wants to reduce sugary drinks in school to keep the students healthy. The old vendor was told that she could no longer sell in her own stall but has to share with another vendor. Moreover, she was no longer allowed to sell cold drinks but was still welcome to sell lukewarm water.
Quite understandably, the students didn’t but lukewarm water; this drove Pearl’s greataunt out of business. She had to close the shop by November.
Soon after she left, however, the school installed a vending machine at her old spot – and it sold sugary drinks, the very same ones the school announced it would ban from the campus! Taking pity on their friendly old vendor, the students signed a petition for the school to bring her back. Sadly, the vending machine is in place and she no longer has a place in the school canteen…
What’s a Vending Machine?
A vending machine is an automated machine that provides snacks, tickets, toiletries, or various goods when the consumer inserts coins, tokens, paper bills, or special cards in a designated slot.