Dawn is far from view. It's 2.45 am in the morning and all I could hear is my toothbrush bristles doing its job. Hope the dim sum man remembers our little appointment, I thought, as I quietly made my way (as though my footsteps could wake the block residents) to the food court less than a mile away from my home.
I found the dim sum man already hard at work in his tiny shop, the first shop to open for business every morning, with his tiny radio as his work companion. The rest of the business owners have yet to arrive. "I have to begin early, there are lots to do", he told me enthusiastically, while stirring porridge and preparing dough for his one of his bestsellers, the 'da bao'.
Mr. Hong has been making dim sum for more than 30 years and has been running this shop at Block 710 Clementi West Street 2, single handedly for the last few years. " "Hiring a worker is expensive these days", he continued.
Despite working for long hours from as early as 2 am in the morning through evening, one would still find him toiling happily, greeting everyone cheerfully.
It's 6.45am, dawn has beckoned as I head home. It's just the beginning of another day for the dim sum man, working his craft, being there for his regular customers.