A Life [Not] Like This

One Memorable Day : Singapore 1 Day-Trip

January 2, 2013
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I had to go to Batam  for stock-take at my client’s site. The stock-take will be held on two different days, on December 29th, and 31st. It means that I had a free day on the 30th! When I saw the pamphlet on the receptionist desk of the hotel where I was staying that they provide free shuttle service to Nongsapura Ferry terminal which located just like 15 minutes drive from the hotel, the idea just struck my mind, for having a one day trip to Singapore. I had visited Singapore before, just once, a 3 days trip to Universal Studio, Mustafa, and Chinatown, but except for Universal Studio, we went there mostly for the shopping. This time, I would like to experience something different. I want to explore, I want to be able to say that “I have visited Singapore” not just because I had visited Singapore, but because I do visited Singapore, and I actually explored the place.

So I asked my roommate if she would like to go with me, which she excitedly accept. We decided to limit our destinations to places that are near one another because of our limitation on time. Our main destination is Asian Civilization Museum in Raffles Place, so we decided that the additional destination is Gardens by the Bay which located on Marina Bay just one MRT station away from ACM, and for lunch, we decided to have it at Lau Pa Sat Festival Market which located just 10 minutes walk from Raffles Place MRT Station.

We planned to take the earliest ferry on 8.20. We asked the hotel and they said that we can directly booked the ticket once we arrive at the ferry terminal. So we woke up early on 6:00 am and prepare ourselves and take the shuttle on 7:30 am. We had to skip our breakfast because we were afraid to miss the bus which seems to be a wrong move since the bus didn’t depart till 7:50 am. Despite of our crankiness because of the late schedule and our empty stomach, we still manage to reach the ferry terminal on 8:00 am. We approached the ticket counter, but just to found out that the ticket could only be bought 30 minutes before departure and we could only take the 9:00 am ferry.

Well, we didn’t want to cancel our plan whatsoever, so we just bought the ticket for 9:00 am ferry and 08:40 pm return ferry. The return ticket costs SGD26 or IDR210,000 per person. It was quite cheap since the hotel officer said that the ticket will be IDR360,000. We bought the ticket and then spent some time wandering around the ferry terminal to kill some time. We found a food stall inside, which sold nasi lemak for IDR8,000. We bought one each and took our breakfast there till the time to board the ferry. Everything was going on smoothly as we departed to Singapore and arrived at Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal on 09:45 am Indonesian time, or 10:45 Singaporean time. We proceed through the immigration counters which took an approximately 15 minutes.

Once we had passed the immigration, we went to a money changer booth within the terminal, I exchanged IDR500,000 for SGD64.95 and Dhilla (my roommate) exchanged IDR700,000 for SGD90.92. We then got confused since the ferry terminal is not integrated with MRT line, unlike Harbourfront Ferry Terminal. We then decided to visit the information booth just across the money changer and ask for directions on how to reach Raffles Place or any nearest MRT Line. The officer was very helpful and write us the bus number that we should take to reach Tanah Merah MRT terminal and then to Raffles Place.

The paper where the information officer wrote for us and the bus information sheet,
The paper where the information officer wrote for us and the bus information sheet

We had to take the Bus No. 35 which stops just in front of the terminal and stops at Tanah Merah MRT stop to then ride the MRT to Raffles Place. We searched for the bus stop which took some time since we could not find it at first. All that we found were taxi queue and parking lot. We turned back and found out that we should have turned right rather than left. We waited around 15 minutes for the bus and when it finally come, we were then confused on how to ride the bus. In Indonesia we would just get on the bus and then one of the officer will approaches us and collect the fare. I know that we should pay upfront to ride the bus in Singapore, but I had never rode one. We just got up, Dhilla was in front of me. She asked the driver and the driver kindly told her to drop the money into a box next to him, and the he printed a receipt automatically. I followed what she did, and sat comfortably since the bus was quite empty. And oh! The fare should be SGD1.5, but we drop SGD2 into the box, and there goes our SGD0.5. We did not really care though.

We kept on looking ourside the bus window nervously because we did not know where to get off. I did take a glance at the bus stops information sheet on the bus stop but I did not really pay attention to it. I just remember that it should be the 3rd or 4th stop. On the 3rd stop we looked outside the window and we saw an MRT rail outside. We were not sure, but we decided to got off. We were right though! We then got inside, I topped up my EZ Link card that I bought on my previous trip while Dhilla who forgot her card should buy a standard ticket for one way trip. She bought ticket to Raffles Place, and off we go!

Once we arrived at the Raffles Place, we once again got lost. We did not know the way to Asian Civilization Museum, we just know that it should be just in front of Fullerton Hotel. We walked to a random direction and just looked around till we saw the Fullerton and just walked to that direction. We crossed the Cavenagh Bridge to reach the Asian Civilization Museum.

The Cavenagh Bridge, one of the oldest bridge in Singapore
The Cavenagh Bridge, one of the oldest bridge in Singapore

The view of Asian Civilisation Museum building from across 

the Cavenagh Bridge

We paid the admission fee for SGD8 and then we are free to roam around the museum. We also got some visitor guide booklets:

ACM Visitor Guides + our MRT direction guide
ACM Visitor Guides + our MRT direction guide

We took our time to look around since the museum is so big and there are unique items in there, from the history of Singapore, replicas of temples, Islamic Art Exhibits, East Asia and Southeast Asia Exhibit, and a lot more. Oh! They provide interactive touchscreen panels as well. I watched a documentary recording which tells on how Singapore turns itself from a dirty port city to one of the cleanest city with great public facilities. They had this 10 years river cleaning program, they clean the Singapore river and relocate the port activities, one thing that Jakarta still can’t achieve in more than 50 years, they did in in 10 years!

Artsy Stupa
Artsy Stupa at the center of the gallery. 

The stupa consists of a lot of smaller stupas which resembles 

Buddha's face silhouette when you sees it closer
Temple Replicas at the foyer
Temple Replicas at the foyer
Royal Attire of Ancient China
Royal Attire of Ancient China

Chinese "Wayang"
Chinese "Wayang"

Pastel Coloured Qur'an
Pastel Coloured Qur'an

There are so many more of these interesting pieces of historic arts, but time do flies when you are enjoying yourselves. When I took a peek on my watch it suddenly shows 2:00 pm and we had not even eaten our lunch! We had to go or else we will have no time to visit Gardens by the Bay. So off we go, decided to had our lunch first, so we got back into the Raffles Place MRT station to pop up at the other exit. There are useful direction information on the MRT station wall. We found out that we could reach Lau Pa Sat Festival Market by taking exit I. So we took the exit. We did not know how to reach the place, but there are plenty of signs telling us where to head to. We found the market easily after we walked for a few minutes.

The market is actually a food-court area. There are a lot of food stalls. No air conditioner but the install lots of fan so you will not be sweating too much. I ordered fishball vermicelli, while Dhilla initially ordered steamboat noodle. Too bad for her though, she found out that the noodle is not halal that she could not eat it since she is Muslim. So I gave her my vermicelli and I ate her noodle. I did not like the noodle though, it was too dry for me, and I was half full already since I had eaten some of my fishball vermicelli earlier. Dhilla ordered an omelet for herself. We did not took pictures of the food, we were too hungry for that. Once we had done, we sit there for awhile, cooling ourselves while looking at the market ceiling design. I like the ceiling, it gave off an old British look, probably it was a train station before it was changed into food market. I don’t know for sure though, just a hunch.

We then went to the Gardens by the Bay. We planned to go to Flower Dome and Cloud Forest which located quite far from the entrance. We walked there hurriedly since it had started raining already. We arrived there soon, just to find that the ticket booth is swarmed by tourists. We looked at our watch and it showed 03:15 pm. We would not make it if we still insisted to queue. We decided to leave to IKEA instead since Dhilla said that if she ever goes to Singapore again, she would like to stop by on IKEA. We took a few pictures before we left the outer garden.

Dragonfly Lake
Dragonfly Lake

Singapore Flyer and Sky Tree in the background

We then went to IKEA on Queenstown hurriedly. Queenstown is pretty far from Tanah Merah MRT station, but we thought that it will be fine since it is on the same MRT line as Tanah Merah which means we will not have to change MRT again and again. Dhilla told me that the IKEA is around 1 block far from the MRT station, my feet were hurting, but I guess I can endure 1 block.  When we arrived at Queenstown MRT station, we were hesitating since our watch had shown 04:00 pm already, which means 05:00 pm Singapore time. Our ferry is 08:20 pm Singapore time, I thought that the trip from Queenstown to the Tanah Merah should not exceed 1.5 hours so we decided to still go to IKEA and left at 6:00 pm.

It turns out that the IKEA was further than I expected. We kept on walking past nice apartment complexes, and expensive cars showrooms like Mercedes, BMW, Mini Coopers, etc. We did not have time to look around though, we were in a hurry! We reached IKEA and went for a quick look-around, I found a cute alarm clock and cute paper lamp hat in their showroom while Dhilla found cute potted plant and classic looking tin can. We then visit their store and bought them. I spent SGD0.9 for the clock and SGD09.9 for the lamp hat while Dhilla spent SGD5 for the potted plant and I guess around SGD1.9 for the tin can? I forgot. Cheap!

My Loot
My Loot

We got out from IKEA around 7:10 and walked back to the MRT station and got on the train which will end at Pasir Ris. Tanah Merah is like 3 stations before Pasir Ris. The MRT was quite crowded, we did not get a seat and have to bear our hurting leg and our tired body. The trip feels like forever, it seems that the MRT is not as fast as what I thought. We reached Tanah Merah station around 08:00pm. Since the bus took quite sometime, we decided to ride taxi from the bus stop in front of MRT station. Somehow the trip felt longer than when we went through this road this morning. It took us around 15 minutes and SGD9 to reach the ferry terminal. We hurriedly went inside.

Bad News! We reached the ferry terminal on 08:25. The gate closes at 08:20. We did not know that they would close the gate at that hour and we got panicked since it was the last ferry and we will have no other option but to stay that night if we miss the ferry. We beg the information officer to help up hold the ferry. He was very helpful and called the ferry, but 2 immigration officer went out and said that they locked up the gate already and that the boat left already. As much as we did not believe that the boat departed already (the schedule said that the boat departed at 08:40pm, they might have locked the gate but the ferry must still be on the harbor. We should have insisted and beg the immigration officer but we panicked and did not do that. We intended to catch the next ferry that departed from Harbourfront on 09:30 instead as suggested by the information officer.

The information officer was more than helpful, they were so so sooo kind. They booked ticket for us at Harbourfront and gave us taxi phone numbers since they told us that there will be a long queue for taxi outside the terminal while we have to reach Harbourfront by 09:00 pm at the latest. We went outside to the taxi queue while kept on trying to call the taxi companies. No luck, all of the taxi companies line kept on holding us down, and it is just 20 minutes left to 09:00 pm.

I ran back inside to the information booth. I told them that I could not find taxi, and asked them what to do with my visa since I only have a 1 day trip permit. They got worked out when they heard that we only have a 1 day permit and upon hearing from me that we do not have a place to stay that night. However, they are just working in the information booth, they do not really have power to help us. Their last effort was to tell us that we might be able to catch the ferry if we use the limousine taxi service available in front of the ferry terminal. One of the officer ran with me outside to help us get the limousine taxi, made deal with the taxi driver, told him to drive us as fast as possible because we were late already. We thanked him and got on the taxi.

The taxi driver was also a very kind and sweet man. He told us that it usually takes 30 minutes to Harbourfront from Tanah Merah. I told him that we had to reached it by 09:00 pm. He said that he was not sure that we could make it but he will try it for us. He really did tried his best for us. Our heart kept on beating fast along the way. We passed Singapore Flyer and Flower Dome in the toll. I told Dhilla to take a look at it and told her that this might be happening to gave us a chance to see Singapore in a nigh-time. We were amazed by their beauty for awhile before went panicked again because it was 09:00 pm already and we were still on Marina Bay. The driver kept on trying his best, and suddenly I saw Vivo City on my left. The driver told us hurriedly that he will drop us at a drop off point and that we have to go in, turn right, go upstairs and run straight all the way. I still remember him told us “You have to run, even if your feet feels numb, keep running, or else you will not make it!”. We said yes, paid him, got off the taxi and run like crazy into the mall. Eyes are on us, people were whispering talking about us but we could not care a bit. The pain on our leg suddenly just disappear and we ran to the half closed ferry ticket counter. We made it…. we made it.

We bought another ticket, they charged us SGD20 for it. We had run out of money, and we saw a credit card machine on the counter. We asked if we could pay by credit card. The officer said “cash only”. I can only sighed and ran to look for money changer. Panicked, I simply asked people I saw where the money changer is. One person told me that the money changer is downstairs. I ran like crazy again, to found that the money changer closed already. I wandered around panicked for some time and kept on hoping that Dhilla could beg the ticket counter officer not to close before I get the money. I found an ATM center and withdrew SGD50 and ran back again. Ran out of breath and water, we succeed on getting our ferry ticket and hurriedly ran to the departure area.

Shortly, we made it back to Batam on that same night. We have to take taxi to get back to our hotel which were very far because ferries from Harbourfront do not go to Nongsa, but to Batam Center which is like 1.5 hours drive from our hotel. Taxis in Batam are mostly not using meters and mostly looks like illegal taxi. We were scared, but we had no other choice. We chose a driver who seems kind enough and got on his taxi. In the taxi I kept on chatting with the driver hoping to found out whether he is a good or bad guy, and hoping that if he is a bad guy, he might change his bad intention once we had treated him well. Turned out that the taxi driver is a good guy, he told us that he has 2 children, both are university graduate, as he is too. He asked for IDR100,000 to take us to our hotel, but since we were so thankful to find that he is a good guy, we gave him IDR120,000.

Once we reached our hotel, I had a conversation with Dhilla :

“Do you regret this day?”


“Me too. In fact, this might be one of the memorable event in my life, one of the best day in my life too”


“You know, we get to see the beauty of Singapore flyer and Flower Dome at night, we met not one, but some of the most kind people in this world! For that I am thankful”

“Indeed, it’s too bad that we could not thank them properly. I wish we could see them again”

“Me too, next time, if we meet them, I would thank them properly”

We smiled, and go to bed, we still have to work on the next day. That night, I prayed to God. It might be one of the most sincere prayer I had done in years too. I prayed for them, our saviours, kind people who saved us, strangers…

If only I can say this directly to them : “Thank you very much kind Sirs, I will not be able to forget your kindness, your help, your sincerity. You touched my heart, and you left a deep impression for me. We are strangers to you, but you helped us with more sincerity than most people that we actually know. God bless you all, and if God allows, may we meet again and may we return your kindness later”.

Our Memories in a Frame
Our Memories in a Frame

Dhill, thanks for this memory. You made me experienced one of the best memories in my life. Can’t wait for our next trip!


Posted in Living My Life

Left Behind

September 20, 2012
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I have been single for months now. I do not regret my decision of breaking up, I even enjoy my days being single thanks to my girl friends who are almost always available to accompany me going out to do some shopping or just to sit around chatting our days out. Not all of my friends are single. I have like 5 close friends and just 2 of them are single. I had never had any problem with it. Though I might feels a bit lonely when I see them with their boyfriend, but it was just like a passing wind. Got a stroke of loneliness and a second later it will be gone.

However, it seems to be really different to have friends who are already in a relationship right when you befriend them and having a single friend who are getting into a relationship later on. One of those 2 single friends of mine are getting into a relationship right now. Though I know that I should be happy for them… and I am happy for them, but somehow I feels a little bit jealous. Well, to be exact, I feels like I am being left behind. There is a part of me which says that our friendship will actually change. I can’t just call her up when I need her, I can’t go to some crazy trips with her anymore, it will just be different.

 At times I could not really comprehend my feeling. There are times when I feels like I am just afraid that our friendship will change, there are times when I feels like I might just being jealous of her being ‘luckier’ than me, and there are times when I feels like I might just being late in accepting changes. I wonder if she will feel the same way if I am the one who get into a relationship earlier. Being selfish, am I not?

I am being selfish, and I realize it fully. I am so sorry friend, but this is a feeling I can hardly control. However, I am trying hard to accept this reality, and I do pray for you happiness. There will be awkward moments, but I am sure I will go through this phase fast enough.

Well, forget about that. Talking about left behind, I have another story regarding my ex. The one that I broke up with recently. He is working in my family’s company through my recommendation. Though I had told him to keep his mouth shut regarding our relationship at that time, it seems like he just could not keep his big mouth shutted.  Short story, the employees know that he is someone who is in a relationship with boss’ family member.

He got into a new relationship recently, with another employee in the same company. Then another employee come up to my mom (who works there too) if he ever ask for permission from my mom that he is dating again. My mom then asked me if it is okay for her to bring this topic up when she called me last week (she knows that I got irritated easily when talking about my relationship). She then told me that it turns out that my ex never told people that I was the one who called the break up. Not that I mind about it (I mean, who will actually says “Hey, I just got dumped” to others?). One thing that intrigued me was my mom’s talking tone.

My mom’s talking tone was certainly showed that she was annoyed by the fact that people thought as if I was the one who got dumped. She was feeling left behind as well by the fact that my ex got into another relationship faster than me. Then somehow it makes me feels sad. Yes, I felt left behind too when I found out that he got into a new relationship through his facebook page. However, it makes me even sadder to realize that I am making my mom feels humiliated and left behind by this fact. Oh God knows how sorry I was to recommend him to work in my family’s business.

However, nothing can be done. I can’t just simply walk into another relationship just to cheer my mom up. I can’t make the same mistake of dating another wrong guy just because I am feeling left behind again. This is one evil feeling, been there, felt that. I know that this feelig could urge one to make a hasty decision, ended up making a bigger mistake. I guess the best way to hendle it is just by accepting facts, calm down, and take my own time and pace to ‘catch up’.

Posted in Living My Life

Marriage Horror

December 13, 2011

I don’t know who created the word marriage, and whether it has any kind of relation to the word ‘marry’ and ‘age’. These days, I do believe that “a marriage means getting married due to age“. People reach a certain age in their life and they decides that they HAVE to get married, either because they are afraid that they’ll become “expired”, because they are being pushed to get married soon by their family, or even because all of their friends are getting married already. Oh boy, I guess we are reversing to the past, not? when people are getting married due to age and such.

I really don’t know what goes through our community’s head, really. Some guy can actually propose to a girl without having a house yet, not enough salary to at least support a family, no plan on how to live their life after. They seems like naively hoping that life will turns out like a Cinderella Story where everything ended at a marriage will automaticaly ‘live happily ever after’. 

It’s not only once or twice I hear guys state that ‘If you are waiting till you have house, car, money, ect. you will not be getting married at all’, or ‘things will turns out good eventually’, and ‘well, if we got married, we got two working people in one family, we can do it’. Fuck man, I hate it. I hate those lines. I hate it soo much. Please don’t let me hear it at all. It freaks me out!

I don’t believe how people can be so irresponsible to their own life. Worse! So irresponsible to other people’s life. Worse! So so so damn damn damn irresponsible to their love one’s life! Worse worse worse! when they later enjoy their marriage and irresponsible make babies! Oh My God! I really can’t stand such people.

I don’t believe that jumping into a marriage just like that will end up in a happy life. Getting married without a house to live in, without salary enough to support a household, without plan on how to live your life after will just end up in misery. Don’t fake it, let’s face it, without money, or when the woman is more dominating in earning money, quarrel will tend to happen, it will then grows into a fight, and then a divorce.

Some people might think that I am ‘commitment – phobia’ or ‘marriage – phobia’ or such. Well, maybe it’s true. Whenever I heard people proposing just like on the lines above I gets terrified. I can’t stand not to think that how my life will be worse when I answer a “yes” to that proposal. I am living happily right now, I earn enough to support my lifestyle, I have family that I can rely on if I happen to face some critical moments. To think that I am getting married, and thus I have to support a household, being independent out of my family circle, not to mention if the guy is actually earning less than me. I can’t stand it. It feels like hell to me. I mean, why getting married if it will make your life harder?

Marriage is about a life-time commitment, the ability to become a full adult responsible of not only yourselves but to your household. I am not ready yet, and I don’t know whether I will ever be ready. Am I not afraid that I will ended up as an old hag? I guess not. There are so many things called love in this world, and if I can’t get to love my own little family, there are still a lot of people in this world that need to be loved. Look around, those who are poor, lonely, evicted, or sick. Rather than being irresponsible to your and other people’s live, take responsibility for these people, will you?

Mind Your Business

December 13, 2011
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Yahooo…~ blogging from Batam Island! I can’t believe my super nice client actually letting us staying at this resort! It almost feels like holiday (almost, if I can’t see my paperwork scattering around) Haha.

I am back as an auditor again. Okay, I guess marketing is just not my stuff, especially with people telling me that I am not suitable for that. Giving up? Nah~ people may say that I actually gave up, but whatever, I am living my life happier, using my time with things that I know will be useful, and busting my ass for something that will pay off. Period. I am happy like this. I love it when I could have fun while working (zip my mouth *shhh*).

Working as an auditor is fun like that, but yeah, it’s often that we will get depressed by being ‘hated’. Most of people will just feel the hatred so naturally once they heard that we are the auditor. Some will bluntly express their dislikeness in front of you. Some will act nice, chat with you, and then slipping some hatred covered with sweet words. However, I don’t care. That’s the way to enjoy this job. Stop caring too much about other people.

I know that they bitch on my back, so what? I do bitch about them too (sometimes) ….. (okay, maybe a little bit more than sometimes). Yes, I do talk to people when I get annoyed, some people will say that I am complaining too much. SO what? You never complain or what? I am no angel, and I will not act like one. I complain as much as I want, I bitch about people that I really don’t like about, I mind my own business, you mind your own. I just keep this one thing in mind, that if I bitch about someone, they bitch about me too, just call it even.

It seems like minding own business is hard to be done as human being though. People just have to mind about other people as if they don’t have enough to be taken care in their own life.

– Like when people told me to start buying a joint house with significant someone. I don’t do things like that, especially when I am not sure enough that I will end up with him. Why am I still in this relationship when I am not sure of him? That’s a long story, ask me directly if you want to know, I might gonna answer you, or I might gonna tell you to mind your own business.

– Like when people tell me to do this diet and that diet. I know my own condition, I know my own body, I do care about myself, and I will take care of myself. Mind your own business, will you?

– Like when people tell me on what I should blog, how I should react towards things in life, etc. My mom often says, when you don’t like, don’t see. When you don’t know, don’t talk. Period.

In short…. Mind you own business. It will give you more happiness, make you more relaxed, and less stress.


Posted in Living My Life


June 15, 2011
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What I am going to write here has actually been a very hot topic in Indonesia for sometime. I didn’t really care at it at first, but to see how things have developed and how rotten this world has become…

So this is a story about a woman named Mrs. Siami. She earns her living by being a tailor in a small village in East Java. She realizes that she is not rich, and all that she can give to her son are education at a small public school, and life values.

Her son uses the gift well. He excels in his studies and acknowledged by the school where he is studying at. Too bad, being acknowledged means a trial for him at the same time, a trial upon the second gift from his mom, the life values.

The public school needs to get a good grade from the education minister, therefore they have to get as much as their students to pass the national exam. It seems that it was kinda impossible that they have to put on other strategies to achieve it, including to ask Mrs. Siami’s son to be willing to spread his answer to his friends in national exam.

Mrs. Siami son went to his mom and told her that he was being forced to ‘help’ on the mass cheating event. Mrs. Siami doesn’t agree for she has taught her son to be honest and earn things by hard working, thus she decided to talk things out with the school’s principal for just getting an apology but nothing to be done about. She then went to the school committee to be taken lightly. She just won’t give up, will she? She then went to the National Education Ministry and talk things out to the media.

Mrs. Siami and her husband

Well, she gets the attention she needed. The media sure did their job well. However, now she is being banished from her village for hundreds of parents whose child is studying at the same school with her got mad and went berserk calling her ruthless and heartless. They said that cheating has become a common thing, that Mrs. Siami should have let her son ‘helped’ the others.

So… got what i mean?

I am no saint or anything, I had ever done cheating as well, and I often be the one who ‘helped’ my friend with cheating as well. However, I guess my friends and I, though did it before, are well aware that it was wrong (and was only done in emergencies :p don’t follow my path guys :p ).

Now what’s with this kind of mass cheating event and the mass who are banishing a family for not wanting their child to be ‘used’ in ‘crime’?

What’s with this mass who protests against the punishment given to the school principal dan teachers who are found guilty?

What’s with this world?

Once my mother said to me that ‘even though we are not rich, at least we have this precious thing called pride and integrity’. Now that those are vanishing from this world, what is going to be left for poor people?

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