The Watermelon Brothers

One of the things I like about this trip is the chance to chat with local small traders. They are an important component of a small town’s economy and that role is seldom acknowledged. I asked Yusof the watermelon trader and native of Batang Kali about business at day’s end. He said he was breaking even. Yusof, who is 21, started trading when he was 11. Perhaps it is a family tradition as the younger brother who is helping him is now also 11. Small town people are friendly and are happy to chat with out-of-towners. There is one special quality about them that you will notice right away. I told Yusof he is quite enterprising and successful for his age and he replied by saying he is just doing his small part to help out the family.

Glad to feel the unique Malaysian (and Asian) cultural trait of humility alive and well in the countryside. In the city and in the corporate world, western-influenced training teach people to say “never been better” or “awesome”, even if you didn’t ask. The coaches and practitioners claim it is to reaffirm their success and to spread (or hype) positivity. On the opposite side, their rural counterparts intentionally downplay success through modest words. That I admire and respect. Nearest comfortable hotel to Batang Kali is The Leverage Business Hotel in Rawang. Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 100, f7.1, 1/100 sec.