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Who keeps the angpow money?

“Daddy, what are we going to do with my angpow money?” Pangzi asked after collecting all the red packets from relatives and friends during Chinese New Year.

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“First of all, it’s my angpow money, not yours,” I corrected him. “FYI, I’m going to spend it at Johor Premium Outlets, but that’s none of your business.”

Pangzi looked puzzled. “You’re supposed to open a bank account and keep all the angpow money for me.”

Someone must have been giving him all the wrong ideas.

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To let him see how I put the money into good use, I decided to take him along to Johor Premium Outlets.

“Daddy, why go so far to spend my angpow money?”

“Once we cross the Second Link, we’ll reach there in half an hour,” I reassured. “And again, it’s my angpow money.”

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Johor Premium Outlets is a relatively new shopping place that mimicks the factory outlets of the West. Even the coconut trees and the fountains look suspiciously familiar.

However, that’s where the similarity ends. There are over 100 shops there peddling what’s supposed to be discounted ware. Yet, the prices are far from seductive. You can get many items cheaper at Orchard Road in Singapore.

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“Daddy look, a wishing well. Can I throw some of my angpow money into it?”

“Are you crazy? I’ll throw you in first,” I threatened him. “Don’t forget it’s my hard-earned money.”

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“Daddy, I’m hungry. Can we use some of my angpow money to buy some food first?”

Conveniently, a food court popped up just as I wanted to start my shopping. I thought he’d follow me around more obediently on a full stomach, so we went in.

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“Okay, you’ve eaten your fill. Shall we?” I didn’t want to waste any more shopping time.

“Daddy, why are you in such a hurry to spend my angpow money?” Pangzi said, and went on to play at the mini indoor playground.

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Finally, I managed to drag him out of the food court. After browsing only a few shops, he started making noise again.

“Daddy, I’m thirsty. Can we use my angpow money to buy some drinks?”

“How many times must I tell you it’s not your money?”

“But I’m tired from walking!”

Reluctantly, I found ourselves a cafe and sat down for a few more precious minutes.

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At this moment, it had to rain!

“Daddy, aircon cold cold,” Pangzi shivered.

He had just recovered from illness and I didn’t bring him any sweater. No choice, I had to buy him one on the spot.

The closest I could find was a thick long-sleeved shirt. It cost me a bomb! THERE WENT ALL THE ANGPOW MONEY.

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The rain suddenly stopped. Heaven had a cruel sense of humour. Just then, Pangzi saw an outdoor playground, wet and slippery.

“Daddy, can I play?”

The hour is late. The money is gone. Do whatever you like.

 

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