The couple, presumably in their mid-30s, were regulars at the kopitiam. For the past year, weekend mornings were their MacBook, iPad and iPhone time with the customary toast breads and coffee placed beside their devices.
They hardly spoke to one another and when they did, it was dispassionately about a friend’s social media status or what the friend was currently doing or where she was dining at. Throughout their breakfast affair, their faces were buried in their respective laptop monitors only to be broken up by periodic fiddling on their phones.
Last Sunday was different. Although the customary toast breads and coffee were on the table, the MacBook, iPad and iPhone were nowhere in sight. My refined eavesdropping skill picked up that they were keenly engaged on their improved household finances resulting from the country’s recent Budget 2014 announcement.
In between contending the abolished the sugar subsidy, dreading the commencement of goods and services tax, while approving of the personal tax relief, they each stated their imminent purchase of designer handbags, trendy watches and visits to fine dining restaurants, while mutually agreeing to more holiday trips abroad; all made possible owing to the anticipated increase in their disposable income.
Both sound like they have everything planned out; from when these acquisitions will take place right down to the specific brands of these items. From what was uttered, I can confidently deduce that they would need much more than the RM2,000 special tax relief to fund their shopping spree.
As urbanites and seemingly emerging affluent Malaysians, my fellow kopitiam patrons are what the country needs to drive our overall economy forward. Discerning and knowledgeable, they know what they want and the lifestyle they aspire to achieve. They are conscious of their financial obligations, yet they pursue the finest luxuries in life.
“It is what life is about; we work hard but we also have to enjoy life as best as possible,” said the petite woman to her partner as she consumed the remaining bread crumbs on the plate.
While the couple have undoubtedly found a way through this weekly kopitiam routine to “heat up” their own relationship, it is heartening to know that they are also pursuing the “flames of life” that will make all their hard work worthwhile.