Thursday, July 1, 2010

A New Beginning

Today, I'll be running my dessert stall from a new location - stall no. 130 - which is directly opposite my first stall location (stall no. 141).

For those of you who have not been following the saga of my run-in/stand-off with my ex-landlord, let me explain: I first started my dessert stall at a corner stall - no.141 - about seven years ago but moved to stall no. 139 four years later after a dispute with my ex-landlord.  The hawker centre had inked a deal with a private gas supplier and it had to close the centre for two weeks to lay gas pipes. The gas supplier gave a sum of money to each stall operator to compensate for loss of business for two weeks. However, my landlord refused to hand over the compensation money to me, insisting that it was meant for him, the stallholder, and not for me, the stall operator and even accused me of trying to cheat him of the money.  He also told me that if I didn't like his decision, I could end my lease and leave.  Well, I did and moved to stall no. 139, two units away.

However, stall no. 139's location is not very ideal compared to no. 141 as customers have to first walk past no. 141 before they can notice my stall. My ex-landlord took advantage of this and rented his stall to his sister-in-law to open a dessert stall to cut off my business.  My business was indeed badly affected initially (dropping by about 40%) but it slowly recovered though not to my previous level.  I thank God that He protected me during this period and 22 months later in July last year, that stall was shut down by my ex-landlord because his sister-in-law owed him several months of rental and utilities bills and couldn't pay (I blogged about this here).

I enjoyed improved business for the next few months while my ex-landlord searched for a new tenant. He took so much time because he insisted on finding a tenant to sell desserts only.  Anyway, he finally found one and the new dessert stall opened in October last year.  Thank God that this time, my business was less severely affected (down maybe about 20%) and the wait for victory was much shorter too.  That stall closed down after about 4 months in February this year (I blogged about this here).

You'd think that my ex-landlord would have learnt his lesson but, no, he still insisted on finding another tenant which sells desserts. A fellow stallholder selling "you cha kway" (i.e. deep fried flour fritters) wanted to rent the stall from him but he refused, saying that he was looking for a dessert seller. Well, after leaving his stall empty for almost five months, he finally found another dessert seller which will be opening in a few days' time.
(Update: The new stall has opened but is not really selling desserts. It sells mainly fruit juice, smoothies and cut fruit but my ex-landlord made them keep his ice-shaving machine and bowls and plates, which they do not use, in the stall. I have no idea why they agreed to pay him rent to keep his equipment in the stall!)

Thank God that He already foresaw this, and this time God turned from defense to offense and moved me from no. 139 to no. 130, directly opposite no.141. This location is much better compared to no. 141 because it faces the oncoming customer traffic and therefore customers will see my stall first.

This is the result of  God's favour because I did not actively seek out my new stall location: a few weeks ago, my new landlord approached me and invited me to move over to her stall as her existing tenant had decided to terminate her lease. The timing was also perfect as the hawker centre was scheduled to close for spring cleaning last Monday and Tuesday, and I could move all my equipment over to my new location without worrying about affecting my fellow stallholders' businesses or causing inconvenience to customers.

I see God's hand in this move and I thank God that when I just let go and let Him take care of the situation, He does a perfect work for me. I'm going to work soon and looking forward to this new beginning! Hope to see you guys turn up at my new stall soon ;-)


Joshen said...

write in to church as a testimony!

Cheat Grace said...

so where is your stall? :)

Stanley Wong said...

Hi CG,
It's at Bukit Timah Market and Food Centre (next to Pei Hwa Presbyterian Primary School) :)

Liu said...

Yo Bro

I am here to take up comment space again... 8)

Hvnt try your food even tho we have met briefly :) ... one of these days I will ... and poor England lost so early ... I hope Holland would win but the Germans are traditionally good internationally, there's just something about the Germans, probably got to do with one German monk and his movement :P ... the South Americans looked good, but I am not rooting for Argentina.

One thing I noticed is that, the South Americans, regardless of these people's lifestyle whether as coach or players, some tainted with scandals and drugs, they would still openly declare their faith. They would do the Father, Son and Holy Spirit across their chest before each game.

It's so different to us Chinese, at least to me lah. It's like we must be living right before we dare to declare our faith, else we feel like hypocrites. Example, I say grace before each meal, openly. Yet at the back of my head, there's this "consciousness" that now people know you are Christian, better behave, don't let your eyes roam, better don't mess up the foodcourt ... else you are a bad testimony ... guess it's the root from my past being brought up in a traditional chinese family, and my ex-Church was a law & grace church. There's just so much to unlearn.

Then I look at this Maradona, life of ups and downs, tainted with scandals and almost died, I think to him he care less what people think of him or what he say. He may not b a good testimony but God still loves him. I am not saying he is our example to follow, but I think to these people, confession and honesty is really between God and them alone. It is the realisation and receipts of God's unconditional love that turns one to right living. It's all about His love for us, and His grace to accept us, no matter how tainted our life may seems to others or ourselves.

So it's theoretically easy but living it out, letting God and letting go, live free is so so so challenging.

Shalom Shalom

Stanley Wong said...

Hi William,
Looking forward to see you soon. I'm hoping for a Brazil win because they are playing attractive football now and also I want to see Kaka's "I Belong To Jesus" t-shirt after Brazil wins ;-)

Stanley Wong said...

Sigh ... Brazil lost ... scored own goal and a player stupidly got himself sent off ...

Liu said...

Ya, senseless to get sent off when the team need 11 men to get back into the game. Well, we men are like that, at heat of moment, the flesh takes over, and do stupid things like that ... perhaps it's Holland's year. For all the South American's flair, it might be a Holland - Spain final.


Stanley Wong said...

that will be a good one to watch since both have not won the cup before ...

Malcolm Loh said...

i betted on spain in early june at the opening odds of $4.50. will come and spend the $45 at your new stall should spain lift the cup :-)

Liu said...

The Germans thrashed Argentina... so ruthlessly efficient, that's why they are one of the euro power, in many areas. Argentina made England looked good!!!!! I really wonder IF England goal had stood, and it was 2-2 at half time ... or that unfortunate R Green had not let in the USA equaliser, then England would had played Ghana and not the Germans, then would England progressed?


blogpastor said...

Hi Stanley, Nice to have seen you this evening even before I read your post. I agree with you that your current stall is the best so far -highly visible to traffic from the front who turn left. Yes I have seen you shift so many times. I bless you with a stable location in this current spot. Praise the Lord!

Stanley Wong said...

Thanks, blogpastor :-) Yes and Amen!

Kaffein said...

Awesome testimony, bro. Much encouraged.

Btw I told many of my office colleagues that Spain will win the World Cup before it started. Even betted with an English guy for a cup of coffee.

My wife is now chiding me for not betting. I am led by His peace, not my wife's piece of mind.