In Shock

This story is about Wai and I talked about him in a previous post. He has two little stores and works seven days a week and more than ten hours every day. However right now the business is down due to pandemic and he went to Texas to help his cousin to repair his house, which was damaged in the ice storm about two months ago. So far he has got his vaccine shots and is scheduled to come back to New Jersey next week. Wai is a character and I think I can almost write a book about him except that I haven’t decided how to describe his characteristics–all I can say is he fascinates me. He is often in difficulty, but always optimistic; he has never allowed himself luxury, but he always dreams of one day he will enjoy luxury. He doesn’t speak much English, but he never hires a manager for his stores. He handles everything himself and he never believes language ability has anything to do with business operation, despite ample evidence to the contrary. I think as soon as I can extract a theme somewhere, I can write a beautiful story. Here is a little flash story about him and his longevity. Wai is talking with his friend Mu as they are doing house repair for Wai’s cousin.

Wai: “I am thinking of retiring at 65 and go back to Khalkhin Gol to have a wonderful retirement life. I am saving every penny I have right now just for my retirement and I don’t intend to delay my retirement for one minute. I want to live like a river king. Haha.”

Khalkhin Gol is at the border between Mongolia, China and Russia, where a famous battle was once fought during the WWII.

Mu: “If the real estate is not expensive, you can certainly settle down in your village and have a life of leisure and enjoyment. Did you watch the news last night? About this 109-year-old Japanese lady holding the Olympic torch. I wonder if I can live that long. Longevity doesn’t run in my family.”

Wai: “But longevity runs in my family. My father is almost 90 years old and still kicking. “

Mu: “If that’s the case, you’d better save enough for 30 years or more. I can see you live until 95 or even 100.”

Wai: “Oh, my goodness. That’s terrible.”

Mu: “What? What is terrible?”

Wai: “I don’t think I have enough for 30 years. I mean 30 years is a long time, isn’t it? There’s also the inflation. How can I be sure it’s enough? Am I going to work forever?” Wai sits on the floor, frustrated.

Mu: “Oh, come on, stop being so hard on yourself. Let’s live our life today and leave tomorrow alone, shall we?”

Wai: “I had a beautiful retirement all planned out already. Now you just ruined it. Do you know retirement is all I am looking forward to? Just think of the drudgery of running two stores day after day, most of your waking hours? All those small trivial issues to take care of, all those complaints to smooth over, all those language problems I have to hustle to get resolved. I am tired of it all, but I keep on going because I dream of retirement. I won’t be able to take it if I have to do it one day more than my 65 birthday. How can you take my retirement away from me like that? You just want to annoy me, don’t you?”

Mu: “Don’t be melodramatic. Let’s just be cheerful. I am sorry I mentioned it. I will stop watching those centenarians on satellite TV. Look we have to finish painting this room today.”

Wai: “I can’t take it. I can’t take it anymore. This is more than I can handle.”

Mu: “OK. Let’s have a rest and relax a little bit first. How about we drive to Galveston beach tomorrow to relax and get our mind off stressful things? People told me a spot where we can get fresh shrimp right off the boat.”

18 thoughts on “In Shock

  1. I don’t know. He sounds like the type who will retire, get bored after a week, and then start a new business. Khalkhin Gol would be a great place to start a bar. With whatever the Chinese, Mongolians, and the Russians drink, he would be very successful.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. LOL. That’s such an interesting continuation of the story. I would never have thought about a bar there. 😁😊😊 Such an ingenuous idea. One thing is for sure: he is determined to buy some real estate up there.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. ☺Oh what an upset! Wai was so sorted in his mind about the retirement plans till he got unsorted again, by the thought of his own possible longevity haha.. Too much planning for the future tends to barter away our present!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. He is fascinating, that’s for sure. I totally understand the anxiety. I feel like I’m in early retirement now just because i’m out of corporate and basically doing the things I love, but imagining the far future and old age are some of the things I refuse to think about for too long.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Unfortunately, we all spend a lot of time freaking out about our future not realising it’s out of our control but the we can control our present. I know of people who save their whole lives only to become ill when they do retire and unable to do anything with the money or people who unfortunately die too early to enjoy retirement. I think we should concentrate on being happy in the present and deal with the future when we get there.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. That’s so true. I’ve witnessed so many people live a life indulging in the nostalgic past or fancying (or worrying) about a future, myself included. What we really want to do is concentrating on the present, enjoy the present, and make effort on each step. LOL. Easier said than done, once again. Some work too hard, to the point of ruining their life and health. I even know one or two people who refuse to acknowledge their age and overexercise to a degree that damages their body–of course the result is being sent to a hospital.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Well, what is retirement after all? Isn’t it an escape from the job that one hates? Wai can start something that he loves to do and earn even after retirement. But then it’s easier said than done!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yes, true. At least his small businesses are more of a grind of long hours and drudgery. It is hard to be consistent year after year, doing something repetitive. Yes, easier said than done. πŸ˜πŸ˜ŠπŸ˜‰

      Liked by 2 people

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