Reddit AMAs, or "Ask Me Anything", are arguably one of the best parts of the Reddit experience.
Acting like an interview between the community and famous personalities (Barack Obama, Elon Musk, etc) or the regular Redditor with a not-so regular job, AMAs are often treasure chests full of interesting questions and even more interesting answers.
While /r/singapore has been relatively quiet on the AMA front, two threads that popped up recently have caught our attention. (There's also another excellent one started by a chef in a Chinese restaurant).
Started by a cai png (economic rice) and fruits seller - both of whom are young and helping out in their family businesses, the threads helped to shed light on businesses that are, in spite of being extremely commonplace, are usually shrouded in mystery.
"I TELL THEM TO GTFO NICELY"
From questions we always wanted to know like "Do you scoop more (cai png dishes) for some customers?" and "Auntie got poke the fruits until you cannot sell or not", the threads were chockfull of insights.
But apart from the ones covering various aspects of their daily operations, there were also some sobering questions about the competition these more traditional stores are facing from supermarkets and more 'hip' establishments.
To note, the cai png thread starter revealed that he's just helping out his parents to run the business.
When asked if he would take over the business, he replied: "Nah, too much work. Cai Png is a life skill that you use when you're out of options."
THE NEW GENERATION OF HAWKERS AND SHOP OWNERS
Reminding me of the many 'hawker-preneur' stories that we've covered, I found it refreshing that the younger, tech-savvy generation is using social media and the internet to not just promote their own stores, but to also give a voice to their usually not-so glamourous and publicised trades.
While the more light-hearted questions induced some giggles, the parts (especially from the fruit seller thread) about them remaining competitive in an increasingly challenging landscape were rather poignant to read.
Personally, I'm a huge fan of these new generation hawkers and shop owners revamping more traditional businesses, and I do hope that with more attention and awareness via these channels, more Singaporeans would appreciate the hard work that these individuals are putting into these businesses.
What other Reddit AMAs would you like to see? Let us know!
This article was first published in Vulcan Post.