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Foreigner hands fishmonger photo of latter to remember 'good memories' before Bukit Timah market closure

Foreigner hands fishmonger photo of latter to remember 'good memories' before Bukit Timah market closure
PHOTO: Screengrabs/TikTok/Georgecoates_

Bukit Timah Market & Food Centre has become a regular hunting ground for Englishman George Coates.

He has been living near the market for the past two years and would visit multiple times a week to eat at the hawker centre.

This time around, the 27-year-old was not at the market for food or groceries.

With Bukit Timah Market & Food Centre set to be demolished in the later part of 2024, George initially wanted to head to the market to snap photos for him and his girlfriend.

Speaking with AsiaOne, he added: "I wanted to give the stall owners the photos for memories, but also to show them they are seen and their hard work is appreciated."

Last Saturday (June 29), George uploaded a TikTok clip, on his account Georgecoates_, of his heartwarming interaction with a fishmonger from the market.

@georgecoates_ the 华语 needs WORK 🤣 #singapore #sgtiktok #sg #🇸🇬 ♬ original sound - George 🏳️‍⚧️🇸🇬

The duo conversed in English but after finding out that the fishmonger wasn't fluent in the language, George transitioned smoothly to Mandarin.

He told AsiaOne that his family moved to Singapore when he was 2 and he began learning Mandarin at 12.

"I wanted to give you this. Hope you can have some good memories," George said to the fishmonger in Mandarin.

It was a lovely shot of the fishmonger at the stall interacting with a customer.

Seeing the picture brought a smile to his face. He certainly wasn't expecting it, saying: "I didn't know you were so good at taking pictures."

Another voice off-camera asked about George's origins.

After forming a connection with him, the fishmonger and his companion were now invested in finding out more about George.

Their topic of conversation even deviated to finding out about his marital status.

In the comments section, netizens were impressed by his command of the language and his kindness.

"This is so cute and your Mandarin is so good!" one TikTok user said.

Apart from the fishmonger, there were other stall owners from the market whom George took pictures of.

He shared their reactions to receiving the photos on TikTok, and George was mostly greeted with smiles and thank yous.

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