The Nonmetaphorical Dirty Money

I took out some notes in my closet after shower today (now you know where to search if you want to break into my room) and was about to scratch an itch on my face when I recalled how dirty money actually is.

The money you have in your wallet now very likely is the dirtiest thing on you due to the amount of dirt and bacteria contributed by god-knows-how-many-people given the number of hands it has gone through before it reached you. And what are the chances someone washed those notes?

That reminded me of when I was younger. Now, Dad is a fishmonger. He works at the wet market everyday and sells fish. At the end of his work day, Dad usually smells of (what else but) fish, and since they aren’t cooked fish, they don’t smell pretty.

As a kid, whenever we receive some pocket money from the earnings Dad made, we occasionally would lament at the smell and, sometimes, gooey texture on them. These notes would also at times look black and dirty and being ignorant children, we’d go “Eeks!”

I recall getting reprimanded once and that shook me awake. It made me realise this is money Dad worked hard to make. He wakes up at 2 a.m. every morning, slogs for the next 12 hours moving containers of fish by himself, each weighing 100 kg, and standing at the stall bargaining with customers. How can money made through hard work, through decent means, smell?

While I’ve said it many times that Dad has this default response to disagree with and disapprove of whatever we say or do, it is undeniable that I’m able to be here today because of him. Grandpa made him take over the fish selling business but I will never forget what he said to me regarding that:

Study hard so that you can work comfortably in an office instead of having to slog it out like me.

Perhaps another case of Cluey that ting commented about in an earlier post, but somehow, I wonder if Granddad hadn’t made Dad take over his business, would he have chosen to do something else, what would it be, and how would his and our lives turn out? Would I still be where I am now?

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