For 40 years, deaf hawker Wu Linghe relied on lip-reading to understand his customers’ orders.
However, everyone wore masks during the pandemic, which forced him to adapt. Here’s how the 65-year-old owner of Lau Goh Teochew Chye Thow Kway became a successful hawker.
Point At Special Menu
During the pandemic, when everyone wore masks, he couldn’t read the customers’ lips.
In desperation, he put up a special menu at his stall, which had the options to dine in or takeaway. He also indicated options like spicy or non-spicy, and had the different fried carrot cake options indicated with different prices.
Customers could then point at the different options on the menu to order.
The National Environment Agency, which oversees hawkers, have also put up a notice at Wu’s stall, informing diners that he is deaf and to seek their understanding.
Took Over Father’s Stall
Mr Wu shared with Shin Min Daily News that he wasn’t sure if he was born deaf or he became deaf after falling sick as a child. However, with hearing aids, he can still hear a little bit of his voice.
After finishing his primary education at a school for the deaf, he went to a factory to learn welding skills. Whenever he had free time, he would go to his father’s carrot cake stall with his sister and brother to help out.
Apparently, his father was one of the first carrot cake street hawkers in Singapore during the 1960s.
He made really good fried carrot cake even as a teenager, so when his parents passed away in the 1980s, the three siblings decided to take over the stall.
However, his brother passed away, and his sister started a family of her own. The then-26-year-old Wu had to inherit the stall by himself.
Ever since then, he’s been running the stall for 40 years, even moving locations in 1993.
The stall is super popular, with local food reviewers like Daniel Food Diary praising its superb carrot cake. Celebrities like Li Nan Xing, Jeannette Aw and Chew Chor Meng have also visited the store before, as seen in pictures pasted on the store’s wall.
If you want to support this stall, you can visit it at Zion Riverside Food Centre, 70 Zion Road, from 12pm to 9pm daily.
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Featured Image: Shin Min Daily News and Daniel Food Diary
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