The Neighbour from Upstairs
Last month (April 2022), when Anissa Low was in the middle of a video call, she heard a knock on her door. When she opened her door, she found a man who introduced himself as a neighbour from upstairs.
The man carried with him a number of uniquely designed hairclips. They were priced at $10 each. The man explained that he had lost his job due to COVID-19, and that he was going from door-to-door to sell hair clips made by his daughter, who attends Pathlight school. Pathlight is an autism-focused school in Singapore. He asked Anissa if she would consider buying one hair clip to support his daughter.
Anissa bought a clip from the man, and found that the clips were of good quality. She said that she admired the father and his daughter as they “do their best to survive and not just blame on life”.
Anissa observed that it would have taken the man a lot of “courage to go door by door to ask neighbours to buy the clips”. She added that, “before we bitch about our jobs, be grateful that we still have one!”.
Anissa’s TikTok video featuring the hairclip and the man’s backstory caused an outpouring of interest and support. It garnered more than 40,000 views, and hundreds of comments.
@anissalow#pathlight #covid19 #lostjob♬ Calm – Relaxing Music
Unable to locate the “neighbour”
In the comments section of Anissa’s video, many users expressed their interest to buy the clips. Others even suggested ways in which the man could expand his business and make it accessible by setting up a shop on platforms like Etsy and Carousell. Seeing the amount of support from TikTok users, Anissa remarked that it was “very heartwarming to see that there are so many kind hearted people out there.”
However, despite her best efforts, Anissa was not able to locate the man or his family again.
About 6 weeks after the video was posted, Anissa said that she did not cross paths with the family again.
Similar encounters elsewhere?
Curiously, 2 separate users from Sengkang and Macpherson respectively claimed that they had encountered the same “storyline” and product.
Sasha, a TikTok user from Macpherson Spring, found it a little suspect that the “storylines” were so similar. She herself had bought a hairclip from a man who held himself out to be a neighbour from upstairs.
Anissa said that she usually chooses to believe the man in the event that he really needed help. She then went on to say that, if she comes across the man again, she would ask for a unit number and make a trip to his place to purchase the hairclips instead.
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