Couple sleep at Hougang bus stop, fearing their clutter along walkway would be stolen
Afraid their cardboard boxes and other items might get stolen, a couple have been sleeping near a bus stop in Hougang Ave 3 for the past two weeks.
The pair have also been piling their belongings and cluttering up the walkway near the same bus stop, reported Shin Min Daily News.
Speaking to the Chinese daily, the man surnamed Wang, 53, said: "Although we have a place to stay, we can't put our things at home. It's also troublesome to move the stuff up to the third floor, so we decided to sleep here.”
Wang and his wife collect cardboard boxes and other miscellaneous items to sell, and are able to make about $1,000 a month. "We're supporting ourselves, it's better than begging," Wang said.
Their belongings consist mostly of cardboard boxes and plastic bags, and are lined up along the 10m-walkway, proving quite an eyesore for residents – some of whom have even complained to the town council.
"I feel like the walkway has become dirty, like a garbage dump," one resident, 34, told Shin Min.
The couple are quite well-known in the neighbourhood, it seems.
An employee at a provision shop in the area, surnamed Tan, told AsiaOne that Wang used to work at the store.
Unfortunately, his stint lasted only three months as he was often late for work. "We open at 7.30am, but he would report at 7.45am, and it affected business," Tan said.
Tan also said that Wang was let go because of his body odour. "He's quite dirty, he doesn't shower. When he's at the shop I can't take the stench. Some customers also remarked that he's quite smelly."
According to Shin Min, the authorities have tried to help the pair find a roof over their heads. But the couple refused, saying that the rental unit was either too far away or too small to house all their belongings.
Get The New Paper on your phone with the free TNP app. Download from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store now