On a scorching hot day in Singapore, there’s no better way to cool down than with a frozen treat. Thankfully, traditional ice cream sellers are still a quintessential sight on the city’s modern streets.
These vendors usually operate out of motorcycle sidecars and under the shade of broad umbrellas, doling out their confections in various forms: sandwiched between crispy, thin wafers, wedged in a slice of rainbow-coloured bread, or served in a plastic cup. We chat with 66-year-old Phey Ah Huat, who has been manning his cart for the past eight years.
How did you get into this trade?
I once worked as a used-car dealer, but I gave that up when COE [Certificate of Entitlement, which grants holders the right to own and use a car in Singapore] prices kept rising. I decided to try my hand selling ice cream instead, and have been doing it ever since.
What’s your daily routine like?
Every morning, I collect large blocks of ice cream from my supplier, cutting them up into smaller pieces before loading them into my cart. Then, I sell my ice cream from 10am to 6pm.
What’s the best thing about your job?
Now that I’m my own boss, I have more freedom. I also love meeting new people, especially tourists from all around the world. They like to take selfies and wefies with me!
This article was originally published in the May 2017 issue of Silkwinds magazine.