Leslie

Leslie Cheung, 31

Leslie likes to think of himself as savvy and street-smart (but in reality, is often thwarted). He lives on his own in a rented apartment after he moved out from his family home at the first instance he could at 25 so that he could experience independence. He has a love-hate relationship with his mother. He seldom visits and does not allow his mother to visit too as he knows that she would disapprove of his lifestyle (and he cannot admit that despite his outward show of success, he is struggling with his loans). He finds her old-fashioned and naggy, but nevertheless does care for her in his own way. Filial piety to him is what his mother and ‘other people’ expect of him. In his family, doing things for each other (as opposed to spending time with each other) is their way of showing concern.

Since young, his mother always acts like she knows better than the rest of the world and Leslie rebels against this. Despite his resistance, however, we see traces of this trait too in Leslie in his everyday interaction with people.

Leslie works in a mundane 9-5 office job at ‘SportsAll’, a local company that sells sporting goods. He is relatively efficient at his job but hates it. He is holding on to this job only because he needs to pay for his rent and installments on his car loan. A firm believer in working smart, not hard, he feels stifled in an environment where people follow rules for the sake of following them; he does, however, grant himself the license to adhere to them creatively.


Ma

Ma, 58

Ma single-handedly brought Leslie and his older sisters up after her husband passed away when Leslie was 10. Her daughters have all married and moved away. She lives on her own ever since Leslie left home. She was extremely upset when he brought up the issue of moving out but could not stop him. To cope with the empty nest syndrome, she watches TV, especially soap operas and Korean drama serials. It has been quite a while since she last saw Leslie but she worries for him continually.

Many years ago, to help put Leslie through university, Ma pawned her favourite jewellery set. She has been renewing it periodically but this time round, when the pawnshop called, she decides to finally redeem it for herself since her children have all grown up.


Ganesh

Ganesh, 33

Ganesh, Leslie’s colleague, is generally a likeable and easy-going man who finds security in living by rules and routines. He does not approve of Leslie’s lifestyle and ideas but does not really give him a hard time over it. His personal mantra is probably “Never trouble Trouble, till Trouble troubles you”. He can be counted on to be there for a friend, but only if it doesn’t get him into too much trouble.


Shirley

Shirley, 29

Shirley is experienced and always immaculately dressed. She is a well-trained service staff who has handled her fair share of difficult costumers and knows how to deal with them. That said, she does understand the frustration of some costumers and does try her best to help but is nevertheless bound by protocol and ‘company policies’. She knows it is a cheap trick to ward off disgruntled customers but she has little recourse elsewhere.



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