by George Ross

A month ago, My grandfather died so we went down for a wake. At the age of 97 he peacefully joined his creator living my grandmother alone. Everybody went home to Manila, Philippines including those who have migrated to New York.

It became like some kind of a reunion as most of them have not set foot on the country for more than 5 years already. It was a busy time for me because they all wanted to catch up and are very interested about the changes and developments happening since they’ve been away. We visited various malls everyday and would only come home at dusk to say the 9 day long prayers for the dead.

My then 92 year old grandmother did not like to be left alone when we went out. With a husband who just died and all her children home, she wanted to be around them all the time. It was not at all easy to bring grandma in our mall tours. She wasn’t quite as fast as she was when she was younger so we had to bring a wheelchair wherever we went for her to keep pace with us.

On one of our trips, we visited the Mall of Asia or MOA as most Filipinos fondly call it. It is the 4th largest mall in the world and boasts of a land area of 42 hectares. The floor area occupies 410,000 square meters and is visited by 200,000 foot traffic everyday. Imagine a 92 year old woman in the midst of all that.

I was steering my grandma’s wheelchair inside the mall left and right to avoid people traffic when a golf cart passed. What a sight! A golf cart inside a mall! I haven’t seen anything quite like it. We asked the driver if he could take my grandmother for a spin and he obliged.

We left the wheelchair with one of our companions and we rode the cart with grandma. It was so perfect for us because the mall was really huge! The cart took us anywhere and having an old woman along didn’t cause us any problem. Best thing was grandma enjoyed it very much. What would take us a lot of time if we went on foot pushing a wheelchair, just took us moments to get to.

Being in a golf cart inside a mall had its advantages too. When we were pushing my grandmother in a wheelchair, people did not bother to get out of the way. When we were atop the golf buggy, people made way as they saw us coming.

In a gigantic area, a golf cart could really come in handy. It is easy to picture a buggy getting around a large estate or even a nursing home. Older people could tour around without exerting much effort at all.

Before, the only places where you see golf carts were country clubs. Today, it serves a wider variety of purpose. What used to be a sports implement has become a utility vehicle not only for golfers, but for the elderly and physically challenged too.

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