Ravi the security guard is a cheerful young man. For 12 hours a day, 7 days a week he sits at the front of the apartment in his blue uniform.
He makes $3/day working for the security company, who pick him up in a truck at the end of the day along with all the other guards in the neighbourhood. With his $3 he can buy a meal of noodles from a street-seller for 75c, so as long as he doesn’t buy a drink he may just come out on top. Unlike the night guard who wears civilian clothes and is allowed to sleep on the job, Ravi has $1 deducted from his pay if he is caught sleeping.
Still, he greets us with a smile and “arroon sous day” or “good morning” when we emerge at 7.30am. He always rushes to open the gate wide for us to pass through. If the tuk-tuk driver accidentally takes me past the apartment, he’ll run out and flag it down so I get home safely.
He makes friends with the little boy from down the road, who hangs out near the fence so they can listen to the radio together. Sometimes we buy him dinner and he thanks us profusely, even though it’s the same 75c noodles he’d buy for himself.
He's got another job lined up closer to his home town, where he'll make a little bit more money and might be able to save for the future. All the best, Ravi!