We hung out with Chor Pat today. He was in good spirits, never mind the fact that he’d just become a victim of this thing they’re calling the Global Financial Crisis.

“Lost my job,” he said. “My ex-boss fired a lot of people after losing heavily in the stock market. But I’ve found a new one.”

He told us he was still playing football.

“The new team is going to Melbourne this year for the Homeless World Cup. I was planning to join them but it’s too expensive. Maybe I’ll visit you in Singapore instead?”

And then he reached into his bag and pulled out his passport.

“See this?”

A boarding pass. Cape Town – Johannesburg. 1 Oct, 2006.

Two years and a lifetime ago. He’d worked hard to get back on his feet after coming back from South Africa. Held down a job, quit gambling, cleaned up his act, even saved some money.

“But they say the economy’s slowing down,” he said. “Look at what happened to my ex-boss. I hope my new job will be more stable.”

We really hope so too.