What is a gumball; is that chewing gum; the spent ball of gum stuck for ever on the sole of one's shoe? (You don't get that in Singapore.)
No disrespect, but it makes my daily luncheon dive seem positively sophisticated. What a glittery, over-lit and soulless place in which to eat that you present!
However, I like the image, even if I find it hard to get the point, the why. Maybe it's the first sentence above?
Personally, as a side-note: it makes me think back to driving into London in the 50s with a pal, both of us raw youths from the north, innocently asking a cop, in Soho, where we could find a small hotel for the night... makes me blush to imagine the lack of guile!