Sunday, February 14, 2010

Business rather slow as well as tiring......

WISHING ALL BLOG FOLLOWERS "A HAPPY, HEALTHY AND PROSPEROUS CHINESE NEW YEAR !!!" I have not been putting up any posts lately due to fatigue and also slow business but mostly not encountering any good or interesting happenings to really write about, maybe after the Chinese New Year.........

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Chinese New Year feelings simply not there.......

The swelling around my lower lip has disappeared but the numbness around it is still there, anyway, today I can talk naturally only slightly uncomfortable. I will be driving tomorrow after having rested the past few days.
Chinese New Year is only three weeks away, on 15th February which happens to be on a Monday. The atmosphere again, is totally unlike those days during the 60's and 70's when there were fire-crackers and smoke from the joss sticks together with the burnt crackers' smell gives you a feeling of a different sort, more like a real Chinese New Year festival period. Back then, roads and pavements were always covered with layers of burnt red fire-crackers' coverings and paper packings, it was definitely very different then. The sight of it all tells you as well as makes you feel the Chinese New Year atmosphere.
This time around, it can never be the same anymore. For instance, Party-goers now wear totally 'BLACK' coloured outfits which is fashionable and stylish and more of a 'disco colour' thing during the festival. Even donning black and going visiting is just normal and acceptable, but during those days it was the opposite, unthinkable and forbidden simply because 'Black' meant death. 
Nowadays the celebrations will start with colourful night lightings together with the usual festive sales promotions of goodies and tit bits like in all other festivals, very boring and more commercialised.
To me, the only meaningful and customary behaviour which still remains is that of the Family Reunion Dinners which is still the most important and will always be. More and more people try to avoid visiting relatives by going away on holidays or making excuses. 
How true, that's what most of us do nowadays.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

taking m.c. for few days.......

Enforced rest due to inflammation to my lower lips which is very swollen and causes uncomfortable irritation. Its like being anesthesized in the region, feeling very numb and I cannot speak properly. Have not been driving for the past two days and maybe a couple of days more. Will be seeing my doctor today.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

What and Where for dinner is always 'headache' time..........

Talking about daily meals especially having to eat out everyday because we have home cooked meals only occasionally. I always get a big headache when dinner time comes and I got to decide what food to eat. 
When you have been on the road for so many years every type of dish seems to be like the one you just had yesterday and you like to eat something different but then nothing looks different, they are all the same in every food centre and to eat in restaurants is not practicable due to time constraints although I sometimes do on special occasions. 
Travelling all over the island day in day out, I get to know of many interesting food joints offering special and exotic foods here and there, but when dinner time approaches, I seem to be lost or confused as to where I should go and eat and so sometimes I would just end up having a chicken sandwich or two pieces of toasted bread with two half boiled eggs, a cup of coffee in any convenient or available coffee shop nearby and that's it, a simple 'dinner' done. Disappointment is when you have decided early what you want for dinner, you get turned off when you see the long queue of other hungry souls waiting their turn. Or when you are there, they are closed for business exactly on the day you chose... 
So you see, sometimes, what you want is not what you'll get. Anyway, I better start thinking of what food I like to have for dinner tonight......

Monday, January 18, 2010

very, very 'addictive' gadget.......

I will always stop if possible to watch 'line-dancing' whenever or wherever there is this function going on in big open spaces, but recently there are not too many of these gatherings and I have not personally seen these different groups of dancers for quite sometime. I enjoy listening to the loud music and watching people of all ages dancing together in front of total strangers, exercising and entertaining themselves as well, I may not have been in the right places at the right time I think.
It is interesting to see changes in leisure and lifestyle activities these days and most common of all today is the use and the presence of computers everywhere, in kopitiams, parks, void decks, pubs, lounges, even in private and public vehicles, most of them expensive, latest and stylish slimly built Lap Tops. Watching movies, writing e-mails, doing business, playing games, surfing the net and etc. 
Indeed this activity is overwhelming and whatever old and past interests are nearly all forgotten once you get attached and addicted to this gadget. I am sitting in front of one right now and yes, of course, with my cup of coffee too.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Assist first and enjoy later......

Today, I have to assist and attend a wedding, invitation from a friend and after that will be engaged in a Mahjong session so will be taking a day "OFF".

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Conversations 'start-ups' made easy.........

Hot topics most talked about or discussed between me and my passengers lately have been about the menacing Loan Sharking activities with their unending or unstoppable harrassments, Crimes of Passion, cruel Murders of young children and most recently about Muslims' objections and forbidding Christians to use the sacred word "Allah" and terrorising Churches in Malaysia and also a lot about the common maid abuses and Greedy local Citizens being continuously caught in various types of "Scams". 
These subjects are interestingly "gossipy", very sensational and wide-spread among the local community and most of all, for Cabbies, the easiest to start up conversations which makes for comfortable and quick dispatch of passengers because before any suggestions or arguments can be made, for or against, between us, the destinations arrive too soon. We are never lacking in surprises with each passing day. In fact, news about something very 'sensational' happening is becoming endless and too overloaded such as, with Beckham 'dropping' his shorts, Tiger's sexy lifestyle together with countless scandals, Idol's sarcastic and most loved personality quitting the Hit show, racial discrimination of Indians 'down under', North Korea's and Iran's Nuclear 'obsessions, surge of Pirates attacks and kidnapping activity, Weather changes and more and more of Nature's vicious "Attacks" and encounters with all types of Flu's, Viruses imaginable, then the arrival of our most talked about Integrated Resorts, Casinos and Hotels and what have you........... 
But right now, for me, "Coffee is Best!".

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

getting ready for great new adventures......

Premier Taxis will be first to impose a surcharge of $3.00 for trips that begin at the Integrated Resorts (IR) come Jan 18. Most Taxi companies have confirmed that they will be following suit at later dates except for ComfortDelgro, the largest Taxi company with a fleet of about 15,000 taxis. They have not indicated that they will be applying for a surcharge just yet.
Meantime, for our company's cabbies, like myself, it will definitely be an exciting boost towards earning a bit more extra when we get started. I am looking forward to picking up my first passenger from the IR, it is going to be another important area to 'queue' up, just like in many other locations including Changi Airport, the Singapore Expo and Seletar Airport as well. It will definitely be a 'jamming' and 'chaotic' affair on day one, and to experience it will be most memorable for me.
Over the past 2 days, taxi drivers were learning to find their way in and out of Resorts World Sentosa and being shown where the drop-off points for visitors are. Many taxis turned up for the orientation, it was orderly and most informative for all who attended.
Beginning of the year has been rather quiet and slow for some and the coming of new entertainment spots in Singapore will be most welcomed by all.

Monday, January 11, 2010

old news...

So my friend told me a while back that I was being featured in our Shin Min chinese newspapers. Since I am a Straits Times and New Paper reader, I didn't find this out till a day or two later. And my friend gave me his copy of Shin Min. For those who can't understand Chinese like me, I got a friend to do a simple summary in English. Some old news about me...

Sunday, January 10, 2010

nothing new lately...

Except for my friend who is in town, nothing new happening lately...

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

taking unexpected leave from work.........

I started work half an hour late today at about 5.30pm and after picking up my third passenger to Anchorvale Link in Sengkang I had a surprise call on my mobile from a close friend of mine who is a Malaysian but presently residing in Thailand. He had just flew into Singapore and wondered if I was free to meet up with him. We have not been in contact with each other for quite a long time, something like three years and so I was happy to meet him and that's what I did. 
I picked up my friend from Changi Airport Terminal One and we ended up in a 24-hour coffee shop near Mustapha drinking teh tariks. I think three cups each as we chatted about the past and what's been happening during his absence. Time passed us by so quickly and it was already 12.30am when I finally sent him to the hotel that he booked earlier in Joo Chiat Road. 
Thereafter, I decided to head home and so, that was how I spent the rest of Tuesday night with only total earnings of $22.00 which I collected earlier. It is one of those days where you had to forego work, something like taking leave for one day and spend a bit of time with an old friend.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

day in the life of a cabbie.......

An actual account of what I do for a living.
Yesterday, Monday 4th of January, 2010, at 5.10pm, I picked up my first passenger from United Square taxi stand, a young lady who wanted to go to Leonie Hill, my metered fare was $6.70 after that, I drove to Great World City where I picked up another young lady going to Hong Leong Building, her fare was exactly $8.00.
Next, at Shenton Way DBS Building taxi stand, a caucasian man going to Sentosa Cove and his fare was $12.20 from there I drove out to Vivo City taxi stand, time was 7.00pm, sent this lady to Toa Payoh Lor.7 her fare came to $16.00. It was 7.35pm when I queued and waited at Toa Payoh Central taxi stand where I finally drove this young Malay boy to nearby Lor.1 for $3.80 by then it was already 8.05pm. This time, I started cruising slowly towards town and eventually ended up in the queue at Raffles City taxi stand at 8.45pm, imagine, all the way without a single passenger. About 10 minutes later, a Chinese couple boarded my cab to go to Hilton Hotel, fare was $8.30 and thereafter, also from Hilton, a young Indonesian mother with her daughter wanted to go for a ride on the Flyer, their fare was exactly $7.00. I then proceeded to Esplanade Mall taxi stand, time was 9.10pm, I waited till 9.30pm when a young Chinese couple with their two children wished to go to nearby Swisshotel for a fare of $6.00, and immediately after, two middle aged caucasian ladies boarded my cab to go to a Sembawang Road condo after passing Chong Pang area, their metered fare showed $19.60 but this paying lady insisted on giving me $22.00 which I reluctantly accepted. 
It was then about 10pm when I drove towards Mandai Zoo taxi stand to queue, and boy, it was a long, long queue. Anyway, I decided to read my New Paper as I slowly jogged along and finally picked up two European ladies wanting to go to Jalan Besar Road near Petain Road, their fare came to $14.60, it was then that I felt a bit hungry and decided to go to Syed Alwi Road coffee shop to have my dinner, a bowl of prawn mee soup $3.00 and a cup of hot barley drink 80 cts. After eating my meal, I ended up in the long queue at Clarke Quay, it was already 11.50pm when I fetched four young European ladies to Swisshotel for $6.20 and lucky enough for me, after a short wait I ferried this young Chinese girl to Ponggol Central at exactly midnight. Her fare came to $21.90, the time was about 12.30am, I felt quite tired and decided to call it a day. It was a rather unusual day for me as there was'nt much converstions involved throughout my working day. Despite the slowdown in taxi ridership, I still managed a fair but still quite low take home pay, can't complain too much though. 
Thank you for sharing this long journey with your friendly neighbourhood Cabbie and now its time for my cup of "Kopi".

Monday, January 4, 2010

slow and low daily takings.......

Schools reopen today and it looks like business will still be the same, slow as in the past few days of the new year. It has been extremely quiet and its a struggle just trying to earn something decent each day. Waiting in a long taxi queue is getting more boring whilst continuous cruising here and there tires you even quicker. Somehow it does not look like business will improve soon, today or tomorrow as some of my friends and I were discussing with each other about our low daily takings when we met during our coffee breaks.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

sometimes when rain comes, its simply cool.......

Today was yet another very quiet and slow day and to make things worse, the rain had to come. Whenever rain comes, people tend to stay home rather than go out to socialize or do their favourite things. It is always a nice feeling just staying home and laze, hear the rainfalls, watch TV or just simply catching up on 'lost' sleep by going to bed extra early.
For people like myself, I still need to go to work to earn a bit or at least to earn enough to cover my daily rentals but sometimes the mood to drive is simply not there when the rain comes. Like everyone else, we try to shy away from having to start work immediately by telling ourselves that with this kind of weather there won't be so many people waiting for taxis or think that most people are likely to stay home and therefore business will definitely be slack so just take easy or if we have to move, maybe land ourselves at some nice kopitiam, have coffee, relax and wait for the rain to stop. 
Of course these are lame excuses and to be more truthful we are actually just plain lazy or bored and anyway for those of us who are on the road practically everyday without any off days sometimes for a continuously long stretch of time, we do need a break. So when rain comes, it is such a relief for it is one of our strongest reasons to excuse ourselves.
For me, without fail, the aroma of coffee is most irresistable.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Hello Year 2010, lets begin journey forward.......

Good Morning folks!
We are now into the eighth hour of Year 2010 and it does feel good and peaceful after giving Year 2009 such a vociferous send off last night. There was indeed a hive of activities in the city area with huge throngs of spectators and well wishers eagerly awaiting the 'Count Down' which also featured in the heartlands with live music, dances and performances to bid farewell to 2009 and welcoming 2010 with such a colourful and beautiful display of fireworks which lasted about 10 minutes at the Marina bay site. What will 2010 be like is in the minds of each and everyone of us as we continue on our daily paths towards the future.
For us, the coming of the much awaited integrated resorts and casinos in the coming months will be the start of a different type of lifestyle Singaporeans will be experiencing for the first time together with the final stages for the completion of the circle line. All of these foreseeable happenings becoming reality is already cause for great excitement and much talked about subjects among our citizens. More jobs becoming available in new fields of employment for the first time will alter and I believe cause great changes in our way of life in the near future. For the moment, let us enjoy and savour the beginning of our new adventures from Year 2010 onwards.