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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

"Paiseh, Paiseh Uncle"

After dropping my passenger at the entrance of RWS casino around 11.00pm last night, I headed towards the very long queue of commuters lining up at the taxi stand with only about three other taxis in front of me and none at all at the taxi stand. Straightaway this young lady, first in the queue, boarded my cab and told me to go to Sophia Road. And as soon as I drove away from the taxi stand, she quickly uttered in mandarin that she was going to puke and asked if I had a plastic bag.
Hearing the word 'puke' in mandarin, I immediately reached out under my seat, got hold of a plastic bag and quickly handed it to her. A few seconds slower and I would have 'puke' splashed all over inside my cab. She had half her head inside the plastic bag and started 'puking' instantly with coughing and 'gargling' sounds at the same time. After a while, when she felt a bit composed, she started thanking me three to four times, saying "paiseh, paiseh uncle, sorry uncle, for giving you problem".
She told me she felt much better and that it was the second time she 'puked'. I spoke in mandarin saying she must have had one too many at the same time asking her if she spoke English. She said "Yes, 'paiseh, paiseh uncle' so sorry for the inconvenience, first time attending my company's annual dinner (Citi Bank) and my colleagues kept giving me mixed liquor drinks which I find hard to refuse as I had only recently joined the company. I drank altogether about ten glasses and it was okay then. I lined up at the taxi stand, waited for nearly half an hour and nearly 'puke' at the queue, but managed very uncomfortably to control and held on till your taxi came, 'paiseh, paiseh uncle', thank you uncle, thank you".
I said "Its good you that you are feeling much better now, don't worry, don't mention, its no problem for me, but when you get home, have a hot cup of coffee or milo before you go to bed. By the way, from your accent, you don't sound local, where do you come from?" She replied, "I come from China, studied here for 3 years, after graduation, started working and am now bonded for 3 years with this bank". Furthermore, she added "Lucky for me that you arrived and I did not puke at the taxi stand otherwise I would have lost face as it would have been very ugly and embarrassing in front of the many staff of the company also waiting at the taxi stand".
Her fare for the trip was $10.40, she paid me the money as she alighted and kept saying 'paiseh, paiseh uncle', 'sorry uncle', thank you, thank you and before I could even say anything, she was gone, disappeared into the building.

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