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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Happy Tourists.

Yesterday around midnight, I picked up two middle aged male Australian tourists at Clarke Quay and one of them asked me, "Excuse me mate, where can we find girls in Singapore? Can you bring us to them?".  "Yes of course, there are many Asian girls at Orchard Tower at this time, would you guys like to go there?", "Great mate!" they replied. I said "Maybe, just to let you know, this place is very well known as 'The four stories of Whores' are you still keen?". "Wowee, sure why not, we love it, lets go there now!" both of them agreed immediately. "We will go and have a beer and check it out, hope you are not pulling our legs!". I said "Of course not, and I think you will not have just one beer but many, but try not to get drunk okay?". "No problem mate, but is it safe there?" they asked. "Safe?, yes of course, very safe, not to worry".

Around the bend, near the taxi stand just outside Orchard Tower, there were so many pretty ladies milling around and also near the entrance. They suddenly shouted, "Whoa, woh, fantastic! We love you man, you are good, look at them girls, lets go get them mate!". Their fare was $9.10 and they gave me $10.00 thanking me and were very pleased, laughing and happily poking each other. "Bye, enjoy yourselves and take care!" I shouted after them.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Mall To Mall.

Saturday was simply incredible.
At 5.15pm, I fetched my first passenger, a young man from 6th Avenue to United Square and it started a continuous visit to different Taxi Stands at shopping centres and malls all over the island. Next was this Chinese young lady at United Square taxi stand who boarded my cab and wanted to go to West Mall at Bukit Batok.
From there, another young Chinese lady wanted to go to Lot One at Chua Chu Kang where I waited less than five minutes at the taxi stand when a Malay woman in her forties, with three young children, asked to go to Causeway Point at Woodlands. Yes, when they alighted, two middle aged Indian women came on board just as quickly and instructed me to send them to Sun Plaza at Sembawang.
As I was driving, I thought so far my passengers were all females and all of them alighting at shopping centres and being a Saturday, it was not surprising. When I reached Sun Plaza taxi stand, a young school girl waiting at the taxi stand wanted to go to North Point at Yishun and I fetched her there.
Now as I waited at the taxi stand at North Point, it was just for one or two minutes, two young Malay girls wanted to go to Compass Point at Seng Kang, they told me that this was their first visit. There were about five taxis already waiting in line at the taxi stand there when they alighted and I then followed the taxi queue. This time I had to wait for about five minutes. When my turn came, a young Caucasian woman together with her five year old daughter boarded my cab and asked to be sent to Parkway Parade Shopping Centre.
It was already 8.45pm when my passengers alighted at their destination and I thought I had better take a breather and headed to Joo Chiat Food Centre to have my meal as I felt quite hungry.

After taking my meal, a delicious bowl of prawn mee soup, I slowly sipped my cup of coffee and took a short rest. It was quite tiring ferrying my passengers almost non-stop and over long distances, but it was a good working day.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Isolated Taxi Stand.

These pictures were taken on 20th March 2012 at 11.30pm and they show how deserted and gloomy it can be without a single soul in sight. I was second in line at the taxi queue and feeling very lonely.


Holland Village taxi stand



Monday, March 19, 2012

Be "Kiasu" Always.

This afternoon, I had to drive my taxi to our company's workshop at Sin Ming Road for the monthly servicing appointment at 2.00pm as my relief driver was unavailable. I drove to the workshop at 1.45pm and the person in charge told me that the servicing might take a while because there were many other taxis also waiting. I left my taxi at the carpark, went across the road to the coffee shop to have a cup of tea and a piece of bread. Read my New Paper which I brought along and after about an hour I went to check on my taxi but it was still there where I parked it.

Along came another taxi, parked alongside mine and within five minutes, the workshop mechanic came to collect his taxi straightaway for servicing. I asked the driver his appointment time and he told me at 3.00pm. I was annoyed because my appointment time was at 2.00pm and his was later and yet his taxi was going to be serviced first. I thought it was unfair and also queue jumping and so I enquired about the discrepancy.

Meanwhile the later taxi was in the process of being serviced. I approached the mechanic to ask if it was a first come first served basis according to appointment time for servicing, he looked at me and asked for my taxi number, went straight to my taxi and immediately drove it into the workshop, without a word, he began doing his job. My taxi was ready in less than 20 minutes. Time was exactly 3.45pm, two hours waiting time for a 20 minute job.

This is a lesson we need to learn that in future we must always keep track of what is happening and make sure we don't waste unnecessary idle time by being attentive, be questioning and aware of what goes on, simply put, to always remain "Kiasu" at all times.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Private Eyes.

Taxi drivers are always working closely with Police authorities. We have been assisting Police in reporting passengers who were last seen at locations suspected for loan shark harassment, their appearances, suspicious behaviors and also the things they were carrying, such as markers, super glue, paint cans, etc. We will also report short stops requested by passengers at many different locations for short period of time, for they may be suspects intending to do mischief. There are instances when we are also alerted by Police to keep an eye for suspected theft of motor vehicles or help locate wanted criminals and report their whereabouts. The information that we provide has in a way helped authorities to apprehend wanted criminals as well as prevent mischief being carried out.

I have been called upon to assist in locating a stolen vehicle once and also to help spot a thief wearing a coloured cap and wearing a black T-shirt also once in my career, but I have been unable to help. Sometimes it can be quite fun and interesting acting like detectives on the prowl whilst at work.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Outramians Class '61 Reunion

                                               Outramians Class '61 Lunch at SRC 13/3/12  

In between sad and solemn wakes, I had a wonderful and happy re-union lunch date last Saturday at SRC (Singapore Recreation Club) with some of my secondary four classmates from Outram Sec. Sch. year 1961. Presently we have about 22 classmate contacts, but 7 were absent from our lunch date due to unforeseen circumstances. Still, it was a very exciting and memorable gathering because 3 new mates were found and re-united after more than half a century have passed us by. It was simply great, all of us very happy to be able to meet, see one another once again after such a long, long time, the nostalgic atmosphere on this day was just fantastic and indescribable. Thoughts and memories were continuously shared among us and we could not help cajoling one another for our past activities and mischievousness, it was all smiles and laughter throughout for nearly four hours till we had to part but this time not for long as we have promised to meet once a month without fail, we the 'Golden Oldies!' also known as Outramians Class '61.

All of us will continue, as a team to further seek out absentees of Outram Sec. Sch. Class '61 although we know and sadly miss many who have already passed on. We are now in a different kind of 'level', changes in our looks and features quite significant, but our minds remain the same, only this time with more knowledge and wider experiences from our past everyday lives. We joked, had we known on our last day in school, we should have said to each other, "See you in 50 years time". It was and is a continuing Marathon Of Life.

Memories are made of these and yes, before I forget again, I better stop dreaming for now, must quick get ready and go ply my trade, till then, Adios, Cheers to All!.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Sudden Departures.

When someone whom you know dies, it is actually an indirect call from them (the deceased) or rather an announcement to all friends and relatives to gather together at their wakes lasting usually from three to five days,  depending on their race and individual religions, most of whom are Christians and Buddhists, saying goodbyes in so many different ways, such as having buffets, lunches, dinners and most important lengthy prayers without having to send out invitations to inform all about the details of locations, dates, times, and performances by Buddhist monks, priests, friends and relatives. There are always Master of ceremonies and all those who will give eulogies and tell interesting good life stories about them when they were still alive. Speakers come from all walks of life and they speak freely without any rehearsals whatsoever. At these wakes, we find ready and helpful volunteers to assist in waiting, ushering and standing guards over the wake sites. It is usually an all 'of a sudden' but properly managed and well organised solemn functions with everyone in one way or another, willingly and wanting to participate to show their respects and to bid their final goodbyes.

Since last Wednesday, 7th March, I have been attending wakes, the first one belongs to a close friend and cabbie colleague whose mother passed away and the funeral held on saturday, and the present is my beloved Auntie, who passed away also on the same Saturday, sadly the youngest sister of my late father and also last in line in their generation.

Wakes, sad and solemn as they may be are inevitable. Unlike festivities with fixed dates, they always come suddenly. Similar in style to customary happy birthdays, festivals and annual gatherings, a time when we meet again with friends and relatives, re-uniting and getting to know each other's lives' journeys and meeting new additions to families. The only difference is that in wakes, no one wants to look forward to them.

Sometimes, lapses in putting up my new posts are because of these unforeseen circumstances, but anytime whenever I have the opportunity, I will not fail to do so. Always stay tuned, God Bless.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Insights.

I have been quite busy lately, attending mostly to personal matters which were very time consuming, leaving me hardly sufficient time to put up more posts. I have always been swift in completing my duties but have recently found myself 'crawling' a bit. I suppose age is catching up, but then, just look at the speed with which Time have 'shot' past us. Its already March, nearly three months into 2012 and imagine with less than eight months more to go, we will have to get ready to invite Year 2013. Scary is'nt it. I tell myself "Uncle, take easy, slow down and relax, maybe you are the one speeding!" True, true, I think I need to release pressure on the accelerator and enjoy more quality drives in future.

Family should be our first priority and indulgence in life. I have a son and daughter and they are both married. My son Terence, an Industrial Hygienist is a self employed businessman, specialises in Industrial Decontamination (virus/bacteria) outbreaks, Residential Disinfection (homes/offices), Oil and Gas Industries (Fungus: elimination/prevention). He has a very interesting Website worth visiting at ( www.evdisinfection.com ) And my daughter, Suelynn, she is an Interior Architect and also a Licenced Property Agent. She is a jazz ballet dancer as well and loves the Arts.

As for myself, aah yes, I have to quickly avail myself to anxious passengers who are waiting for my services at this moment and its getting late, I better hurry. Watch out for my next blog. Cheers!


Friday, March 2, 2012

Wasted Time.

On Wednesday 29th Feb, I was lucky not to be caught in the very long taxi queue at Rumah Tinggi Road for all Premier taxis to have taximeters re-adjusted. I was unaware of the compulsory call to go to our Company's workshop as I was still asleep. A message was sent to me at 10.30am and by the time I saw it, it was already past the dateline time at 12pm. Anyway, when I call the office, they told me that the time had been extended to 6.00pm and so I quickly made my way there but by then, no queue was in sight. I had my meter properly adjusted and all was back to normal.

The Company overlooked the change of date because this year was a Leap year and every one of us were caught unawares, eventually causing traffic jams and worst of all, loss of incomes for taxi drivers for time wasted in the long queues.

The rest of the day remained quiet and uneventful. It was a dull and slow workday.