Monday, July 30, 2012

The Mata Puteh Family.

Yesterday evening, as I was leaving for work, I checked again to see the bird's nest built near the top of my bamboo plant placed outside my gate. I have been regularly keeping an eye on it. I have always been happy to see a bird's nest, this is not unusual for me as this is the 5th time a mother bird has built a nest and grew her chicks on this same bamboo plant of mine, usually from two tiny white eggs till the baby chicks grew to baby birds and then the whole family would fly off to greener pastures. I decided then to photograph them for the first time when I return home tonight. These photographs were taken from my iPhone as soon as I reached home around midnight.

Monday, July 23, 2012

It Was Different Then.

How time flies, a wink of an eye and more than ten years just flew by. This picture of me was taken two and a half years after I first started driving a taxi in July of year 2000. From this photo, taken twelve years ago, on top of Mount Faber, you will notice the taxi logo, TIBS TAXI, yes, I started with this taxi company for many years till I switched to Premier Taxis, I was then driving a Nissan Cedric. When I first drove for TIBS and continued with them even after SMRT took over, I was supplied with two or maybe three white long sleeve shirts and two grey long pants each year, me and my colleagues need to dress alike, it is compulsory. We look very smart in them though, and each time we take our meal breaks or coffee breaks in coffee shops or food centres, we could be anywhere and nobody would guess that we were in fact mere taxi drivers. We were also instructed to greet and acknowledge each other anytime, anywhere whenever we met and also wave as we drive pass each other. There was then a sense of belonging I thought. We were then behaving and even thinking or looked more like office executives. At present, I can wear any type of shirts or pants as I wish and of course its much easier and more convenient as Premier does not insist on any particular mode of dressing.

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Unforeseen and A Pleasant Interview.

Had a rude shock this morning when my Relief driver called to tell me that our taxi was rammed from behind by a delivery truck when he stopped at a traffic junction along Upper Cross Street this morning around 11.00am. My Relief suffered a slight cut on his right arm and the vehicle was badly damaged. After making necessary reports at the office, he managed to get a replacement vehicle till repairs are done. Another unpredictable incident but luckily no bad injuries sustained. This sort of accidents are unforeseen and quite common especially so for taxis when we are on the roads nearly 24 hours a day.

Last Tuesday evening from 6.00pm, I was being interviewed in my cab by two young and lovely Australian ladies for about an hour whilst I drove and they eventually alighted at Junction Eight in Bishan after having travelled from the Orchard Road area. When I picked them up from their residence, I initially thought they were sisters but to my surprise, they were a mother and daughter pair. You see, the daughter, I shall call her Miss E had earlier wrote to me to ask if she could interview me and help her with some information in respect of the taxi profession in Singapore and also about my lifestyle after having stumbled upon my Blogspot. I felt very honored and made the appointment to meet up and also have the interview in my cab as we travel along and at the end of it all, they insisted on paying me the metered fare which I finally accepted at $20.00. Miss E needed my assistance to help her in her project and I hope I was able to provide her with the necessary information she needed. Both mother and daughter were also my first passengers and they were honestly, very polite and very pleasant. It was really my pleasure travelling with the lovely ladies, and I thoroughly enjoyed being interviewed by Miss E.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Whimsical Student.

Last Saturday evening I fetched an interesting young female secondary four student from a local school from Jurong Point taxi stand and she wanted to go to West Mall. During the journey, she asked me a host of questions in respect of the taxi driving profession. She said she wants to be a taxi driver when she finishes school after the end of this year as she finds it very interesting and most important of all she can have a vehicle to use without having to foot out a huge sum of money to buy one, only need a thousand dollars or so as capital money. I was shocked to hear of her intentions, her ignorance, I mean coming from a sec. 4 student. I told her that she will have to be at least 18 years old in the first place to apply for a driving licence and secondly she can only be eligible to apply for a taxi vocational licence if she is 30 years old, the minimun qualifying age, to which she exclaimed "Wah liao! like that ah, have to wait so long and must be 30 years old than can become a taxi driver meh?". I replied "Yes what, you think so easy meh?". I knew she was still very immature and childish and so gave her a simple 'fatherly' talk about the importance of education and not to think so much about starting to work and blah, blah, blah and so on till we reach West Mall. She looked a bit stunned and silly when she paid me the fare, but she did thank me for my bit of talk and advice for her as she alighted and quickly disappeared in the crowd.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Sleeping Buddha.

Fetched an elderly Indian couple from Clarke Quay early yesterday evening and they wanted to go to St. Michael's Road which is off Serangoon Road. I managed to ask them casually if they were locals and they said "No", they were visitors from Mumbai. They wanted to visit the Sri Lankaramaya Temple to see the sleeping Buddha. They cannot speak much English and so I could not find out their actual reasons for coming to this Temple. Anyway, when we reached their destination, I took the chance to take a couple of pictures of the sleeping Buddha. I asked if I could photograph them also, but they declined.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Re-appearance.

The first passengers I picked up on Monday evening opposite Mount Elizabeth Hospital was a young Caucasian woman with her two young children, twins, a boy and a girl, together with her maid and they wanted to go Hindhede Road, entrance to the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. After they alighted at a condominium nearby, and on my way out, I saw monkeys walking, running and jostling along the entrance of the road, I quickly stopped and parked my cab along the kerb, took out my iPhone and started taking pictures of the monkeys which I had earlier thought already vanished from this area. (Refer to my earlier post "Where Have All The Monkeys Gone")

I spent about 20 minutes watching the monkeys antics, wrestling with one another, chasing one another and also a mother holding her baby perched on the railings and it was fun and interesting just watching them at play. Yes, the monkeys are still there to entertain.