obnoxious taxi drivers

all about obnoxious taxi drivers

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Most eerie taxi trip ever

About a year ago I hailed a cab to bring me to Sarkies Road, where Alliance Francaise is situated.

I got on the cab and the driver sped off immediately, without asking me first where I was headed. When he finally asked, it was in Hokkien, because he apparently did NOT understand English or Mandarin.

(My Hokkien sucks by the way, but I shall try my very best to translate it as I understood it.)

TD - "Li ai ki tou lou?" - Where do you wanna go?

ME - "Sarkies Road"

TD - "HAH? Simi? Wa uhm zai la. Li ai ki orchard mai?" What? I don't know la. You want to go Orchard or not?

ME - "Mai mai, wa ai ki Sarkies Road. Li eh zai Newton Circus si tou lou bo? Kao4 jing4 Orchard." - Nono, I want to go to Sarkies Road, you know where Newton Circus is? Near Orchard.

TD - "Wa uhm zai la. Li ai ki Orchard Hotel mai?" - I don't know la. You want to go Orchard Hotel or not?

Apparently the only place he knows by name is Orchard, so while I was trying desperately to tell him I don't want to go to Orchard, he brought me all the way there and, get that, DROPPED ME OFF AT HYATT HOTEL.

I was like "What the hell..!??!"

But he goes "Wa uhm zai li ai ki tou lou la. Cheh eh si Orchard. Zap ji kor, gam sei" - I don't know where you want to go la. Twelve bucks please.

OMG that was freaking mean of him. He chased me off at Hyatt Hotel and immediately zoomed off with another poor passenger.

I had no freaking idea how to handle that dumb old man so I just stupidly paid him the money, and then ran over to Far East Plaza to grab another cab to Alliance Francaise.

But the scary part is this, because I was so damn pissed, I actually noted down the colour of the cab and the car plate number so that I could lodge a complain online. I was sure that I got the cab number and colour correct and the name of the cab driver too, and I told the cab company off about how they shouldn't allow cab drivers who can't speak a word of English (except Orchard) or Mandarin to run loose like that. Especially when he forced me to go to Orchard and then made me pay him for it.

A couple of days later, I received a reply from the cab company, saying that no such cab exists in their company, the car plate number did not match any on their records and neither did the name.

Scary right?!? I was utterly freaked man.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

The weirdest cab driver

...

*sigh* it's the exam period, and being the last minute mugger that I am, I have to be stingy with whatever little time I have during this critical period so I can at least pass all my papers. -_- $16 really isn't a lot to buy extra mugging time that could make all the difference to a grade. Thus, usually around April and November, taxi drivers get a lot of business from me in the mornings.

Anyway, I hopped onto a cab to of the weirdest driver today. After I got onto the cab and slammed the door shut, the uncle didn't seem to notice I was there (despite the fact that he stopped for me.) He started fiddling with his tape player and some old pieces of paper while I stared at him curiously. After like 20 seconds he finally looks up with a stunned expression, goes "oh!" and hurriedly starts the price meter.

And then. Some really old music starts playing from his tape player. The quality of the music was so bad it could only have been made in the 50s. Or whenever cassette tapes were first invented. And then the uncle starts swaying and waving his left hand to the music (while driving with his other hand.) At every traffic junction or red light he sways both his hands and body to the music, which by the way, sounded like something even my mum would call ancient.

Then. Someone starts singing from the tape, and the uncle sings along. Really loudly. Completely oblivious to my presence. Some song about goes on about mountains and sheep and is interrupted every few lines by a very passionate "yahhhh-heeyyyyy~~".

The thing was, his tape was really strange. It didn't play entire songs. It stops abruptly in the middle of one song, stays silent for half a minute, and then another song starts to play. Despite the fact that the songs came in short incomplete bursts, the uncle seemed to have memorized every single syllable and tune and really seemed to be enjoying his tape.

When I finally reached my destination, and I proceeded to pay him, he snatched (and I really mean snatch, like within a second) the bills out of my hand, went "Yay!", passed me the change and chased me out.

Darn weird.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Taxi Driver who earns too much

Usually when you get onto a cab, the driver will ask, "Which way do you wanna take?"

And then we usually reply, "The shortest" or "the cheapest" or something along those lines, cos it makes sense right?

Well it happened one day when I was getting onto the cab of a very grouchy driver. I told him I want to get to school and he says "Which way do you wanna go by?"

And I reply "Umm, whichever way you think is shortest, or cheapest I guess."

And he says, "You want cheap, you don't take cab. You get down and take a bus."

And that was the end of our conversation. This cab driver has a serious attitude problem.

(I was actually seriously tempted to just get out of the cab and give him a kick, but being the meek gentle girl that I am, I sat quietly throught the whole journey and let him earn a freaking $16.)

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Most Common Cab Conversations

This happens all the time. I get on to a cab, and I say "Uncle, NUS please."

Uncle turns and stares at me.

"NUH you mean?"

"No, N-U-S."

"No you mean NUH, the hospital not the university right?"

At this point I always get really frustrated and I will be on the verge of kicking him out of his cab and driving his crummy cab into a tree.

"NO I WANT TO GO TO NUS. THE UNIVERSITY. LIKE I SAID THE FIRST TIME."

He finally decides to drive off but looks very unconvinced.

After this first part of the conversation which happens on almost cab trip I take to NUS, any one of the following may happen.

1. UNCLE STILL DOESN'T BELIEVE ME

Uncle keeps quiet the rest of the trip, probably thinking I am a liar and refusing to speak to me. When finally approaching our destination, he exits at NUH, and then turns to me, "Here, right?"

This never fails to piss me off because Engin fac is at the furthest end of NUS, and I will have to direct him all the way there. And he will still be giving me suspicious looks as I get off.

2. THE EXPECTED CONVERSATION

This happens most of the time. After the uncle starts driving off, he turns to me and asks "How old are you?"

"Twenty-one."

This is usually followed by a variety of shocked expressions and exclamations, which I am learning to get very used to.

"What?! You are twenty-one? Gosh, you don't look it at all. You are so tiny and so chubby! I thought you were ____ (insert random age ranging from 15 to 18)."

At this point of time, I start to switch off, because the conversation starts getting boring and predictable, almost like it was taken of a script.

"Do you get enough to eat? Do your parents starve you?"

"Go play some basketball! Jump more and grow taller!"

"Have you been studying too hard and forgetting to eat?"

Blah and blah and blah. Super boring and predictable.

3. The not-so-expected conversation

Taxi driver asks, "So, how old are you?"

"Twenty-one."

"You study in NUS?"

"Yeah."

"Oh, nowadays people get to skip grades?"

.....

And many more. I could probably compile a game book with all the variations of conversations I get.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Beginning of a new blog where I can scream at whine

Beginning of a new blog where I can scream at whine, and yes, at taxi drivers this time.

Don't cab drivers just get on your nerves sometimes? I take cabs because I'm in a rush and I want to finish up some report or homework on the way to school, but no, the cab drivers insist on striking up a conversation, filling me on all the petty details of their lives, telling me about how intelligent or how capable their kids are. Pffft.

Yes, this is for me to complain and whine about cab drivers who don't make sense but think they do.