Monday, December 4, 2006

Ang Mohs are Lazy?

Every day, when I wanted to cross the road, I would always be greeted by an unprecedented amount of taxis slowing down. All with the misconception that I want to be picked up by them.

Why can't they just let me cross the road in peace? This makes me start to wonder what the taxi driver is actually thinking when he does this. Is it:

"Ang moh! Ang moh! I never see before. Sure must pickup one!"

"Wah got mng moh in this dodgy area. Obvious he lost an' looking to go back to Holland Village."

"All ang moh is lazy. Therefore ang moh want to take taxi to the bus stop."

"Wonder why that ang moh not in taxi! Don't worry, I'll get him."

"Ah! An ang moh. Obviously he's going to the airport. Good for me. I can earn the surcharge." (I have actually been asked if I wanted to go to the airport when I had absolutely no baggage except my laptop with me)

"Har Har Har! *cackle* A tourist I can drive around the corner for $5 because he doesn't know where he's going."

"9am. Must be time for the ang moh to go to the pub."

and best of all..

"I'm going to slow down so that I can really annoy this ang moh who wants to cross the road. Hopefully by the time I'm done cruising past there will be a second wave of traffic coming along so he'll need to wait another couple of minutes before crossing. *Wooo ha ha ha ha ha ha!*"

This happened only the other night, when I was at the central reservation of the road... and not only did one taxi slow down for me, but ANOTHER taxi who was directly behind him obviously thought that I didn't like that particular brand so I'd prefer to take his instead.

It also happens every time I step out of my block, but strangely enough, they are never around when I really need them!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006




"Bukit Panjang please."


*Taxi starts to drive*





*teeth smacking*


*more grunts*






*teeth smacking and grunts*






*extra grunts*


*abrupt stop*


*points to the meter* *grunt*

"Ten forty eh?" *hands over $50 note*

*many fiddlings with a plastic bag*

"Thankyou. Good night."


Friday, October 6, 2006

Nothing To Say

So I get into this taxi one night. The taxi drivers eyes gleamed at me through the rear view mirror.

'Where to ah?'

'Bukit Panjang,' was the familiar reply I gave.

Talk talk talk from the taxi man. Until...

'How long you stay in Singapore ah?'

'Over four years.' I answered.


I guess he didn't have any exciting things to tell me about Singapore in this case :(. I've to be less revealing in future.

Friday, July 7, 2006

After Midnight

Seems like I haven't had any of those 'special' conversations with drivers these days.

I was wondering why and have put it down to the fact that I've not taken a cab after midnight for quite some time now. I also try my best to avoid that certain taxi company as much as possible.

Perhaps those night-shift drivers are the ones a few sandwiches short of a picnic? Some I've spoken to actually do that 10pm to 10am shift, followed by a couple of hours at another part time job. Not sure if the unearthly hours are enough to drive you a bit nuts eventually.

Monday, June 5, 2006

Fukouka Cabby

Now, in Singapore, our friendly taxi drivers are renowned for working 14 hour shifts, seven days a week and drinking kopi-o until they jitter so much, they bounce off their seat... but their Japanese counterparts cannot be beaten!

From a guide to taking a taxi in Fukuoka:

"Notes Taxi drivers work 24 hour shifts. If your driver appears to be sleeping it is considered polite not to awaken him until you have reached your destination."

Saturday, May 27, 2006


Just the other day I booked a cab and waited nice and quietly for it. Then all of a sudden this huge six seater maxicab shows up. Of course, my first reaction was of shock:

"I never booked on of these!" I yelled.

"Get in, get in!" chirped the friendly taxi driver.

"Its the same price right!??" I quizzed, wondering if I would be charged for the premium service. They probably get asked that a lot.

"Yes yes. Get in lah, no problems" he said.

...and so I got in and I enjoyed one of the most comfortable taxi rides I've ever had, sitting next to the driver himself. There was even a TV screen in the front, showing Channel News Asia on TV mobile.

Thursday, April 6, 2006

Comfort Taxis

Whatever happened to Comfort's jingle that played whenever they were looking for a cab for you?

It went something like this:

"No matter where any time of the day.
We will be there to take you on your way.
Six Five Five Two, Double one, Doouuble one.
Comfort taxis. We're riding with you."

Correct me if the lyrics are a bit wrong :)

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Rice Full Place

These days I seem to have less and less communication difficulties with taxi drivers in Singapore. Today was an exception.

"Hi! Raffles Place Please," I greeted the driver with my (in my own opinion) neutralised English accent.

"Rice full place?" came the seemingly bemused reply from the driver.

"Raffles Place," I repeated, just in case he heard my wrongly.

"Rice full place. Where ah?" he asked again. Oh no! Were my, painstakingly acquired, Singapore communication skills starting to fail me again?

"Raffles Place. Ra-fulls-place?" I tried.

"Ya. Ya. Rice full place. Which building?" he asked with his voice slowly showing signs of impatience.

"Ocean Towers please," I asked.

"Ok lah. Rice full place, Ocean Tower."

Twenty minutes later we arrived at the right place. Phew! My accent is understandable after all.

Wednesday, February 8, 2006

Fish Head Curry

Traveling home late can always have its advantages. A conversation of unsurpassable wisdom is always on the cards when you get a driver who's stacked up on coffee and distorted logic.

SO I get in the cab and this is how it begins:

Driver: "Ah!" [classical!]

Me, startled: "...Hi"

Driver: "Where you go ah?"

Me, innocently: "Bukit Panjang"

Driver: "Pasir Panjang?" [Oh for Gods sake, not again!]

Me: "B-uuu-kit Panjang"

Driver: "B u k i t P a n j a n g?"

Me: "Yep. PIE, BKE" [Yes! I have finally mastered the acronyms! ... in the correct order no doubt]

After a few minutes of constantly staring at me in his rear view mirror,

Driver: "Where you from?"

Me: "England."

Driver: "WAH!"

A few seconds of ecstatic silence.

Driver: "Loooondon ah. SOOO expensive!"

Me: "Yeah tell me about it. The taxis there can easily go over 10 pounds for just a couple of minutes of being stuck in a traffic jam."

Driver: "Wah. Ten dollar? So expensive."

Me: "No. Ten POUNDS... thirty dollars"

Driver nearly crashes into the bus stop.

Driver: "Waaaaah!"

Me: "Yeah. London is an expensive place."

Driver: "Wah I go there ah I make loads of money"

Me: "Probably, but you've gotta pass 'the knowledge' test. You've gotta know every single part of London like the back of your hand."

Driver: "Neber-mine. I go there open restaurant."

Me: "Yeah?"

Driver: "I go London open restaurant. Sell fish head curry. Make lots of money."

Me: "FISH HEAD CURRY??? I don't think people in London will..."

Driver, interrupting me: "Fish head curry! Singapore most famous dish. I tell you. Go London. Open restaurant. Fish head curry. Singapore most famous."

Me: "Well I guess you can try..."

Driver, interrupting again: "I tell you. Sell how much? Five pound? Ten pound? Make load of money. Fish head curry."

The fish head curry thing went on for the next ten minutes until we got off the highway.

Driver: "Wah. You live here ah. How much you buy your house?"

Me: "It's rented. I'm moving out next year."

Driver: "Wah. I tell you ah. House soooooooo expensive these days. My house over 300k. Lousy house."

Thankfully we were almost home.

Me: "It's that condo over there."



Me, agitated: "The unit is worth 350k. You just told me your house is over 300k. There's no difference really is there?"

Driver: "Wah so cheep! Condo ah. You." [still no idea what this means]

Me: "Okay. Just stop here. Its fine."

Driver: "Okay ah you. Fifteen dollar."

Me: "Cheers thanks bye..."

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Signs Of A Great Journey

Great Signs That Your Taxi Journey will be Interesting

- Driver repeats your destination v e r y s l o w l y with a deep level of uncertainty.

- Driver doesn't want to take you home. He wants to take you to a party in Geylang.

- You do actually live in Geylang and the driver thinks the party is at your place.

- After a few minutes of driving, you see a sign that says 'Changi Airport 2km'

- You get in the cab and the driver says "Ah!"

- Your driver is Steve Chia, James Gomez or any other opposition party candidate.

- Your driver says, ang moh ah ah, we go Clarke Quay izzit?

- Driver has an excessively good stereo system complete with amplifier and bass tubes in the back, and blasts out Hokkien top ten hits.

- Driver greets you with "Brake no work only han-brake got work OK or not?"

- The first thing the driver says is "I tell you ah! ..."