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..."