Saturday, July 14, 2007


At the end of a taxi journey last night...

I paid the driver and said "thank you." Here's what happened next:

"Thank you. Good night!" he wished me.

"Thanks. Just give me a moment," I said as I took off my seatbelt tried to collect my bags.

"Thank you. Thank you. Good night!" he repeated again.

"Just a moment..." I said. Still struggling.

"Thank you. Thank you. Good night!" came the response, again.

"Just picking up my bags. Won't be a second."

"Thank you. Thank you. Good night!" he bleeped, in what was becoming monotonous and clinical.

Good grief.

"OK. Got them. Thanks. Good night."

"Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Good night!!!"

"Thanks," I repeated it myself as I opened the door, but it had to come again didn't it...

"Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Good night!!!"

Monday, July 2, 2007

GO Higharrr!

"Bukit Panjang Please."

"Pasir Panjang ah?"

"No no. BUKIT Panjang."

"Then why don't you say in the first place lah?"

I've no idea why my pronunciation of 'bukit' is anywhere near 'pasir' but what I do know is that I've received some invaluable information from some taxi drivers in Singapore. Mr 'Go Highaaar' is one of the best career coaches I have ever come across.

"Wah. Work so late ah? Which company you work?" he asked.

"Its a small software company. We make accounting software," I told him.

"How much your pay?"

"What?!" I replied, a bit startled from his subtlety. "The pay isn't too good. Well, not for working these crazy hours anyway, but I'm just gaining experience right now," I replied.

"What degree you have?"

"IT," I replied.

"You got honours or no?" was the next big question.

"Yes. My degree is an honours degree,"

"You got Masters or no?"

"No masters. Sorry"

"I think for you. You can do masters. Go higharrr. Goo highaaarrr! Don't let people trod on you. You trod on them instead. I never do degree now I'm driving taxi. No good. Then the taxi company trod on me."

"Oh thanks mate"

"PHd. Hmmm. I think maybe you cannot make it. But you go try anyway."

"Er. Oh thanks again mate"

"Go higharrr. Go higharr. Don't let the taxi company bully and trod on you," he repeated continuously while bouncing up and down on his seat in an uncontrollable fit of frenzy.

Thankfully the conversation ended there and he sat mumbling to himself, for the rest of the journey, about the taxi company in a mix of unintelligible English and even more unintelligible hokkien dialect.

"$10.55," He snapped. "GO HIGHARRR!! Good night ah!"

"Good night. Thankyou."

I spent the rest of the night wide awake browsing postgraduate courses. The moral of this story is to get as high a degree as possible. Then you can guarantee that you will never cause a taxi driver to have a fit.