Sunday, August 19, 2007

Mount Faber

Three locals. Two foreigners. Together, we got inside a taxi.

"No way," he said, "If I get caught. I'll lose my license for sure. There's no way I'm risking having four people on the back seat."

Stupidly, idiotically and bimbotically, myself and the other foreigner decided to get out and get in another taxi together. We flagged another one down in only a matter of seconds.

"Take us to Mount Faber please"


"Mount Faber?"

"Where's that? I've never heard of it," he said. Despite Mount Faber being a popular spot amongst both locals and tourists.

"Mount Faber? Mount Fibber? Mount Faaaaaber? Mount Fobber? Mount Fubber? Mount Fabbbberrrrrr Munt Flibber?" we tried in all possible accents under the sun.

"Where? How to get there?" he asked again, seemingly oblivious to the place.

"We don't know how to get there. We're not Singaporean," my friend replied, who was already slightly agitated.

"Hey. Its next to the World Trade Centre and the cable car station," my collegue pointed out as he remembered.

"Ahh. World Trade Centre," he agreed, and we finally thought we were getting somewhere.

Within five minutes the taxi driver had taken us to the World Trade Centre.

"Ok. Now Mount Faber"

Then the taxi driver got angry. "Why you tell me World Trade Centre if you don't wanna go World Trade Centre? You ask for World Trade Centre and now we here."

"Just look around this area" my collegue insisted. After scouring up and down the road a while, we finally saw a glimmer of hope when there was a sign for 'Mount Faber' which lead to a long winding hill.

"Oh. Mount Faber," he said casually, and drove us up the hill to the pub at the top which was heaving with people from all over. My friend and I foaming at the mouths and ready to strangle him to death. Even though taxi drivers are generally not tipped in Singapore, I did have a few verbal tips of my own to give him.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Cabby Pileup

I saw a big pile up today on the highway this morning. Lo and behold, the cause of it was three taxis.

For those that aren't familiar with Singapore's taxi drivers, this is nothing new. It seems that taxis are the cause of almost every highway accident here. Or could it just be that there's so many of them on the highway, that the odds are against them?

I put it down to the standard 'one millimetre gap' that they always leave between themselves and the car in front. I really wish they wouldn't do that.

Pity I couldn't get a picture. Time for a new phone that doesn't make a ridiculously loud noise when it snaps a picture.

Sunday, August 12, 2007


"Hey, can I pay you by mastercard? Cos I want to try and win the diamond," I asked, whilst pointing to the mastercard advert. It instantly struck a chord with him.

"This one ah! No way you can win. Its just a bullshit lah!" he exclaimed.


"Yeah. Have you actually ever heard of somebody winning it? Nooooo right? That’s why I tell you. Buuuullshit lah,"

"But I want to win the diamond," I insisted. "Surely SOMEONE has to win?"

"Listen. Did you ever seeee anyone win a diamond yet? I TELL you. You never see people got win one."

"But," I whimpered. There was no doubting it. I was defeated.

"Tell you ah. Last time. The car prize. Do you see anyone driving it? No lah. Another bullshit! Then everyday everyone want to pay mastercard. Wah lau these guys ah. Heh heh heh."

"My word!" I gasped in my pseudo-Brit-American-Singlish-Neutralised accent.

"God for my business though! [cackle] More and more people want to take a taxi and win. [more sinister cackles]."

It was time to leave before the conspiracy got deeper. He scanned my card and, for once, it all went without a glitch. Arriving home I pondered deep in thought about why don't I just queue up at the ATM for half an hour so that I can pay for taxis with cash? Er, maybe its because I'm a foreigner and after four years I still haven’t gotten any money changed.