Monday, August 20, 2007

The happiest day of my life

A few days ago I really met the worst cab driver I ever encountered in my entire life.

AND I TELL YOU, I've encountered some really bad ones before!

But this one really karate-kicks the rest to his position of champion of all m******cking cab drivers (got to censor the vulgarities a bit since the advertorial is being run, will revert to normal vulgarities after this... Haha)

Okok, so Eekean invited me to a party at Ridout Road.

I had no idea where Ridout Road is, but I did know I was running late, so I called for a cab.

Before my called cab arrived I got a SMRT cab, thinking, woohoo, I just saved $4, it must be my lucky day!

I cancelled my call, and hopped on, not noticing that the sky turned pewter grey and lightning struck a nearby dove as a subtle ominous foreboding for me.

The Chinese uncle was ancient and raspily asked me, "Going where?"

I replied, "Ridout Road."

Rid-Out Road. I pronounced it this way.

He said "Huh? What?"

Ri-dout Road?

Still he doesn't know what the hell I am talking about.

I spelt it out for him.

By now he was rising his voice at me - apparently he is semi-deaf and can't hear my screams of Ridooooooooooooooooouuuuuuuuuuut ROOOOOOOADDD!!!

I was very frustrated and asked him to give me the street directory and I will show him.

I SWEAR TO GOD THIS F***er must be older than Jesus himself: With all the grace of a slow-motion film, he took 10 whole seconds to reach to the newspaper-wrapped directory sitting innocuously on the dashboard in front of him, and told 10 seconds to pass it to me.

You would think the directory was a delicate endangered species of butterfly that will turn to dust at the slightest touch.

I snatched the book from him (I don't give a toot-toot-toot that he is damn old - I'm in a rush for time and if he can't give good service then I won't pay for the same price for his services, ok! Plus, he is completely unrepentent and rude!), and viciously flipped the pages.

There we go, on blessed page 146, Ridout Road.

I gave him the book with the open page.

I have been cabbing for some time now, and whenever the same situation happens, the cab driver will usually just take the book from me and wait until a traffic stop to read the book, or else some of the more garang ones would just read it while still driving.

To my horror, however, this Ah Gua stopped his car at a bus stop that was JUST BEHIND A RED TRAFFIC LIGHT!

Cannot read the book while the traffic light is red meh? It's not Order of the Phoenix lor, 700 plus pages, need to read so long meh?

"Never mind," I told myself. "People old already, don't be so harsh."

As the meter ticked away, this old geezer took the book from me (once again, slow-motion film style), and put it on the seat next to him.

Then, to my horror, he took another 10 seconds to take out his spectacles from his stupid pocket and another 10 seconds to put on the glasses.

After inspecting this book for around 1 min, he announced irritatedly at me, "I CANNOT SEE LA." and he mumbled something about small words, as if I did a major wrong to him by asking him to read his own directory!


But by now it was too late to get on another cab coz it was peak hour and there was none!

Really boiling by now, I yelled at him, "THEN HOW WE GO IF YOU CANNOT READ IT?!"

He responded by keeping resolutely quiet.

The bus at the bus stop honked at him to get moving. I told him to get on the PIE first.

I felt a bit guilty after, so I tried to be nicer. I looked at the map, and thought Swettenham Road was a definite no-go, I said, loudly for his deafness,

"Pierce road? PIIIEERCCE Road you know how to go?"

Pierce was simple enough, I thought, vastly wrong.

"Er road?"

"No no, PIERCE."

He kept quiet once again.


And how the ruddy hell am I supposed to describe pierce road to him better? I certainly don't know the Chinese name!

I wanted to say Holland Road, but I'm afraid he would bring me along some other way to the Holland Village area or something since Holland Road is so long, so I said Napier Road instead, which was the road that led to Holland Road.

After I told him "Napier Road", he replied,


CHEER ROAD LEH! Last thing I feel then was CHEER LOR!


This uncle must really go for a spelling bee contest lor, he can be the comedy factor in the show.

Other 7 yr old kids spell N-A-P-I-E-R, he spell C-H-E-R CHEER!


As a last ditch attempt before I take over the driving myself (won't be that hard to knock out an old man and figure out how to operate a car), I said, "Dempsey Road, Dempsey road you know how to go?"


"Yes Dempsey road. You know?"

"Yes," he said, and for one moment he sounded like a helpless old man and I felt really bad for flaring up at him, so I just kept quiet and hoped to myself that he really knows where Dempsey road is.

We arrived at Holland road correctly (bless his wrinkly ass) and before he turned into Dempsey, I said with ample warning time, "Don't turn inside, next one then turn." (See map to understand)

He still attempted to turn into Dempsey, and when I screamed bloody murder, he tsk-tsked at me as if it is my fault leh!

Finally we turned into Pierce road - which was full of super big private houses and was quite dark like all private estate roads are.

Well, this old man obviously didn't know how to navigate himself so I have to navigate him right?

So I told him turn left here (repeated in Chinese too just in case), or turn right there - and increasingly he showed his displeasure by not signaling and turning with the speed of a retarded driving learner.

He lumbered on at 20 km/hr (I am not kidding, I could have gone faster on a bicycle), and when I asked him to turn again, he shouted hoarsely at me,


I DO THIS TO HIM?!?!?!?!

Wah I swear I almost whacked him on his head with my tamagotchi can! Next time before I get on cabs I'd go buy a lump of char siew just to whack these horrible cab drivers with. They literally won't know what just hit them.

It took all my willpower to not argue and I had to keep telling myself that I'm reaching my destination very soon and Eekean who was there alone was counting on me to accompany her.

45 wasted minutes of my youthful life later we got there, and my cab fare was 21 bucks (I came from Loyang) - which was surprisingly not as bad as I thought, although most of the credit goes to myself for being able to read a map.

I handed him a 50 dollar bill, which was the only kind I had - but seriously, it's not like I took a bloody $3 cab ride right? $29 in change in not too much to ask for what!

The bugger said, "WHY SO BIG? GOT SMALLER NOT?" in an accusing tone (apparently still petty that I made him drive through a dark area in his semi-blindness), and I told him no.

You have no idea what it took me to not say, "DON'T WANT IS IT, SUA!"

He took 20 seconds to count how much to give me back, so I told him, "You have to give me back $29."

He took out a stack of ample ten dollar notes and took the longest time humanly possible to count 2 ten dollar bills.

As a goodbye gift, he grumbled at me, "NEXT TIME YOU DON'T DO THIS, I CANNOT SEE YOU KNOW!"

And I literally had to bite my tongue to stop from responding, "CANNOT SEE DON'T FUCKING DRIVE LA!"

With a slam on his door I watched him drive off, at the speed of 10 km/hr.

I hope he knocks onto something on his way out.

I took down his license number, but I decided to be nice and let this pass. What do you think, though? Should I write to SMRT? Should I be nice to this old man, or be nice to the thousands of other people who could suffer the same fate as me?

I think I'd let it go, just hope that I don't get this sort of driver again. Seriously dude, so old don't drive la!

Alas! The very next day I got another bad cab experience.

This time, there was a small cockroach happily walking next to my seat and the cabbie gave me a piece of dubious wet cloth, and told me to murder the cockroach myself, if I would wish to.

I told him I was terrified that the roach might fly and flap me in the face, but he assured me baby roaches don't fly.


I also killed a lizard (my tenth, I think). That story for another day. My life as an amazing cab-riding auntie.