Archive for May, 2009

Crazy taxi story #3

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

One last crazy taxi story.

This also happened to my friend. I swear she has the worst luck with taxis.

While waiting in a taxi stand one night after work, my friend realized that she had no cash on her. She did have a credit card though. Not all taxis take credit cards though. So my friend waited in the the taxi queue and asked each taxi as they pulled up if they had a credit card machine. If they didn’t, she let someone go first and waited for the next one.

She let a few go by, and then one came by and he asked the driver, “Do you have a credit card machine in your taxi?”

“Have. Got machine.”

So she told the driver to take her to “The Bayshore.” Upon reaching her condo, she presented him with her credit card. He then proceeded to try swiping it a few times. Then handed the card back to her.

He then told her that the antenna doesn’t work and asked her for cash. At which point she became livid.

“What do you mean the antenna doesn’t work? I asked if you had a credit card machine!”

“Have! Have machine!!”

Basically, he answered her question that yes, he does have a machine. But she never asked him if it actually worked.

When she told him she had no cash, he drover her to a ATM. But, made her pay to take her there. Crazy.

Crazy taxi story #2

Friday, May 15th, 2009

Calling for a taxi can be just as harrowing an experience. Here’s a story a friend of mine shared with me.

My friend lives in a condo called “The Bayshore.” Next door is another condo complex called “Bayshore Park”

This is how the conversation went:
F = My friend
O = The cab Operator.

Ring-Ring
O: Hello, this is the taxi company. How can I help you?
F: I would like to call for a taxi.
O: Where would you like to be picked up at?
F: I live at “The Bayshore” Can you send a taxi here? Now, just to make sure, send the taxi here and not “The Bayshore Park” ok? Some taxi drivers get the two confused.
O: Ok. I think I understand. But let me repeat it just in case. You would like a taxi to “Not The Bayshore Park” is that correct?
F: Huh? Where are you sending the taxi?
O: “Not The Bayshore Park”
F: No!!! I live at “The Bayshore” not “The Bayshore Park”
O: We are sending the taxi to (proceeds to spell the next part) “N-O-T T-H-E B-A-Y-S-H-O-R-E P-A-R-K”
Is that correct?
F: Who the hell lives at a place call “Not The Bayshore Park?” I live at “The Bayshore”
O: I don’t think I understand.
F: Thats ok. Forget about it. I don’t need a taxi.
O: Good bye.

I shit you not. This is how the conversation went. Crazy right?

Crazy taxi stories

Friday, May 15th, 2009

I’ve collected a number of interesting taxi stories in the last year that I’ve been here. And I’m going to share the best ones with you.

To understand these stories you will need to know that Taxis are a constant source of aggrevation, pain, joy, and gossip for Singaporeans and expats alike.

Taxis here are plentiful. It makes owning a car almost pointless. However, in Singapore, I’ve had taxi drivers refuse to drive me. Where they learned this habit, I have no idea. It goes a little something like this:

Standing on the side of the road, I flag a cab down. The driver pulls up and opens his window. He then asks me where I’m headed to. I’ll tell him a destination like City Hall. Then he’ll say,”That’s too far. Take the next cab.”

And then I’m left on the side of the road, speechless as he drives off. Seriously. When was the last time you heard a taxi driver say a destination is too far for him? They make money depending on how far they travel. I would think a far destination would be good. Would a banker tell you that you’ve got too much money and to go to the next bank? Ludicrous.

Word of the day

Sunday, May 3rd, 2009

Today’s word of the day is “Kiasu”. Kiasu is an adjective that describes a person usually. When a person is kiasu, they can’t stand to be left out or more accurately, this is a person that wants it all.

For instance, say there are multiple events going on in the same evening, a person who is kiasu will have to go to each one even if it’s just for a few minutes at each. Or, a friend might have just bought a new gadget so you need to go out and buy it as well.

I suppose this translates into a phrase used occasionally in the US, “Keeping up with the Jones”

Singapore and Asia in general has a lot of “Kiasu” going on. I think it has to do with always being a step or two behind the West or Europe. I guess that’s why we have an indoor snowboarding facility, an ice rink, and soon a casino.