Posts Tagged ‘taxi’

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.

Luggage update day 5

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

Looks like I lucked out. I’ve had friends leave wallets and phones behind in taxis and have them returned. No such luck for me.

Save your receipts

Friday, March 27th, 2009

I learned an important lesson today.

I lost my luggage. More specifically, I forgot it in a taxi. I put my luggage into the “boot” or “trunk”, for you Americans, of the taxi. And after distracting myself by reading news on my iPhone, I forgot to get my bags.

Now, there are a number of recourses I can take to reclaim my bags. Though, none of them have worked this far. :(

1. Most taxis are equipped with GPS devices so they can be tracked. It’s a simple matter to call the taxi company and tell them where you came from and where you got dropped off at and approximately what time this transpired, to locate your bags. My taxi was not equipped with GPS though. Darn.

2. All taxis have a unique number. It’s also simple to call the taxi company and have them call the driver. But, I didn’t note the taxi ID number. Bummer.

3. Get a receipt. All receipts have the unique taxi number printed on them. I didn’t get one. Crap.

4. Put your name and address on your bag. You guessed it. Doh!

5. Call the taxi company and have them broadcast a message to all the drivers. Unfortuneately, my driver never responded. Sigh.

Now, thank goodness I didn’t have anything important in my bag. I alway carry my passport, cell phones and other important papers on me personally. I did lose a hat and a concert Tshirt that I really liked. But, it could have been much worse I suppose.

Next time, always ask for a receipt. You never know.

Reverse Japanese?

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

I usually take a taxi to work in the morning. And at a certain intersection I used to tell the driver to turn right then go straight and turn at the second light.

This always seemed to confuse the drivers. And I think I’ve figured out why.

1. It’s too many directions all at once.
2. Because of my accent many people think I’m either Japanese of Filipino. And instead of hearing me say turn at the second “light”. They hear, turn at the second “right”.

Silly. I know, because Japanese people pronounce “Ls as Rs” and not the opposite “Rs as Ls”.

So now I tell the drivers one turn at a time and tell them to “take the second left” instead of “left at the second light”

Weirdness in a taxi

Saturday, August 2nd, 2008

Singapore’s official language is English. Therefore it is only natural for everyone to speak English. But, there is something not quite right about sitting in a taxi cab here with an old Chinese uncle driving… while he blasts Britney Spears. There are some things I just won’t get used to. Weird.

Word of the day.

Sunday, June 22nd, 2008

Going with the current theme of the day. Today’s word of the day is a double, “uncles and aunties”

As with most asian cultures, the term “uncle or auntie” is a term of respect and or reverence. And in some situations, it’s a title that is expected. 

Our office has a few cleaning ladies or “aunties” They make sure that our work environment is neat and orderly. Their services are *GREATLY* appreciated. And as such, they deserve the respect that the title “auntie” bestows upon them.

When I run into a family in an elevator or on the MRT train and I joke with to the little children, the parents sometimes tell their children to say hi to “uncle” I appreciate this extra respect that they’ve imbued upon me. Though it is totally undeserved, it is a bit of an ice breaker and makes for easier conversations.

Now, taxi drivers are in a third category. They totally expect you to call them “uncle” sometimes it’s very deserved, other times you have to do it to get dropped off where you’d like. A taxi driver that is friendly and cordial to you that takes you from point A to point B deserves your respect. A driver that says he won’t take you to a place, because it’s out of his way and needs some extra coaxing (calling him uncle and trying to convince him to do his job) gets called “uncle” but doesn’t deserve this title.

I’ll explain the plight of taxi drivers in another post. <grin>

Not him again..

Monday, June 2nd, 2008

Taxi drivers hate me, I know it. Let me explain… I use a foreign bank in Singapore for all my banking needs. This is great and horrible at the same time. Most people use a local bank for a number of reasons.

Local Bank Pros
1. They have ATMS everywhere. And I do mean everywhere.
2. You can use a system called NETS which is like an Octopus card in HK. They are like Debit cards in the US, but the fee NETS charges the bank is way lower than VISA or Mastercard charges for Debit cards. Ultra Convenient for card holders and more profit for the Vendor.
3. You get small bills from the ATMS, $2, $5, $10 and occasionally $50 bills.

Local Bank Cons
1. ATMS have queues all the friggin time. Sometimes up to 15-20 people deep.
2. If you have to withdraw a large amount for rent or a large purchase, you might end up with $2000 in $10s or $50s.
3. To Transfer money overseas, you need to go to a branch during operating hours. 

 

Foreign Bank Pros
1. No queues. ever.
2. They have large bills $50, $100
3. You can do online transfers overseas. 

Foreign Bank Cons
1. Hardly any ATMS. And never one when you need one.
2. They don’t offer NETS
3. They usually don’t have small bills, only the large ones.

 

 

Now, back to why Taxi Drivers hate me; because I use a foreign bank all I get is $50 and $100 bills. No one carries hundred dollar bills around with them. Heck most people here have never even seen them. (That’s the honest truth, I’ll elaborate in another blog post) So, before I get into a taxi, I have to ask them if they have change for $50 or $100. Seriously, is it that hard to carry change for $100? 
   It amazes me, that they don’t have change. If they turn down 2-3 people a day because they don’t have change, how much business are they losing? Time is money people. Weird..