Wan Phing Lim

Writer . Editor . Author

Taxi ride

Last weekend, I hopped into two taxis; one to the airport, one from the airport, one in Malaysia, one in Singapore. And I think that real life is better than fiction.

Malaysian taxi driver tells me:
• Everything is expensive in Malaysia; prices are rising but salaries are not
• He works 16 hour days with no off-days
• He wakes up every morning and owes the world RM100; RM65 for taxi rent, RM25 for fuel and RM10 for breakfast
• He owned a printing business but lost all his fortune in the 2003 financial crisis
• He borrowed money from ah longs, but all ah longs work for the same boss
• He went to the temple, was given a number, bought a lottery and won RM70,000
• If you have money, you can get away with anything in Malaysia
• His friend is in prison, and there are drugs in prison
• His mistress is now dating a 22-year-old DJ
• His brothers are millionaires
• He has no friends and trusts no one

Singapore taxi driver tells me:
• It’s been raining all day in Singapore
• Only Singaporeans can be taxi drivers
• He has worked in KL for a lighting company with stores from Johor to Penang
• He gets homesick easily and that’s why he came back to Singapore
• He loves fishing and often takes the train to eastern Malaysia
• He fears flying because of a bad experience once on China Eastern Airlines
• He is 53 but has dated a 28-year-old Thai Chinese woman
• He has a daughter who is older than me and a son who is younger than me
• He was baptised in a Methodist church
• It’s expensive to catch a cab at this hour
• He took a wrong turn so he’ll stop the meter and just take $30

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This entry was posted on November 21, 2011 by and tagged , .

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