Tag Archives: public transport

Friday, the 13th – The Bad Stuff

14 Jan

In my previous post, I blogged about the good stuff that happened on a day that the superstitious among us would deem as an unlucky day. In this post, I will elaborate on the unpleasant incident that took place on the MRT ride home.

We live in the suburb of Jurong East, which is about 20km from the city centre. It’s quite a commute but it gives us the opportunity to observe Singapore’s society on a daily basis.

So yesterday, at approximately 1030pm, we boarded the East West Line from Tanjong Pagar. As usual, it was packed. We hopped into the sardine can and started our journey home.

Our carriage had a mix of locals and foreigners of different nationalities. One that I would now highlight for the purpose of this post is a passenger who was travelling with a rather huge bag, which he propped up as close as possible to the hand rail which was at the centre of the carriage.

A few stops later, a man boarded the train and squeezed past the bag, knocking it over in the process. It grazed my leg, but I paid no heed as it was really packed, and I didn’t think it was a big deal anyway. However, what happened next was totally unexpected.

The owner of the bag bent down to set his bag upright again, and passed a remark at the man who knocked it over.

“Cannot see ah?”

He didn’t really sound angry. Just mildly annoyed. So that was why the reply that came out of the other man’s mouth made me fuming mad.

“F*CK YOU LAH! YOU…YOU…PUT THE BAG AT THE ROAD! F*CK YOU!”

The chatter in the carriage came to a sudden stop and everyone looked at the man with the bag, wondering what he would do next. Admirably, he did not react.

Now what made me mad was the fact that the man with the bag was trying his best not to obstruct anyone by placing his bag as close to the hand rails as possible. No one else had problem getting in and out of the carriage before this uncouth man stepped in. So that outburst was totally uncalled for. (And, if you want to yell at someone, at least try to use the right word.)

I suppose I should reveal now, that the man with the bag was someone whom people would classify as an unskilled worker. A labourer who has come to this land of opportunity to work, and support himself, and maybe his family back home. And the man who knocked the bag over, was someone in his late 50s or 60s, one whom people might classify as a general office worker, with some form of education.

Now I wonder, if the bag had belonged to someone of the other class of foreigners, those of the expat variety, would he have been subjected to the same outburst?

Disclaimer: I’m also a foreign worker here and I’m not implying that everyone in Singapore have the same attitude towards foreigners. 

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Cab Story #9: The affable one

27 Aug

I’ve been driving for 2 weeks and I really miss sitting in the back seat. So I decided to take a cab to work today.

You didn’t really believe that did you? If you did, haha. If you didn’t, smart girl/boy.

I didn’t drive today because I have a dinner date today and I will be driven to my destination. Wheee.

So back to the cab story of the day.


I was lucky enough to get a Waja cab today. Very comfy and spacious, and the cabbie didn’t look like a creep. Perfect.

So he asked “Nak ikut jalan mana miss? Ikut Duke Highway?”

“Ikut jalan biasa lah. Sekarang dah pukul 9:30. Takde jam lagi kut.”

“Boleh. Tapi miss, jalan kat KL ni tak tentu la. Lagipun, hari ini Selangor cuti, sambut Nuzur Quran.”

“Oh ya lah. Hari ini Selangor cuti. Eh, you tak cuti ke?”

“Kita ni pandu teksi mana boleh cuti. Kereta ni sewa hari hari kena bayar. Tak boleh cuti oh.”

“Betul juga. Tapi hari Nuzur Quran ni sepatutnya menyambut apa?”

“Oh, hari ini kita orang Islam menyambut kitab suci turun ke bumi. Jadi nanti kat masjid, surau semua adalah benda benda special macam doa, ceramah, cerita pasal sejarah tu semua lah.”

“Oh macam tu…” “Eh miss, sekarang orang Cina pun ada sambut perayaan kan? I tengok ada banyak pentas-pentas semua, ada orang buat show, bakar benda benda… apa perayaan tu?”

Of all festivals, he had to ask me about the Hungry Ghost Festival. A festival that I don’t really pay much attention to. I tried my best to explain the whole thing to him though.

“Ah, bulan ni ‘Bulan Hantu Lapar’. (Yes, direct translation./facepalm) Jadi, adalah orang yang percaya pada bulan ni, pintu neraka buka dan hantu-hantu semua keluar kacau orang…main-main lah.”

“Alamak! Dahsyat ni! Jadi itu pentas semua buat apa?”

“Pentas-pentas tu untuk show lah. Kita ni buat show untuk hantu-hantu semua. Kalau you pergi tengok kan, jangan- jangan duduk kat depan tau!”

“Kenapa?”

“Sebab, kerusi kat depan depan tu semua reserve untuk hantu duduk punya. Orang tak boleh duduk. Nanti hantu itu marah, habislah you.”

“Eh, nasib baik you bagi tau saya! Dahsyat ni! I pun tak tau ada pula benda macam ni. Masa saya kecik dulu, saya duduk dekat flat kat Klang Lama, itu kawasan cina la. Dari rumah saya boleh nampak la, pentas pentas semua, ada tayang filem kat sana. Wah shiok! Saya suka tengok! Tak faham pun takpe.”

“Oh ya ke? Untung lah you. Tapi sekarang dah kurang dah. Tak banyak lagi orang yang buat pesta pesta ni.”

“Ya lah miss. Orang Melayu pun sama. Ada yang dah modern kan. Takde lah peduli apa Nuzur Quran itu lagi. Kalau kat kampung, hari ini memang hari besar! Tapi kat bandar, manalah ada masa nak buat majlis semua. Macam saya pun kena kerja bayar sewa teksi ni. Mana boleh cuti.”

“Betul juga.”

There was silence for awhile. And then he continues talking about the Hungry Ghost Festival.

“Tapi miss, bulan Ramadhan ni, kita percaya hantu dan syaitan kena ikat tau. Tak boleh keluar. Kalau ada hantu pun… mesti orang yang perangai macam hantu. Jadi hantu-hantu cina tu macam mana ah, boleh keluar lagi ke masa Ramadhan?”

I laughed. Because it is indeed ironic that the holy month of Ramadhan coincides with the notorious Hungry Ghost Festival. A total contrast.

“Tak tahu lah. Tapi you cakap memang betul. Orang yang perangai macam hantu memang lagi teruk dari hantu sebenar.”

“Jadi pesta ni you kena buat apa? I tengok orang bakar bakar itu…bakar apa?”

“Oh itu kertas suci. Orang bagi buah, bakar benda, supaya hantu tak kacau la. Bulan ni adalah banyak pantang. Macam, kalau pandu kereta malam- malam kena berhati-hatilah. Sebab kadang kadang, hantu akan duduk dalam kereta you. Kalau ada hantu buat macam tu, you tak boleh marah dia. You kena buat tak tahu, berdoa, lepas tu hantu itu akan pergi sendiri.”

“Alamak! Teruklah macam itu! Saya selalu bawa teksi malam-malam la.”

“Aiya, you tak payah takut. Sebab you percaya bulan ni tak ada hantu. Jadi hantu takkan kacau you.”

“Ya lah miss. Tapi I rasa I tak nak bawa lewat malam lagi lah macam ni. Takut lah saya. Sekarang budak budak tak takut hantu dah, dah tengok banyak hantu kat TV. Hanya orang tua macam saya baru takut hantu.”

We laughed and I asked him if he was doing anything special for the upcoming National Day.

“Merdeka minggu depan? Ya Allah… I dah lupa pulak!”

We laughed again.

“Kita ni pandu teksi takde cuti, tiap tiap hari sama saja. Takkan ingat pasal cuti ni semua. Merdeka pun I dah lupa.”

There were a lot of lorries on the road. So he commented on the mega projects we are builindg right now.

“Tengoklah, banyak lori kat jalan ni. Bazir wang saja lah buat project besar besar macam ini. Macam istana baru. Wah, bukan main tu…mahal. Kita kat Malaysia ni, suka buat benda baru. Tak nilai sejarah langsung. Pentingkan duit saja. Macam itu Pudu Jail. Buat apa dia orang robohkan… itu sejarah. Padan muka la sekarang, semua hantu dalam penjara itu dah keluar, sama sama dengan hantu lapar semua buat kecoh nanti.”

HAHAHAHAHAH! That’s the funniest opinion I’ve heard about the demolition of Pudu Jail!

We reached Mont Kiara and I wished him a safe drive for the day.

“Selamat Jalan ya…”

He replied, “Selamat tak jumpa hantu.”

I do miss talking to cabbies.

Cab story #8: The fire-fighting one

6 Aug

Much of this post will be written in Malay because it just feels more authentic. If you want a translation, send me a request and I’ll post an English version.

In my past 4 months of taking cabs, I’ve  met all sorts of cabbies – moonlighting DBKL officers, pasar tani traders, pasar malam traders, retirees etc. And last night I met a fire-fighter.

I asked if he’s tired… he said not really. He said he doesn’t mind working hard now that he is still young. According to him, his income as a cabbie is enough to cover all his expenses so he doesn’t even have to use his pay as a fire-fighter. He can save all of it for a rainy day. Impressive eh?

Anyway, I’ve always wondered how fire-fighters pass their time when there isn’t a fire, so I peppered him with questions throughout the ride.

“Kalau tak ada kebakaran, macam mana?”

“Oh, sekarang rumah setinggan dah kurang, api pun kurang. Biasanya buat benda lain la. Macam tangkap ular, tolong anak kucing…”

“Tolong anak kucing? Ada ke? Bukan dalam kartun saja?”

“Oh ada! Banyak! Lagipun, biasanya orang yang call bukan pemilik kucing tu! Dah banyak kali orang awam lalu, nampak kucing kat longkang, kat atas pokok…lepas tu dia rasa kesian kat kucing tu…walaupun benda-benda macam ni tak lah besar sangat, kita mesti pergi. Sebab orang awam dah call… dan orang awam yang bayar gaji kita ni…. kita mesti lah pergi tolong.”

“Betul juga…Jadi banyak tak kes tangkap ular?”

“Oh banyak! Kat KL memang banyak. Kelakar la orang kat KL ni. Nampak ular yang kecik macam cicak pun takut. Dulu I kat kampung, orang kampung nampak ular tak panggil bomba punya. Orang kampung ambik batu, terus hentam ular tu. Tak takut langsung. Tapi kat bandar macam KL, orang tak biasa la kan?”

“Ya la. Orang bandar memang macam ini. Tak biasa mah. Jadi susah tak tangkap ular? Selalu berapa orang pergi operasi?”

“Tengok la. Biasanya 5 orang macam tu… Nak tangkap ular pun ada teknik yang beza untuk ular yang beza. Macam ular tanduk yang berbisa tu…Wah, itu memang saya takut la. Sebab ular macam tu berbisa tau… dia spray satu kali kat you habis lah.

“Jadi macam mana nak tangkap ular tanduk?”

“Mula mula, kita guna itu Ridsect arau Shieldtox spray kat dia…lemahkan dia dulu.”

“Apa? Ridsect dengan Shieldtox boleh guna untuk ular juga?” (Immediately I imagined a new Ridsect/Shieldtox commercial with people spraying at snakes instead of little mozzies…Hahaha)

“Boleh! Lepas spray kat dia, dia dah lemah, baru boleh tangkap. Tak boleh tangkap terus… jangan main-main.”

“Jadi, apa you orang buat dengan ular yang kena tangkap tu? You hantar kat zoo ke?”

“Tak! Zoo pun tak mau! I bagi tau you la, tapi ini antara kita berdua ya… tak boleh cakap kat orang luar ok?”

And so he told me what they do with the snakes, which really surprised me but I won’t reveal the goss here. Haha.

“Oh, macam tu…”

“Yalah. Banyak orang tak tau. Sekarang you tau lah. Kat bomba ni kan,  ada banyak jenis orang. Orang yang pandai tangkap ular, orang yang tak takut tempat tinggi. Macam saya, saya memang tak takut kalau kena pergi tempat yang tinggi tinggi… 19 tingkat ke… semua boleh. I suka la… buat terjun payung tu semua. Tapi, kalau kena masuk air, memang I takut. I ada phobia la.”

I had more questions, but sadly, this very interesting conversation had to end because I’ve reached home. So I paid him and wished him all the best with the snakes and kittens.

I’m really going to miss meeting these interesting cabbies when I get my car.

Cab Story #7: The Pakistani One

22 Jul

I’ve been hitching a ride with my prince charming the past week, hence the lack of posts about KL cabbies. So to add some life to this blog, I’ve decided to write about the Pakistani cabbie I’ve encountered a few months ago.

It was about 7pm when I managed to flag down a cab. There were some car stickers on the windows so I couldn’t make out the driver’s face before I stepped into the cab. When I saw that the driver was wearing a turban and flowing robe, I realised he wasn’t local. By then it was a little too late, he had started driving. So I brushed aside my shallow prejudice and told him my destination.

“Setapak please”

“Setapak? Ok. Use the Duke Highway?”

“Yes”

The way to the highway was rather congested, so he started complaining about the traffic in KL.

“Miss, I don’t like Kuala Lumpur. Always jam everywhere. I prefer Penang. Penang it’s better. Less cars, got beach. I miss Penang.”

Wow. That’s some opening line. I was curious about his love for Penang. So I decided to probe further.

“If you like Penang so much, why did you come to Kuala Lumpur?”

“Because I stupid that’s why. Last time I was a hotel taxi driver in Penang. My boss is very nice. He is Chinese like you. I can drive nice car, nice one, not like this terrible one I’m driving now. (ouch Proton) Then if there are no customers, I just wait in the air-con room with other drivers. So good. And he pay me good money also. And then, I wanted to try my luck in Kuala Lumpur. All my friends say Penang better but I never listen to them. I told them I must try and see for myself. Then now I regret. I wish I stayed in Penang.”

Aww, poor dude. I felt rather sorry for him, so I asked him why didn’t he go back to Penang since he hated KL so much.

“I cannot go back miss. Like the Malays say “Jatuh Muka” you know? You know Malay? So I cannot go back. I have no face to show my boss and my friends there. They will laugh at me. Say I stupid. I know I made a mistake but I cannot go back.”

Immediately a Chinese idiom came to mind – “A good horse never goes back to graze on grass it has turn its back on” Ok, the English translation doesn’t sound nice, but it basically means that a person of quality and character will not turn back his/her judgement, but always move forward no matter how challenging it may be. I love this idiom. It’s such a long winded way of saying “no turning back”. Haha.

Since talking about Penang made him really sad, and sad cabbies are no fun, I decided to ask him about his hometown.

“So, where were you before you were in Penang?”

“Oh, I was in Sabah. I came to Malaysia from Pakistan many years ago. About 10 years already I’m in Malaysia. When I was in Sabah, the minister there was very good. Very easy to get PR. Now I have red IC. My brother also got red IC. But that was 10 years ago. Nowadays, I hear, very hard to get PR. No more like last time. I have another cousin who wants to come here, but it’s too hard for him already.”

Now this was news to me. I had no idea that our beloved Chief Minister in Sabah was giving out PRs like how credit card companies give out flyers. Damn. I wonder how many migrants got red ICs just like that. And imagine, there are Malaysians who have survived the Japanese invasion and are still not recognised as citizens. This is just outrageous! Why do we Malaysians put up with such terrible governance? Sigh. But since he benefited from the corrupted system, I kept my angry Malaysian views to myself and asked about his home country instead.

“Oh, so you’re from Pakistan. Do you miss Pakistan?”

“Of course. Malaysia is very nice. Very beautiful. But I miss my country. I think it is more beautiful than Malaysia. You should visit one day. I have brothers and sisters there. Family is important miss. You live with your family?”

“Yes.”

“That’s good miss. You’re very nice. Be careful when you take taxi ok? Now a lot of bad people. Sometimes I’m also scared to take passengers. Some passengers see I dress like this and they don’t want to take my taxi. In Kuala Lumpur it’s like that. I cannot do anything. In Penang everyone is nice. Food is good and cheap. I really miss Penang.

Great. The conversation went back to Penang. But at the same time, we’ve arrived at my house. So I paid him the fare and told him not too worry too much. If he can’t go to Penang, he can always try Malacca.

“Yes, I heard Malacca is beautiful too. Maybe I will go there. Thank you miss. It was nice talking to you.”

I never met him again. But I don’t think I’ll ever forget this conversation. It’s really eye-opening how an issue like lackadaisical immigration enforcement can seem like a bad thing for us but a blessing in disguise for migrants who want to earn a decent living. It was also interesting to meet a cabbie who had such strong principals, and wouldn’t flip-flop on his decisions (unlike certain bozos who are running our country).

I also realised that we humans can be too quick to judge at times. When I first stepped into the cab, the first thought that came to mind was “Shit, he’s a foreigner”. But when I stepped out of the cab, his nationality was the last thing on my mind.

Sometimes, it really doesn’t hurt to have faith in people.

Cab story #6: The amused & amusing one

6 Jul

Today’s cabbie was both amusing and amused. And the amusement began as soon as I stepped into the cab.

“Solaris Mont Kiara please.”

“Solaris Mont Kiara? Got such place ah? Never heard of it!”

“Er, yes. I go there every day.”

“Ha? Wah! Ok, I must see this place. You show me how to go.”

So I directed him to the highway and showed him the way.

“Ah moi, you take taxi every day ah?”

“Yes”

“Aiyo so expensive lah like that! You want receipt? I can print for you! Then you can claim from your office.”

“No no, it’s ok, I can’t claim anyway.”

“Aiyo! Cannot claim? How lah like that. Your salary all go to taxi. Why you have no car? Now take taxi very dangerous. All sorts of funny people.”

(After 3 months of taking cabs, I still haven’t figured out why these cabbies like to shoot themselves in the foot.)

“Oh, I bought my car already. I’m waiting for my car to arrive. I know got a lot of funny people, that’s why I call cab. Last time I just wait by the roadside  but after meeting some weird drivers, I decided to pay a bit more and call for cabs instead.”

“Oh ya lah. Nowadays, a lot of bad people. You know, my friend, he got robbed by a passenger. The passenger put a knife to his throat, rob him. Took all his money, jewellery and around RM2000 cash that was in the taxi! Some more, he took his clothes and left my friend in his underwear only! Then ah, he tied my friend’s hands and legs and left him near a kampung, and drove away in his taxi. He got bitten by mosquitoes all over! He cry you know… so bad lah these people. Now my friend phobia already. Poor thing.”

Before I could say anything, he continued with another story.

“And ah, I heard you know, that day got one ah pek, driving taxi also one. He also got robbed and the robber took a knife and sliced his throat and when the ah pek never die, he use the seat belt and strangle him! Aiyo miss ah, so dangerous lah now. You must be careful you know.”

So I told him I’m well aware of the dangers of taking cabs. But I don’t really have a choice for now. I then told him about all the cabbies I’ve encountered before… I told him about DBKL officers who moonlight, cab drivers who also operate pasar malam stalls, retirees who drive cabs to ward off boredom, and even my encounter with a Pakistani driver.

He was extremely interested to hear more about the Pakistani driver. He was surprised that a foreigner can have a license to drive a cab. So I told him the story of the Pakistani driver… (which I might write about in another post) After I was done with my story, he asked if I had the driver’s number because he wants to meet him… he has never seen a Pakistani cab driver so he wants to see one. Haha. Unfortunately, I didn’t have his number so I couldn’t fulfil his wish.

As we approached Solaris Mont Kiara, he realised that the place really does exist. (Abuthen…)

“Oh! Here ah! So near the Duta Court….the place where Anwar was accused of sodomy.”

“Er, yea. Very near.”

“Aiya, these politicians ah… always playing games. We must not bother. We must take care of ourselves….you know ah, now I call these politicians ‘politikus’! They all useless one! Ah moi, who you support? PR or BN?

As a rule of thumb, I try not to talk about religion or politics when I’m in a cab because I don’t want to offend the driver and die in a ditch somewhere. But since we’re really near my office by now I just said that I don’t mind giving PR a chance because BN is just too arrogant.

Thank God he agreed with me.

“Ya lah miss. I also think so! You know ah, last time my father is UMNO man. Then they play dirty, take money  here and there. Now my father join PAS! They better!”

We arrived and I paid him the fare. He then gave me his number so that I could call him directly if I needed a cab. He said, “Call me la. Then you  no need pay extra RM2. I’ll be around Hartamas usually. Bye miss!”

Bye amusing cabbie. Let’s hope you don’t get robbed by robbers who leave people in their underwear to be bitten by mosquitoes.

Cab Story #5: The retired one

30 Jun

Ever since my encounter with the suspicious one, I’ve been calling for cabs instead of hailing them from the roadside. Yes, I have to pay extra RM2, but I’d rather be a little poorer at the end of the month than to sit in a cab feeling paranoid.

So today I called Comfort Cab and requested for a cab. The operator on the other end said the cab is on the way and she would call me back when it arrives.

After 15 minutes, I was still sitting on the couch waiting for her call.

Feeling rather annoyed, I called her back and asked her where’s the cab. She put me on hold. Forced to listen to crappy waiting music. She comes back and says cab will be here in 10 mins.

10 mins later, I was still sitting on the couch, waiting for the cab that was coming from New York.

I called her back. Forced to listen to crappy waiting music. She comes back and says cab will be here in 3mins and hung up on me.

Realising that Comfort Cab will give me no comfort whatsoever, I decided to go hail a cab.

I got a cab immediately after I walked out and it was a cina pek. (old Chinese man)

So I started ranting to him about the crappy service and the long waiting time I had just experienced. And he said “on the way” is misleading. He went on to talk about how some drivers are unethical, accepting a call when they’re nowhere near the area.

Eventually, he asked the ever popular question, “Why don’t you buy a car?”

So I told him I was waiting for my car, and we got into a conversation about interest rates and how a car is a necessity these days. He said back in his time, people took the bus and interest rates for car loans were really high, more than 10%.

After we’re done talking about cars, he asked about my job and what I studied back in uni. And he was surprised to know that English is my first language. He spoke really good English too, definitely educated in a mission school. He then tested my knowledge on BM pantuns, which I didn’t do too well. Haha.And he said, “You forget because the nature of your job doesn’t require you to berpantun. That is normal.” Such a philosophical cabbie.

As we continued talking, I found out that he used to work in a factory. And then he retired. After retirement, he felt bored sitting at home and decided to drive a cab. His 2 sons have graduated from TAR college and are working in Kajang and Sultan Ismail right now. He said he doesn’t really have to work, but he thinks he will go crazy if he just sits at home all day. (And here I am thinking that retiring young is a great thing.)

We reached Solaris Mont Kiara and took out my purse to pay him. We both looked at the meter and the fare was RM0. Haha! Turned out that he forgot to switch on the meter at the start of the journey! So he said just pay whatever I usually pay. I did, and I added RM2 as a tip for the enjoyable ride. I’ll just make that my random act of kindness for today.

Cab Story #4: The shocking one

17 Jun

This post is delayed because I was in Singapore over the weekend and was sick for the past 3 days. Probably my body couldn’t take the sudden change from being in a 1st world country to a 3rd world country in 45 minutes.

Last Friday, one of my regular cabbies, Mr.Lan, called me around 8pm. He was in Mont Kiara and called to check if I wanted to go home. I did. So 10 minutes later I was in the cab to go home.

So we started the journey with the usual talk about the day’s customers, and suddenly I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I thought I heard wrongly so I asked Mr. Lan to repeat himself. And this was what he said:

“Boleh tak pinjam RM700? Kad ATM saya sangkut dalam mesin. Esok bini saya kena balik kampung. Boleh tak you pinjam dulu? I bagi you photostat IC saya. Saya mesti bayar balik.”

I was silent for awhile. I already knew what I was going to answer. Of course I wasn’t going to lend him the money. But I was afraid that if I told him that outright, he wouldn’t send me home… or maybe he would force me to go to the nearest ATM to withdraw the money for him. So I did the lamest thing. I pretended not to understand.

“Ha? Pinjam duit? Kenapa?”

“Ya. Biasanya, saya tak minta customer macam ini. Bini saya pun kata saya tak malu ke, tanya you minta duit. Tapi saya dah call saudara semua, tak ada orang boleh tolong. I pun ingat kat you la. You macam orang baik. Kita sudah jadi macam kawan…”

WHOA! Hold it right there mister. We are not friends. We are just regulars in the cabbie ecosystem. I don’t know your birthday, your last name, and which school did you go to… and I would like to keep it that way.

While all those thoughts were running through my head, he went on talking…

“Saya mesti bayar balik. You jangan takut. Saya pun segan minta tolong you. Tapi, apa boleh buat. Kad ATM sudah tak ada.”

I was thinking… ok, I will just delay telling him my answer until we are near home…which is like, 10 mins away. I continued in dumb blonde mode.

“Kad ATM kena makan? Macam mana? Bank apa?”

“Maybank”

“You tak ada buku akaun? Boleh guna buku ambil duit.”

“Sudah hilang la”

“Oh. Tak ada orang dalam bank tolong you?”

“Tadi itu sudah 4.30pm. Semua sudah balik. Saya telepon bank. Dia kata tunggu Isnin baru boleh bagi kad baru. Saya pun tak tau macam mana sekarang.”

7 mins to go.

“Oh. Saya pernah dengar kes macam ini lah. You ada nampak tak…mesin itu ada pelekat? Mungkin ada orang nak curi kad you.”

6 mins to go. Crap. The lights turned red.

“Curi kad ATM?”

I quickly steered the conversation towards the bank scams that are happening today. From online scams to ATM robberies and the like. Trying to avoid answering him until I reached home.

Thankfully, I reached home. And after I paid, I said “Sorry, tak boleh tolong you. Harap you dapat kad you balik. Selamat jalan.”

I’ve heard of cases like this before – where cab drivers ask to borrow money from their regular customers because they’ve been “friends” for awhile.

Of course he may have been genuinely desperate. Maybe he wasn’t trying to con me. But I’m not going to payRM700 to find out. (That’s one month’s travelling expenses!)

Well, one thing for sure, I’m never going to call Mr.Lan again, nor will I answer any of his calls.

In fact, I’m never going to call my cab drivers directly anymore. From now onwards, I’d rather put up with rude telephone operators and call a cab to avoid these “friendships”, even if it means spending extra RM2 per trip.

Cab story #3: The very lou-hei one

9 Jun

My regular cabbies were stuck in the jam, so I had no choice but to hail a cab.

At first, I was relieved I managed to get a cab in the rain. But right after I’d informed the cab driver of my destination, I wished I was still standing in the rain. That’s because the first thing he said was, “Raining ah. You don’t pay me extra RM2 I cannot move.”

Blardy ass.

Since I didn’t want to get out again, I said ok.

Then I proceeded to give him directions, “Uncle, use the highway.”

He replied rather rudely, “Highway? Then you should go the other direction, not this way! This way to the highway is very far!

I wanted to tell him that I’ve been using this direction  for the past 2 and a half months but my limited Cantonese vocab didn’t allow me to say that. So I insisted on using my way. Needless to say, Mr.Grouchy wasn’t happy about it.

“Ok lah! You want to use the long way, you like lah!”

Blardy hell! Already charging me extra, want to act smart some more!

He then grumbled about the rain, the jam, the “long” way I’m taking him. But when we reached the road that led to the highway, he realised that I was right. Instead of apologising, he said, “Ha! This way is shorter… but not much shorter also leh.”

I was smacking him in my head by now.

After some distance of silence, he asked what was I doing so far from home. And I replied I work at Solaris. Bad idea. He started nagging me.

“Ha! You every day take cab like that your money earn for what! All no more lah! Why you don’t work near LRT station? Can take LRT mah. Like that you work also no use lah.”

Of course money no more lah! If every cab driver charges extra like you!

I chose to ignore him. He ignored my lack of response and continued talking.

“What you work as ah? Have to work so far away one.”

“I work in a web design company. We design websites.”

“Ha? Website? What is that?”

“…” How to explain? In Cantonese some more!

“Is  it the cybercafe? The gambling one? Is a shop?”

“No! Not cybercafe! Not for gambling! It’s not a shop! We make the things you see in the computer when you go online, in the cybercafe!”

“Oh. Not gambling shop. Then ah, I want to ask ah… Is buying things online safe? Will get cheated ah?”

“Er, you have to take the necessary precautions la. If you see the site looks fishy, then don’t buy la.”

“How I know it is fishy?”

“Well, if many of your friends bought stuff from that site before, and they had no problems, then it should be ok la”

“Oh. What if ah, the thing come already, but is spoil one. Then cannot claim loh?”

“Er, yea, most probably cannot.”

“HAIYO! Like that buy for what?!”

“…”

“LIKE THAT IF I BUY SOMETHING THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS THEN NO USE HOW? WASTED LOR!” (Yes, he was shouty)

“Uncle, of course you don’t buy thousands of dollars things la. First you try buying something cheaper… like maybe a book.”

“Oh, ya ya, book is ok one hor… but then ah, if the thing never arrive how leh?”

At this point, we were reaching already. So I said, “Uncle, arrive already. You can stop me here.”

The fare came to RM16. The toll charges were RM 1 and the “raining fee” was RM2. So the total amount came up to RM19. I gave him RM20, and waited for my change. If he hadn’t been such an ass about the extra RM2, I would have asked him to keep the change. In fact, he was lucky I didn’t charge him for teaching him about e-commerce!