These 2 days I’ve been assisting a senior by checking and casting the financial statements, sending the drafts for typing and … …
Delivering the final product to the client’s place for signing.
In these 2 days, the senior would usually send me off with the documents in the late morning and at 6pm. As these things have to be delivered by hand and fast, I was allowed to take a taxi to the client’s isolated location. And in these 2 days, I met all kinds of taxi drivers.
The 1st one was a local Indian. (There’s a big difference between the local Indian and the apune. Nobody likes apunes. They’re noisy and they smell.) He plays very soothing muzak in his taxi and I felt like I’m in a spa. He said that he likes to listen to muzak because it reminds him of being in Changi airport. He seems like a real nice uncle who keeps wondering why young girls nowadays “excuse me ma’am for saying this, love to show off the crack of their butts”. He complained that some girls as young as 16 would offer to have sex with the taxidrivers as payment for the ride. He’s one very moralistic uncle.
The 2nd taxi driver I flagged in the evening (taxi hell-hour) was an auntie who asked me in a loud voice in Mandarin: “LEMME ASK YOU. YOU BOOKED A TAXI DIDN’T YOU? DID YOU CANCEL IT? HOW CAN YOU DO SUCH AN IRRESPONSIBLE THING BY GETTING INTO MY TAXI?” True, I did book a taxi but the operator did not give me the taxi number. I explained to her and told her it’s also my 1st time booking a taxi. She called me a swakoo ninja turtle.
Auntie:”Waah, there’s a big jam at the CTE leh. It’s already 6.25pm and you tell me your client is expecting you to arrive at 6.30pm. You’re gonna be late.”
Me:”Auntie, I believe in you.”
Auntie:”Walau! Don’t stress me lah! When you say that, I get even more stressed! This is a taxi leh! You think I’m piloting a helicopter ah?! If I’m piloting one, I can definitely make sure you reach your client within 5 mins. Why should I drive you anyway? You never support us by taking taxis more often.”
Me:”I want to! But the thing is, I just graduated so I don’t have the monetary resources to support you.”
Auntie:”Koaz, you sure know how to crap. Can’t see that from your looks.”
Me:”Never judge a book by it’s cover. No surprise lah, auntie, I studied too much, that’s why my head’s abit screwed and full of crap.”
This auntie told me that the residents in the Institute of Mental Health are mostly university graduates, teachers and other highly-educated professionals. She had visited some and was surprised to find one of them requesting for some chicken rice in perfect English. Probably that’s why she did not disagree with my explanation that education loosened a few screws in my head.
In the end, we reached the place at 6.35pm. The auntie refused to wait for me so I had to leave the ulu place by foot and by bus.
The next morning, I was dispatched to the same place again. This taxi driver is a real bastard. He doesn’t seem to like to talk. I asked him if he could wait for me while I pass the documents to the client. The bastard said he needed to fill up his petrol tank and promised that he would come back for me. So I paid him and went to see the client. When I came back 10 mins later, there’s no one. I waited for another 15 mins. Still no f**king taxi. In the end, I had to walk to the main road to have lunch at a nearby kopitiam. Food sucked…
Stranded and lost, I decided to book a taxi. This taxidriver uncle is…. one would never have guessed it… a retired auditor from PwC! He worked for 8 years since the late 80’s and he told me of how he led his audit team in various engagements, making them work hard and telling his boss to shut up. What worried me was not the stuff he was talking about. He had both of his hands off the steering wheel while we’re cruising through the expressway! Thank goodness I’m still alive.
In the evening, I was told to deliver some documents to the same client again. It’s taxi hell-hour. I couldn’t even book a taxi because the operators were all busy. I decided to leave everything to fate. So the 1st taxi came.”Clementi?”the lady behind me asked and the taxidriver nodded. Off they went. The 2nd taxi came, the driver asked “Orchard?” and another lady behind me got on the taxi. My head was reeling.
The 3rd taxi came and I yelled “Hougang?”. The uncle shrugged and motioned me to get in. This uncle is by far the most adorable taxidriver I’ve ever met. His name is Pat, a 55 year old single with an island of scalp on his head. He asked me why I look so flustered. I told him I’m late and the client is waiting for the documents.
Pat:”Relax…There’s a jam and there’s nothing you can do. Well, you can tell your client that. If she’s unreasonable, you can tell her my father will settle things with her tonight. He’s on vacation now anyway.”
Me:”Uh… right…Your father…?”
Pat:”You know what I’m saying? It’s the 7th month mah, my deceased father is here on holiday. He can meet your client and I guarantee, things will be settled so don’t worry.”
From there, we began chatting and I got to know that Pat’s soooooo 三八(he keeps saying ‘小妹，我跟你讲hor’ and called his fat passenger ‘你这个死肥猪，给我滚。我不要载你！’). I even told him that in his face. The way he speaks and his behavior is a carbon copy of my elder cousin Ah Kuang. I now can imagine how Ah Kuang would be like in his 50’s. Pat told me he’s a divorcee and he thinks he’s gay because he had a platonic relationship with a guy in UK. Pat’s a real lovable person and it’s so fun to chat with him. He’s also real nice enough to wait for me at the client’s place before sending me home.
Me:”Anyway, what’s your name?’
Pat:”You can call me Patrick.”
Me:”I think I should call you Patty. You’re such a cute person.”
Pat:”你要死啊! Anyway, will the company reimburse you?”
Me:”Yes, they will so don’t worry uncle, it’s alright if you miss the turn just now.
Pat:”You should have said so earlier. I should have driven a few more rounds back and to your client’s place.”
Me:”How about you drive us to a Kopitiam and let your meter run while we have some tea?”
When I reached home, I opened my wallet and took out the remaining $30 in it to pay for the taxi fare. I’m officially bankrupt with no cash in hand. It is very expensive to be a deliveryman.