stripped bare

It’s 11pm on Thursday night

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So why are all the fucking cabs On Call?!

Is there a major secret party going on somewhere that I’m not aware about?!

There are 7 taxi companies in SG (that should be all, I think, I only have those 7 numbers in my mobile) and not a single cab was available on a Thursday night? Oh there were lots of taxis alright. All with their blue or yellow hire signs on. But when you try to flag them down, they speed past you like you were invisible. Where were they rushing off to? Then on closer look, you realise that most of them had the ‘On Call’ sign put up on the dashboard. Those who didn’t, immediately changed their Hire sign to a red Hired when they see us glaring at them.

Strangely, there were empty cabs parked at the side of the roads. In fact there were 3 or more parked in a line in front of buildings. Were they for hire? No, Hired, the sign said. Then why were the cab drivers standing outside chatting and smoking? What are they waiting for? Before you remind me, let me tell you that this isn’t some ulu, deserted bus depot along Marina Boulevard. And it isn’t 1130pm either. It’s 1050pm at Chinatown.

Eventually, we had to walk from Pagoda Street to Collyer Quay before J managed to flag down a cab, whose driver was smoking inside, by the way (I’ve always wanted to write a post on cab drivers but never found the time to do it. The post, I promise, will be very long). We asked him why all the cabs were on call, and he sounded amused. “Is it? I just now at Orchard Road but nobody call me leh?”

From what I recall, you flag down cabs by standing at appointed (or non appointed) locations, lift up flabby arms, and wave, and then one yellow/blue/silver/red/black/white/mercedes cab would stop right in front of you. You don’t have to walk freaking 20 minutes, lugging your merchandise, and tempting death by placing yourself on the road itself to flag down cabs that are speeding on the third lane.

LTA are you reading this?


Written by smudgi3

January 28, 2005, Friday at 13:48

Posted in Uncategorized

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