The Taxi Man's Story

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Very good,Madam.Sure,will take you there in plenty good time for your meeting,Madam.This way better,less traffic,less car jams.Half hour should make it,Madam,so not to worry.

What is it you say,Madam?Yes,yes,ha,ha,been taximan for twenty years now,Madam.Long time ago,Singapore not like this–so crowded so busy.Last time more peaceful,not so much taximen,or so much cars and buses.

Yes,Madam,can make a living.So so.What to do.Must work hard if wants to success in Singapore.People like us,no education,no capital for business,we must sweat to earn money for wife and children.

Yes.Madam,quite big family–eight children,six sons,two daughters.Big family!Ha!ha!No good,Madam.In those days,where got Family Planning in Singapore?People born many,many children,every year,one childs.Is no good at all.Today is much better.Two children,three children,enough,stop.Our government say stop.

Lucky for me,all my children big now.Four of my sons working–one a businessman,two clerks,one a teacher in Primary school,one in National Service,one still schooling,in Secondary Two.My eldest daughter,she is twenty plus,stay at home,help the mother.No,not married yet–very shy,and her health not so good,but a good,obedient girl.My other girl–Oh,Madam!very hard for father when daughter is no good and go against her parents.Very sad,like punishment from God Today,young people not like us when we are young.We obey.Our parents say don’t do this,we never do.Otherwise,the cane.My father cane me,I was big enough to be married,and still,got caning.My father he was very strict,and that is good thing for parents to be strict.If not,young boys and girls become very useless.Do not want to study,but run away,and go to night clubsand take drugs and make love.You agree with me.Madam?Today,young people they are very trouble to their parents.Madam,you see this young people over there,outside the coffee-house?See what I mean,Madam?They are only schoolboys and schoolgirls,but they act like big shots,spending money,smoking,wearing latest fashion,and making love.Ah Madam,I know,I know!As taximan,I know them and their habits.Madam,you are a teacher,you say?You know or not that young schoolgirls,fifteen,sixteen years old,they go to school in the morning in their uniforms and then after school,they don’t go home,they have clothes in their schoolbag,and they go to public lavatory or hotel and change into these clothes,and they put make-up on their face.Their parents never know.They tell their Mum got school meeting,got sports and games,this,that,but they really come out and play the fool.Ah,Madam,I see you surprise,but I know,I know all their tricks.I take them about in my taxi.They usual is wait in bowling alley or coffee house or hotel,and they walk up,and friend,friend,the European and American tourists,and this is how they make fun and also extra money.Madam,you believe or not when I tell you how much money they got?I say!Last night,Madam,this young girl,very pretty and made-up,and wear sexy dress,she told me take her to Orchid Mansions–this place famous,Madam,fourth floor flat–and she open her purse to pay me,and I say!all American notes–ten dollar notes all,and she pull one out and say keep change!as she has no time already.Madam,I tell you this,every month,I got more money from these young girls and their American and European boyfriends in my taxi,more than I get from other people who bargain and say don’t want go by meter and wait even for ten cents change. Phui!!Some of them really make me mad.But these young girls and their boyfriends don’t bargain,they just pay,pay,and they make love in taxi so much they don’t know if you go round and round and charge them by meter!I tell you,Madam,some of them don’t care how much they spend on taxi.It is like this:after 1p.m. taxi fare double,and I prefer working this time,because naturally,much more money.I go and wait outside Elroy Hotel or Tung Court or Orchid Mansions,and such enough,Madam,will have plenty...
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