We have seen all kinds of taxi drivers:
1) The chatterbox whom never stops talking.
2) The stone cold statue that never talks.
3) The kind Samaritan that rounds down your taxi fare.
4) The say-no-to-Netts uncle who refuses to accept Netts payment.
And the list goes on. Nevertheless, I’m sure all of us agree that taxi uncles and aunties play an important role in our lives today, what would we do without taxis?
However, they maybe more than just a chauffeur. In fact, the nature of their job forces them to travel to all parts of Singapore which makes them, I quote, a “..repository of rich information. Everything under the sun…”
Today, I will tell you the top 5 things Taxi Drivers can share:
1) Cheap & Good Food
Taxi drivers are experts in hunting for cheap and good food. Try asking them for recommendations when you ride with them, you may be taken aback by the wealth of knowledge they have on this topic. After all, they travel island wide almost every day and break for meals at different places all the time. Therefore, they get exposed to so many different types of cuisine and delicacies all over Singapore.
2) Google Map
Not all Taxi Drivers are Google Map equivalents. Singapore may be small but the numerous roads, streets and avenues may not be as simple as you think, in fact, it can be very mind-boggling!
For Taxi Drivers, locating the passenger’s destination is like a piece of cake. Their familiarity allows them to recommend alternative routes for you dependent on the weather, time of the day etc.
As a Chinese saying goes: “台上十分钟，台下十年功”. Translated it means: It takes years of practice to put up a good performance. You may not know this but Taxi Drivers actually have to go through 4 different modules ( 1. Taxi Service Overview & Road Safety 2. Taxi Rules & Regulations 3.Locate Destination 4.Plan Routes) in order to qualify for their vocational license.
And now you know why they are experts in this field!
3) Where Are The Cabs?!
Murphy’s law states: Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. It does not mater what time of the day it is: when you need a cab, there isn’t any.
Some Taxi Drivers shared that they would rather camp at the Central Business District (CBD) area or the airport to earn extra charges. Maybe you can also check with them where the taxi hot spots are are and the places with fewer taxis to avoid! I am sure they will be more than happy to share with you!
Check out this interesting article: https://sg.finance.yahoo.com/news/why-t-ever-cab-one-160000482.html
4) Radio Guru
Radio channels are Taxi Drivers’ only source of entertainment as they drive through the day for long hours. Inevitably, they are always updated with the latest news and sometimes, even the latest hit songs!
I recalled vividly how a taxi uncle in his mid 50s humming to Taylor Swift’s new song then, 22. So, don’t assume that you will always be more updated than an old uncle or auntie, they might have mastered the lyrics for Taylor Swift’s Blank Space even before you know about the song!
Or you want to get to know what is the latest updated news? Check with them.
5) Life Experiences
Most of the taxi drivers that I have encountered are usually in their mid 40s or early 50s and some of them have been through many ups and downs in their lives. More often than not, they are always willing to share their life experiences, interesting anecdotes or give advice to their passengers. Sometimes, you can even learn from their stories and prevent committing the same mistake.
Undeniably taxi Driving can be a difficult job, so give them a pat on their back when you take a cab home today! Don’t forget to pick their brains for some information too!