Cab Drivers – First thing that comes to your mind when you hear this word is that, people who could not study much during their college days and land themselves into a white-collar job and have now turned into Cab Drivers. Actually, if this is what you are thinking then its wrong in Singapore.
There are at least 3-4 fleets of taxi companies out here at Singapore and overall around 8000 taxis running havoc in the busy streets of Singapore without which our lives today here would have been in total chaos!
Let me explain how exactly the cab system works here at Singapore. The companies rent out the cars to the cab drivers with a daily minimum amount which the cabbie has to pay to the company even though he does not run the cab for whatever reasons know. Yes, you heard it right. A fixed amount each day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year needs to given to the company and the taxi is yours for running. The fixed amount is based on the type of cab you get and do you know who most of the cab drivers are here? Those who were earning handsome salaries during their early days and now want to lead a normal happy life and just do a time-to-time shift riding cabs 🙂
I don’t know if this is a good habit or bad of mine that I tend to engage the cab drivers into a conversation right after I board and until I alight there is something that you will get to know from these cabbie or something that they would like to hear from you. Its fun at times and at other times if you happen to find a grumpy cabbie, the long drive is mostly boring 😉
On Friday, I happened to meet a mid 50s cabbie, a Malay uncle and after beginning to have an interaction and he knowing I am into the Software Industry, he was totally fascinated. He wanted to know more on the latest developments in technology, the way we code, the languages we use, the databases we use etc. Someone wanting to know about technology is fine, but someone wanting to know in-depth about technology, then definitely there seems to be something more to it than it looks from outside is what I thought. On talking more, I found out that, he was too into the IT Industry for over 12 years 🙂 and was mentally tired of the complete environment and finally decided to give up. The most fascinating part for me was that, he was a hacker and had successfully hacked few bank based modules ( of course with prior permission of the government ) and had won accolades for doing so. It really made my day talking to him all through for approx 30 minutes.
I alighted by saying “Terima Kasih” – thank you in Malay which he was absolutely delighted to hear. It made my day seeing the huge smile on his face. 🙂
Next time you take a cab, indulge in a conversation with the cabbie. You never know what interesting things you will get to learn from them and say a simple ‘Thank you’ when you alight. That will make your and their day awesome as well 🙂