Posted by: markashworth | July 29, 2009

Throwing Stones

I have experienced lots of insane taxi drivers but every now and then I get an intelligent driver. Sometimes they are a bit of both.

One day, after a wonderful shift of code-monkeying I left my office, at 1am, tired, drained and blurry eyed. Seeking a taxi to take me home. On flagging down the first taxi in sight, I was greeted by a taxi driver with his window wound down sprouting a grimaced face out of the window as he stretched across the front passenger seat to beckon me.

“Where you go ah?” he snapped.

“Bukit Panjang,” I replied shyly. The foreign words still not rolling off my tongue in the confident way they should.

“Buuuuuuuuuukit Pannnjang ah. Okay. You get in,” he said. I was delighted to be privileged enough to have been selected as his passenger.

So I got in the taxi and we began to talk the talk. After the usual ‘piss and moan’ about all taxi drivers’ favourite topic, ‘the economy,’ I got terribly overexcited and interrupted with:

“Yeah, and its extremely hard for fresh graduates to find a good job these days too. With no working experience they’re basically screwed.”

The key had turned, the sky darkened beneath the clouds and the dark flutter of crows’ wings severed the horizon with their cloaked feathers. The taxi driver had interrupted, as usual, with something startling:

“In Singapore ah. All the student they good. It THAT country where they no good. They go throw stone at the gahmen house.” (all ‘the government’ lives in one big house?)

“Seriously?” I asked, half heartedly.

“You wanna know why? You wanna know why they throw?” he beckoned.

“Well no actually but I’m sure you’re going to tell me anyway.” (that one is made up but I’m sure he wouldn’t have heard me anyway)

“They throw the stone because they are PAID to do it!” he yelped as if he had just let me in on the biggest secret in history. “They throw the stone because they paid by the opposition party!”

I prayed that he would just keep his hands on the wheel and stop looking round at me but he continued with his wise words:

“I TELL you ah. There no need to throw the stone at gahmen. I TELL you. If they think the gahmen no good; Then why they no just go study and become the gahmen. I TELL YOU!”

“That’s totally right,” I acknowledged in agreement.

“They should be in the school. Learn how to become better gahamen than the one oreddi in power oreddi.”

“Must become smarter! Only this way then can,” were his words of wisdom, as he continued his taxi driver monologue. “They should be in the school studying the economics. Our prime minister he economic graduate. Economic graduate can run country and become gahmen. So you how? You graduate economic?”

“Computer science,” to his dismay I replied.

“Ahh computer. I TELL you ah got good opportunity in Singapore but lot of Indian to compete.”

‘Oh God! Please let me out now!’ I thought, and today the heavens were indeed in my favour, we were home.


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