Posted by: markashworth | August 14, 2009

Botokk Man

So another amazing taxi adventure began by myself entering the taxi, as it always does! After the usual round of ‘where to ah’ we were on our way. Then the quintessential Singapore taxi journey conversation started.

“Where you from ah?” he asked eagerly. I knew he was dying to ask as his face had been beaming at me through that mirror since I sat down on his questioning booth of a back seat.

“Singapore. I’ve lived here like forever now,” was my half-asleep reply.

“No lah. Where are you FROM?” he probed after being morbidly unsatisfied with my last response.

“Originally England. Now I live in Singapore. I’m a PR.” [Yeah eat that taximan!]

“Ah good good. BUT WHY?!” he quizzed.

“Because I like it here,” I replied.

“But in Singapore ah. The lady. The lady ah need to spend a lot of money on the lady,” he snorted with his wise words.

“Uh huh” I gestured. I could tell that the remainder of this conversation was going to be filled with wisdom.

“Need to spend the money on cosmetic! So many cosmetic.”

“Yeah! Tell me about it man!” I eagerly replied.

“I tell you ah I tell you. So many money on the cosmetic. Then there’s the botokk!”


“Yeah. Botokk! See last week even I go for the botokk. You see my face?” he gestured.

At that point, the driver turned round, with complete disregard for any of the traffic around him on the highway, to show me his face and his shining grin.

“Oh! Botox!” I exclaimed. Then there was a slight pause while my brain digested what he just said. The driver, satisfied with haunting me over this matter, then proceeded to turn round and aptly dodge out of the way of the potential seven car pile-up he nearly caused.

“Botox!?! You had botox done!?” I gasped.

“Yeah. You see ah. My face old oreddi. Need go for botokk. Plus my face not nice. A lot of girl always say my face not nice. Plus my wife always tell me my face not nice,” he sighed.

“Erm…” I stammered. Flummoxed.

“I tell you ah. I go see doctor at the hospital there. He inject my face with the botokk. He say it will be okay but my face ah. It swell and bruise. Lousy doctor. Junior doctor like that wan!” he complained.

“Ah huh,” I replied. I was kinda speechless at this point.

“My wife say it look a mess. But I’m taxi driver. Taxi driver ok can lah. If young girl then no good, probably sue them. But CANNOT CANNOT. Cannot sue. They get you to sign the form there see.”

“Sign a form?” I quizzed.

“Yeah. You sign the form. The form say you cannot sue if anything go wrong. So what can I do? I wait lah! I wait until botokk go down then next time already can go again get senior doctor to do.”


“Later I got appointment go see senior doctor. He say he can take a look. But cannot do anything now lah. So I look like this.”

“Buttt…” he stated, with a prompt for me to wait in awe of what he had to say next.

“But what?” I asked, playing along with his raconteurial performance.

Then along it came. His masterpiece to the story…

“No karaoke for me for wan whole month!” he proclaimed.

Relevant? How?



  1. Super stuff. “No karaoke for a month,” really put the taximan’s priorities in perspective :-).

    You may also want to check out the wisdom of a Bombay cabbie in the blog of Rahul Jauhari – a friend of mine – at

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