Singapore Stories: Taxi Driver

You never quite know what you’re going to encounter when you hop in a taxi in any country. Whether the driver is chatty or silent or young or old is the luck of the draw. Some easily understand my accent and some have required me to write down or spell my address, and while some find this annoying I’m the first to admit that the Australian accent and our mangling of vowel sounds takes a little getting used to!

Anyway, the Other Half (OH) and were heading out on what seems to have become universally known as “Date Night” but what we still call “going out for dinner”, and as soon as we told the taxi driver where we were going he exclaimed “Oh, red light district!” and spent the entire trip regaling us with all the red light districts he had ever visited. He admitted he was a “naughty boy” but professed to be a reformed character now that he was older.

We heard about Japan, Indonesia, Australia, Philippines but the most surprising was Hamilton, New Zealand. Of all the cities in the world I would never have guessed that Hamilton, NZ, would feature so highly as a city of ill repute. Mr Taxi Driver booked in to a local establishment for a massage and had the choice of standard, fantasy and VIP. He opted for both the fantasy and the VIP service and whilst we didn’t hear details of the VIP option we did learn that the fantasy massage involved two masseurs who entered the room with pink balloons attached to their breasts. Not really my idea of a fantasy but each to their own…..

It wasn’t all a sordid conversation. Mr Taxi Driver shared that he used to be in sales but had recently retired but had grown bored so took up a taxi lease to keep himself busy. He didn’t work all day, every day like most taxi drivers but only worked during peak hours so that he benefited from the 25% peak hour surcharge. As soon as peak hours are over he heads home.

When we reached our destination (Keong Saik Road) Mr Taxi Driver shared that it was a shame that the street full of hipster clubs and restaurants was no longer a red light district…..