Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Story of Singapore Taxi Driver

Last weekend I managed to borrow two books from Bishan Library. First, it is called “Diary of a Taxi Driver”, written by Cai Ming Jie, a Singapore most educated Taxi driver, who holds a PhD in molecular biology from Stanford University in 1990. After working for 16 years as a researcher, he was laid off from the company and decided to become a Taxi driver. Read more about him here.

Diary of a Taxi Driver by Cai Ming Jie

He started writing his personal story as Taxi driver on his blog, then decided to publish it in a paper form in April 2010. However I couldn’t find his blog anymore. Perhaps it had been deleted.

Another book that I borrowed is “Cabbies: The Inside Story – Reflections of a Singapore driver”, written by Sam Hwang. It’s also published in 2013. It gave you a deeper insight about life of a taxi driver, based on his own and other cabbies experiences, such as: fare cheats, robbers, drunks, etc.

Cabbies: The Inside Story by Sam Hwang

You know, Taxi driver is the only job that reserved to Singaporean, which means, foreigners need not apply. This job is seen not as a fancy job. It even gives a conception that only lowly-educated society or dropout will take this job as a last resort. Well, not anymore. As you read the first paragraph above, even a PhD graduate could also become a taxi driver. So, don’t be surprised if the taxi driver who is sitting beside you is actually a Professor, Master degree holder, etc. And this book will change your misconception that society has.

The reasons I borrowed these books were because my hubby is going to become a Taxi driver. He has already attained his Taxi Driver’s Vocational License or TDVL and will join this industry very soon. He has a long time driving experience around Singapore, but zero experience as a Taxi driver and he will have to go through this, alone.

Therefore, other than me reading these books, I also encouraged him to read it as well, so he wouldn’t get shocked if he had to face many surprising experiences from various types of passengers along his journey. At the same time it could give him a clearer picture and broaden mind of what to expect to happen and what kind of responds that he could give towards different situations.

If you can’t have an access to read their books, you can also find other blog, such as this one: Diary of a Singaporean Cabby and Gintai. There, you can read many interesting stories too! :)

Actually, while reading those books, I wish I was one of the Taxi drivers. Hahaha… Not that I wanted to earn money through driving Taxi, but I was wondering on what kind of passengers that I would meet in a day and how uncertain the Taxi would bring me around from one place to another. 

Just like in a day, you can experience many things, meet different kind of people, face good and bad luck, etc. Isn’t it interesting? Then, just like Mr Cai, I would be very interested to write my experience into my blog hehehe… ^^

Well, at the mean time I am happy with my job and what I do. Plus, I don’t drive well. So, I’ll let my hubby experience it and tell me the story. Hopefully I can convert his story into one or two blog posts here and share with all of you, one day…. :)


Unknown said...

The book definitely sounds interesting. I'm intrigued.

Gaining insight into the life of a cabbie sounds fun. You get to meet people of all kinds and its a totally enriching and exciting adventure there.

I wish your hubby good luck in his endeavour and hope to hear interesting stories of his new profession here on the blog.Its so sweet of you to encourage him to read the books before he embarks on his journey. :)

Overcome Life said...

Yeah, they encounter and experience many things in their working life but often or not, they have to experience the bad ones too... So, must be ready open up to many possibilities happen in life! You can read the blog I mentioned above to get the taste of their experience. Very interesting! ;)

Thank you very much for your kind wishes and encouragement for him! Me too, wish him all the very best for his new start, soon.... :)

Sangay Duba said...

Indeed good news~ Nice to read about PhD taxi driver~

Thoughfolio said...

That's an interesting post and your husband is fortunate to get such a lovable wife like you who is more concerned about her husband. I wish for the same lol ;). Indeed for someone who is sincerely interested in meeting new people and finding more friends, for them being a taxi driver would serve more than anything. Besides, earning money, for an optimistic taxi driver, one can cement more fruitful relationships and know more people around that would be of greater experience. So as your beloved husband prepare to experience a life of cab driver, I wish him wishes and may he succeed in every way he yearns for. Hope all is going well with sound in health. Regards from me. Do great. Take care. :)

Overcome Life said...

Thank you Sangay! :)

Overcome Life said...

Thank you Ugyen for your comment and sincere wishes for my hubby!

It isn't easy to become taxi driver these days especially in Singapore. Few complains from passengers can lead you to unemployment. They can be the abused and robbery victim, if not, fare cheat. Reckless drivers can cause accident on the road too.

To find friend, I guess it's kinda hard haha... Just wish him to get the friendly and generous ones. But not too friendly as they even can offer their body to avoid paying fare lol!

So, it'll be completely challenges for him but still I find it interesting! I too wish him all the best for his upcoming challenges as a taxi driver, soon! :)

Dumcho's NOTEBOOK said...

Heard of Singapore being the most developed country and reputed in terms of education and technology. The way they respect their own rules is another that adds feather to its uniqueness.
But never did I learn that a Doctorate drives a Taxi. But I have read the tale regarding the honesty of a Singaporean taxi driver. The passenger was supposed to pay $11 as shown in the taxi meter but he realized that he drove from another way to reach that destination due to a heavy traffic. He told the passenger that actually, it is just $10 but I had to bring you from another way to reach your destination and just took that amount. See, these people though sound small, are the first ambassadors to introduce how our own country is.
Sorry. Had to remain busy. I could not drop messages even if I could read your beautiful posts.
Good day.

Overcome Life said...

Hi Dumcho! Thank you for leaving your comment despite your busy schedule! I appreciate it very much!

Regards your comment above, in fact, it's common for a driver to offer less pay due to going the wrong route (resulting longer way and increase in fare) as some may be quite new in the industry. However, like you said, we should respect their integrity.

One of the stories in the book, a couple of foreigner was handing in 2 pieces of $50 notes for a fare of $8, which obviously they weren't familiar with Singapore notes and thought that it was $5 note. The driver ran to get them and told them about it. Isn't the driver noble? Otherwise many would just keep quiet as if striking the lottery in the mid day! ;)

Himalayan Tenzin said...

I also liked to become a cabbie once but in our country, i see the case isn't like there - only few could sustain their lives as cabbies.

Like you, i like to meet different people and communicate with them. Perhaps, one day, i really should take up the job of either a busman or a cabbie. :)

Keep smiling and keep writing, Rima dear.

Buddha bless us all.

Overcome Life said...

Thank you la Nuchu for your encouragement! Seeing you wrote that already made me smile :)

Glad you return back safely and have a wonderful weekend Nuchu! Have a great schooling time again! ^^

Unknown said...

It was so sweet of you to have read the book and shared with your husband.You always had everything set beforehand.Impressive.

Overcome Life said...

Thank you la Kipchu! Sharing is caring :)

Rupa Gurung said...

Wow Wonderful... Keep your reading passion alive... So sweet of you to share your books with your hubby... You are the most beautiful, fortunate and lovable wify of your hub... :) Keep smiling :)
Safe Journey :)
HAve Fun...
See you soon :)

Saj Kamid said...

Stumbled upon this blog in search for an article featuring this new taxi-related sensation in Singapore, Ms. Annie Lim :)

But I think I need to read that book you just wrote about.

Overcome Life said...

Thank you dear Rupa for your beautiful comment! :)

Overcome Life said...

Thank you for dropping by Saj Kamid! Hope the books recommended above are useful for you! :)

priscilla said...

Hi, I'm from Temasek Polytechnic and I'm interested in covering your story for our school's article! Let me know if you're interested at

Overcome Life said...

Hi Priscilla, I've sent email to you. Please check :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...