Sabtu, 22 Desember 2012
Life is (not) bed of roses - 1
One afternoon at City Square Mall.
It was pouring outside and we were dead tired after shopping for my son's school needs. Looking at my fragile mom who was shivering because of cold and torturing AirCon of the mall and to my son who had started to chant his mantra "I want taxi...i want taxi...." I finally gave up. I decided to follow the mantra, to take a cab home. The boy of course was all smile immediately.
Went to the taxi stand, the on-duty taxi attendant helped us get a taxi quite fast, which was surprising because usually it is always difficult to get a cab on rainy days.
Anyways...the auntie taxi driver actually was on her way to shift-changing point but she was kind enough to transport us first before making her way to her final destination of that day.
So...we were inside the taxi. Being a curious me, i started asking questions about this auntie driver.
Ms Jane is 48 years old, married with two teenage children. Husband is working, but not as a taxi driver. Sorry forgot to ask about him. Jane and her family live in Yishun.
She works half shift daily, about 11-12 hour starting from 5am and then handover the taxi to her partner to work the other half shift, usually at around 5pm. Prior to handing over the taxi, she must wash and clean the taxi first, thats what she said.
She said she has got no official day-offs, well indeed it is up to her to manage her time but she tried to spend time with family on Saturdays.
Jane and her partner rent their taxi from a taxi company for $105/day.
From later check i found out that rental of taxi is between $64/day (Honda) - $116/day (for a Mercedes taxi). Hers is a Hyundai.
Daily cost according to her:
Petrol is around $38/ day
Rental (split half-half with her partner) $52
So she needs to get at least $100/ day to cover the cost of rental and petrol.
Me: So do you get more passengers during festive season like Christmas and New Year?
J: Nope, not on the day itself. In fact, New Year day is the worst day to drive a taxi if you drive in morning shift as most people will still be zzzzz-ing after partying late the night before.
Note to myself: True.
Me: Do you ever get lost? (The taxi has got no GPS system)
J: No, not really. I trained myself to always observe landmarks, point of reference etc
Note to myself: Ehm...yeah, obviously. Something i dont do well when i drive, too dependant on the GPS system.
Me: Is it tiring to work as taxi driver?
J: yes, sometimes. I am married with kids, so at home I still have to do my house chores. That is what usually makes me tired :-)
Note to myself: Eh...we have some similarities in this area :P
Before we knew it...we had reached our place. The interesting conversation had to end. We exchanged goodbyes. Thank you for the ride and the sharing. Although it was a light and merry conversation, I know you live a tough life. I was glad that my little boy was there to listen to our chat. I do hope he learned a thing or two about the life of a taxi driver in Singapore.
Take care Jane, may you be blessed with good health and hopefully...we will meet again in the future :-)
+mita a.rachman +firstname.lastname@example.org +dyah peni tunjung sari
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