Friday, 18 June 2010

Singapore cabbies

They are just so nice! Perhaps it’s a norm, perhaps it’s because I am walking on crutches, but they have been patiently helpful. 7 is the amount of times I have taken a cab since I arrived in Singapore and the ratio of good cabbies is 100%.

As you can imagine – me being on crutches and not being able to bend my knee that much, getting in and out of cabs will take some time. All of them told me to take my time to get in and get out. Not a single cab driver rushed me.

2 of them were kind enough to adjust the passenger seat themselves so that I can get more leg room. That’s not all…

It was raining and 1 of them got down from his cab and held the umbrella while I position myself to get out from the cab. He even told me to be happy always so that recovery process will be faster. Unbelievable…

But the cab who took me back to my apartment yesterday certain took the cherry. After paying him, he asked me if I can get off on the right side. Since the surgery is on my left knee, getting off on the right is not preferred.

I told him “no” and he then asked me to stay in the vehicle. He got off from his cab, walked to the left side of the vehicle, stopped the traffic (there were quite a lot of cars passing the left side of the cab) and opened the door for me to get off. He then made sure that I got onto the pavement before getting back to his cab.

I cannot imagine how it would be if I have to take cabs in KL.

Right now, some of you might be thinking that Zewt has travelled to Singapore and will begin to criticise Malaysia more and will fail to appreciate Malaysia as his homeland.

It’s not about criticising. I think the curse that is currently upon Malaysian is that, mediocrity has become so common, it is acceptable.

Staying within the same notion, it should not be the case where I am surprise at the service level I getting by Singapore cabbies. This is how things should be. On the contrary, Malaysians should be astonished at the atrocious service and treatment by Malaysian cabbies. But no, it has become a norm, it has become a lifestyle.

Of course, there is the all time favourite “there is nothing we can do” phrase. While that carries some truth, change it is not entirely beyond Malaysians’ grasp. I am sure you know what I am talking about.

Anyway – if you are to ask me how is Singapore so far. Well, let’s just say the first impression has been great.


1 year ago…
The 500th rhyme

3 years ago…
Of hip hop, diet and a search

25 comments:

Sapphire Dragon said...

Haha, well, not all Malaysian cabbies are that bad..I took a cab once in KL and the driver was not bad. Of course, I wouldn't know if he took a longer route or overcharged me, but I did had an ok impression.

day-dreamer said...

Cabbies in SG are generally more professional I would say. Haha.

Actually, did you mention why your knee had this condition that led to surgery? Pardon me if you have. :D

LX said...

Hello Zewt, good to read up about your experiences on the surgery and being in Singapore. I was very impressed the time I went there. All clean, professional and just amazing! I think we've got loads to learn from our neighbour.

Anonymous said...

i have to agree, i get better service in Sg than in Msia. Fm what i've observed you will only get better service in Msia if you are angmoh. i stayed at a local hotel in Msia ones and the angmoh walking in front of me gets his door open but i have to push my own door, even though i was just walking behind him. what a farce.

wahlau said...

i will agree with you - many many years ago, we traveled in a cab in Singapore, and somehow he went too fast and got stopped by police. guess what - he just apologized to the police and then later told us that he made a mistake for driving over the speed limit, and continued driving.

i was very very very the impressed, even until today.

MKL said...

I took cabs around Asia and I must say Singapore has one of the best cabbies, they're very professional and nice. I remember when I was in KL, it was at night around KLCC, I was taking pics. A cabbie from inside his car was waving to me to take his cab. I was like wtf? Can't you see I'm 50m away taking photos of the building? I don't want a cab now! Then he started to horn and wave even crazier. And when I looked at him, I saw he had a bottle in his hand. I just thought, you better go away from here... Lucky for me, my hotel was within 15min of walk. I'd not take such a cab with a drunk and crazy driver, it was a bit scary.

cy said...

hey zewt, i had a similar experience as u (knee injury) and had to take cabs to and fro school last year. they are indeed very kind and patient :) and many even had advice for me!

missironic said...

I feel generally the singapore cabbies are really much nicer than the msian ones... Glad,u are well taken care of there.. Hahaha.. ;)

Rabid said...

I don't have any financial interest in taxis (as a licence holder or driver), but I don't expect any change until the People First administration (a) outlaws the granting of taxi licences to anyone but drivers and (b) allows more competition, including some taxis at higher rates.

Daily, we are being browbeaten and brainwashed to accept mediocity and worse: incompetence, corruption, violence, ill-health, break-downs, collapes, filth, the rich and pwerful robbing the poor and voiceless ...

sophia said...

"I think the curse that is currently upon Malaysian is that, mediocrity has become so common, it is acceptable."

i agree!

in fact, for me the curse is that i am so used / numbed to so much mediocrity that i would actually feel SINCERELY surprised and actually feel REALLY grateful for any display of efficiency or courtesy. (it happened to me last month at a certain gov dept.)

InjusticeSistem said...

U noe y cabbies in KL is so terrible? it is bcos dey r not happy...y r dey not happy? maybe it has to do with da fact tat dey are FORCE to rent license cum cab from LICENSE HOLDER at a rate of $100-$150 per day excluding gas. Do some maths...rental plus gas already close to $200/day, how much do they need to work to cover $200 then only they can start counting their salary/profit for da day. Who is da biggest taxi crony license holder in msia, I thk its my good fren Nazri Aziz.
So u think they got time n mood to stop traffic carry u out da car n mk sure u r safe??? blardy hell if u don get out now they will fucking throw u out cos dey need to rush to get other client....
Everytime some tourist or ambasador complain abt our taxi service, da taximen get all da flaks and the CVLB will come in n raise higher standard n force the taxi driver to lower their charges, while at da same time cronies are stl paid $150/day/lesen. I heard Nazri hv abt 1000 such license, its fucking $150k/day WITHOUT WORKING!

Ur not happy with the taxi in Msia?Don blame da taxi driver.....blame ur dad,blame ur mom,blame urself,blame ur bf/gf/wife/hubby...cos u guys did not bother to mk a difference...

sgcynic said...

It is a pleasant surprise to hear absolutely positive things about Sinngapore cabbies. On the other hand, I strongly agree that in Singapore's Parliament "mediocrity has become so common, it is acceptable" to the PAP.

secret agent woman said...

I'm glad you have been having good experiences in your new home.

Surgery recovery is no fun.

zewt said...

Sapphire Dragon - dont think he will do that. if you notice and take down his number, he is dead meat lor...

day-dreamer - oh... it was from football. i thought i mentioned... hmmmm....

LX - hello... we should have learned from looooong time ago...

anon @ 18/6 3.12am - yeah... malaysia worships ang moh... it's a sad thing. they are also humans, just like us.

wahlau - you will never find that in malaysia.

MKL - i heard the cabbies in shanghai are pretty good too... i am sure u will make a trip there some day.

cy - yeah... this is indeed quite a good country to live in.

zewt said...

missironic - well, i certainly hope i dont need to take them all the time... expensive u know :P

rabid - and malaysians just grew numb about it. worse... dont condemn, some are even proud of it... it has become a malaysian heritage.

sophia - that shouldnt be the way, we should at least have general courtesy.

InjusticeSistem - hehe... i know ler... it's public news for those who are well informed. as always, the reason why malaysia is malaysia is because of the people. no one to be blamed but ourselves.

sgcynic - mate... singapore may not be perfect, but it's certainly better than malaysia. trust me... if you lived in malaysia, u will know that this is quite heaven for us.

secret agent woman - yeah... i know exactly what you mean... looking forward to post 1 month... i should feel much better then.

Faisal Admar said...

malaysia should learn etiquette :)

Ummie said...

The amount they charge on you will be spent and gone, but the impression they left in you will last forever and will be spread around.
That's why learn and relearn, equipped front-liners with "basics in life" is the requirement in all sectors.
Wishing you speedy recovery :)

sinlady said...

our cab service is very good ;)thank you for saying so.

Anonymous said...

taking singapore cabs cost too much but then kl cabs are not cheap either - it was RM32 from raja chulan to mid-valley !

Anonymous said...

taking singapore cabs cost too much but then kl cabs are not cheap either - it was RM32 from raja chulan to mid-valley !

Huei said...

argh looking at the pic makes my knee painful! >.<

well..i haven't been to sg that many times, but in the very few times..have encountered some very rude cab drivers...they didn't talk..which was fine..but the way they drove! it's like msia! but ofcos when they're nice..they're nice!

it's been 50-50 for me in msia..some r very very nice..some r talkative (nice when i'm not sleepy)..some are plain rude and bloody assholes who tries to rip me off just cos i'm a girl! i ended up walking half the way n found a cheapER cab..not cheap..but cheaper than rm20 from summit usj to sunway pmid!!!!

phewf! nice to rant at ur blog XD

me said...

*shivers looking at all the nicks and cuts* hope you get back on your feet soon. my experience with sg cab drivers haven't been that pleasant. they've always tried taking the 'long' route. wonder if i'll have to break my leg to get decent service. :-p

zewt said...

faisal admar - from everyone else.

Ummie - yup... couldnt agree more... thanks for the well wishes.

sinlady - i think i met a not so good one today though.

anon @ 20/6 2.33pm - that is a rip off!

huei - rude, assholes and dangerous... you know all the rape and rob cases lah... only in malaysia.

me - yeah, try that... it works wonders... :P

Anonymous said...

dont talk about cabs. being one who used to take public transport, the other thing that struck me abuot singapore is that even their busses and construction vehicles (lorries, excavators) are also clean... busses especially la, something u almost never see here unless the busses are new.

zewt said...

anon @ 26/6 5.19pm - well, not many ppl like such extreme... i guess you and i enjoy cleanlineness more...