Don’t laugh but I love taking taxis in Singapore. There are always such friendly interesting exchanges. In the space of a 10 – 15 minute ride you get a glimpse into each others lives.
One morning on a recent trip to Singapore, my friend suggested ALMOST had time to take the bus. Yes it would have saved money however it was cutting it a bit tight with timing and more importantly, I would miss one of the stories.
That day I had a woman driver, divorcee of three children just a year older than I. We began our chat talking about the weather – she shared how it had been raining more than usual yet today was sunny. I noted that I’d heard about the unusual rains however had just came from Mumbai the previous night so joked that I decided to bring a little sunshine for my Singapore friends.
That lead to questions about how I’m living in India. Then various other topics. When it was established I have a significant other and that’s a big part of my living in India, next natural question was “Do you have kids?” To which I responded no… She embraced my choice, sharing it certainly hasn’t been easy raising three kids on her own.
Yet we both agreed no regrets on either side.
Any other locations where you look forward to a cab ride into someone’s life?
PS I was just in Singapore for a week long marriage marathon for a friend’s daughter. Lots of tales to tell there but in the interim thought would share this post drafted during an earlier trip.
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I did not have any special taxi rides thus far but that might be also because the majority was thus far in China where MIL is busy keeping the drive busy.
Here in gem any I had exactly four taxi rides in my life, two to the railwaystations just 2min away for getting our luggage transported and two to a car service station…
Haha! So there is a conversation monopoly that precludes your participation in China?
In most places outside of India I rely on public transportation – including even Singapore.
However when I do use a tax in Singapore I generally have the most interesting conversations – every single time without fail. 🙂
Ah oh well MIL is kind of “taking in all the space” wherever she goes, like being the center of attention. Well leaves me with more time to look outside the window and see all kind of weird stuff going on in a Chinese big city 🙂
Well… that seems to have its silver lining… lots to see! 🙂
Taxi drivers in Beijing were very chatty when I was living there. They would always ask similar questions: Where are you from? Are you studying Chinese here? How much does your father earn? Hahaha!
How amusing! One of these days should write a cultural cab conversations comparison – topics acceptable in one country are completely ‘no no’ in others. 🙂
Oh, there are many of those in China, haha. For Chinese people, asking about your salary, how much you paid for this or that, saying you are fat, asking why you are not married or don’t have kids yet, etc, is totally normal and acceptable. And very common!
Quite true. 🙂
I’ll confess that my nose is usually buried in email on my phone during most taxi rides to new cities. Always a giant batch of fresh, unread, ones that piled up during my flight. 😦
That’s me in Mumbai my home town! And I’ll confess to some of that in Singapore too but usually enjoy a bit of the ride and conversation too. 🙂
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If only someone would compile their conversations with taxi drivers across the world and share them. Wondered how it would read?
I think it would make for a great read!! Any tales to kickstart? 🙂
Will have to start actually remembering the conversations! Its usually just chatter but we do recollect some snippets. Will share when we recall them!