It happened on my 5th day of driving a taxi. I picked up 2 passengers just outside People’s Park Centre. One was a Chinese male, skinny and thin, in his fifties and the other was a Malay man in his twenties. The destination they are going is at Bukit Panjang. Once on board, I started to chit-chat with the Chinese man. I said something like as I am new driving a taxi, if customers like you who do not know how to guide me to the destination, especially for places like Sengkang and Punggol, I may just be taking the longer route and the fare will be much more expensive.
The Chinese man seemed to be agitated and angry with what I have just said to him and shouted at me: “You mean I have no money to pay you? How high can the fare be if you will to drive around the whole island? Now I have $200 to spare and demand you to drive to Changi airport and then to Tuas and then to and fro again”. I was taken aback by what he said and thinking that silence is golden, decided to keep quiet and continue driving them to Bukit Panjang. The Chinese man pulled out a mobile phone and called his mum to get ready $200 for him.
After some time, the man started to yell at me again: “I ask you to go to Changi airport, you go now! GO! GO!”. I just ignored him and after some thoughts, I said to the man: “Sir, I’m sorry that if what I’ve said have offended you and hurt you, please accept my sincere apology, I’m really sorry”. The Chinese man still seemed angry and agitated and refused my apology. The man beside him was instigating him all along the journey.
After some time, the man used his mobile phone to call the police, which he have threatened to do so a few times throughout the journey. He called the police and said: “I wanted to make a police report. This taxi driver have insulted me. He is very aggressive and wanted to beat me up………..”. At this point in time, I have decided that enough is enough, and said to the Chinese man: “OK, you want to play with me? Alright, I will entertain you. I will bring you to the nearest police post at Bukit Panjang”. I was swearing inside my heart, this man and his companion must be troublemakers, and they must have had very bad encounters last times with taxi drivers.
Upon reaching the police station, the Chinese man rushed in to meet the officers and started to make a police report, as though someone have attacked him. His face was still an angry one, and glancing back a few times to look at me. I was brought to another corner by the officers and related my side of the story to them. Luckily I was reassured by the officers that there’s no criminal case involved and it won’t be much of an issue. The Officers asked me if I would like to claim the $15 fare pending from the passengers, I said just forget it and write it off. I was then upset about the incident and wanted to quit driving the taxi altogether.
Once bitten, twice shy. If I ever to meet such a petty person and refuse an apology from me, I would just stop the taxi and said “Sir, please take another taxi, thank you”.