Monthly Archives: October 2014

How to make a baby courtesy of taxi driver #42


I’ve mentioned before that I do not like taxis – I’d rather walk, catch the MRT or an ambulance. Taxi drivers in Singapore tend to assume when picking up an Ang Mo (foreigner) that you would like the island excursion as opposed to the direct route. And since I am not a tourist, know where I am going AND am process-obsessed, nothing irritates me more than a well-crafted best-practice plan of getting from A to B thwarted by a cunning taxi driver. I’m sure Steve would love to add a commentary on how this plays out when it happens (not so often these days), however …

The key when catching a taxi in Singapore is to not immediately pick up your iPhone (which is automatic and they know it) – unless you’re on the Maps App monitoring your imminent joyride. As soon as you’re into that phone, there will be a quick glance from the driver in the rear view mirror then he is turning left when you’re meant to go right. Stay alert until the joyride risk ie a key intersection(s) has passed.

My gripe today is the conversation I just endured with a taxi driver and I really should know better than to fall into these traps. I was asked if I have children. I said no; I should have gone with the average (2.3) – first mistake. The driver then asked if there were ‘problems’ – only how long the ride was taking – and despite telling him I was childless by choice, he went on to tell me that he and his wife had taken fourteen years to conceive a child and that there are particular ‘techniques’ for success, which he explained in great detail with hand movements (I’m lucky to be alive). I can only be grateful he was not inclined for a more interactive teaching method.

A school friend recently felt compelled to point out on Facebook that I was the only girl ever in the history of our school – the Rockhampton Girls’ Grammar School – to fail Mothercraft which was a compulsory subject in Year 9 (in 1976). Mothercraft was supposedly the easiest subject to pass since it involved the mere cutting and pasting of motherhood-related images into a scrap book (well I think that’s all). I did complete the first of many sections but decided when it came to bathing a baby that there was nothing in it for me, so I did nothing further. Fortunately, it was not a career-limiting decision. I did not mention this to the taxi driver otherwise I would not be home yet.