TV Smith's Dua Sen. The politically incorrect irregular columnist combines
his idiosyncratic observations and tangential commentary into a blog...
by TV Smith
was at Bitch Club the other night when a
South African tourist, next to me at the bar, asked
if our government requires all our pimps to wear
white. Taken aback, I eventually found out that
he was referring to the cabbies hanging outside.
Every night, near closing time, dozens of taxi drivers
(on foot) would zoom in on the 'non-scoring' matsallehs
stumbling out of the club. Even without the extra
services, most cabs queuing outside popular nightspots
charge an additional 'midnight levy' of RM 20 to
30 flat, irrespective of destination.
surprisingly, many popular travel guide books
have written extensively on our two most 'memorable'
tourism icons; our colourful public toilets
and fleecing cabbies. Whoever came up with
the 'Welcome' sticker on the rear quarter
glass of every taxi should be sentenced to
life imprisonment in one of our public toilets.
The sticker proudly invites passengers to
board (Jemput Naik). If you're a Malaysian,
you'll know that's either the biggest lie
or most unkind joke in the world. In reality,
almost all taxi drivers require you to state
your destination before boarding. If you're
unaware like many tourists, you'll end up
getting out through the other door ten seconds
later. In view of this, I propose a new sticker
that better reflect the attitude and service
of our ambassadors on wheels. (See pictures
In most cases, the passengers are also to
be blamed for this travesty of procedure.
I normally don't ask and just jump straight
in. If the driver refused to go my way, I'll
suggest going to an alternative destination;
Office. He will usually have a quick change
of mind and will be most willing to bring
me to my original destination. Of course,
I wouldn't recommend everyone trying this.
My size, the slash scars on my face and deranged
look help somewhat.
TIMES UNLUCKY: three different cabs; three
of way: not familiar with area"
of way: changing shift"
of way: picking up son from school"
the other day I was having dinner at Chinatown
and I observed an Arab-looking, touristy-type
family, flagging a few hundred cabs and 'negotiating'
unsuccessfully. Curious, I asked them what was
going on. The father explained that every cab
wanted to charge them RM 30 to go from Jalan Sultan
to their hotel in Jalan Sultan Ismail (some 5
minutes away). I phoned a radio
cab for them and the actual
fare was estimated at RM 4 (by meter + RM
1 booking charge).
started using taxis regularly, at the same time
our cops discovered this thing called a breath
analyzer. Here are some of my observations;
Not a single driver knows a single road in Petaling
2003 TV SMITH
Indian taxi drivers think everyone else
enjoy Tamil music at 3000 decibels.
If the driver smokes, you can smoke too.
Just got sacked, released from prison or
swam to our shores? Rent a cab and be your own
Many taxi drivers strongly believe they
can run the country better and due to some cruel
twist of fate they did not become Prime Ministers.
otherwise stated, all photographs © TV SMITH
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