My ebook: Journeys with the caterpillar

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Journeys with the caterpillar: Travelling through the islands of Flores
and Sumba, Indonesia
" is available at
this link

Monday, September 29, 2008

Will Fernando Alonso make a good taxi driver?

Last Sunday, Singapore hosted it first ever Formula 1 race. While the entire media and the majority of office workers were enthralled by the event, I am certain that the people most excited would have been the taxi drivers. This was evident whenever I took a cab in the last few days as every driver kept talking only about the race.

After all, this was an event so akin to their profession and they could not have not seen the pictures of F1 drivers surrounded by umbrella-holding beauties. And they wondered why they were never surrounded by such beauties after they finished a trip. On race days, the overbridge, under which the track for the F1 was laid out, was jammed as taxi drivers slowed down to catch a glimpse of the amazing race happening below. The race did bring some respite to taxi drivers in Singapore, especially after their main patrons, the bankers, had started using public transport after the 700 billion dollar financial crisis. This respite came in the form of many more people looking for taxi to commute to workplace as the road blocks left them clueless about how to commute between home and work.

In many ways, taxi drivers have a tougher job than even the best F1 driver. Not only are they completely devoid of even an iota of glamour associated with the F1 drivers, often they have to keep driving even while carrying flatulent passengers. Whenever they take a sharp turn, instead of being applauded, they are rebuked by panicky passengers. They don’t have the luxury of driving all life in one-way traffic without any signals or bribe-seeking policemen. And while many pay thousands of dollars for the seats by the pit stops, the only visitors who drop by taxi parking lots are those with an urgent need to urinate.

And for all the awe showered on F1 drivers, would we have likes either Alonso or Fisichella to drive taxis for us? They would refuse to drive if it was night or if it rained and with their heavy clothing would have found it extremely difficult to dig into their pockets to give us back the change. Do they even know how to fill up their gas tank by themselves?


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

it's a tall order to have the likes of those guys as cab drivers. maybe in a parallel universe cab drivers met out their justice.

nevertheless, you have the queerest, as usual, and most hilarious juxtapositions.