Who"s davidlian?

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davidlian is an ultra-geeky chinese dude that works for a technology PR agency. He loves fiddling with techno-toys, plays Warhammer 40K, and shoots pictures wherever he goes. Here, he rants about PR, Technology and anything else. Don't expect balance and un-biased, he ain't no journalist. Anything said on this blog are solely davidlian's personal views. Don't confuse them with company mantra, client's views or views of any organisation he may be part of.


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

How to get rich in Singapore...

... setup a cab company. Seriously!

So I'm Singapore for a couple of days for a couple of meetings and a Nokia event (which is happening tomorrow) and this time round, I got booked into Rendezvous Hotel which is quite a ways from the Text 100 Singapore office.

That meant transport. And in Singapore terms, it also meant "Taxi."

Yesterday night, when I arrived and had checked in, it was off to dinner. My ex-colleague Felicia made a kind offer to take me to dinner, only that I had to meet her at the taxi stand near China Square. We were supposed to meet at 9:30, so at about 9:20 I popped downstairs to wait for a taxi.

The sign by the taxi line suggested that a taxi should arrive in 5 minutes. 10 minutes, no taxi passed by. One angry man who'd been waiting there for longer than I stomped off, presumably to now take an evening jog to wherever his location may be.

It was now 9:30 p.m. so I decided to take walk to the main road and try to catch a cab. Maybe better fortunes there. I strolled down the road just outside the hotel, carefully avoiding a couple of scantily clad ladies by the side of the road just chillin' in front of Hotel 81 (where you can pay by the hour for rooms - what an innovative system!) but failed to flag a taxi down. There must have been at least 20 taxis passing by and every single one was busy or on call.

Okay, the clock was ticking fast. It was now 9:44. I caved. I sent a quick SMS to Felicia apologising for making the poor girl wait at the taxi stand for such a long time and got the hotel to call me a cab. Surcharge was SGD4 for just booking the cab alone. The whole trip cost about SGD 10 - normal for your average Singaporean native, but for poor Malaysian like me...a bit mahal lah.

Tonight, the same thing happened again. Went to this Tanjong Pagar road to have dinner with Nicole and catch up, checked out her neato office at GE Tower and then ran off to try to reach a bike shop on time. Too bad the bike shop closed early, so I waited at the Tanjong Pagar taxi stand to patiently try and catch a cab.

Lining up in front of me was this lady who was just furious that some booked cabbie couldn't find the Taxi stand. Forgive me for eavesdropping, but after listening to her painfully explain where the taxi stand was, even I knew how to get there!

So basically, there were four of us looking to get a cab back. Myself. An auntie with groceries. And a couple just after work. I was the first in line and we waited a grand total of 15 minutes to have like more than 20 cabbies pass us by before one finally stopped.

With much vigour and excitement, I skipped to the cab driver to get him to send me back to Rendezvous, but he flatly refused.

Apparently, he had taken on another booking and Rendezvous was out of the way for him. Darn! You're at a taxi stand and you can still take bookings? What happened to picking customers up from taxi stands?

I caved immediately after and it was another SGD 10 back to the hotel.

Moral of the story? There seems to be a shortage of cabbies in Singapore and an overwhelming demand for cabbies. Maybe there's room for one more cab company?

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