Friday, August 11, 2006

~7th August's Entry~

3 August 2006. New Straits Times. Prime News. Page 18.
Have Cab, will whistle.

Whistling cab drivers? Err, no thank you.
It’s annoying don’t you think?
Imagine this.

You had a LONG day at work, you’re stuck in a massive traffic jam, the taxi’s meter is going wild and the taxi driver is whistling the WHOLE time.
And every time when the driver try to hit that particular high note he keeps going off key and because he tries to be a good Malaysian taxi driver, he keeps on trying to hit the same note over and over and over but he keeps missing that note?
Wouldn’t you go crazy and want to pull that damn meter and start hitting the driver with it?
I would.

I used to take the cab to/back from work every day.
I met nice ones, the annoying ones, the crazy ones and the scary ones.

The nice ones
- They’re willing to send me to my destination even though the traffic towards that way is almost non-moving while other cabs refused.
- I didn’t have small change. They didn’t have small change. They told me to just give what I have.
- They offered to help me carry my groceries (which of course I never accept but it was nice because they offered)
- Make small talk about weather, funny stories about other passengers

The scary ones
- Makes sexual comments/remarks
- Drives like a mad man
- Upset when stuck in jam (one was so angry, he didn’t want to move even when the traffic was moving. He later scolded me for not telling him about the traffic -> I told him to take a different route but he ignored me)
- Asking personal questions and insist for phone number

I have never encountered a taxi driver that is fond of spreading rumors and malicious statements. If there was ever a taxi driver who talked about the racial issue is during that "thing" between two racial groups. They reminded me not to travel alone and to be alert all the time. All of them agreed that the problem shouldn’t have had happened. They also tell about them grow up together or are good friends with people from the other racial group. Isn’t that a good sharing/testimonial about different racial group living together in harmony?

I remembered this one particular taxi driver. He commented about the mix marriages that are happening in Malaysia. He said although he welcomes the idea of mix marriages, he is just worried one day all the racial group will become extinct and the culture/heritage will die because the young generation feels their history is a nuisance. Doesn’t he have a valid point?

The bit where the writer wrote about a taxi driver who refused to take the Jalan Masjid India route and with that action alone the writer claim that the taxi driver couldn’t resist bringing up issues of religion, as seen in "masjid" and race, as seen in "India" is crazy. He also said the taxi driver made an assumption about the allegedly crowded nature of that road without backing it up with statistical data.

If refusing to go to Jalan Masjid India is seen as religion/racial discrimination, then many other Malaysian, me included are guilty of "bringing up issues of religion".

Why only Jalan Masjid India? There are so many other places people would avoid going. Petaling Street, Sunway, etc. Are we also disrespecting the major racial group who resides in those areas? Please larr.

I never thought anything about the word "masjid" or "India". The reason why I always try to avoid that place is because of the traffic jam and the crowded area. I don’t know about the author but I DISLIKE walking through a sea of people. Maybe once in a blue moon I go crazy and I go hunting for whatever item I want/need.

KL is connected in every way so why would I want to take a busy road when there is a better route? Common sense larr. Most time I will let the taxi driver know which route to take and I always avoid Jalan Masjid India.

Maybe there are those people who have nothing better to do. Why only attack the taxi driver? If you say they have more contact with the tourist, then maybe. But instead of whistling, the authorities should teach them Malaysian history or facts about our tourism spots/activities/programs. A knowledgeable taxi driver is definitely a good image for the country.

If you really want to tackle the problem, then do it the right way. I am not sure what is the right way though. I think Malaysian is educated enough to understand and appreciate our differences. Unfortunately, we are the living example of the third world mentality. I suspect even other third world countries does not discriminate as much as we do.

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