SINGAPORE: Ang Istorya Ng Taxi Driver
Literature of the World Subject pushes me to publish this short Singaporean story which has very hard to find an English version, thus I am picking up M.R. Avena Tagalog revision.
SINGAPORE: Ang Istorya Ng Taxi Driver
By Catherine Lim
Revised By: M.R. Avena
(1) Ayos, Ma’am. Sigurado-Darating kayo sa miting ng mas
Maaga sa t’yempo. Dito tayo dumaan, Ma’am. Konting
Trapik, konting bara ng mga kotse. Medya-ora lang,
Naro’n na tayo. Kaya h’wag kayong mag-alala, Ma’am
(2) Ano yon. Ma’am? Oho, oho. Ha, ha-dalawampung taon
Na ‘kong taxi driver, Ma’am. Panahon pa ng kopong-
Kopong. Di pa ganito ang Singapore-nanikip sa tao,
Bising-bisi. Noon mas tahimik, kokonti pa lang ang taxi
Drivers, at di-masyadong maraming kotse at bus
Catherine Lim Poh Imm, writer of nine collections of short stories, five novels and a poetry book. She has won national and regional book prizes for her literary contributions. She is best known for her collection of short stories Little Ironies: Short Stories of Singapore and Or Else, The Lightning God and Other Stories.
Teacher, St. Andrew’s School, St. Patrick’s School
Teacher, Catholic Junior College
Project director, Curriculum Development Institute of Singapore, Ministry of Education
Administrator, Curriculum Development Institute of Singapore, Ministry of Education
Specialist lecturer in Socio-linguistics and Literature, SEAMEO Regional Language Centre (RELC)
Columnist, The Straits Times
Jan 1992 – : full-time professional writer
A taxi driver rides with a female teacher passenger
He talks about the changes in Singapore
He talks about his family
He talks about his observations about youth and prostitution
He talks about his problem with his daughter
The passenger got off he taxi and the taxi driver went to Hotel Elory hurriedly
Place – Singapore
Main setting – Inside the Taxi
•How young people of Singapore have grown to be bold and reckless; as compared to the youth’s
of the ‘old’ Singapore.
• Differences of the ‘old’ (taximan’s generation) and current (Lay Choo’s generation) Singapore
• How making a living in Singapore has overcome the need to stand up for our own beliefs and
make a stand to whatever opposes us
POINT OF VIEW
ı 1st person point of view
Man vs. man
Man vs. society SYMBOL
Taxi drivers and vehicles
Hotel Elory, Tung Court, Orchid Mansions
Young people observed in the story
When you are tasked to do a reporting on this topic, please see below for Study Guide questions:
1. Identify the narrator of the story. What does he say about teenagers in Singapore? Do you find similarities between them and the Filipino teenagers?
2. Describe the taxi driver. Should he be blamed for his daughter’s prostitution activities?
3. What lessons on materialism that the story provides?
4. How can the government address the problem on prostitution especially among students?
August 14, 2010 - Posted by tanom | Cebu Institute of Technology, Friend Request, from internet, personal, pinoy | Ang Istorya Ng Taxi Driver, Catherine Lim
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What is the full story of The Taximan's Story by Catherine Lim?
Very good,Madam.Sure,will take you there in plenty good time for your meeting,Madam.This way better,less traffic,less car jams.Half hour should make it,Madam,so not to wor…ry. What is it you say,Madam?Yes,yes,ha,ha,been taximan for twenty years now,Madam.Long time ago,Singapore not like this-so crowded so busy.Last time more peaceful,not so much taximen,or so much cars and buses. Yes,Madam,can make a living.So so.What to do.Must work hard if wants to success in Singapore.People like us,no education,no capital for business,we must sweat to earn money for wife and children. Yes.Madam,quite big family-eight children,six sons,two daughters.Big family!Ha!ha!No good,Madam.In those days,where got Family Planning in Singapore?People born many,many children,every year,one childs.Is no good at all.Today is much better.Two children,three children,enough,stop.Our goverment say stop. Lucky for me,all my children big now.Four of my sons working-one a businessman,two clerks,one a teacher in Primary school,one in National Service,one still schooling,in Secondary Two.My eldest daughter,she is twenty plus,stay at home,help the mother.No,not married yet-very shy,and her health not so good,but a good,obedient girl.My other girl-Oh,Madam!very hard for father when daughter is no good and go against her parents.Very sad,like punishment from God Today,young people not like us when we are young.We obey.Our parents say don't do this,we never do.Otherwise,the cane.My father cane me,I was big enough to be married,and still,got caning.My father he was very strict,and that is good thing for parents to be strict.If not,young boys and girls become very useless.Do not want to study,but run away,and go to night clubsand take drugs and make love.You agreewith me.Madam?Today,young people they are very trouble to their parents.Madam,you see this young people over there,outside the coffee-house?See what I mean,Madam?They are only schoolboys and schoolgirls,but they act like big shots,spending money,smoking,waering latest fashion,and making love.Ah Madam,I know,I know!As taximan,I know them and their habits.Madam,you are a teacher,you say?You know or not that young schoolgirls,fifteen,sixteen years old,they go to school in the morning in their uniforms and then after school,they don't go home,they have clothes in their schoolbag,and they go to public lavatory or hotel and change into these clothes,and they put make-up on their face.Their parents never know.They tell their Mum got school meeting,got sports and games,this,that,but they really come out and play the fool.Ah,Madam,I see yuo surprise,but I know,I know all their tricks.I take them about in my taxi.They usual is wait in bowling alley or coffee house or hotel,and they walk up,and friend,friend,the European and American tourists,and this is how they make fun and also extra money.Madam,you believe or not when I tell you how much money they got?I say!Last night,Madam,this young girl,very pretty and made-up,and wear sexy dress,she told me take her to Orchid Mansions-this place famous,Madam,fourth floor flat-and she open her purse to pay me,and I say!all American notes-ten dollar notes all,and she pull one out and say keep change!as she has no time already.Madam,I tell you this,every month,I got more money from these young girls and their American and European boyfriends in my taxi,more than I get from other people who bargain and say don't want go by meter and wait even for ten cents change.Phui!!Some of them really make me mad.But these young girls and their boyfriends don't bargain,they just pay,pay,and they make love in taxi so much they don't know if you go round and round and charge them by meter!I tell you,Madam,some of them don't care how much they spend on taxi.It is like this:after 1p.m. taxi fare double,and I prefer working this time,because naturally,much more money.I go and wait outside Elroy Hotel or Tung Court or Orchid Mansions,and such enough,Madam,will have plenty business.Last Saturday,Madam,no joking,on one day alone I make nearly one hundred and fifty dollars!Some of it for services.Some of tourists don't know where,so I tell them and take them there,and that's extra money.Ah Madam,if I tell you all,no end to the story.But I will tell you this,Madam.If you have young daughter and she say Mummy I got meeting today in school and will not come home,you must not say,Yes,yes,but you must go and ask her where and why and who,and you find out.Today young people not to trust,like young people in many years ago.Oh,Madam,I tell you because I myself have a daughter-oh,Madam,a daughter I love very much,and she is so good and study hard.And I see her report cards and her teacher write'Good work'and 'Excellent'so on,so on.Oh,Madam,she my favourite child,and I ask her what she want to be after left school,and she says go to University.None of my other children could go to University,but this one,she is very smart and intelligent-no boasting,Madam-her teachers write 'Good'and 'Excellent',and so on,so on,in her report cards.She study at home,and help the mother,but sometimes a little lazy,and she say teacher want her to go back to school to do extra work,extra coaching,in her weak subject,which is maths,Madam.So I let her stay back in school and day after day she come home in evening,then she do her studies and go to sleep.Then one day,oh Madam,it make me so angry even now-one day,I in my taxi driving,driving along and hey!I see a girl looking like my Lay Choo,with other girls and some Europeans outside a coffee-house but I think,it cannot be Lay Choo,how can,Lay Choo is in school,and this girl is all dressed up and make-up,and very bold in her behaviour,and this is not like my daughter at all.Then they go inside the coffee-house,and my heart is very,very-how you describe it,Madam,My heart is very 'susah hati'and I say to myself,I will watch that Lay Choo and see her monkey tricks.The very next day she is there again I stop my taxi,Madam,and I am so angry.I rush up to this wicked daughter and I catch her by the shoulders and neck,and slap her and she scream,but I don't care.Then I drag her to my taxi and drive all the way home,and at home I thrash the stupid food and I beat her and slap her till like hell.My wife and some neighbours they pull me away,and I think if they not pull me away,I sure to kill that girl.I lock her up in her room for three days,and I ashamed to tell her teacher,so I just tell the teacher that Lay Choo is sick,so please to excuse her.Oh,Madam,how you feel in my place?Make herself so cheap,when her father drive taxi all day to save money for her University.What is it,Madam?Yes,yes,everything okay now,thank you.She cannot leave the house except to go to school,and I tell her mother always check,check in everything she do,and her friends-what sort of people they areâ�¦What,Madam?Oh,so sorry,Madam,cannot wait for you to finish your meeting.Must go off,please to excuse me.In a hurry,Madam.Must go off to Hotel Elroy-there plenty people to pick up.So very sorry,Madam,and thank you very much.thank you madam