Through the taxi glass — a photo journey

Sometimes, when you need a taxi, it’s never there.

Sometimes there are taxis, but they’re not for hire.

Hail! A taxi!

It’s heading right for me!

Welcome, says it.

Sorry I’m a little dirty. I didn’t have time to get vacuumed.

A talking mat!

Cool! Even if it’s dirty.

I settle back, enjoy the ride, look out the window.

Singapore is clean and green. Everywhere. Even in the neglected wild.

But why is there an old man walking all alone on an empty stretch of pavement?

Does he have a family? Does he have a hobby? Does he have a smiling grandchild to welcome him when he gets home?

I wonder where he’s going.

Why is there a bag of trash sitting in the middle of nowhere?

Is it waiting to be picked up or was it left behind by mistake?

Hark! It rains!

I’m glad I’m sheltered.

But now my vision is foggy.

It affects the way I think about what I see.

What if I had to go through life with rain-spotted vision?

Why are there only trees and trees and more trees?

Once I thought I could be a hermit and live in the mountains. But I think I’d die of boredom if I had to see nothing but trees every day.

Hello! We have a neighbour!

Did the little boy
whose favourite toy was a little red truck
grow up to drive a big red truck?

Are his parents proud of him?

Does he have a loving wife?

I hope yes and yes.

I like when people are happy.

Time to slow down. “Camera Zone” ahead.

Musn’t go past the speed limit. Take it down to 80 just to play safe.

Heck, make it 70.

Who cares if traffic piles up behind.

And.

When the traffic light turns green, don’t move off immediately.

Finish shaving your beard, pick lint off your pants, day dream a bit.

You never know. Maybe a stray dog (or even a human) will dash across the road this very moment and your daydreaming will spare a life.

Who cares if traffic piles up behind.

Not.

I wish it’d stop raining.

And I could get to where I want to be.

Why did the cockroach cross the road?

Based on a true story.

EXT. ROAD – DAY

The Goonfather is driving his car with Qiaoyun in the passenger seat. The traffic is busy but slow. Cars are going at about 35 kmh.

QIAOYUN
(pointing through the windscreen)
Hey, there’s a cockroach on the road!

GOONFATHER
(driving past the cockroach)
Where?

QIAOYUN
You just ran over it.

GOONFATHER
What’s a cockroach doing on the road?
(looking at his rearview mirror)
Hey, it’s still crossing the road.

QIAOYUN
Hahaha.
(beat)
Since when do cockroaches cross roads?

GOONFATHER
(still looking at rearview mirror)
I dunno. First time I see. But it’s a clever cockroach. It knows how to siam all the car and it stops when there’s a car tyre approaching. And it’s moving again.

QIAOYUN
Hahaha. The cockroach is playing frogger.

GOONFATHER
Yeah.

QIAOYUN
Why did the cockroach cross the road?

GOONFATHER
Becaaaaaaaaause… there’s more food on the other side.

QIAOYUN
That’s stupid. Cockroaches eat EVERYTHING so there’s always lots of food EVERYWHERE for them.

GOONFATHER
Because there’s more yummy food on the other side.

QIAOYUN
What yummy food?

GOONFATHER
Bak kwa.

QIAOYUN
Cockroaches don’t eat bak kwa!!!

GOONFATHER
Are you very sure about that?

QIAOYUN
They may eat bak kwa, but they don’t enjoy it as much as I do.

GOONFATHER
How you know?

QIAOYUN
Because they have different taste buds.

GOONFATHER
How you know?

QIAOYUN
Because they don’t die from radiation so they’re different.

GOONFATHER
What’s that got to do with taste buds?

QIAOYUN
Nothing.
(beat)
But cockroaches are evil so they shouldn’t be allowed to eat bak kwa.

GOONFATHER
Why?

QIAOYUN
Cos I say so.

GOONFATHER

Qiaoyun wins the argument as is the natural order of things. She’s brilliant at senseless discussion and unbeatable at veering away from the topic. The Goonfather comes a very close second, of course.

Unfortunately, the question of why the cockroach crossed the road is still largely unanswered and, therefore, open to further speculation.

Dictionary of Hokkien terms used
1. Siam = to get out of the way
2. Bak kwa = dried barbequed meat