Today I was shown kindness by a Comfort taxi driver – Mr Yeo Choon Hwa.
I had to report for my flight at 730am. I booked a taxi and when I got into the cab, I told the Uncle (yes we call any elderly male stranger Uncle in Singapore) to ‘please rush for me?’ Which is highly unfair because now I am partly making it his responsibility to get me to work in time… but I was that desperate.
Halfway through the journey – I started reaching out for my wallet so that I can quickly pay him and get out.
As the search got more frantic, I realised the worst. I forgot my wallet. I couldn’t believe it. I was now 12 minutes away from the airport. There was NO WAY out. Turning back will mean a day of havoc for me.
Resigning to my fate, I came clean with Uncle. I told him I forgot my wallet and I wouldn’t be able to pay him at the end of this journey.
He looked up at me through the rear view and gave the most stunning reaction. He smiled. Kindly. And then asked me what I would like to do. What I would like to do!? This was his taxi, his rice bowl and he had every right to tell me to get out from his taxi or turn back – but yes – he asked me what I would like to do.
So I told him, that if he is ok – I’ll take down his details and do a bank transfer when I touch down. And without skipping a beat, he agreed.
I got to the airport just in time. Uncle even came out and helped me with my bags and just before I dashed off – he asked me if I had enough money for my travels and if I needed some. Yeah. Crybaby moment for me. Still is.
Even after transferring the amount + bonus, I don’t think any amount can ever repay what he did. Apart from his compassion and kindness, he completely left it to his faith in humanity that I will not go back on my word. And I can’t help but think, what a lot of faith that must be.
Here’s to all our Taxi Uncles.