The Taxi Stand Auntie

Have you ever arrived at that ungodly in-between time at the taxi stand?

I have. Many times.

It’s just that bit too early to take a cab and the stand is not crowded. I am probably all alone. A long line of taxis await. The cabbies perk up when they see me walking to the stand. The first driver has straightened up and is all ready to set the meter tick. Then it hits them. Or not. They look at their watches, back at me, behind me and ahead of them. If you were there, you would have heard them think – “Should I dump this stand? Will someone else show up? What’s with this auntie?”

And then someone turns up. Awkward. So, I get into the mode. Sweeping hand gesture like ushers in cinemas. A smile and a “Please…”. Sometimes a Very Pushy Person or an Ah Beng type,
jumps into a cab without acknowledging my presence. When the stand gets crowded – a line may have formed  – I do my act for scores of puzzled people. To some, I stop and explain. “Aaaahhhh! So, she not crazyeeeee ah!!”

I have seen cabbies who don’t help pregnant moms. I really am the unpaid taxi-stand-helper-auntie. I have folded strollers. Moved bags of groceries. Pushed back shopping carts. Helped old uncles into cabs.

And then, one day it was my turn to receive a pay-it-back. A lovely lady let me jump the queue, that rainy stormy tropical day in Singapore. The stand was crowded, cabs were full and it was getting late to pick up my son. It felt wonderful. Now, I make it a point to arrive at the stand some many-awkward-minutes early. Need to save my favours for another rainy day!

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