Conversations with Taxi drivers

Well, my family has been doing some visiting during this Chinese New Year. While at my relatives’ houses, we would often gather and have a little chat to catch up. The conversations would inevitably involve the topic of our children. Well, this isn’t about my son. However, these conversations led me to think about the conversations I often had with the taxi drivers.


However, these conversations led me to think about the conversations I often had with the taxi drivers. In my job, I often need to take taxis, sometimes for long distances (luckily these taxi fares are claimable)… and some of the taxi drivers often like to strike up a conversation with me. I reckon maybe because they are bored, curious or just want to talk to someone to stay awake (after a long day or night of driving).

Taxi Driver A

Let’s call him TDA. TDA seems to me to be in his 50s. He looked rather well mannered and young for his age. He started off by asking me what I am working as… and somehow we did find something in common in our job.

Well, I did have a short stint working overseas and am in the corporate world. However, what he talked most about are his daughters. In fact, they are quite grown up now. For his age, I think he had children quite early in his life, and actually, I was thinking that he should be semi-retired by now (and being taken care of by his daughters).

He has 2 daughters. If I remember correctly, they are in their 20s…and have started working. However, they are not married and surprisingly, they still ask favors from him.

In his own words, TDA felt that he has spoilt them. Sometimes, he would still ferry them around.

TA was once a high-flying corporate guy (the chief designer in Nokia — back when Blackberry phones or Apple iPhones were not popular yet). He was the guy who signed the designs for the phones and was always traveling to different parts of the world. His pay then was $15,000. I reckon, back then $15,000 was a lot (actually now, it is still a lot in my opinion). He knew top guys in China (and regretted not buying properties in China then).

So that made me wonder…. if he earned so much then, why is he driving a taxi now? Well, perhaps to past time? Well, according to him, he didn’t save much during that period. And among the many things he spent on… are things for his daughters, as he felt bad that he wasn’t around them most of the time.

I think to the point that his daughters abuse it. Like they would ask TDA to ferry their friends as well from place to place (in his car back then).

I guess what I can take from this is: (A) How much you earn is secondary, what is more important is how much you save and invest. (B) Don’t spoil your children.. monetary ‘compensation’ may not be the right way.

Taxi Driver B

Let’s call him TDB. TDB is much older than TDA. I reckon he is in his mid-60s. He doesn’t look happy.. and was complaining about his body. I think he has some medical conditions.

Well, he started talking about his children: a son and a daughter. They are in their 30s and have their own family. His son has two kids.

I would have thought that he can now retire since his children are big (and have their own families). However, he mentioned that his son did not have higher education and is struggling to make ends meet, while for himself he did not have much savings – which is why he is driving a taxi to earn an income.

Along the way, he started complaining about his medical bills, long working works (decreasing customers), etc. Some of these taxi drivers do take these conversations as complaint sessions to a ‘captive audience’ (which is me).



Actually… I reckon, whether one has children or not, the important thing is to save for one’s own retirement and not really expect the children to take care.

About apenquotes

Born in 1976. Married with 2 kids (a boy and a girl). A typical Singaporean living in a 4 room HDB flat. Check out my Facebook Page:
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6 Responses to Conversations with Taxi drivers

  1. Some parents will feel guilty of not spending enough time with their children so they tend to compensate/spoil them in other kinds. The choice of having more time or money.


  2. Fred says:

    Many squander away the money.

    Still many save and invest but the investments lost money.

    Many are also gullible, they lend them but never get their returns.

    Some get scammed.

    Some( very obedient Christians )gave me until ‘heart broke and tears steak down their cheeks.’ Still waiting for the hope to be blessed more by first giving.


  3. Kate says:

    Love your illustration on TBA. It just reinforces the point that income doesn’t equate wealth. The more you earn, the more you tend to spend. I think the sad thing is that nowadays, parents are still expected to provide for their children. And that is really sad, especially most of these are adult children and should be self sufficient.


    • apenquotes says:

      Thank you. Actually, this was another thing I thought about during this CNY. I see a no. of my relatives who have adult children – who still stay at home and some are not working.


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