I was in my Grabhitch this morning, making absolutely no attempt to converse with my regular driver. He’s nice enough and has endured my lateness on more than one occasion. Still, I didn’t have the patience to make conversation at 8 in the morning, especially when he was one who favoured monosyllabic replies.
I almost felt bad for my total lack of effort, until I thought back to all the times I forced myself to weather-talk with my past drivers; my regular conversations serving as a natural catalyst for their slimy natures to arise – like scum floating to the top of the pond.
Like every Singaporean, I’ve had my fair share of crap/creepy drivers. One driver, let’s call him Ron, drove me to work for a good two months. Not only was he untoward to the brink of rudeness, but he often disguised his condescension and contempt as ‘honesty’, his oily manner revolting enough to rival Potter’s Borgin.
This conversation was the final straw:
Ron: You know, I was thinking about this all last night
Me: begrudgingly Right.
Ron: I was thinking about why I continue to fetch you to and fro from work so early in the mornings, even though I’m not a chauffeur and I don’t need the money
Ron: obstinately carrying on I think it’s because you’re like my personal radio.
Me: sitting in disgusted silence
Ron: A sexy, guttural radio with a sultry morning voice, who talks about anything and everything
Me: still sitting in silence, regretting every conversation attempt
Ron: It’s always such a delight to listen to you talk every morning. I force myself out of bed to fetch you to work – kind of like a boyfriend fetching his girlfriend to work, don’t you think?
Me: sarcastically Right.
Ron: finally catching on, his inconsequential tattle dying off
It’s important to note that Ron is a married man of my dad’s age, his wife’s belongings strewn all over the car and her perfume lingering on the upholstery. Listening to him talk always made me feel like throwing up.
I had another regular driver, Robert, who was a sexist pig. He would have me in the front seat of his car, while he tattled on about how much he hated his job and how unattractive the women were, whilst making obscene comments about other women on the street.
Things like “Nice Ass. Nice rack. For her, I’d get a divorce.” were very common. He even took judgemental jibes at my relationship with Aaron, how spoilt Singaporeans were in general (he’s from Malaysia), and how badly we treated others with our ‘sense of entitlement and superiority’ – the irony.
Grab isn’t all bad, it’s like playing Russian roulette. But instead of it being quick and painless, you die slowly and painfully as your brain turns to compost due to being over-antagonized.