Clearing immigration at Changi at 4 in the morning was a breeze, as usual, though my head was throbbing due to the highly turbulent air over the Bay of Bengal.
I quickly drew cash from the ATM and was at the fag end of the taxi queue when I noticed the rather peaceful looking but fragile chinese gentleman near an SMRT taxi.
‘Clementi, uncle,’ I said
‘Vacation a,’ uncle asked.
That was when I noticed that he was straining to see ahead of him. He had to lean forward to see the road ahead. I felt acid secretion in my stomach.
‘Does he have an eye problem?’ I said inwardly while I actually said,’ Uncle, everything alright?’ He never answered. So were he hard of hearing as well ? What a way to start my day,’ I thought.
That was when the lorry came too close. We were already in AYE and there was no one in sight.
‘Oh my God, Uncle, please be careful,’ when the lorry came close once again.
After two minutes, the lorry came to an abrupt halt in front of us and the yound chinese driver jumped out.
He came menacingly towards the taxi gestured uncle to lower the glass window. And started his abuse at uncle. He spoke extremely fast in what I assumed to be Hokkein. His middle finger was raised al through.
Uncle never uttered a word. He kept looking patiently at the abuser.
The abuser left but only after hurling, what I assumed to be, the choicest expletives and combined that with different bodily signs.
I took a photo of the lorry’s number plate and started dialing 999 when Uncle stopped me.
‘Never mind. Leave him. It should have been my mistake. He was probably halving a bad day and found a vent in me.’
‘But, he could have hit you. I suggest you call the police,’ I said.
No, young man, I call the police and he goes to jail. Looks like he is from mainland China. He might have a family there. What will happen to them?’ said uncle.
‘No Uncle, he might have caused an accident, don’t you think so?’
‘See, accident needs two parties. I normally am not party to accidents. So relax.’
I was spell bound and never opened my mouth until I arrived at my destination.
‘Take care and have a nice day, young man’, said uncle and off he drove.