Saturday, May 9, 2009

There is still honesty

It was 1.30pm, and my bus ticket showed 4.45pm for my ride back. I sighed, thinking how to fill up the next 3 hours or so, being alone and bored. Then, I recalled I had the name card of the bus company that I bought the ticket from, and called up to enquire whether there were any earlier buses available. Thankfully for me, there were still seats available for the 2.15pm bus, so I jubilantly planned my trip to go back earlier.

Firstly, of course, I needed to find someone to fetch me to the nearby bus station. It was barely 2km away so I thought of asking for my neighbour's help. After calling 2 different persons, I was in despair. Both of them were out of town for the long holiday! Time was ticking. I had to act fast. I realized I had exhausted all my options, except for one.

Sighing, I called the taxi company, giving in to my last resort. Obviously, most people try to avoid taking the taxi due to several reasons, mainly cost and safety, especially for a girl travelling alone. However, I really had no other options, plus the journey was so short and in the day time, I told myself that it should be fine. I arranged for the cab to arrive by 1.45pm.

True to its promise, the company sent someone at 1.45pm, with the auspicious number plate of 1333. Without further ado, I cautiously stepped in the cab and stayed alert of my surroundings. The Indian taxi driver greeted me with a cheerful "Hello Miss!". I replied with a Hi and kept quiet for the rest of the journey.

As expected, the journey took probably 5 minutes. It would have been shorter if not for the traffic lights just in front of the bus station. When I reached, I searched for a 10 ringgit note in my purse, but all I had were 2 pieces of RM50. My fare was RM10 so I handed the driver a RM50 note. The driver asked me for smaller notes but I couldn't find any. He then searched in his pockets and wallet for change, but he could only find RM30. Worst, the car just behind us was getting impatient and started to honk continuously. Leaving with no choice, the taxi driver asked me to go and change for smaller notes from the ticket counters. So I got down, while he drove away from the one-lane road.

Luckily, it was only 1.55pm, so I had plenty of time before the bus departed. The ticket counters were situated one floor up, and as I climbed up the stairs, I was thinking to myself "What if I never go back down to pay the driver?". During these bad economic times, I have heard of many cases of people doing things they are not proud of for money. I just thought that if my situation landed on people such as those, I'm sure they would have been happy to get away without paying the driver. After all, it was in a busy area, and I was already on the way to take a bus outstation. What could the taxi driver do?

Of course, being the righteous person that I am, *cough*, I didn't flee. I tried to change at the counters but I knew they would not entertain a non-customer like me. In the end, just to get small notes, I went to the nearby stall and grabbed a packet of nasi lemak with a glass of teh tarik. I couldn't think of anything better to order in a rush. Before the owner even started to prepare the tea, I told him I only had RM50 note. Fortunately, he said "No problem!". He told me to eat first before paying, and he was surprised why I was still standing there holding my note. I asked him whether I could pay him first since I needed the change to pay the taxi driver! He laughed and said, "OK OK". Such a kind fellow, he was.

I hurriedly went down the stairs again, with my luggage and all, looking for the taxi. This time, I did not spot the taxi, but only the driver himself. I swear I could see the relieved look on his face when he saw me holding the red note. I could tell he was really reluctant to trust me at first, but he had no choice. Well, Mr Taxi Driver, may I say there are still kind and honest people in this country, just like yours truly. *ahem*

I felt good to have made the driver's day. When I went back to the stall, my nasi lemak was nicely placed on a table with a plastic spoon and a steaming hot cup of teh tarik. The stall owner, in turn, made MY day. :)


Borneo Falcon said...

You are honest :)

Hai Seong said...

"Make their day" is one of the FISH philosophy :) nice post

Irenelim said...

Haha, you made my day by sharing your encounter. :)

Anonymous said...

I have been following your blog, honestly this is one of the best I have ever read from your blog. In fact my tears drop now, as I can almost imagine how both you and the taxi driver trust level changing over the period, and the trust touched me a lot.

Thanks again, like what Irene said, you have made my day!

foongpc said...

It's good to be honest because as we all know, the law of karma is always working.

And you also get paid back for your honest action, as evidenced by the good treatment from the nasi lemak seller.

Also never take what is not yours, in this case, the money you owe the taxi driver. Because what we sow, we reap.

Perhaps if you had decided not to pay the taxi driver, you may have saved a few ringgit, but you can be quite sure that somewhere along the way, you will lose that few ringgit under a different circumstances cos that's how the Universe works : )

J2Kfm said...

what an experience. and he's trusting enough to wait for you, though deep in his heart, he may be expecting you not to return anytime soon.

kudos to you, the taxi driver, the nasi lemak seller, and the nasi lemak. for the sake of staying hot and yummy. =P

iamthewitch said...

Borneo Falcon: Thank you. :)

Hai Seong: Thanks a lot for the praise ;)

Irenelim: I'm glad the post perked you up. :)

Anonymous: I'm flattered with your comment. Thank you for dropping by and enjoying this post. :)

foongpc: You're right Foong. I believe in karma too, what goes around comes around. :)

J2Kfm: Haha funny comment! Thanking the nasi lemak as well! ;)