My hubby works outstation and at the moment I don’t drive, so I have to get to work by public transport. The bus is extremely unreliable, and I carry too many things to climb up those unfriendly stairs and search for the exact change to insert in the similarly unfriendly money slot, because it doesn’t return the balance no matter how much. So, I opted for a taxi, and apart from the afternoon heat that melted down my MAC and Maybelline even before I reached school, everything was fairly satisfactory. That was until a couple of months ago when an Indian taxi driver freaked me out to the moon.
One day, I was waiting for the taxi as usual, around 11.45 a.m. I flagged down one and it stopped. The driver was in his late 30s, with thick curly hair dampened with so much coconut oil I was sure I could set his hair on fire and fry some banana fritters! The taxi smelled kind of funny too, like old sweat and worn-out leather. He immediately struck up a conversation, which was pretty normal as I too, sometimes, liked to talk to strangers I was sure I'd never meet again. The topic was harmless at the beginning, weather, current politics, price hike. Then he began to talk about his wife, which he claimed was not serving him well, in bed and out of it.
“When we marry, she like sex. Then she had a baby and say she don’t like sex anymore. Everyday, baby only. I sleeping in living room. Now baby in standard 4. Still no sex. 10 years already!”
What am I supposed to say? So I kept my mouth shut. I wasn’t about to comment on some stranger’s sex life, especially when he held the steering and could, to his heart’s content, drive me to hell! But like most Asians, Malaysians especially, who considered silence as a sign of consent, continued with the sad story of how sexually deprived he was. Thank God, my school wasn’t that far and soon I was safe in the school compound.
The next day however, by some strange (bad) luck, I flagged him down again. And the tales of sex deprivation continued. On the third day, he started asking me about my sex life, which I said was highly satisfactory and if he didn’t believe me, he could always drop by the District Police Headquarters opposite my school and asked for Inspector Rahman, my supposedly husband.
“Your husband police?”
“Sure”. I was impressed with myself. He sure wouldn’t spin me anymore tales after this. Wrongg!!!
On the fourth day, I flagged a taxi and it was him again. I began to think that this was no coincidence. And the probe on my sex life continues…with some subtle suggestions that he could offer more than any police officers could because policemen come home tired while he was extremely virile after 10 years of having none of it. On the fifth day, I purposely came out a little earlier, and managed to get a different taxi. But he got smart too. One day, I noticed him waiting for me under a nearby tree. And when all failed, I told my husband. He chartered me a taxi, driven by a man in his late 50s and a friend of my father’s. Uncle Jamal picked me up at my house and made sure I was safe in the school compound before he left. Kind of funny considering that I’m in my 30s. But, problem solved!!
Except that my forgetfulness is making Uncle Jamal miserable. Twice, I forgot to tell him that I was on sick leave and wouldn’t be needing a ride to work. There he was, waiting for me for at least 15 minutes before he called to ask if I needed a taxi. And my phone was on silent mode because I was enjoying a drug-induced sleep and didn’t want to be disturbed.