S’pore cabby gives elderly sex worker free ride home, discovers her heartbreaking story
He drove her home. She drove him to tears.
Witness to War: Remembering 1942
23 September 2017 - 25 March 2018, -
National Museum of Singapore
It was 4am on Sunday, Mar. 11.
Taxi driver Paul Chua had parked his vehicle on Geylang Road, beside Lorong 18, not realising that what he was in for would lead to an emotional ride and a heart-wrenching story for Facebook, which he posted to the Singapore Taxi Driver group.
Not too far away, Chua wrote that he saw a frail-looking woman trying to flag a taxi, but was repeatedly denied boarding by multiple drivers.
According to Chua, she looked sick, and so out of “curiosity and compassion”, he said he drove forward to ask if she needed help.
As he suspected, the lady only had S$10 for what would otherwise be a $12-$15 metered trip, from Geylang to Indus Road (near Tiong Bahru).
She pleaded with him, saying “Sir, I have $10 on me and I want to go to Indus Rd. Can you help me sir? Please!”
He decided to pick her up.
Raid dispersed crowd, no chance of finding customers
Along the way, Chua learnt that it was the lady’s first night back at work after an unspecified period at Geylang Lorong 16.
However, a police raid earlier had dispersed the crowd, so she knew she would not be able to find customers that night.
Sadly, the S$10 she had on her was borrowed from a transvestite sex worker.
Chua said he asked if she had tried looking for other jobs.
That’s when she opened up to him: he wrote that she had kidney problems, and was too physically weak to find a job. She can neither stand nor stay in air-conditioned environments for prolonged hours.
Providing sexual services, he added, seems to her to be her only means of survival, and he wrote that she was proud that she did not resort to stealing, begging, or cheating.
Chua observed that she looked worn out, but nonetheless made an effort to wear a sexy dress and thick make-up.
He said the woman then pulled a long-sleeved shirt out of her bag and wore it over her dress, making Chua realise that she did not want her neighbours to realise what work she did.
With all this in mind, Chua refused to accept her S$10 when they arrived at her destination — where he said she is staying at a rental flat there.
Even as she thanked him profusely, he chased her out of his car because he did not want her to see him crying.
Chua concluded his post saying he is “satisfied” that he had done a good deed, and mentioned another taxi driver from 16 years ago whose kindness in the past inspired him to pay it forward:
You can read his full story on Facebook page Singapore Taxi Driver, or screenshots of it here:
Top image from Paul Chua’s Facebook post.