SINGAPORE - Almost every passenger who takes her taxi wonders why Ms Annie Lim, an attractive 41-year-old, drives a taxi for a living.
With her youthful looks and long tresses, might she not fare better in a sales job?, some have asked her.
The taxi driver of three months was the subject of a Hardware Zone forum thread titled "Breaking most chio cab driver in Sg (sic)" ('chio' means pretty in Hokkien).
Shin Min Daily News also featured her in an article on Thursday, calling her the "most beautiful taxi driver in Singapore".
She certainly stands out among the largely middle-aged male drivers the profession is associated with. After all, there is a reason why the drivers are often referred to as "taxi uncles".
Ms Lim did try a sales job, selling perfumes and beauty products, she said, but it paid a paltry $600 a month.
"I really don't have a choice," she told The Straits Times in Mandarin. "For my sons, I have to be strong."
The divorcee has two teenage boys who are still in school. The former housewife, who has not worked for about 20 years, only has a primary school leaving certificate.
She separated from her husband three years ago because he was unfaithful and their divorce was finalised last year.
"Every day, my sons tell me 'mummy, be careful' when I leave for work," she said.
While she got her cab driver's licence about a year ago, she hesitated as she was worried it may not be safe driving alone as a woman.
She finally picked up the courage to start driving three months ago and now does 12-hour shifts three days a week. She brings in $1,200 to $1,500 a month in earnings.
Besides the long hours of sitting and driving, it can get very hot in the afternoon, she said. It can also be hard to find a toilet on the road,so she avoids drinking too much water.
"I admire the drivers who drive every day," she said.
While she has been driving for 20 years, she is only familiar with roads in the west of Singapore. A few passengers have shouted at her for going the wrong way, even though she tells them she is new and still unfamiliar with the roads, she said.
Being a good-looking woman also brings some unwanted attention from male passengers, but she tells them: "Destiny dictated you take my taxi, that's good enough."
This article was first published on July 9, 2015.
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