There are two types of taxi drivers in the world - the good and the bad.
The good? They're the ones with responsibility and superb driving skills. The bad? They're the sneaky ones who deliberately take the long-cut to boost their cab fare.
I used to think that finding a top-notch taxi driver in Singapore is as rare as a good hair day for Donald Trump.
Well, not anymore. A Vulcan Post reader, Audrey, recently emailed us her recent encounter with a good-hearted taxi driver in Singapore and it has restored my faith in humanity.
Meet Adrian Chew, a Singaporean taxi driver who goes the extra mile to ensure the comfort of his passengers. Not only does he encourage them to request for their preferred radio station to tune into, but he also sets the air-con temperature to suit their comfort in an effort to make them feel more at home.
There's a notebook at the back for the passengers to pen their feedback on. As you might expect, it's full of praises and doodles.
I contacted Adrian on WhatsApp, and from our brief chat, I found out that he's been working as a taxi driver for around eight years.
When I asked how he felt reading the positive comments left on his notebook, he said, "I'm really glad and consoled that my efforts are appreciated. I feel encouraged to do more. And of course, most of all, the job satisfaction."
Adrian also revealed that he's a recovering drug addict for the past 14 years.
"I've been in and out of the Drug Rehabilitation Centre (DRC) prison. Three years after my last release, I volunteered there. I became a taxi driver immediately upon fulfilling the mandatory crime free period required by the agencies."
He continued, "The Roman Catholic Prison Ministry (RCPM) counselled me whilst I was in my last incarceration. Five years down the road, I stopped because of my health. I contracted hepatitis C."
(Hepatitis C is a potentially life-threatening disease that affects the liver. It's usually resulted from sharing infected needles. Some of its common symptoms include nausea and fatigue.)
From our interview, Adrian divulged that he's currently going through the interferon treatment. Unfortunately, it comes with a price. Interferon can cause flu-like symptoms such as muscle aches, chills and pains.
Adrian didn't beat around the bush. He confessed, "My liver is hardening. [The treatment] has many side effects. It tires me easily."
"I don't earn a lot of money working as a taxi driver. I only need to support my parents and family. I'm happy with a simple life. I try my best to provide in my own terms of atonement for the hurt and shame I've given them," Adrian said.
"All addicts' past are almost the same." He shared.
Like his passengers, Adrian treasure the cab rides he had with them. The intimate talks they've shared in his taxi are one of the important things that will always remain close to his heart.
"I share my past to remind myself, to glorify God whom has salvaged me from hell, and to encourage my passengers especially when they share their deepest pain with me. I've made many friends, even though the taxi ride was only 30 minutes. These are my memorable moments."
Adrian provides an impeccable service. To paraphrase from an established British author, rock bottom became the solid foundation on which he rebuilt his life. But it's really his kindness, resilience and spirit that makes him unstoppable.