If you’ve got a taxi driver friend and want him to tell you a story, he’ll most likely tell you this story. Despite it being an old story passed down from laojiao drivers to newbies, some drivers still believe in it and don’t stop for a lone lady passenger on these roads, usually Old Upper Thomson Road or Lim Chu Kang Road.
According to several seasoned drivers, once, a driver was on his way back home after sending someone to Upper Piece Reservoir Park. As the park is located deep in the middle of nowhere, the driver would have to drive through the extremely isolated Old Upper Thomson Road to get back to the major roads. Old Upper Thomson Road is almost like Vigilante Drive, a bendy narrow road that leads to the park.
And so, as he was on the silent and dark road, he saw a white figure from afar. It’s unlikely that anyone would be there since there is absolutely nothing around except trees. But as the roads are bendy, he slowed down and saw what seemed to be a lady in white.
Sensing either she could be lost or that she was flagging him, he pulled over. Without any word, the door was opened and it took like forever before the lady boarded the taxi.
“Mandai cemetery,” the lady said in a harsh, yet friendly, voice.
The taxi driver did sense something wrong (it’s 12.00 a.m., and someone going to a cemetery?!), but decided to keep his cool—there’s nothing much he could do, and panicking would not help. When he looked at his rear mirror, he saw a typical lady in her twenties with long, silky hair. The lady was smiling. In fact, everything looked fine except for the place she has boarded and her destination.
The driver decided to just go ahead since it was pretty near. In order to shake off his nervousness, he drove with his eyes on the road, and once he exited out of Old Upper Thomson Road and started to see other cars, he asked, “So, what are you doing?” He had intended to ask what she was doing there, in either Old Upper Thomson Road or Mandai cemetery.
“I work in a bank,” she said, misinterpreting his question. And almost too friendly.
And so, the conversation went on for ten minutes. The taxi driver told him about his life while the passenger told him about her work and family. Nothing was amiss at all. Once they reached the passenger’s destination, the lady paid as usual, even asking the driver to keep the change. No fuss, no nothing. The driver had checked the amount and everything was good.
Seeing that they had a good conversation, the driver decided not to ask her why she had come here in the middle of the night. He just dropped her there, and went off.
He thought it was just another workday.
But later, as he counted his earnings at home, he realized something: a few notes he received that shift were hell notes. And he remembered seeing real Singapore dollars when the lady passed him the cash—so they had, spookily enough, apparently just turned into hell notes once he got home…