Skip to main content

I didn't do my homework

It was late evening when I arrived at Changi Airport in Singapore and all I wanted to do was go to the hotel and rest, rest, rest. I found the taxi line and waited for my turn to hail one. A young woman behind me asked me if I wanted to take the waiting black car on the parking lot and I told her I couldn’t because there were two people ahead of me. She argued with me that those people didn’t want the taxi so if I wasn’t interested, she would take it. That got me going to the waving and liveried driver.

Sanctuary area at Changi Airport

I had earlier asked the tourist information office what it would cost to travel by taxi from the airport to my hotel and they told me that it would be around $20 (Singapore dollars). When we got to the hotel, I checked the meter and it was around $21.00. But to my surprise the driver charged me $34 which is $13 over the metered price. I asked him why and he showed me the chart for the surcharge. I was anticipating a surcharge for arrival after midnight but we were at the hotel at around 11 p.m. Anyway, I paid him and checked in at the hotel. At the reception desk I asked a hotel representative if he knew why there was such a surcharge and he had no idea. So I went to sleep thinking I’d been had.

 Restored Victorian style buildings (Painted Ladies)

The next day at the airport I approached another tourist information agent and inquired about the surcharge. When I mentioned the color of the taxi, she immediately had an answer for me. It turns out that I had hailed a limo rather than a taxi. I rode in a black Chrysler. She further informed me that next time I could consider a white Mercedes as they charged slightly less than the black Chrysler but the cheapest way without riding the subway would be to hire an ordinary taxi.  Like all locals do. Now I know.

To add insult to injury, it costs only $3.00 (SGD) to take the subway to town and there was a subway stop directly below my hotel. Owww!!! 

*  *  *

Images by Charie

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Carlos "Botong" Francisco, A Nation Imagined

Carlos "Botong" Francisco, FILIPINO STRUGGLES THROUGH HISTORY Oil on canvas, 1964, (located at ManilaCity Hall) A National Cultural Treasure owned by the City of Manila
Carlos Botong Francisco: A Nation Imagined is the latest art installation at the AyalaMuseum in Makati to celebrate the 100th birthday anniversary of Carlos “Botong” Francisco (1912-1969), a Philippine National Artist. Forty paintings and lithographs were culled from various private collections to form this exhibition. Of the large scale paintings on display, Maria Makiling and Fiesta, both oil on canvas, are representative of the indigenous genre which Botong loved to portray. In Maria Makiling, Botong reveals a relaxed and recumbent woman with her legs dangling in the cool waters of the stream and playing with an exotic deer by her side. Fiesta is about how the Filipino people gather to celebrate an important occasion, be that a religious feast or a wedding. The central figures are dancing the tinikling, a po…

See Sicogon Now

Buaya Beach
It was summer in the Philippines and we really wanted to go to the Gigantes group of islands. But we had no desire to join the throng of beach pilgrims who wanted to take the iconic selfie from the hill above the white sand beach of Cabugao Gamay. So here we were on Buaya (crocodile) beach in Sicogon, waiting for our lunch to be served, enjoying a cool drink under the shade of this old Talisay tree and looking at the Gigantes islands from our comfortable roost.

Greenhills Shopping Center Revisited

Religious articles
It's been years since my last shopping trip to Greenhills Shopping Center. We were looking for some giveaways for a big meeting and Greenhills has an incalculable array of gift ideas. We started in the jewelry section and found a fresh pearl bracelet with an attractive and colorful accent stone for P95.00. We were able to bargain with the vendor since we were buying 50 pieces. She marked down the price to P70.00 for each bracelet.
Souvenirs
Greenhills is divided into sections - handbags and accessories, clothing (separate sections for men and women), jewelry, home decor, souvenirs, Filipiniana arts and crafts, shoes and knick knacks. It's especially fun to shop here in November for Christmas decorations and gifts though the crowd might be unabearable. 
Knock-offs
Many shoppers come to Greenhills to buy knock-offs. And there are gobs to choose from. Be careful though if you are bringing this to another country because Customs at your destination may fine you…