terse & at large

GRRRRR. Arrrgh. And sometimes a travel log.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Life As It Is

Or was.

As an addendum to my previous post:

Took more a few cabs between July 10 and now, and there's been an increase of $3 per trip across the board (before the prime time surcharge and booking fees - not that I've done any booking since Black Monday). Waiting at the traffic intersection at Suntec saw my meter jump from $8.10 to $8.60 by the time I got to the right turn into Raffles Road. Cabbies seem more willing to cross under ERP gantries whenever possible. If I book a cab during peak hours, I can expect my fare to be $8.50 before I even move off.

And still, we can't find any of them between 10.30 pm and midnight.

Ah, progress.

Well, I guess it is good for me. Economic planners forget about the ripple effect this has on everyone in the country: taxi fares go up, then people switch to other forms of public (to use the term very, very loosely) transport; cabbies complain about having not enough to cover their rental; somewhere along the line, the bus and train companies decide that 'it's been a while since we had a hike, so let's do it'; coffee shops charge more for their coffee; we get another Progress Package payout which is, in effect, a proactive thing rather than a reactive thing (because we're getting the money that will pay for something else down the road - the old Army song comes to mind: 'the Army pays us $100, they take back ninety-nine - I'll be sure to be looking at future payouts with a lot of suspicion from now on). And all the while interest rates on this island haven't changed in the last twenty years.

As for me, I'm just glad I get to charge my clients more for transportation (by about 150% to be exact - 200% if my client happens to be the one to blame for this).

Ah, progress.

***

Two Thursdays I've been at Walas to catch the band and both times, there've been a marked difference in the crowd. Previously I had to go there by 8.30 or risk not getting a table, now, if I come at 9.10 there's still a number of tables available (and I don't have to listen to Noisy Guy too). Queues are shorter, or non-existent.

And the reaction of the crowd? D. E. D. Dead. We're talking Code Blue dead here. People who stare at the band and doing pretty much nothing else - except maybe to talk loudly during the set and to laugh even louder at crass jokes.

Where's the follow-up report I've been waiting for? No boring World Cup matches played between boring World Cup teams to blame this time, but people aren't coming back to pubs and nightspots.

So, let me get this straight: you want people to stop smoking. Along the way, you make businesses stop allowing smoking in some areas. They lose business. Nobody comes to a pub (it's a fucking pub - smoking, drinking, carousing, whoring!* is expected in pubs) where they can't smoke. It's not hedonistic. So why the fuck? Anyway, to continue, smoking continues in designated areas, where, in between sets, people will congregate, so again, why the fuck?

Are you trying to make people quit smoking, or are you milking every bit of profit from businesses because they allow smoking, otherwise their licenses will be revoked, like a very bad Timothy Dalton James Bond?



* Aw, please. Grow up. Nobody goes to a pub otherwise. Also, what are our beloved foreign talent to do if they feel bored at pubs?

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