This morning was one of the most frustrating but peculiar mornings ever.
I was trying to get to an important morning meeting – a business contact was in from out of town and had limited time to catch up over coffee and I was rushing in to meet over breakfast before he got caught up with work.
The taxi situation was dire what with the rain and the following acted as barriers to my getting in on time:
– No taxis on call, probably because of too much demand, which meant I had to wait a good 45 minutes under a brolly in the rain for one
– Taxi finally takes me, realizes I only have $11 in cash and decides that instead of stopping somewhere for me to pick up more cash, he wants to drop me at the side of the road along the way and STILL charge me for the measly ride – leaving me with $5 left
– I am clearly late at this point but proceed to wait another 10 mins before another taxi comes along
– The stickers on the window of the cab indicate he takes Nets AND credit card so I get in and tell him to head to the Hyatt
– Cab driver wants to drop me at the Royal Plaza on Scotts so he doesn’t have to battle traffic. No problem, I say. I will walk over.
But when cab comes to a halt, he insists he cannot take cards of any sort and I have to go get money somehow. Frustrated, I exit the taxi and proceed to ask the hotel porter where the nearest cash machine would be located.
This is where Life surprised me.
Turns out Syed, the porter, is a kind soul. He gets $10 out of his pocket and says I shouldn’t hurry so much, that the cash point is too far away and to please use his cash first.
I use it to pay off the unaffected taxi driver and then ask Syed if it’s ok if I rush to my appointment first and come pay him back after. I’d just be across the road and he can have my namecard so he knows how to contact me.
He refuses this and says he trusts me and not to worry!
“It’s only money,” he says. “Your baby is more important so please just take care and don’t hurry.”
So I hurry carefully over to the Hyatt for my meeting but come back about an hour later to pay Uncle Syed back.
It doesn’t sound like a big gesture but this man changed the way my morning went. I was annoyed and agitated but his one little gesture made me feel so at peace with the world. Of course when I came back later, I thanked him profusely and chatted with him awhile.
It’s so nice to know there are people like him out there in the world.
So if you ever see him outside the Royal Plaza on Scotts, do say “Hello, Uncle Syed”. He is an incredibly warm character and just interacting with him can make your day :)