27 March 2008

X plate taxis in Shanghai

One little tip to share about Shanghai taxi: try not take any taxi with BX in the car plate.

Any car in Shanghai has a car plate, like this: 沪B-X1234 [...] if there is a car without these characters [U, V, W, M, N, X] on plate, and pretend to be a taxi, you will know it.

Among all these plate, X is very special.

X plate taxi are private taxi plate, while all the others are company owned taxi. A company owned taxi means the taxi is owned by a taxi company, and the driver is hired by the company to drive the car, and the driver needs to pay about 450 - 500 base fee to the company everyday. Their earning needs to pay this fee, gas fee, and all kinds of maintaince fee for the car before he can get a profit.

X plate taxis, or private taxis, are owned by individual persons, and they don't belong to a company, so they don't need to pay anything. Recently, they are required to join a company setup just for the management propose of private taxis. The management is as low as 150 RMB per month, v.s. 15,000 for other taxi drivers.

So the owner of an X plate taxi earns huge profit.

However, their service quality is the worst among all the taxis, just because they are not afraid of any customer complain at all - there is no company responsible for it. Their service standard is also pretty low. The rule of thumb (although with a little bit discrimination) is, if you feel very bad about a taxi driver, chances are, it is a X plate taxi...

Interesting tidbit and I'll keep a lookout for X plates . But as the daughter of an unaffiliated cab driver, I must speak up to say that unaffiliated drivers are not all bad eggs. (At least not in the context of Singapore.) For one, consumers can complain directly to the Land Transport Authority, a move that likely has more impact (or repercussions from the perspective of the driver) than just calling the cab company. And secondly, it is safe to say that yellow-top cab drivers are the old guards who have been driving around for 20 years and actually know the roads.

16 March 2008

The shochu which listens to music

Japan is the land where cows are massaged as they drink beer and shochu* listens to music as it is bottled.

We love quirky Japan.

*The square bottle shochu at tucked-away Mokko Bar. Apparently, music vibrates the bottle which makes the shochu better.

13 March 2008

A day bed to curl up in

day bed
On this rainy day, I want to curl up here, read a book, then drift off to sleep...

10 March 2008


In many areas of southern Nigeria where the Yoruba predominate, an "o" is added to the end of a word to add emphasis, a practice in the Yoruba language. Most noticeable is a shout of "Sorry-o!" to someone who trips or suffers another misfortune. -- via »IHT
An example sentence for Shanghai:

The construction next block is very loud-o! I haven't slept well in many day-o!