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A "recycled teenager" learning to blog.

Apr 16, 2012

Uncle Frank The Cabbie

Fellow Outramian Frank Yap, Class of 1961. The young, handsome and talented professional violinist and romantic musician. Play it again, Frank... "Uncle Frank, Cabbie and blogger" the article as published in April 2012 issue of TimeOut Singapore. Photo credit: TimeOut Singapore. (Please click on the image to enlarge). Please grab a copy from major newstands today.
Uncle Frank has been a taxi driver in Singapore since 1997, and blogged about his experiences since 2008. His posts are warm, sincere accounts of his day-to-day interactions with passengers he meets during his nightly shift from around 6pm until midnight (tip: he often picks up at Clarke Quay at around 9.30-10pm). It also has links to taxi information, a Singlish dictionary and the blogs of other cabbies, from London to New York and San Jose. Before being a taxi driver, Uncle Frank was a businessman, turning his hand to everything from timber logging to tin mining, casting and advertising.

Tell us how your blog came about.

Well, I bought a second-hand computer in Hong Kong in 2007 for $120, just to see what it's all about. My daughter and son helped me fix it up, and I started going online. I saw that there were lots of blogs from taxi drivers in places like New York and London, but there wasn't one in Singapore...

What makes your blog stand out?
A lot of those other ones are long-winded, with lots of intelligent-sounding words, I thought that some of it was a bit complicated, so I started writing short paragraphs, maybe 100 or 200 words, in simple English. Some people want to make money by being sensational and talking rubbish, like some women writing sexy stuff so men will read it. There's no bulls**t with me - I just try to write honestly.

Tell us about some of the interesting passengers you've had.

Oh, there are so many, from African professors to priests giving me Bibles. I recently took Marilyn Monroe from Sentosa to Geylang...[laughs]. Actually, she's a Marilyn Monroe impersonator from Melbourne who works at Resorts World - a really pretty, nice girl. One elderly guy asked me to pray for him one journey because he was going to court the next day. And there was a kid who said he wanted to whack his dad because he never let him go to parties. I said to him: 'You're the luckiest kid alive because your dad loves you.'

Why do people open up so much to you?
I do sometimes feel like a psychiatrist. As a taxi driver, people love talking to you because it's anonymous, so they're not afraid to open up; often it's delicate, personal things. I try to make friends with passengers and make them laugh - nine times out of ten it works, but you also have to know when a passenger doesn't want to speak. I'm good at getting people to open up; sometimes it helps them. Telling people about my blog makes people laugh. I'm like, 'What's so funny?'

Have you learned anything about different nationalities?
I'm good at spotting different nationalities - I can tell the differences between Japanese and Korean passengers, or tell a Filipino from the way they pronounce 'ah'. I often reply 'G'day mate' to the Aussies, which they seem to like.

Read Uncle Frank's blog at

Source: TimeOut Singapore, April 2012
Uncle Frank the Cabbie, the cabbie blogger of Singapore is none other than my fellow Outramian (two years my senior) in real person Frank Yap Eng Huat.

Frank introduced himself on his blog , "Hello, I'm Uncle Frank The Cabbie...telling everyday stories of my life experiences as a Singapore taxi driver, driving since 1997".

He joined the "Outram Secondary School Alumni Group" on Facebook as a veteran Outramian for the following purposes:
The Outram Secondary School Alumni Group is an informal, non-official Facebook group for past students of Outram Secondary School, Singapore to renew contacts with one another, wherever in the world you may be located now.

Outramians who are still studying at Outram Secondary School are welcome to join and learn about the schoolday experience of other alumnus and the fond memories of their alma mater.
Together with Frank, the cabbie ambassador of Singapore, we share our nostalgic Singapore memories and helpful information of interest of places of Singapore to visitors and tourists, not of everyday idle gossips, in his taxi to share on our blogs.

Our recent encounter in person with Uncle Frank is indeed a wonderful affinity to revive our memories of Outram schooldays five decades ago.

Uncle Frank (with maracas on left of photo) in action with the "Tropicans" at Outram Secondary School variety concert in 1961.



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