The boy who knew too much: a child prodigy

This is the true story of scientific child prodigy, and former baby genius, Ainan Celeste Cawley, written by his father. It is the true story, too, of his gifted brothers and of all the Cawley family. I write also of child prodigy and genius in general: what it is, and how it is so often neglected in the modern world. As a society, we so often fail those we should most hope to see succeed: our gifted children and the gifted adults they become. Site Copyright: Valentine Cawley, 2006 +

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Where even the taxi drivers are creative.

Malaysia is not Singapore. That might seem like an obvious thing to say, but it isn't really, since Singapore and Malaysia were both once part of Malaya. They have a shared history - yet, their nature, particularly their psychological nature could not be more divergent.

We have spent the past few days in Malaysia. In that time, I have been rather surprised by some of the differences in behaviour I have noted. I shall address but one, today.

On two of the taxi trips we have taken, the taxi drivers showed a quality I have never noted in Singaporean drivers: creativity on the road. By this I mean that they showed creativity in how they navigated their way across the city. In one case, the driver took a short cut through a hospital by pretending to be visiting a patient, and taking an entry ticket, just like every other visitor, so that he could circumvent a traffic jam! I was most impressed with his resourcefulness.
In another case, the driver doubled back, on seeing a huge queue of traffic and took a meandering way off the main road onto a back road that was virtually empty of traffic: "Not many people know this way.", he observed in explanation. Sure enough, he got us back to our hotel in about half the time the outbound journey had taken with another taxi driver. Again, I was most impressed with this evidence of creativity.

Singaporean drivers never really show evidence of creative thought. Indeed, many Singaporean drivers don't know their own city well enough to get one there at all, never mind invent a special time saving route. The difference in knowledge between some of the Malaysian drivers we have seen, and their Singaporean counterparts is quite stark. Perhaps it is a matter of survival in a way. The Malaysian drivers have a strong incentive to avoid traffic and some become inventive in response, to do so.

Yet, that is not the only evidence I have seen of creativity here. I will write of those other evidences in other posts.

In the meantime, I look forward to the not infrequent surprise that is a taxi trip, here.

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 12:52 PM 


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had a similar experience when I was in KL for work. My company's chauffeur cut through a private estate from the hotel to beat the traffic. Otherwise I had to wake up really early to travel to work. LOL.

1:13 PM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

Yes. I rather think that a good driver in a KL context, is one able to improvise an effective route, through traffic hell.

Thanks for your own corroborative anecdote.


6:06 PM  

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