TAXI TALK: This taxi driver is a passionate biker
He joined ComfortDelGro as a LimoCab driver nearly two years ago after he was retrenched from his job as an assistant manager (sales) in the shipping industry.
Barely a month into his new job in April last year, Mr Admen Lim was assaulted by a drunk passenger.
It was reported that Mr Lim, 42, had his shirt pulled and face shoved, and later headbutted on his nose until he bled.
The passenger was later sentenced to two months in jail.
While it was one of his nastiest encounters to date, it has done little to scare Mr Lim off driving a taxi.
He told The New Paper: "I think it's part and parcel of the job. There are job hazards, no matter what you do."
In dealing with nightmare passengers, Mr Lim's tactic is to "be nice" and try and appease them.
He said: "You have to stay calm and talk to them nicely and if that doesn't work, call the police. Try not to agitate them because that's when things might take a turn for the worse."
He has also had his fair share of pleasant encounters with his passengers.
Many have been unexpectedly generous, offering tip on top of the taxi fare.
He recalled: "I picked up a young man at Chulia Street and drove him to South Buona Vista Road.
"He handed me a US$100 (S$140) note when the fare was just $16. And when I told him I don't have the change or know the conversion rate, he told me to keep the change. That was one of the best moments in my two years of driving a taxi.
"Sometimes, I'm quite surprised that there are many nice people around."
Mr Lim drives taxi seven days a week - about 13 hours on weekdays and 15 hours on weekends - but the avid biker tries to take some time every few months to do charity work with fellow biker friends.
The group will ride to destinations around the region and make stops at old folks' homes, schools for special needs children and more for visits and to donate.
Their last trip was to Hua Hin in Thailand recently.
With his wife of 14 years as his pillion, Mr Lim rode 1,800km in four days on his BMW R 1200 GS which he had bought for $10,000.
"The idea is to work hard for a few months and then take a short break. Otherwise, I won't have a life... I'll just be driving non-stop. Life is short so I should try to fulfil this before I grow old," he said.
His passion for riding is one of the reasons why Mr Lim drives his taxi for longer hours.
"It's just me and my wife, we have no children, but we do have high expenses. I ride a motorcycle and we both enjoy travelling," he said.
It was his passion for riding that brought him and his wife, Ms Pauline Leong, 40, together.
They first saw each other at a coffee shop in Malaysia, a "weekend hot spot" for bikers then.
She was riding pillion with her male friend.
Within three months, they tied the knot - but it was Ms Leong who had gamely proposed to Mr Lim.
He said with a laugh: "We were talking and I asked her, 'Do you think I'm Mr Right? Do you think you will marry me?'
"And she said, 'I actually like you and will stay for you'. She then said, 'Why don't I propose to you?'
"I thought it was a joke but that very week she said she had already registered our names at the Registry of Marriages. She then went to buy the engagement ring."
For Mr Lim, Ms Leong has been his pillar of strength for the last 14 years as he had faced plenty of ups and downs in his career.
He had been retrenched once prior to his job in the shipping industry - at Singapore International Monetary Exchange, which is now known as Singapore Exchange after a merger with Stock Exchange of Singapore in 1999.
"She supports me (in every way)... so I really treasure her," he said.