China born Cai Mingjie lost his job last year with the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology at Singapore's Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). Now he drives a taxi, paying SGD77 (USD 53.55) a day rent for the car. He makes on average SGD 30-50 (USD21-35) a day after working 12 to 15 hours.
Many people might see a transition from professor to taxi driver as "moving down" in life, "but I look at it differently", he says. "I feel happier as a taxi driver than in my last two years as a professor. I often felt sorry for myself for having to work in that environment [at A*STAR, where he says he had to deal with "domineering, manipulation, incompetence" -- and politics]."