There is big controversy about Grab and Uber – with Taxi drivers getting violent because they feel their jobs are threatened by the new services. But taxi drivers are not doing much to gain my sympathy.
Taxi Trip number 1
Taxi from the airport to hotel (You can’t get an uber or grab at the airport)
Wait in the Q for a taxi nearly 20 minutes. When my turn comes the taxi driver informs me he only takes cash – I have about $20 he tells me that will be enough..lucky otherwise I have to go back to the Q. When I get to the hotel the fare is actually about $25, I tell the driver I only have $20.
Taxi Driver: “no problem I take you to an ATM”
Me: “No I am in a rush to check in and get to my meeting”
Taxi Driver: “ But I told you cash only”
Me: “and I told you I only have $20 before we started the journey”
Taxi Driver: “not my fault if you don’t have right money”
So I give up and we go to an ATM, when he drops me at the hotel he gives me his card…….. “Hey if you need a taxi driver whilst you are in Singapore, please call me, but give me about 2 hours notice before you need pickup”.
Arggghhh I think of asking “do you really not know that I can get a “grab” or an “uber” with 3 minutes notice and be billed automatically to my credit card” but decide instead to say “yep thanks – I will be sure to call” I am not sure if he saw me rip up the card and bin in.
Taxi Trip number 2
Call a grab car to get to a meeting but none available, so call a grab taxi – its still a normal taxi but at least they take credit card.
Taxi turns up, I jump in tell him where I am going we set off. He asks if I use uber and I tell him I do use uber and “ grab car” and “grab taxi”. Then the conversation goes something like this.
Taxi driver – “you see ah, I am professional driver, not like uber drivers - I will get you there quick”
Me – “ I see, but no need to rush”
Taxi driver – “ I have been driving 20 years ah, I know how to drive fast and take the short cuts, not like unprofessional uber drivers they are not trained”
Me – pressing my foot into an imaginary brake pedal “I see - can you slow down a bit”
Taxi Driver – “We professionals, we know the tricks ah, to get the through the traffic”
Me: shouting “Watch the road!!” As he slams on the brakes to avoid hitting the stopping car in front.
Taxi Driver – “Doooooont Worry Sir, I am professional ah, nooo problem I am always safety first”
Because he is so professional he sees no need to follow the GPS – he knows the routes – been driving for 20 years – but unlike GPS he cant spot the traffic jams – which he promptly navigates into the thick of.
Me: “I tell you what, I’ll get out here”
Back in Malaysia, More proof I am becoming Malaysianised - never could I have imagined a time I would have the craving for Durian........but yep after nearly 10 years the country - aided by Mel who never gave up forcing me to eat durian until I liked it - has won. It seems that Durian is a not only an acquired taste but has to be acquired via years of sporadic force feeding.
As you can see from the picture below - Bailey accompanied Mel and myself - but he is on the start of his durian journey - he still hates it.....but give it time...eventually the Durian will win!