One of the main things that expats and foreigners complain about in Malaysia is taxis. I suspect the situation is worse in KL than in Penang.
So I won’t complain. Apart from getting kidnapped once by an airport white taxi, my main complaint was lack of functioning rear seat belts sometimes. But until recently I mainly drove anyway, so rarely caught a taxi. And if I was flying out from the airport, or arriving at the airport, I would book a driver I knew.
However, Mrs Tropicalexpat took to using Grabcar while I was away travelling. And I have to admit, once I’d tried it myself I am sold. I knew it existed, but I hadn’t really considered it before. Driving here, while improving, I think, it still something I do only when I really have to. Catching a bus is hit and miss, there being no timetable. You could wait for hours for a bus to come, and you could get pickpocketed on the bus. Coming back from Bon Odori earlier in the year I tried to use Uber. It was pouring with rain. Not a car around, so I had to walk home in the rain. I didn’t try since. Uber apparently gives you an estimation, whereas Grabcar gives you the actual price. Perhaps Uber will sometimes be cheaper – I don’t know.
But Grabcar simply involves installing the app on your phone, then putting in the destination to get a quote, and then clicking, “Book” if the price suits you. Pulau Tikus to George Town out of rush hour can be about RM5. In a car that is often quite new, with seat belts that work, so far sane and polite drivers who are perfectly honest, and directly to your destination without having to worry about parking. Sometimes the car is there in a minute or two, and sometimes I’ve had to wait a few minutes, which has been no hardship. By the way, Pulau Tikus to the airport is about RM25.
I am wondering – do I spend more time washing the car than driving it nowadays?
(I certainly spend more time writing blogs than driving – I just noticed this is my 800th blog. )