I don’t drive. I don’t own a license. And I don’t even have a car of my own. Occasionally, I would walk, but not if my destination is quite far. So whenever I travel, I rely heavily on public transports to get around the city. Taxis, buses, trains, you name it. Since I attend a college that is distant from my home, I’d have to hitch a ride whenever I frequent there. I pretty much do this every day now. But, there is almost always a problem that happens when I take these transports.
Now before I start, I think it’s worth mentioning that my college is somewhat hard to find. Show anyone its address, and they’d bring you somewhere else instead. Usually, that “somewhere else” is still near my school, so I can manage to direct them where it is. But I waste precious time and money in the process. And since I don’t get the same driver to send me there, I always go through this situation unless that particular driver has sent me before.
There are times when I have the misfortune of getting lost with the driver. It can take up to half an hour to figure out where the heck we are. This one time, I had a cab driver that sent me to an entirely different place altogether. My college is in Desaria Park. He sent me to Desa Park despite me confirming with him that my destination was Desaria Park. What’s more, the traffic was extremely congested. I sat in the cab feeling like I was about to blow a fuse. To my surprise, it was my driver who lost his temper. He blamed me (Yes, me!) for getting us lost. I remained quiet as he was driving with his not-so-silent anger. I ended up paying him RM50 instead of the usual RM10. And he still looked unhappy. Ever since then, I scorn cab drivers and shift to GrabCar drivers (still don’t trust them either, though).
I guess what I hate about the taxi services the most are the attitudes of the drivers. They think that they own the road knowing we, the people, depend on them. If they fix the price and not use the meter (for metered cabs), we have no choice but to comply with their demands if we are in a hurry. So when both Uber and GrabCar came to my country, they felt threatened. It’s only natural for people to opt to these two new services as they were considerably cheaper. The taxi drivers were somewhat furious over this and had done protests to display their disagreement. Sure, I do feel bad for using GrabCar as both this and Uber are putting their livelihoods at risk. But if I have to pay RM50 to get to college every day, then you can forget about it!
Now that I’m using the GrabCar service, things have gotten a bit easier. However, like any other transport I take, I still have problems with them as well. In the first place, I stuck with GrabCar because they charge their customers at a much lower rate. But I’m starting to notice the price keeps fluctuating up and down. I think it depends on the traffic. I’m not entirely sure. It does get annoying when before you book (after setting your destination, that is), the price would be, for example, RM5. As you are about to tap that “BOOK” button on your phone, the price turns to RM8. It might not seem like that much of a difference, but when you frequently use it, this would be such a nuisance.
The GrabCar drivers use GPSs, namely Waze, whenever they send their customers somewhere. That way, the drivers wouldn’t send me to the wrong place anymore. But for some reason, not all of them use Waze. So, yeah, I occasionally have to go through the same thing I did when I use to take cabs there. Makes me wonder whether this makes any difference at all.
To save money, I would sometimes take the bus to move around. I mostly take the free bus because, well, it’s free. However, the bus service does not have bus stops everywhere. So, movement with the bus is limited. But that isn’t much of a problem. It’s not like I can’t walk from the bus stop.
What I sometimes hate about the bus service is the routes they usually take. There is this bus that would keep going in circles in this one spot even though it has passed it for about five times already. Going to work with the bus is not ideal as you end up wasting time in the bus trying to get to work. I think the drivers might hate the route as well since I’ve seen one skip a few stations, regardless of the people that were waiting there. When I waited for the bus with my friends the other day, the bus passed us even though we were at the bus stop. It turns out, some bus drivers won’t stop unless you put your arm out like you would when you hail a cab. I was upset after that. Especially since I have to wait 30 minutes or more for the next bus. It used to be a twenty-minute wait.
Bus drivers, too, have attitude problems. Yesterday, I was chasing after a bus hoping I would make it. The bus stopped as the traffic light turned red. I was already in front of the door to the bus by then. It didn’t open. I tapped on the door to get the driver’s attention. He ignored me. I stood in front of the windscreen. He still ignored me while toying with his phone. I couldn’t help but notice him raising his brows as if I wasn’t worth his time. That ticked me off. If he didn’t want to let me in, he could’ve gestured for me to wait at the bus station for the next one. Rather, he outright ignored me. Jeez, what I’d do to wipe that ugly smirk off his face as he drove away.
Trains are okay, but their movement is even more limited than buses. I don’t have anything against trains. Their facilities are getting better every year. If only there were enough trains, then maybe no one would have to wait long for the next one.
So, as you can see, I have the worst luck when it comes to transports. If I could drive, maybe I could fare better. Either that or I would have a different set of problems knowing my luck.