I’m sure you’ve taken an Uber or GrabCar at least once in your life.
Even though Singapore is mighty tiny and we have a well-established public transport system, Singaporeans still love the comfort of a car ride. 😬
And despite already earning my car license (oh, thank God… FINALLY), I still use Uber or GrabCar a fair bit.
Simple logic; like most Singaporeans – I don’t have my own car.
I get to share my loving boyfriend’s car… 😉 But it’s not mine to use 100% of the time.
Plus sometimes other drivers on the road are just plain mean… 😔 So driving becomes a real chore.
Once I was road-bullied so bad, I literally just pulled up at a random road shoulder and started bawling my eyes out about how diabolical the world is, and how God should just bring about another flood because that rude BMW made me cause a dent on my cute car! 😡 😭
*Well… to add to this, I didn’t have time to eat anything that day and was also on my period… So emotions were on an all-time high there, people!
So the point is – I use Uber / GrabCar a fair bit.
I’m not a Platinum on Grab yet though… but think I should be getting there? 😃
Being so, I’ve had my fair share of interesting rides…
#1 The Talk-Until-The-Cows-Come-Home Driver
While I think that services like Uber and GrabCar are just AMAZING… I’d really appreciate if there’s a box that I can tap on that says,
“Tap here if you want your driver to not talk to you.”
Generally when people talk to me, I respond politely.
I think I’m nice that way. 😌
However I’m only human – and there are days when I have the words “F**K OFF” practically inked on my face.
So one day, I ended work pretty late.
By late, I mean 1AM.
Needless to say, I was exhausted.
Thoroughly… 100%-ly… absolutely… DEAD BEAT.
So all I really wanted more than anything in the world, was to just get into a car/taxi… Close my eyes till I get home… then throw myself on the bed and conk out.
But life doesn’t always give you what you want (or even need, in my case).
Once I got into the car… Yup, you guessed it.
Yadda yadda… Blah blah blah… Lalala…
That was all my brain was able to comprehend after some point.
Talking Driver: Wow, you just got off work? It’s so late!
Talking Driver: You must be tired!
Me: REALLY tired…
Talking Driver: Uncle already had dinner, took a nap and had supper – then you finish work!!!
Yes, wanker. I got that I finished work at an unorthodox hour which seemed incomprehensible to you at that moment – but if that were the case, it would’ve been basic logic to realise I was in no shape for any form of conversation whatsoever.
My eyes were literally half closed and at some point, I stopped making the polite, “Uh-huh” and kept quiet… because I was practically asleep.
But he just KEPT TALKING!!!
Even when we got to my destination, he turned around and continued talking about God-knows-what…
I felt bad because he was probably lonely or trying to stay awake at that hour (albeit he looked like he had a gallon of caffeine injected into him)…
Hmm!!! Maybe that’s why he was soooo high… 😨
#2 The Scary MLM Driver
Now, I’ve taken Uber / GrabCar rides driven by property agents… insurance agents… startup entrepreneurs… that would try to make a sales pitch during the ride.
I never found any foul in that – as long as they respected that I had the right to say ‘no’.
However this particular driver really went too far…
During the entire ride, he went on and on about how liberating he finds his job! That he had the flexibility to even drive Uber / GrabCar to earn extra cash… and how he’s able to spend more time with his family.
And I responded with the occasional, “Wow, sounds great. Good for you! 😊”
I wasn’t lying – I genuinely feel it’s important that someone feels so positive in life.
Then as we were nearing my destination, he insisted that he needed to park the car… Which I felt was odd, but also felt it was dangerous for me to alight from a moving car.
So I just let the dude park.
THEN – IT BEGAN.
He turned around and give me the ‘salesman smile 😁‘. (Don’t ask me to describe what a ‘salesman smile’ is… you just know it when you it)
MLM Driver: So have you thought of doing a job like this yourself?
Immediately – it clicked in my head.
Ah, that’s why he was raving about his work. Part of it involves recruitment, apparently.
Me: No, I’m good. Thanks.
MLM Driver: Don’t you want to have more time and money on your hands?? a great company to work for!
Me: I’m not interested in MLM. Thanks.
Was already very annoyed, so I reached out to open the door.
BUT he quickly LOCKED the doors!!! 😱 😱
I was VERY taken aback!! And as a female, a little frightened…
MLM Driver: Think about it! You’re young, you’re pretty… you can do so many things!!
That was when I get pissed. 😠
I sat back, crossed my legs, glared at him and frowned. (Must’ve watched too many movies)
Me: You’re right. I can do soooo many things… Do you want to begin by thinking what I’m going to do to YOU for locking me in your car by force?
And ended that sentence by raising one eyebrow.
Yup – I really watch too many movies/drama series.
He quickly apologised, unlocked the door and bid me farewell.
No, I didn’t lodge a complaint. You’d think I should’ve, because he could do it to other people too… but at that moment when I pondered about it – it seemed like he was in a desperate situation.
And I just couldn’t bring myself to lodge a complaint against someone who seemed to be at his wits end. 😔
#3 The Swearing Driver
This is, by far, my favourite. 😆
No, the driver wasn’t rude or anything. In fact, he was just downright entertaining.
It was a Saturday and I was running late to attending a friend’s wedding dinner. I had a loooong week and it was another tiring day. 😖 Just couldn’t catch a break, even on a weekend.
He was really friendly as soon I was boarded his car.
Swearing Driver: You’re going for a dinner?
Swearing Driver: But you don’t look so happy!!
Me: Just had a rough week – really tired.
Then he tried by cracking a few jokes here and there. Which I obliged by laughing to, even though I didn’t really listen…
Then suddenly the song “I Swear” was playing in the car, and he went…
“Uncle’s favourite song!!!”
And at the top of his lungs, he sang, “I SWEARRRR~~~ BY THE MOOOOONNNN AND THE SSSSTARRRSSS IN THE SKYYYYY~~~”
😂 😂 😂
Heck, no. GIVE THE MAN 6 STARS!!!
Of course not everyone appreciates a singing-induced ride… Some people might just go, “Swear, simi??? Swear 你的老人头啦(your old person head – I don’t think it makes sense translated)！
To all Uber / GrabCar drivers out there who work so hard on the roads – thank you so much! 😊 There are times when I’m infinitely grateful to have such a great service at my fingertips and I’ve met some of you awesome drivers who make the ride so much fun!
Sure, there will always be a few black sheep around… but most Uber / GrabCar drivers I’ve had the privilege of riding with were nice people with warm smiles. 💛
If you’re a passenger, I urge you to be nice to the drivers. It’s super tiring driving around for hours on the road with other rude drivers, whilst trying to perfectly navigate to places they’re probably not even familiar with.
Trust me – now that I just got my license and trying to work those driving-muscles… It’s unimaginably exhausting.
You’d think that by sitting on a chair, pressing some pedals and turning a steering wheel won’t be that physically demanding.
Well, I got news for you, buddy.
Driving around for hours on end isn’t just physically exhausting – it’s also MENTALLY taxing. All the focus you need to give the roads (assuming that you’re one of those good people on the roads that actually don’t want an accident to happen), and the constant planning on which exit to take, which lane to be in…
And whenever you change lanes, you don’t always get to change lanes! Many drivers in Singapore aren’t very nice. 😔
So, please be nice to GrabCar and Uber drivers! Sure, they sometimes don’t deliver a great ride – but the primary thing is that you got a convenient mode of transport and got to your destination safely, yes?
For that, you have loads to already be thankful for.
So since we’re enjoying that bit of comfort in an air-conditioned car, we can spare that bit of kindness in being nice to the owner of the car, yes? 😉