FREE ride, if you know where to look ūüôā

I needed a ride to 1Utama, to catch Skybus to KLIA2 for my flight to Bangkok. I decided yet again, to find my own transport.

After my earlier¬†experience with Uber¬†here, they were my first choice. I wanted to book a Uber cab, but there were no cars available¬†at that time. Yeah, just like taxi, sometimes, there are no cars¬†available. So, don’t leave bookings until the very last minute yo.

So, I turned to Grab … and thought why not give GrabCar a go.

Woohoo … I got a driver in no time. As usual, before booking, I checked whether there are¬†any promotions or promo codes that I can make use of. If you look hard enough, there is usually one.

And I found¬†“VISA collaboration with Grab”¬†here:

  • Promo Value: RM15 discount on two GrabPay rides
  • Promo Usage: Applicable for new and existing Visa Grab users
  • Promo Period: From 15th February 2016 to 15th May 2016
  • Promo Pick-Up/Drop-Off Area: Only for GrabPay bookings, subject to availability

Stated that the Free Rides redemption is capped at 10,000 unique users.¬†I wasn’t sure whether they have already reached the 10,000 mark, and also whether I am entitled to the promotion.¬†But, since¬†indicative fare from home to 1Utama was only RM 14, why not? Either I enjoy free ride, or pay RM 14. Cheaper than GrabTaxi with estimate fare from RM16-25.

Kim Seng, my driver
Kim Seng, my driver

My driver, Kim Seng¬†called me to confirm my exact address. He speaks English, but with a heavy Chinese accented-English. He¬†is very young, probably in his 20s. He is a hairstylist, but a GrabCar driver on his off days, and also, after 12mn on his working days. He said he is not able to survive with RM1k+ monthly salary as a hairstylist. He doesn’t mind working hard (part-time driving) to make more money.

Oh my, he was ranting and ranting. I thought only taxi drivers do that. And I can relate to some of the things that he said.

His parents wanted him to work in office .. you know how typical old-school parents have this preset notion that working in an office is a coveted job? The world has changed a lot man. To all the mommies and daddies out there, there is¬†no best profession.¬†So long someone is making an honest living, all professions have their own merits. Kim Seng said he has tried many things, but he didn’t like it. He also didn’t do very well in school, so yada yada … He¬†wasn’t a good kid when he¬†was a teenager, but he has¬†changed. He used to work in Singapore, but living in KL now, because parents are old, siblings are married and have their own family, so only he can look after his aging parents.

Honestly, when he first picked me up, I had my doubts.

His heavy Chinese-accented English is negligible, that I can live with.  My stylo-milo-hairstylist driver also has a top knot hairstyle, also known as a semi man bun. It was more about the car itself: slightly dented car door, and a clean-but-not-that-clean car (water bottle on floor, etc).

But hey, towards the end of the trip, he has my utmost respect. Just for being hardworking, and looking after his aging parents.

Support GrabCar and Uber, guys. Two drivers I met so far just want to make an honest living, making the best in the tough economic times.

When I alight from his car with my small backpack, he said, take your time, no rush. And I replied in Chinese, “ka yow“, aka gambate.

RM 0.00 !
RM 0.00 !

Oh btw, it was a free ride, woohooo me likey ūüôā


Travel opens up a whole new world, which is cliche but true. I am a strong advocate for independent and solo travel. I was born and raised in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia but now live in Bangkok, Thailand, resulted from a chance encounter in 2009 with my why-are-you-Thai bf. I am now split between two countries. One country for my bf, another for the family, for the occasional weekend together.