Tag Archives: uber

Rating Grab Drivers

Grab = Uber here in Thailand

It occurs to me that maybe I have low expectations for my Grab drivers. After each trip, the app asks me to rate my driver. And I think to myself, “Well, he did not try to kidnap me. That seems like a 5 star trip to me.” 

If I’m feeling truly pleased with my driver, I might tip them. But then again, I might tip them if they freaked me out and I just want them to go away and not stick around finding me change. 

Besides stars, you can rank drivers based on “cool rides” and “great music” and “good navigation skills.” If I really, really like my driver, I’ll usually check all the boxes even if they did not turn on the radio or say a word to me. 

Sometimes, however, drivers get really into these categories. Like, I rode in one car where the driver had a small TV so not only did you get to listen to music, you got to watch the music videos too. Drivers also seem to switch to American pop music when they see me. I’m not always sure how I feel about that. 

I had a motorcycle taxi driver today I generally liked. He actually hesitated about two seconds longer than normal at intersections. I thought maybe he valued safety. Then, as we neared our destination, we came upon a stretch of cars parked bumper to bumper. And instead of slowing down, he picked up speed. I kept thinking, “It is a shame I’m going to die with this person I know nothing about except that he has a pleasant smile.” 

I rated him 5 stars. 


A Tale of Transportation

It started with the pouring rain this morning. One crack of thunder and I decided a taxi sounded like a better decision than either walking or taking the public bus. I pulled up my trusty Grab app (like Uber but less awesome) and found…no taxis available. Surprised, I hit search multiple times. Nothing. 

I grabbed the bus. Unfortunately, potentially because of the rain which stopped almost as soon as I got on the bus, traffic crawled. I ended up showing up for class 30 minutes late. Of course we had a new professor today and he was on time. 

Then because I wore my rain shoes this morning, I decided to take the bus back home. Somehow I missed my stop. It took me a while to notice. I kept thinking, “Wow, this commute feels long.” But it wasn’t until I realized I did not recognize anything out my window that it dawned on me that I must have passed my stop.

Being the logical person I am, I thought to myself, “Well, I know this bus runs past my apartment in both directions, so eventually it must turn around.”

Turns out it does. And it only took 4 hours of riding the bus to get me back! In the meanwhile, I got to see the very outskirts of Bangkok and chat with a very nice 70-year-old woman who was seriously concerned by my nonchalant attitude and gave me detailed instructions to get to her house in case the bus just kicked me off somewhere. 

Obviously my prolonged bus ride threw my afternoon off a little. In order to get to Bible study in time, I dumped my stuff and ran out to call a taxi. With an hour and a half to take a 30 minute drive, I thought I gave myself plenty of time to beat rush hour. Little did I know. 

After the hour and a half passed, and then another 30 minutes after that, I finally just paid the driver, dashed out of traffic, and walked for 20 minutes on foot. I don’t think the cars budged an inch between when I left and when I arrived at my destination. I did try to run but it took all of ten seconds for me to remember I don’t run. And also even if I wanted to, people walk sooooooooo slow. 

Thankfully, the kind people at my Bible study saved me dinner and I joined a group of them walking back. We opted to take the subway/sky train. As we left, the pastor noted, “Barring anything unforeseen, you can always count on the sky train to get you places quickly.”

So obviously, guess what experienced a delay “due to high volume of traffic”? Once the the sky train got us to our destination, my friend and I boarded a bus and things went fairly smoothly for a while. I got on the bus and off at the right time. I caught my transfer bus pretty easily. And then I somehow missed the stop for my apartment. 

Not feeling like an adventure to the outskirts of town again, I immediately got out. Somehow I still managed to go over 6 blocks without noticing we passed my stop! This obviously called for a trip to the nearest convenience store to buy a myself a Snickers.

Some days demand chocolate. 

I then thought about calling a taxi, or at least a motorbike taxi, but after due reflection on my day, opted to walk. And lo and behold, I finally made it home!


Staying Safe as a Single Woman

I’ve seen a lot of posts lately contrasting the numerous steps women take to keep themselves safe to the “non-steps” men take. So for example, women always taking pepper spray, avoiding dark alleyways, refusing to leave their drinks unattended. Men, the follow up thought goes, do nothing. And honestly, some of it hits home. I mean, tonight I bucked up for an Uber to the event I was attending because I don’t feel comfortable on the bus after dark. I also chose not to take my van because I fear parking garages late at night. I talked on the phone to a friend for the brief walk from where I got dropped off to inside my apartment. 

So yes, the fear is real and a legitimate thing. But I still struggle with these posts. It takes a moral high ground that doesn’t really…exist. Not all women spend every moment thinking about how to not get attacked. And certainly not all men behave as if safety means nothing. Not all men go about attacking women!

Maybe awareness is something we need more of and if so, great. Guess what? I, a single woman, am often mindful of my safety and take perhaps extreme steps to keep myself safe. But that’s life. That doesn’t make me a victim. That doesn’t mean I need to demand some redress of wrongs. It means we live in a broken world and sometimes navigating that world means taking steps to be safe. 

So be safe. Share tips for being safe. But don’t make this a Her against Him thing. That accomplishes nothing. Make this a partnership to talk about how we watch out for one another. That will accomplish far more than resentment against men for not worrying about parking garages at night.