My first and most important lesson in Kuala Lumpur (KL) was regarding taxis.
Just because taxis in Malaysia say they’re metered, it doesn’t mean they’ll run with meter. Just because a taxi is a taxi, it doesn’t mean they’ll take you where you want to go.
This is how you get a taxi in Kuala Lumpur:
1. Firstly turn on you GPS, and choose where you want to go. Get it set, and now you’re ready to get a taxi.
2. Always get a taxi that is passing through. The ones parked will most likely tootle, and not want to drive you where you want to go.
3. Wave a lot to try to get a taxi to stop. If the light is ‘on’, it doesn’t mean they’re free. If the light is ‘off’, it doesn’t mean they’re occupied. So always wave once you see a taxi. Except if they’re the big blue ones, those will charge you double, because they’re considered limos.
4. Once a taxi stops, don’t get in. Open the from door – passenger side, if its looked, wait until the driver opens the window. Tell him where you want to go, and wait for him to say if he’ll take you or not. If you’re lucky, and he says he’ll take you, before entering ask him “by meter”. Getting an “ok” answer for these two questions is harder than you think. I’ve lost count of how many times, i had to wait for 40 minutes, until a driver says “ok” to both of them. So only if a taxi driver days “ok” to both questions, you get in the taxi.
5. Now its the time you get to use your GPS again, control weather he’s going to the fastest route. You may also tell him straight away that you want to go through this or that street.
6. Inside the taxi, he’ll probably ask you a couple of questions, to understand if you know the way. Get your nerve together, and always say you’re living in KL for at least 6 months.
In my case, being a woman, they always ask me if i’m married: of course i am, and my husband is waiting for me at the destination.
Then, they’ll ask how many kids i have. In the beginning i would answer “none”, and they’ll lecture me on why i should have kids, and go on and on about it. Then i decided i’ld tell them i have one, but they’ld still lecture me, cos i should have more already, cos i’m getting old (29!!!).
Finally i decided i was a married woman, mother of two, and sometimes pregnant.
While you have all these questionary going on, don’t forget to control the GPS, they like to take detours when you’re not paying attention.
7. Once you reach your destination, you might want to check if you’re in e right place. Sometimes they like to leave us a bit far from the checkpoint, because there’s traffic, and we gotta walk quite a bit. No problem except when it starts pouring!!
8. Always check the meter, cos once he touches the button, the price should not change, except for toll, or night journey (midnight till 6am, extra 50%).
9. Pay him. If you don’t want to leave a tip, ask for the money, sometimex they assume you leave it, so keep the change!
10. Finally you reached your destination, so just make sure you take everything from the taxi…