Lessons From My Driver in Malaysia

Usually my airport trips are fairly uneventful. I write blogs, check out Instagram etc. Today though my driver (Tan) talked for over an hour straight and taught me so much. He was a 24 year old Chinese man living in Malaysia driving for Grab and has a humble and happy life with his wife and daughter but is looking for a new job to utilise more of his skill set and perhaps get a little more income.

His fare for my trip to the airport in Kuala Lumpur for over an hour was about $10 aud and the company will take approx 30%.

Without further adieu, I bring you lessons from my Grab Driver…

  1. Life is unfair. Bad things happen sometimes. We just have to learn how to accept it.
  2. Old people’s homes are the cruelty of life. To him this meant that nobody cared enough about the elders to look after them in their old age.
  3. When I asked him what his favourite food is he told me ‘you know you love it when your saliva falls out of your mouth! I feel like that when I have crab. I love crab!’
  4. When he found out my age he said I should treasure my life. This is a golden age for me where I can do what I want when I want.
  5. Tan explained to me that while it was important for him to have a new job, it was more important to find the right one, not just based on income. He wanted somewhere he could go and be happy and challenged every day. With a little more income he could buy his daughter more Happy Meals – they’re her favourite.
  6. On why he changed religion: ‘Why should I believe in Buddhism when my family suffer?
    My dad loves another woman but doesn’t leave my Mum. She is sad. They quarrel every year.
    Why should I believe in something that allows that? My wife is Christian so I changed for her is 2010.’
  7. When discussing what sort of husband I should choose: ‘Find someone with the lifestyle you want. But most important is that he loves you with all his heart.’ Tan told me not to go for wealthiest or poorest man but the one in the middle that can spend time with me and can not afford another wife. Wise words!
  8. On whether I should move to Malaysia: ‘You should only move if you find good friends you can have time with and eat with and maybe go on trips with. Friendships and relationships are THE MOST important thing. If you are just coming to work you may as well stay in Australia!’

He apologised for talking so much, and said, ‘I’m not rich but what I know I share.’ I am very grateful he chose to share these lessons with me.

His gift to me, a lollie, as they were his favourite and he thinks everyone should have a chance to try them. But really he shared so much wisdom and kindness with me.

My gift to him? Enough money to take his family for crab (the one that makes your saliva fall out of your mouth) and to get anything he needed to get the job he is seeking. He nearly cried which made me nearly cry. He was shocked.

Sometimes we all need a little reminder to stay humble and grateful.

Thank you Tan, I hope you find your dream job!

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