Most of us would have at least had one meaningful or memorable conversation or encounter with our cab driver. This writer remembers one particular incident where after conversing with the cab driver for a while, the cab driver asked if I was from Melaka because my Malay had a Melakan accent and he was from Melaka too. #melakapower #dontmesswithmelaka
Conversations with cab drivers happen all the time, regardless of which type you pick, because we’re all Malaysians at the end of the day (except those who don’t signal and keep their high beams on without reason, those people are jerks). And wouldn’t it be nice if we could store up all these experiences somewhere?
Well someone’s actually turned cab stories into a comic book!
So publisher Maple Comics, together with ride-sharing app, Grab, have gathered a few funny, gancheong, and heart-warming stories from Grab’s drivers, and turned it into a comic book!
Published just a couple of weeks back, “Driving Malaysia” is basically a compilation of 9 comics, based loosely on true stories as told by Grab drivers, and written into comics by 9 different comic artists, including Azwanjjai, author of the super funny Komik Ronyok.
“A lot of them were funny and uplifting; we’re not just focused on the poignant ones.
After we shortlisted the stories, we paired them with artists whom we knew were most suited to bring out the content.” – Maple Comics publisher Amir Hafizi, as quoted by The Star
And in conjuction with the launch of the comic book, Grab had 4 “ComiCars” going around to give out these comics to the first 200 lucky passengers they came across in what they called the “Ride the Arts” programme. SADLY we are actually writing this in past tense because this happened between December 15-18 LAST YEAR (yes, it’s 2017 already, get yo head in the game).
But are the comics actually worth reading? It is a comic about Grab drivers BY Grab after all. Well…
These comics were surprisingly entertaining to be honest
You’d expect a comic about Grab by Grab to be a little…biased. While there was quite a bit of Grab’s branding in the comic (like almost every other phone has the Grab app open), the stories actually do well on their own.
There’s a nice mix of funny, heart-warming, and even gancheong stories. Personally this writer really enjoyed the story of a driver who ended up driving someone from his childhood without realising it. There’s also stories involving a pregnancy, a suspected terrorist, and even the recent Grab and Uber vs taxi cases.
But perhaps one area the book lacked was in the language area. The dialogue felt a little too…..orang puteh.
Still, it’s always nice to read a good Malaysian story
Many of us would have come across Facebook posts by people about how their cab driver helped them or just made their day brighter, and often times these stories are meaningful, but eventually forgotten because social media is just so full of stuff. (A study by the University of Southern California mentioned that because of mobile phones and the internet, people in 2007 were bombarded with 174 newspapers worth of data in a day. Imagine that number today.)
So it’s kinda cool that at least 9 of these stories have been put into a form that can last much longer than the average social media post.
PS: If anyone is interested in getting this book, you can get it at bookstores like Kinokuniya, MPH, Times, Borders, or at Maple Comics website, maplecomic.com.my. Only RM20 a copy too!