I hate driving here in the UK. I am going to Glasgow for the Commonwealth Games later this month and the thought of driving up there is not filling me with joy.
When I am on holiday however it seems to be different. I’ve hired cars in Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia and had a brilliant time exploring: you see, when I travel I am very independent and hiring a car gives you that independence. I love turning up at popular attractions before the groups arrive by coach and I love staying long after the groups have gone.
I also love go places where the tourists don’t go. the towns that are nothing special except they are typical of the country, the people are typical of the country and there is no MacDonalds or Marks and Spencer! I love going places where I need to learn the language before I get there because no-one bothers to learn English because there is never any need (although I discovered that is slightly different on the smaller islands of Indonesia where learning English is a passport off the island and a ticket to a job in the tourist industry on one of the larger, more popular tourist islands).
So at some stage on any holiday I go through the palaver of finding a reputable but cheap car hire company.
Now this is a palaver because you are never too sure whether what you are being told “on the ground” is true or just a version of the truth because this car hire company or that is run by the brother-in-law of who-ever is speaking.
Of course, like any recommendation, you can both take it with a pinch of salt or use it as a bargaining chip when you get to the offices. Fortunately, when I have accpted the tip, wherever I have been, I’ve had very pleasant time of it all AND not a few adventures (including the time we ended up having to circumnavigate the Atlas Mountains in 2 days in a Ford Fiesta!)
Whilst this is a lot of fun, if you just want to jump on the net, use a recognised site to find the best local deal and know that I have the right car for the right job without having to learn Bahasa to do so, I can understand your point of view.
And of course with your smart phone and the internet it is easy enough to do this, even if you have already arrived in Fez, Adelaide, Fetiyeh or Kota Kinabalu!
So wherever you want to go, your online car rental fairy (and there is even a site called carrentalfairy.com) will get you there without having to dip into your English-Arabic dictionary… or course you may need some choice phrases for when you are driving your rental… let’s see, what did I use in Malaysia?
Language for hiring a car
Good Day – Selamat Siang
Thank you – Terima kasih
Please – silikan
Can I have one with air-conditioning? bisa saya memiliki satu dengan AC (you can use this for cars, rooms, whatever you like!)
This car is much better than my car – Mobil ini jauh lebih baik daripada mobil saya
How much is it – barapa haga (of course this can be used for anything – just point and say it!)
Where can I buy a map – Dimana saya bisa membeli peta
There are cows in the road – Ada sapi di jalan
The road has disappeared – Jalan telah menghilang
Is this the way to the Orangutan orphanage – Apakah ini jalan ke panti asuhan Urang Utang
Good Bye – Selamat Tinggal (if you are leaving)
Good Bye – Selamat Jalan (if the other person is leaving)