Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Bikes

Scooters actually.

I nearly hit a biker last night. It was dark and rainy as I waited to join the main road from a side junction. There were few cars as it was a bit late. Since it was a one way double lane main road, all I had to do was look out for cars coming from the right. Saw a couple waited till the last one passed and slowly entered the main road - it was dark and I was driving the small Viva. I had to slam on the brakes as suddenly this bike was inches away in front of my car. The biker wobble a bit, perhaps he was as surprised as I was. He slowed down and gave me the dirty look, I just raise my hand apologetically. I really did not see him, unlike my bike accident.

The thing is this, all bikers please be aware its very hard for drivers to see you on a dark rainy night especially if you follow a bigger vehicle closely. The lights from the brighter bigger vehicle will obscure the puny light from your bike. You, the biker should really look out instead of thinking or hoping that drivers will look out for you. After all if a car/lorry came into contact with a bike, which do you think will suffer more ?

Stop being an idiot and look out for yourself. I know because I ride too.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Double bill

Haven't had a birthday cake in years. Frankly, I am not too keen on counting the numbers. Just reminded me on the limited time I have left, statistically just a bit more than a decade left. Anyway, the double billing celebrations reduced the awkward embarrassment. Thank you darling.

To all the well wishers, thank you. Especially to a dear friend who sent the audio message with burbling water and suppressed chatter in the background. Are you where I think you were ? Heh heh.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Cars - then to now...

I am 44 today, I don't "turn", I just am. Strange, I don't feel 44 and hope I don't look 44 either, heh heh.

As I sit here trying to do work, the thought of reminiscing took me away from work that I am supposed to be doing. Took out the portable hard drive, rummage through folders and looked at the milestones - cars. Machines that gave mobility hence freedom to move.

My first car was a Subaru Van, a small loaf of bread looking machine with three cylinders. I bought it right after my father had an accident for the purpose of replacing his bike. He did not use it. I used it for a while and it was painful to sell. Up to a point a used car dealer told me to torch it and claim insurance instead. But, with the help of my dearly departed my father in law, it was replaced by the Proton Saga.

BCT 8113 similar as the one above. Mine was all kitted up with sports rim and trimmings of sportiness back then. It was a hoot zipping along the back roads in Melaka. It was replaced by the Honda Civic. A modern car which I liked. No pictures though.

The Civic was replaced by the Accord. Among the first batch produced in Malaysia. Problematic from day one. Door trims that does not match the rest of the interior, inability to fill fuel - apparently they fit the fuel valve backwards - missing screws on the visor. It was fixed after numerous visits to Honda. Such a hassle.

The reconditioned CRV. I enjoyed this car.

Sadly, it was totaled in an accident.

Replaced for a while by a Perodua Kelisa. Another fun little car.

Which in turn was replaced by the 1.4 iDSI Honda Jazz. Excellent fuel economy and quite fun to drive.

By this time my wife needed a car. We bought this Hyundai Atoz instead of the Kenari. A stupid mistake. The driving position is rubbish and it drinks fuel like crazy.

Both were replaced by the Honda Stream. Ahhhh, which caused me to join the myStream group and made some cool and good friends. It was a good car. I presume because it was made in Japan.

We also got another Honda Jazz. This time with the 1.5 iVTEC engine. Great little car. Spacious and fun.

Traded up to the Golf GTi Mk V. The best drivers car. Loved it.

The second Honda Stream. Crap build quality. Not as good to drive as the first Stream. Yet it served us quite well.

Some say its a sign of mid-life but I traded the GTi for the EOS in response to a childhood dream of driving a topless car. It was worth it.

Sighhh, the Perodua Viva is more practical though. Four doors and all. However, one of these will have to go soon....

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Friday, October 23, 2009

Humpty dumpty...

Broken nose and bloodied. The front of my shirt is soaked in blood. It was a miracle that I manage to keep the car on the road as we continued the journey in silence. It was not the pain but the humiliation and shock at her reaction to the news. Backhanded by my wife. Not a reaction that I was hoping for from a demure and sweet lady who has been the mother to my kids for almost two decades. Perhaps I deserve it.

A couple of years ago, a series of events and decisions led me to take another as my second wife. Life felt complete. Then last year my second union was blessed with the arrival of a daughter. Thus begin the nagging little voice deep in me to reconcile and made the situation known to all parties concerned. What better way to break the news than in a car ? No one can leave until the matter is resolved. At least that's what I thought. Never did I imagine that I would be physically beaten to a bloodied end by my wife. Yes, she is a black belt instructor, but surely getting physical is not her trait. Never in all those years that we were together.

She did not even cry. Not a tear - which was what I was expecting. All she said was, get out of the house. I did, for fear that things would get physical again and also for fear that I might lose my restraint.

It has been six months now. From a life that felt complete, it now felt like hell. I no longer have a place to truly call home. My second family is way across the sea. Even going to my mom's is no consolation. Though she no longer say anything but the look she gave is enough to pierce through my heart.

Whatever should I do ?

Not my personal experience - a friend seeking advice. Of course I laughed, then sympathy followed by "ko yang carik pasal"...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The teeth gnasher...

Its been a long day, I only get to leave after Maghrib prayers. Am looking forward to the drive home. The solitude and tranquillity as the car glides past the empty country roads lined with palm oil and forested land. Definitely personal quality time used for contemplation and entertaining fantasies. Bliss accosted in the Volvo engulfed in great music and the lonely open road. Except for the few lorries there were not much traffic. The sky was clear, lit with glittering stars and a wedge of moon.

Two hours into the journey, lit a cigarette, roll down the window slightly to let the pungent smoke out of the car and slowed down a bit. The lilting tune of Kenny G setting the mood for a slow drive. It was then that i saw the shapeless thing flying past the car. It was as long and broad as the car itself. Perhaps it was just a shadow but the goose bumps on the back of my neck say otherwise. Dump the cigarette, rolled up the window and start moving faster. Perhaps I could catch up with some other vehicle up front.

It came again, like an aircraft performing flyby in air shows. The faster I drove, the closer it gets as it flies by. A shapeless, black blob playing catch with my car. As the speedo reaches 180, the thing is no more. A relief I thought would come was replaced by dread as I sense there is something on the back seat. The rear view mirror was dark but it was the sound that really gets to me. The sounds of gnashing teeth drowned the tunes of Kenny G. The sound was so close as if it was just inches from my ear. I drove faster while reciting all the holy prayers that I could think of. I did not dare to mute the music for fear that the sound its making will become more audible.

That’s all it does, making that sound. As the car proceeded along the winding bits, I remembered that perhaps all it wants is to make me go faster till I crashed. I slowed down to a more sensible speed and forced myself to ignore it. Finally, lights, Plaza Toll Jabor. Drove through the Smart Tag lane and stopped in the layby. Of course the thing was not there but I was soaked in sweat and shaking....

Based on a recent experience of a friend - not my personal experience, though I do drive on the same route - in a topless car !!!

Thursday, October 08, 2009


Arrrgh, huge dust spot on the D700. Can you spot it ?