Saturday, January 3, 2009

Driving Woes

i miss driving. i miss being independent on wheels. i miss the spur-of-the-moment desire to get a happy meal and being able to just pick the car-keys and go vroom vroom. i got my license rather late - only when i turned 21 - i have been a cautious driver (though my workmate dora claimed i drive quite fast!) and thank God had never been in a serious accident - just a stupid one involving hitting the post right in my dad's parking space back in ipoh house while taking out the car. so memalufying.

my sisters syida and azi in front of a dubai road-signage when we went in 2005

drive in dubai?
anyway, a lot of people have been wondering whether i will drive in dubai. my answer is NOT for the time being. first, people in dubai drive at the OTHER side of the road - with left hand drive vehicles flooding the city streets. second, dubai drivers on a third lane can easily swerve to the first without warning, let alone signaling. and mr. khairul jokes about dubai drivers - "kalau tak honk sekali sehari, tak boleh tido.." and my epic girls would know how i'm prone to err...'extreme emotional reaction' when someone honks at me or break the rules in my expense...ok, let's leave it at that! third, with all the horror stories about difficulty in getting a license in dubai and having to re-take the test 3-4 times do not make one too enthusiastic to go ahead with it, see?

on that note, mr. khairul got his in a matter of weeks - way faster than some - and bragged about how he aced the test right on the first try. i give credit to his determination to get it even before i arrive in malaysia so that it is easier to export me to the hospital when it's labour time. and hey, as much as i miss driving, i ain't complaining being the damsel wife in distress and hoping dear ol hubby will drive her around...

reminscing the kl-drive time
while driving through the usual mad KL traffic from my home to work, i realized one grave fact: my every morning drive is a struggle to survive. it’s true and hey that rhymes! you’re behind the wheel, desperate to arrive on time, eager to dodge every car that comes in your way. it's no different than dubai.

malaysia toll booth and dubai's

dubai toll booth vs malaysia toll booth
call me whatever you want - i was so amazed when i found out about dubai tool booth - or lack of it. in malaysia, waiting in line at the toll booth during rush hour is an adventure in its own. picking the right lane is essential to ensure swift drive all the way to the toll booth and out; and a good choice would be:

  • a lane which has fewer cars (usually in the middle coz cars either go to the far right or far left)
  • a lane that moves the quickest
  • a lane which has no other line of cars trying to inch their way in front of the cars in your line (VERY important as this will definitely slow you down)
  • a lane with a lorry would be ok (as lorry takes up space and though the line is slightly long but it is ONE lorry instead of 3 cars)

and i must say that i respect those who wave a hand as they overtake a space in front of my car in the road. it is an unwritten rule but some do that out of respect. i do that too. my personal rule of thumb is; do unto others as i want others to do unto me. on the road, at least. so give way to the polite driver in front of you today, as you may need to overtake another car tomorrow.

oh, and chase after the car who keeps surprising you with jerks causing you to step on the break pedal like the price of gas depends on it; as he/she cunningly forces his/her way in front of your car without mercy - and a smug face. yeah, be tough and smart on the road - dont be jerks and bitches.

to those road-bullies, jerks and bitches of all traffic jams, may one day you will receive your just reward. amin.

anyway, back to dubai easy pizzy toll. my expression was priceless when mr. khairul drove the car with me in it across the dubai toll for the first time. i was like, 'that's it?'

how dubai toll works
  1. you just need to buy a pre-paid 'Salik' tag sticker which has an electronic reader
  2. paste it on your windshield
  3. when you pass by a toll gate, no need to stop
  4. a scanner will read your tag and identify your vehicle as you drive pass
  5. toll charges will be deducted from your Salik tag
  6. works in all weather condition and speed - and it's proven to be accurate
  7. all toll charges are 4dhs
  8. if you pass without enough money left in your tag, you'd be charged 100dhs, but can easily be waived if you top-up within 2 days after the violation
so fast, so easy, less hassle, less traffic jam, smooth ride. cammon, malaysia already has smart tag 'sections'. why not go all the way? at least we won't need to wait for the idiot in front of us searching for coins only AFTER he got to his turn. is it too difficult to get the change ready?

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