Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Good friends

Today, I met up with some more old friends. These are friends whom I've known since school. Ya, more of those :D I think I'm very blessed to have friends whom I've known since we were giggly school girls and have kept in touch through the years. These are friends who have seen me in my best and my worst. Friends whom I've helped and who've helped me in return.

We were reminiscing about our "younger" and more carefree days. Our first crush, first love, first break-up, first job, etc. One of the friends who were there went through a bad first marriage. Her husband was constantly jealous of the attention she got from guys. She's quite a looker, so of course men would look. He accused her of having an affair with her tennis coach, her boss and every guy she was in contact with. He even forbade her to meet with her girl friends because he was convinced her friends were bad influence. She finally couldn't take it anymore, so planned her "escape" from her marriage. Friends who knew her ex-husband knew what bad news he was, so helped her in her moving. She is now happily re-married.

I used to drive a 1975 Mazda Capella which was my father's car. By the time I took over the car, it was an old jalopy. We're talking about the late 80's now. A friend of mine was studying nursing in Singapore. She used to escape from the stress of studying by taking a bus on Friday evening after her last class to visit me, stayed until Sunday evening and took a train back to Singapore in time for her first class on Monday morning. One Sunday evening, I took her on my old boneshaker to our former primary school to visit. There wasn't anyone there but we were quite happy to visit from the outside. We walked around outside the school compound to see the big tree where we used to play "house". This is an old tree with big roots which in our childlike mind formed rooms. We used ice-lolly sticks to clean away the leaves and sand, pretended to keep house. We used to pretend we were a family. That was also where we ate our snack at recess. After reminiscing with each other, I drove my friend to KTM to catch her train. Now, I didn't know the exact way to the train station. I'd lived all my life in PJ and KL was a foreign land to me.

We followed signs to get into KL to the KTM station. On Jalan Sungei Besi, the speed limit used to be 50km/hour. It wasn't a highway then. I was driving next to a brand new Honda Accord and I overtook it with my old jalopy! Woo hoo! Then I saw why the Honda had slowed down. A police flagged me to the side. I didn't see the police roadblock!

The police asked if I was aware that I was driving faster than 50km/hour. He asked what our professions were and we replied students. When he heard students, he proceeded to give us a lecture about speeding and how dangerous it can be. That we should think about our elderly parents because they depend on us in their old age. Then he told us that the fine for speeding was RM300. The police looked at my car window and asked why I didn't open it. I should describe my dad's Mazda. The window on the driver's side remained 3/4 open at all times. I carried a plastic sheet with me so I could put it over the window to prevent rain from getting in. On the passenger side, the window had to be propped when winding up or the window wouldn't shut properly. The floor of the car had erroded so much, there was a hole about the size of a 50 sen coin. Whenever I drove over a puddle, water gushed into the car. The air-con hadn't worked for about 2 years and the radio had been silent for even longer. The petrol gauge was showing E at the time. It was getting late and my friend had to catch her train back to Singapore. I was prepared for the police to issue me a summon although where I was going to get RM300 to pay it, I didn't know. The police did suggest that we settle with him. It has never been my policy to pay bribe and it never will be. The police was also reluctant to push the issue after he had a chance to look at my car properly. I just told him I will pay the fine but if he could please help us by just giving us a warning and let us off. I showed him that my petrol tank was running empty. He took pity on us and let us go.

We rushed to the train station with 15 minutes to spare but I noticed that the train station was rather empty. My friend had gotten the time wrong. The train left 15 minutes ago! My friend needed to get on that train or she would miss her morning class. She didn't have any money to take a taxi back to Singapore. The counter staff looked at us and we could see thoughts churning in his head. He then told us if we hurried to Seremban, we would be able to catch the train as it made a stop there. I don't know what got over me but I told my friend I would drive her to Seremban. We filled up on petrol and we were off.

The drive to Seremban was interesting as it was my first time driving "out of town". My friend and I had a nice chat while driving down, keeping in mind we had to hurry. As we approached Seremban town, I asked aloud "Where do you think the train station is?" My friend freaked out! "You mean you don't know where the train station is? I'm going to miss my train!" I calmed her down and told her we would go into Seremban town to get directions. Getting into town was the easy part. Just a few days before we got there, Seremban had just changed their roads to one-way system. We asked 5 people for directions and all 5 pointed us to 5 different ways to get to the train station! Finally, we drove to the edge of town to look out for railway tracks which should lead us to the train station. We finally found it! When we arrived at the entrance of the railway station, I told my friend to run in with her bag while I parked my car. When I'd parked the car, I went into the train station hoping I wouldn't see her. She had just made it onto the train as it was about to leave! The station master confirmed she had gotten onto the train. The counter staff in KL had called the Seremban station to inform that a passenger was rushing from KL to catch the train in Seremban. The train waited for my friend and was about to leave without her when we arrived!

My journey home seemed to take longer than the drive to Seremban. It was already about midnight by the time I dropped my friend off at the Seremban station. The car air-con didn't work and I didn't have a radio to keep me entertained, so I drove all the way home with the wind blowing on my face, singing loudly throughout the drive. This is something I've never told my mother. She would have killed me!

3 Comments:

Blogger Lian said...

Haiya, too bad you didn't know me then, I would have told you where the train station was. hahaha.
Talking about trains reminds me of my many bad luck with trains. Once I took the wrong train and ended up taking the last commuter back to Seremban. Arrived home midnight, almost gave my mom heart attack as I had no phone to inform her where I was. Another time also boarded wrong train but figured out just in time. Got on the right train only to find out I left my pouch (wallet and phone) on the other train. Me going north, my wallet going south. Thank goodness for Seremban. My mom picked my pouch up for me. One of those rare moments where the goodness of Malaysians came shining through. All praises to the KTM people.
All praises to your beloved car too. What happened to it?

11:01 pm  
Blogger Min said...

The car was finally sold for RM500. When our mechanic found out it was sold, he blurted out "Huh? Got people pay money for it ah?" LOL

4:16 am  
Anonymous midnite lily said...

^_^ what an adventure!

3:34 pm  

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