Tuesday, February 23, 2010

BRAVE THE NIGHT

We did not plan.  

It was spontaneity. Three ladies braved the night, took  the road and was severely greeted with massive jam for being so naive. Me and TP and Fari decided to travel East one Friday night in early February 2010. We started from Plaza Damas in Damansara around 11.30pm in two separate cars. The children were on their own.

My small Hyundai Accent  was not fit for 3 long-legged-ladies.  But somehow, we managed with the three of us, changing guards at the wheels... and exchange in betweens to sit at the back.  It was like traveling on a train.  I could lie on the back seat with a pillow and comfortable chatting away. 

AS we  exited to the left turning, I noticed the children (TP's) went on the opposite direction.  Apparently then went for some petrol and wisely took the new highway named DUKE (Damansara Ulu Klang Expressway).

"OPs! I have just missed the DUKE highway!!!!!".   Said I... feeling jolted inside.

I was in the middle lane, so I couldn't easily ease to the left lane as soon as I had spotted the sign board showing DUKE.  As I sped away, I have lost sense of the events in Kuala Lumpur!  Who would fancy getting stuck right smack in the motionless traffic at that hour??  Who could imagine sitting idly in the car?  All we could afford was just to turn left, right, left and right, up to the sky and wondering what had happened? That took us two solid hours to get through what looked like less than three kilometers of heavily parked vehicles near Batu Caves. Goodness ME!

"Cik Na, what's happening here?"

... I dialed an ex-classmates number right at 12 midnight.  She lived just a few kilometers away from where we were idling.

"It's Taipusam celebration.  The Hindus are gathering in the Batu  Caves.  Come and sleep in my house and continue your journey tomorrow morning!!!!!!!!!".  

Happily she invited us...  Thanks for her sincere invite.  She reminded me not to miss the DUKE highway on our way into the City Center when we return from this night journey on Monday... It would be a public holiday and the Hindus would still be there probably clearing or walking into the City Center.  Appreciated the reminder greatly  but  we graciously declined her offer of a night at her place.  We were just so determined to leave town that night.

Anyway, Farie asked it I could maneuver and turn left.  I was poor with directions although I live in the city.  I called another number.  It was of a young relative living in the same area.

"Just remain there patiently, like it or not!  The left takes you to Kepong and God knows what the traffic is like at this hour with all the Hindus out and about to reach Batu Caves for their great festival"...

So, we remained patiently... Deep down I could not complain more as I was in the mid lane just then.  It was after 1:00a.m that the traffic snailed a little.  It was my greatest achievement to ease my car from the slope.  Slowly, carefully I managed to get into the direction we wanted to be.  Cars, Police Traffic, drivers and heavy vehicles were tested.  Who could go first?  No one was injured, scratched or offended.  But it was bizarre. Cars were so close  but barely touching one another.  Signal lights were vigorously flashing from all angels.  It was a rare dare devil for me too.  BUT I successfully managed to hit the highway at 1:30a.m.  Alhamdulillah.  Great!

The children?  Where could they be?  A couple of phone calls kept us confident and as expected, that they were already two hours away from us and already in the State of Pahang.  The wise kids took the DUKE.  I sped at slightly above 140 when the roads were straight and went as low as 80 at severe bends along the dangerous Karak Highway.  At 4:00a.m we reached Temerloh where the children were waiting and we each had hot coffee. The children left earlier.  We exchanged driver.  This time TP took the wheel.  That was a challenging drive for her since being absent from the road for three years.  She did well though.

When we reached our home state,  in some parts, the roads were so bad that she had to drive so slow.  Holes and dangerous bends greeted us.  Some parts shown some progress while a few remained as before.  New buildings were up.  Hyper markets were built.  Wider town roads well flooded with lights seemed new.

By 7:00a.m we were already in familiar sites, our hometown, Kuala Trengganu.  We drove round looking for Nasi Dagang but later comfortable settled with Nasi Kerabu at one famous food stall.  While having breakfast we felt "floating" and "light" in our bodies and heads... obviously it was the sleepless night that we had encountered.  But it was enjoyable despite the hassle being caught up in that massive crazy traffic jam in Kuala Lumpur.

By 8:30am, after sending them to their home, I found my way to my sister's house.  After a nice shower I had disappeared into one of her many bedrooms and was deeply immersed in my dream until late evening...  that was supposedly to replace whole night sleep...  I was no where to be heard... And I did not have any naps in the day before we started our journey.  But we did it!


4 comments:

azahar said...

Never do that again, will you? Not at our age.

I remember driving all night from Penang to Kemaman, but that was when I was in my 40's.

I tried it again recently, but I was so sleepy just after one in the morning that my vision became blurry...

So, where exactly in KT is your sister's house?

GrandmaK said...

What a grand adventure you had! We should all have an adventure now and again. They keep us humble. God Bless!! Cathy

RoyalTLady said...

I simply enjoy driving and I mean driving...fst...

Thanks for your caution.

RoyalTLady said...

GrandmaK,

Good to see you again!...Yes a little adventure at this "young" age is surely exciting. I enjoyed every thrill such as this.

Sometimes, an early dawn drive to see may daughter while she was in a boarding school clocked slightly much speedier speed. This car is stable. I was racing against the morning sun and the camera along the highways... And normally the return journey in broad day light reduced to the appropriate speed limit. Obedient driverrrr.