Expressway woes

I got my rental car today. Its a red Mazda. Looks pretty old and its 3 years old or so according to David ( the guy i talked to over the phone.)

Well what kind of life mine will be if there are no dramas?

I brought Raihaan out to Jalan Kilang Timor which is off Bukit Merah to pay for the recent purchases of Amway products. Then took a cab to Tiong Bahru plaza, and brought him breakfast at McDees. He wolfed down the kids meal and wanted more...i was surprised. He usually eats less than 2 pancakes.

Then we took the train got down at Clementi, went to the town council and enquired about the season parking coupon for the car. She said she needs the car number to register. By the time i got the car number from David I was on my way home. When i got home, i realised that i have not made copies of my documents to give to David. Came home, checked my emails for a while, then brought Raihaan out to the market. When we came back an hour later, found out that Fed Ex people had tried to deliver something to me for a long time, but they were not able to catch me. I saw the manifest on my doorstep for the 2nd time.

Called the customer service at Fed Ex and told her about this. She mentioned that today was the 4th time they tried to send me something. Wonder why they don't call up before hand before they arrive. She called me later to confirm that the guys will be back on Thursday before noon. Thats the same timing i gave for Amway to deliver the goods to me.

Agreed with it and went back to my office work after i put Raihaan to bed. The car came at about 4.20pm. Checked out the car, looked through the papers and we were done. There were four scratches at the four sides of the car. Noted. It was half tank full.(Notice the optimism?)

The car did look old, not something that i would buy, but nevertheless, its a car. Once he left, i had to paste the P plate andvrush back home. Well with Raihaan around, it was not so easy to get him out of the car. I had to rush back cos i left no coupons in the car.

Within 15 minutes i dressed Raihaan and i packed my office stuffs and got into the car. The moment i started the car, i had trouble., The steering wheel locked. With the stereo on and raihaan making noise, i could not focus and panicked. Because the car was just in the middle of the car park,  i was worried that someone would come and honk at me. A frantic call to Fathima and she did not know what to do. Then i just shut everything off. I needed the quietness to think. I turned the ignition off and then on again, it worked. Then there was this funny noise, as if though the engine was choking up or something. Did not understand what it was until much much later.

At first, i wanted to go to West Coast, but when i reached Ayer Rajah market, i realised i do not have the confidence to go along the same path as the people rushing home. So i took a detour back via AYE and reached home, Dad came by at 6pm plus and then we drove to West Coast together. The first one hour parking coupon spent there.

An hour later which was about 8pm or so, Fathima was supposed to come to West coast to support me when i test drive the car to airport. But Ramzi was sick and all and she could not make it. So Dad volunteered his support. This is where i find my father supportive, I have no idea what his intentions were when he volunteered, but he came.. My mum did not. Shes kinda freaking mad at me for something i m not sure about, but i m pretty sure its about money.

Well back to my drama. So i drove my dad from West Coast all the way to airport. I realised quite very late that there was no stop in between. Because somewhere along the way i noticed that the AC in the car was gone and only the fan was working. And I also noticed that M was on, and not D in the driving panel. I kept tyring to speed up but it would not go fast, and then there was this funny sound in the car. I wanted to move the gear back to D, but there was no way i could change or do anything. First time on the expressway, i had to be careful. So somewhere in the middle of the expressway where there was no car in my front and back, i changed the gear and the car lurched forward a bit,and the noise reduced, speed increased. My dad got worried, but then felt relief.

When we got near to the airport, i realised that i drove into the taxi lane and arrived at the departure drop off. Then i had to proceed straight to the expressway and do a U turn. I managed to get my car into two lanes in a side way position and i knew that the cab driver next to me must have cursed me. Did the U turn and nearly went the same way again, but thank God for the GPRS, i went to the correct lane and got into the parking lot.

I parked my car on the 2nd level and got out. Realise that when i was getting out of the car, the car came out with a loud beep sound, even after the ignition was turned off. I did not bother to find out what happened, cos the noise went off when i locked the door behind me. When i walked couple of steps with my dad, i realised that  i left my bag in the car and went back to take it. That's when i realised that the back lights of the car was still on. Switched the thing off and went out again.

We spent nearly 15 minutes trying to find the exit of the car park you know?  We entered into a wrong building and after a long frantic search which nearly reminded me of those nightmares i have where i can never find any exit and upside down stairs, we managed to get down the car park, ask for directions and found the exit.

Lesson learnt.

Next after a screaming Raihaan ruined our dinner at Ananda Bhavan, Dad and i left the airport early, We had a hard time finding the car, cos i thought i left it at the 2nd level, instead we were at the 2nd level, but the car was one level down. I don't know how they count it. Then we spent another 5 minutes trying to figure out why the headlights of the car was on high beam whenever we switch it on. Dad was freaking mad i tell you. I could not concentrate cos the screaming Raihaan was screaming at me to get the seat belt out from him. I had to calm myself down again and turn the correct head lights on.

Just seconds into the car, we had another problem. I thought the amount in the cash card was deducted when i entered into the airport car park, but nope. To exit, i have to slot my card into the reader and then it will be open the gantry. I was pretty far away from the machine, so i had to get out and slot it in.Then i had to rush to get back into the car and start the car back on cos there was another smart ass behind me who fucking could not wait!!! I didn't even put my seat belt on! I tried on several occasions to get the seat belt fastened when i was driving back, but then i realised there was not stopping all the way again, and I did not want to take any further risk with my son on board. So i drove without the seat belt on all the way. I was so insecure.

Halfway through, there was another sound as if the engine has some issues. Then i realised that i must have taken my foot off the accelerator, and thus the engine vibrated. My dad was so scared all the way.

We were taught in driving school to drive on the left lane and drive slow. But the problem i noted was that there were too many exits and i always have to shift lanes to the right and then shift back again. I get scared whenever i change lanes.

Well so when i was reaching home, i noted that the fuel was nearing empty. Drove in at the Esso petrol station near my mum's place. There another drama unfolded. I of course have no idea where the petrol hole was in my car, so i parked at the wrong station,. Then the Malaysian Indian guy, helped me to find the correct parking space, the hole where the petrol to be put and also advised me to get a discount card for those purchasing petrol. He was a great help.  Dad left at the petrol station itself and i came home by myself exhausted cos i was.

When i reached teban, i called Balaji and asked his help to carry the now sleeping Raihaan back home while i park the car. I had to try the parking twice and then i had to go back and forth the car to ensure that i really locked it and it was not open. Then i remembered that my lap top was also in the car, and i had to get down again to retrieve it. Very tiring.

All in all -  its a tiring experience. Seriously speaking,when i was driving in the expressway, i was praying to Allah that i drive safe and sound and that all the other drivers to be patient with me cos i had Raihaan on board with me. I was praying and praying. I was telling Allah that I am ready to join Him, but not when Raihaan and my dad are with me in the car trusting their lives on me. I rather be alone. And i also asked Him to keep me alive till i bring TA back home safe and sound as well. I realised how much i love TA today. Yeah we fight over rubbish bins and whats not, but when i drive, and i drive ever so consciously, i feel so scared.

Life is so fragile and i m telling you, driving is no easy joke. I deserved to be failed you know, cos i really don't think i can drive on the roads with all the bullys around me. It was after getting out of the expressway did i really feel safe. I think it must be changing the lanes that i am still worried about. I think i will sing some songs to put me at ease.

When i came back home, i sat by myself to get a hold of myself. I was so shaken by the driving experience really. Its as if i was driving for the first time. I felt like crying and at the same time grateful that i was still alive and that i brought my little kid back home safe.

Anyway i have written too much. I have another 3 hours to sleep and leave the house. TA's flight will arrive at 0545 hours. Balaji and i planned to leave early to avoid all the problems i faced today. Just in case i get lost again, i need the time to correct myself and pick him up. I think i will try the visualisation technique to drive tomorrow and see what happens.


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