Highway star…

I used to be a slow coach, driving around town at around 40 kph…and hardly went beyond 60 kph. I do not see any need to do so as Sibu is a very small town – before one song on the radio ends, you would have reached your destination already…most of the time.

Remember how we used to cycle everywhere – it wasn’t all that far, was it? Well, I don’t think it has become any further these days but we do not get to see a lot of people on bicycles anymore nowadays and on the other hand, speeding vehicles are a common sight on our short and narrow roads…like they’re in a hurry because there’s somebody dying, a matter of life and death or someone’s about to give birth and they must get to the hospital instantly. Why else would anybody need to drive so fast?

Well, since I’ve been driving to my daughter’s school, about 100 km away, past Selangau bazaar,  I’ve gradually developed the habit of driving a little bit faster. No, no, I’m no highway star, not me…but I find that I do go a little bit faster than usual these days now that I’m getting quite used to it. The speed limit on those two-lane so-called highways is 90 kph so it would take me slightly over an hour to get to my destination or maybe a bit longer if I need to trail behind a long vehicle or a petrol tanker or a bus that has seen better days like this one…

Old jalopy

My friend from West Malaysia who was in town sometime last year could not resist taking the photograph as according to him, they do not get to see such old-school buses in the peninsula anymore.

At least this one looks pretty decent, unlike some of those that I would encounter along the outstation road. They look really old and move rather slowly as if they’re struggling all along the way. If there is a hill up ahead, make sure that you do not follow closely from behind…as the thick black fumes from the exhaust pipe would block your vision completely and you would not even know if that old jalopy has stopped in his tracks in front of you…or worse, if it is sliding downhill and is coming straight towards you.

I really wonder how these old jalopies can ever manage to pass the routine check-ups and tests and are deemed roadworthy for they certainly do not look like they’re all that safe.  Hopefully, the authorities concerned will get the bus companies to replace these with newer ones for the sake of the safety of not only the other road-users but the drivers and the passengers as well.

I do believe, however, that never mind the condition of one’s car, never mind old or new, big or small, when we’re on the road, everything is in God’s hands and it would be good to start our journey with a prayer and on that long and at times, not all that smooth road, this is the song that I would sing to myself all along the way…

…and put my trust in Him for God is indeed truly great.

Author: suituapui

Ancient relic but very young at heart. Enjoys food and cooking...and travelling and being with friends.

24 thoughts on “Highway star…”

  1. Reminds me of “Jesus Take The Wheel” Carrie Underwood – kind of a long those lines, really.
    The older I get the slower I get! lol

    BTW…I blogged/linked you the other day – made that rice dish 🙂

    Yes, that song sure comes to mind quite a lot as well…but I never got to learn the words. Hehehehehe!!!! I was always slow as living in a small town, I didn’t see the need to go fast…but now that I’ve to send my girl to her school so far away…and drive back again, I have to step on the gas a little bit.

  2. So you’ve become a regular speed maniac. That’s okay, as long as you don’t go on the Pan Borneo Highway. Talking about slow coaches, I remember someone was a little impatient on the way to Bintangor, thought I was driving too slow!

    No, I was worried that there was something wrong with your car (tyre) and the two of us would be stranded along that “long desert highway”… 😀

    Ya, that’s when I go the fastest – on the so-called highway but this side, the road isn’t as bad, very level as the land does not sink, quite a few steep hills along the way and there are more and more good sections – just have to slow down a bit on the few remaining bad patches.

  3. ol skool buses…got lah in smaller towns 😀

    I guess we fall into that category. No problem at all if they keep them looking nice and clean and roadworthy…but the ones along the out-of-town-roads look so old and dirty, not much paint left and do not look safe at all. 😦

  4. I remember taking bus from Bandong to town would only cost 30 Cents in the beginning. And then the fare increased until no one wants to use buses anymore.

    Very limited bus services in the town now – used to have in my housing area but they stopped serving this route. Can’t take a bus to town anymore. 😦

  5. I think i’ve seen these old school buses somewhere in Ipoh before few years back, not too sure about now though

    None in Penang, I know…all the nice buses but I wish I knew the routes so I could get around using them. The taxi-drivers are all daylight robbers – last time I was there, RM15 anywhere in the city even if it was from one end of Penang Road to the other (Cititel to Komtar)…and RM30+ from city centre to Queensbay Mall.

    1. It’s getting better now, with Rm10 or Rm15, you can ride the all new rapid buses around the island, even to mainland but the waiting time can be annoying though

      I used to see them, just that I did not know what number would go where. Didn’t dare to hop on. It’s really a marvel – those HUGE buses on the narrow streets in Georgetown, how they can go round street corners and what not.

      1. Those are for buses, not taxi though xD

        Taxis still the same. No-law land…they can do anything they want? KL, at least they do it “secretly” and the good ones still go be meter.

  6. There were few times I saw this aunt riding a bicycle. What attracted me was that she was cycling with one hand holding onto the pedal and another holding an umbrella. Oblivious of the speeding cars and narrow roads which deemed dangerous and unsuitable for cyclists.

    That was what we used to do – cycle carrying an umbrella especially on rainy days. Perfectly safe when one was used to it…and we did not have so many cars on the roads in those days…and people did not show off and drive so fast then plus not many (young) people had cars to drive around. People then, not so “hor mia”!

  7. Right, those days of slow-paced life are gone, everybody seem in a hurry. For what? getting rich perhaps. I wish to experience simple life. Life without deadlines to beat. Perhaps when I’m retired, geez!

    Like me. Retired…time to sit back, relax and enjoy watching the world go by. 😉

  8. My dad is a slow driver, likes to takes his time whereas my mum drives lots faster than he does 🙂 I guess in a small town things go at a more leisurely pace. Over here, if you drive slow, the person driving behind you would most likely get very impatient.

    No problem being slow…just keep left and don’t hog the fast lane. Some people do not seem to know this basic simple thing… Tsk! Tsk!

  9. Hmm, there’re still old buses like that at my hometown, but I don’t take them, keke~

    We have. I see them a lot now on the outstation routes – dunno which areas still have them in the town proper.

  10. God doesn’t care about the kind of car you drive, but He might ask how many people you drove who didn’t have transportation.

    …and He would insist upon you being responsible enough to ensure the safety of those you are transporting, wouldn’t He…and not only be concerned about how much money you can squeeze out of those “captured” victims who do not have much choice but to resort to your service?

  11. Sometimes straight road you won’t notice speed above 100km/hr if no potholes.

    Here all buses are new but their conditions not good also. A lot of black smoke coming out from the exhaust pipe

    Yup…but my old car, over 100 and I can feel some vibrations and I would slow down quickly. Ya, the smoke is terrible especially when they are struggling uphill.

  12. That’s a nice song and yes, always say a little prayer for safe journey before we venture out into the day. Always put your trust in HIM for HE works in a mysterious way. Am a slow driver too. The old buses in Kuching are all gone and now we have very nice & comfortable buses on the road.

    So nice. Very limited bus services in Sibu town proper now. Not so convenient if one has to rely on them for transport.

  13. U mention Sibu is a small town, not to say about whole East Malaysia, but only Sibu, which is bigger, Singapore or Sibu?

    Of course, Singapore is A LOT bigger than Sibu. Sibu is say, like Katong only…something like that.

  14. FYI , Sibu is like 827830 hect, while Sgp is only 71000 hect… total area lah…

    You must be talking about Sibu Division – a division (which you don’t have in the peninsula) comprises many districts like Kanowit or Selangau (where Melissa’s school is). It used to be bigger – called the 3rd Division but now Kapit, Sarikei & Mukah are divisions in their own right, not under Sibu anymore.

    When people talk about Sibu, they mean the town centre – the municipality, formerly called Sibu urban as opposed to Sibu rural – both of these will make up Sibu district which may already be bigger than Singapore…what more to say the whole division.

    1. Let’s talk population size to give an indication of how small is Sibu town. Singapore is 5.7 million. Sibu is 0.26 million. Klang Valley is 6 million.

      Sibu has so few people? Gee! 😀 But we get a lot more on special occasions and public holidays. Hate the jams around those times.

  15. Nowadays I cannot see clearly during the night… other than that, I can drive around 60-80km on Ipoh roads and 120km on highways.. I wont go further than that… but when night time falls, I cannot drive that fast anymore…

    Here, the speed limit is 60…and 90 on the narrow and winding highway – some rough patches, many blind bends and turnings…so not safe to go too fast. Me too, can’t see very well at night. That’s why I must send Melissa quickly midday and get home before dark.

  16. you and my mom would get along, i think! she drives slowly and safely in general. we used to joke that when mom drives the car and we’re the passengers inside, the scenery outside our windows takes a very long time to change:D

    Biar lambat asal selamat…

  17. When I was in Yangon 2 years ago, I see buses handled down by the Japanese from WW2. I also saw cars that are Right Hand Drive and Left Hand Drive on the roads as well….now this is most interesting.

    That’s supposed to be a Third World country…while we claim to be a progressive and developing nation but unfortunately, more often than not, we get to see the Third World mentality all around us. Sad, real sad. 😦

  18. Oh yeah that’s the Lanang bus company ones! 🙂

    I personally take the Sungai Merah (red bus) #4 (from my uncle’s place to high school Form 1&2) and #6 (from school back to Au Yong Road on the evenings).

    Not very fond memories, the #6 bus doesn’t operate frequently and if you miss it, it’s a 40 minute wait and it’ll be dark when I get home.

    Was Sg Merah red? I can’t really remember. I thought it was green but maybe it was red, can’t remember now and yes, Lanang’s blue.

  19. that’s really an old bus. I think I can still see one of those in Ipoh.

    You can? My friend got so excited and quickly took the photo – said he wouldn’t be able to see this in the peninsula. I thought we here so backward…or so money-minded – will work a horse to its death.

All opinions expressed in my blog are solely my own, that is my prerogative - you may or may not agree, that is yours. To each his/her own. For food and other reviews, you may email me at sibutuapui@yahoo.com

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