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…
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.