Sunday, January 27, 2013
Visiting our neighbour in the North
And back. I'm still alive; my possessions and loved ones are still intact; and my car's GPS unit isn't being tracked by the authorities from two or more sovereign States. Let's call that a step beyond my comfort zone, shall we? Though by now it's quite clear that anywhere outside the confines of my cosy living-room bean bag is beyond my comfort zone.
It helped that we went north in a two-car convoy led by Tong, who is more experienced with the checkpoint procedures and road conditions of our neighbour in the North. We kept in touch on the road by walkie-talkie and no one got lost. In fact, the drive, once we got clear of the inevitable traffic congestion around the causeway area, was smooth and even pleasant. As a precaution, my GPS was active and though I was mostly following Tong, it did not steer me in the wrong direction.
On this trip, the closest thing I experienced to danger was when I'd returned to the causeway after a moderately successful shopping trip. There was a long line waiting to be processed by Malaysian Immigration and I was getting bored and sleepy. I closed my eyes for a second, and for a brief moment, I was transported out of the present into someplace that wasn't "here" and a time that wasn't "now". That's the danger of micro-sleep. I opened my eyes to June's screeching and frantic waving of arms as she sat in the shotgun seat. I'd taken my foot off the brake and was advancing towards the waiting vehicle in front of me. Jamming my foot down, I stopped just before contact. No harm done but, darn, what a scare!
Would I drive back up there again? Now that I've broken the taboo the first time, subsequent trips are conceivable. But there must be a real good reason. Though bigger, a shopping mall there is still just a shopping mall.