Monday, January 23, 2006
MY VERY OWN AUTOBAHN! (PLUS THE 'SPIRITS' TOO!)
I should have known better than to stir the bee's hive. Having initiated a mini furor at Pycnogenol's blog, I realized that I had better stick to writing on mundane things only, lest I'll end up swimming in hot-soup for possibly making people more confused or irritated with my parochial knowledge regarding certain issues, :) Thus I have randomly (when I said random, it means that I just hit the keyboards on anything that pops in my mind on the spur of moment!) decided to blog on my most favorite highway! Yes, you got it right! Highway!
Since the advent of the new KL-Kuantan highway, my trip down to KL to visit my parents has never been easier and faster. From the MEC toll entrance to the Temerloh toll, our record time was 1 hour 15 minutes! This highway may be nothing compared to Germany's Autobahn but I am grateful for it has shortened my KL trip down to only 2 1/2 hours maximum with minimal traffic stress. I must be one of them who couldn't wait for it to be completed and kept on asking those in-the-know, 'when can it be used?' or 'Will it be in time for raya?'You see, the old road wasn't my cup of tea. The whole thought of having to endure the 4 hours car journey of overtakings with cars on-coming the opposite direction, endless rear-tagging behind huge, heavy and crawling lorries and not to mention the many gut-knotting tight bends we had to negotiate (some are almost acute, you could almost smell the tires smoking on hard-braking friction!) would just leave me in utter dreadfulness! If it were not for my parents I would for sure forgo those trips!
So, two Fridays ago the Kuantan-KL highway saw us again on yet another of our family rides to KL, this time within a brief span of mere 2 weeks. Although devoid of spectacular breath-taking sceneries, yet heavily-laden with freak accident stories and spooky incidents, I will forever be thankful for its availibity because it has tremendously lightened my traveling perils. However, many would still opt for the old 'more challenging' road as the highway may prove to be too monotonous for some, inducing drowsiness at times especially during a hot afternoon spell. Others simply avoid it for not wanting to pay a relatively hefty RM19.60 of toll fee.
I can surely bet that all of you have heard of the many weird and mind-boggling happenings along the highwy at the very beginning of its service? These paranormal incidents (if I may call them as such!) sounded so similar to those associated with other highways in Malaysia, that I was beginning to doubt their authenticity until it happened to someone we personally know! A friend's car suddenly went beserk and fell into a small ravine only a few kilometers from the Gambang-MEC exit. It was a dry afternoon and they were not speeding at all. Alhamdulillah, the whole family survived the ordeal unscathed but the car, needless to say, was a total wreck!
A neighbor's brother was driving his BMW alone from KL, late one night. Made a stop to ease himself. Was doing his usual speed (deemed apt for a BMW, I suppose, :) of 150km/hr probably! The distant from Gambang stop to Bkt Goh's toll would have meant a short 10 minutes drive at the most. But this guy suddenly sensed an eerie feeling when he realized the whole surrounding was in total darkness and that his usual 10 minutes distant was taking too long this time and seemed endless. Peering out of the side window he realized that the engine was revving and the tires rotating but only that the car was not moving!! He could well be in twilight zone for that apparently infinite span of period. What else could he do but close his eyes and shouted 'Allahuakbar' repeatedly till he felt that his car was back on the road? On hind-sight, he believed that some 'supernatural spirits' must have entered his car for a free-ride when he went out to pee. After that heart-stopping experience, he vowed that he would never ever travel late at night alone again!
And what about the hair-raising story of a man stopping at one of the newly-built R&R for dinner? Upon reaching Kuantan, he related to his friend of the delicious mee-mamak he had there, only to be told that the particular R&R was still not opened for business yet!! WHat?? Not believeing, he ventured back to the exact spot and found the 60 cents change he left for tip!! Masyllah!! I am having goose-bumps as I narrate this!
Many had claimed to have experienced a certain phenomenon and some were so identical that it was hard to just dismiss as spurious. For instance, there were incidences of cars on the move, suddenly stopped, went into reverse gear and travelled backwards! Subhanallah!
And there are ridiculous stories of (brace yourself!) yellow Kancils (AJ, sorry to disappoint you but this Kancil has no 'kepak' nor does it have skirting that 'mencecah lantai' that 'starred' in your Mak Jah satire) that suddenly emerged upfront out of nowhere, confronting in break-neck speed , causing the poor victim to swerve in the nick of time, inadvertantly land in a ravine or ditch. I am sure there are other spine-chilling tales of this highway that can be furnished by those who frequent it in the course of their weekly or monthly travels to and fro.
Whatever you may have heard, I can assure you that this highway is relatively safe, as long as you adhere to all the safety cautions and speed limits and not to mention invoking Allah to bless you with a safe journey each time, insyallah! Subhanallazi sakhorolana haza wama kunnalahu mukriniina innaila robbina lamunqolibun !