Yesterday was essentially the last day of the long Chinese New Year weekend. As per usual, when there is a long festive holiday, the highway would be congested. This time around, I spent the long holiday in Kuala Lumpur with my family. My parents and sister meanwhile went back to Kulim on the first day of Chinese New Year, and returned home yesterday.
As expected, the journey from Kedah to Kuala Lumpur was at a very slow pace. My mother even remarked that it would probably be faster to walk. My parents and sister took an express bus from our hometown. The bus left at 12 noon, and only at 3 p.m. did the bus arrive in Ipoh. The journey was terribly slow. As if things were not bad enough, just after 7 p.m., my mother called to inform me that the bus had broken down somewhere just after Slim River. All the passengers waited beside the very busy highway - in pitch black condition as the sun was already down, safe for the bus' own lights - for any other buses with empty seats that could give them a lift to the capital city. Apparently the bus company did not prepare a contingency plan as there was no replacement buses available. [Note to self: Must remind parents not to take that bus company again].
I was gravely concerned with the situation. It is very dangerous to be waiting beside a busy highway in darkness. At 8 p.m., I called my mother and offered to pick them up. Initially she declined the offer, but half an hour later, I called her again and this time she relented. So immediately, I left home and drove all the way up to Slim River, made a u-turn just after the toll at the Slim River exit, and doubled back to where the bus broke down. It took me nearly an hour and a half to reach there from my house. And it took me another an hour and a half to reach home. We arrived at my house at 11.30 p.m. The traffic was indeed heavy. Mind you though, I wasn't breaking any speed limits!
I was relieved that everyone was okay. It is quite an experience to be making such a mad dash at that hour. I don't really like driving at night. My eyesight at night is not so sharp especially with the blinding headlights from opposite traffic. In any case, that was indeed an adventure for me to remember.
To all my Chinese friends and visitors to this humble blog, may I wish all of you a Happy Chinese New Year!