>Drive away, leaving a year behind

>When I first got my official Bolehland driving license, I was just finished my compulsory Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia examination and the world around me had just started to spin slowly. People didn’t talk much about the freaking global warming phenomenon or crazy Bolehland petrol price or the greedy inflation engulfing every working citizens or how to secure government tenders. Those were very alien. We were talking about how to nuke Mars and invade Pluto. All those nonsense things. Life was easy without the worry to buy Paracetamol every now and then.

It was December 1985. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the license the first time though. It seemed the tester didn’t impress with my elegant and well-polished driving skill. He thought I was showing off and perhaps drove the test car better than him. At one point, while driving for the second trial from Jalan Bkt Kechil downhilled toward a T-junction of Jalan Hiliran, I almost cruised all the way passed the road and jet-skied in Sg. Trengganu. I sweared I could see some wet spot on his pant later on and I could listen his swearing on his way to the toilet.

You see…I’ve never attended a driving school before. It was not compulsory that time to attend a driving school prior to a test. In fact attending a driving school (that time) was not a trendy thing to do, as almost all my peers received their driving license without being told how to shift a gear and steer the car safely into a parking lot. Of course…they got their license after numerous attempts and endless humiliation by the testers. I didn’t blame them as it was a monsoon season and the paddy field were well flooded, ready for a second paddy season and they spent most of their time steering buffaloes in the fields.

I, on the other hand fine-tuned my driving skill in a more elegant way. My father used to have a beautiful Volkswagen Beetle (type 1). It was painted red. Whenever he came back from work, the whole kampung folk knew it was his car approaching as the unmistakable supersonic sound of the car could be heard for miles. Even though red is not my favorite color, I still asked my father for a spin in his car and the whole pokok nipah along the river trembled every time I negotiated every sharp corners all the way to Kedai Buloh. Kedai Buloh was my pit-stop for a refuel with a pint of ketum-powered sugar cane drink.

One fine day, after getting sure I was not lacking in any way to impress the tester one more time, I finally went to take the test. I was not sure whether it was the magical power of ketum a day earlier or the tester really really impressed with my antics, at the end of the day I came back home and sung “one way ticket…one way ticket to the blues…” with a temporary driving license (photo) and bragged about my test-driving adventure to my colleagues, whom at the time were still having difficulties navigating their buffaloes in the leeches-infested paddy field.

Even after I got the license, I still didn’t have the courage to venture far away from my kampung. That was until I started my adolescent life at my first ivory tower and met my future wife-to-be and Kuala Lumpur was never quite the same again without seeing a green classic Peugeot 404 cruising its highway every weekend.

Oh…I’ve just realized I’ve been driving around without a valid driving license for a while as unbeknown to me, it had already expired… and melted in my wallet for sitting too long in my comfy office chair.

What a fantastic year!


45 Responses to “>Drive away, leaving a year behind”

  1. >Doc, I too learned to drive using my dad's beetle. I had to sit on layers of cushion to be able to see above the dashboard (well, if we can call that part of a beetle a dashboard lah) and I hated the wide but skinny steering wheel. All 4 of us (my siblings and I) had our 1st few lessons in that car, with my dad but unlike my brothers, even after I got my license (on the 1st attempt), I wasn't allowed to drive for 10 years afterwards! I only got my chance after I got married. No fair!

  2. >Nin,Walauwee…you are more terer than me… got it in the first attempt. I think and somehow our partner did actually play an important role in our driving career 🙂

  3. >i am thinking of taking a license next month. after all a girl should know hoq to take care of herself right.

  4. >mizzyN,Right on girl! Goodluck and do look after potholes…

  5. >You almost jet skied into the river!.. I nearly rammed the car into a timber laden lorry somewhere on uphill road in Miri. I swerved off and quickly overtook the lorry and the tester scolded me for overtaking on the slope.. I reasoned out with him that I was better off failing the test rather than having a 3 feet diameter timber pinning him and me down in the car.. On reaching JPJ office, the tester told me to drive carefully next time.. you know what.. I passed the driving test.. ha,ha..

  6. >at the age of 21, i still couldn't drive and i havent got the chance to go to driving school *alasan* with universiti(es) and evrything for the past 4 years after my sopm.and this morning, my younger sister went for test drive and she failed, again. this is her second attempts. and it costs my father another 90bucks for another attempt. omG, things are very much expensive these days, kan.

  7. >Oh! Tie ni tak boleh drive langsung! Buta warna, hahaha…. Nasib baik ada suami,boleh jadi drebar, kalau tak tentu naik bas turun bas je laa…

  8. >Wan Shariff,That really required a good skill and patience, I mean overtook a log-ladden lorry uphill and listening to the long lecture of your tester at the same time 🙂 Anyway, ayoh wang driving really needs immense concentration and quick thinking… exactly like what you did.little ain,You don't have to worry. Even if you have to wait another 21 years and still cannot drive, I am sure you won't be so frustrated as by then our public road will be pack-jammed with vehicles especially cheap imported cars from China. Good luck to your younger sister. I hope she will get her license soon.kayteeze,Buta warna dikalangan wanita sangat jarang kerana ia berkaitan dengan kromosom X. Jika Tie buta warna bermakna ayah Tie pun buta warna juga…kira insan istimewa dan terpilih juga ni 🙂

  9. >Assalamualaikum Sdra…I got my motorbike driving license for 3 attempts…:):)

  10. >Wasallam sdr Razak,Not so bad after all. I remember during my time, we have to bring our own motorbike for the test and you can imagine how chaotic JPJ would be. Macam-macam jenis motosikal ada. macam lumba haram pun ada 🙂

  11. >Got my license masa umur 30 tahun! Can u believe that! Oh the shame. Bukan apa, masa bujang senang lagi naik bus. Leh tido. Even now bila berselisih dgn bus, jeles tgk org tgh tido dlm bus. 1st time ambik lesen dan lulus. Agaknya tester kesian tgk I dah tua masih tak berlesen.. hehe. Ingat lagi masa ujian memandu, calon2 lain semua budak2. Malu sungguh.. hehe.

  12. >Salam,Doc.Sam,Sembilan tahun lepas, Aliff dapat lesen memandu kereta. Namun sejak sembilan tahun lepas juga tidak bawa kereta!

  13. >As i have heard the story before… he he he or was it me in the same shoes… 🙂

  14. >Syed,I believed those kiddos might thought you must be some cool millionaire who was getting bored being chauffeured around and want to drive the limo yourself :)I am more than willing to take a public transport to commute, but you knowlah how 'super-efficient' our public transport is.aliff muhammad,habis tu…lesen tu ada buat renewal tak?

  15. >What, 1985?! You were at the back of the wheel, me? I might be still learnt how to walk. Hehehe. I failed at my first attempt, the bukit part. That day, there was one candidate who was so nervous, she hit one motorcycle when she was doing the jalanraya test. Actually that kakak was so gelabah when she saw the traffic light was turning to red. Kesian her. Terus fail!

  16. >Riza Ahmad,Alamak…my long lost friend-cum-exUKM-housemate. Good to hear from you bro. I remember during our good-old time, your Toyota become our only mode of transportation to roam KL past nite time when boredom kicked in. Remember the movie Willow (at the no-more Cathay cinema at Jln Bkt Bintang)?

  17. >DeLancrettLurpak,It was monsoon and my brain had just recuperated from being squeezed into a pea size during SPM. So naturally having a driving license is a logical way to kill my post-exam boredom.Hitting an unsuspecting passerby or innocent bystander were not as bad as hitting down your own tester. I had seen one myself 🙂

  18. >Hu hu hu… what a memory… the good old days! Nazif with the red honda civic… remember. well, out of the five… u and salman turn out to be Dr.s., Nazif, Amir and me turn out to run some business 🙂 please check my blog… http://kerjaya-muslim.blogspot.com/

  19. >hehehehe..I punya pengalaman nk amek lesen neh lagi best.. abah suh daftar both car n motorcycle, tapi I daftar kete je.. duit lebey g wat shopping.. sape pon tatau until I da dpt lesen..abah tgk2 awat la kete je yg ada.. lesen moto x masuk skali..kantoiiiii~ smp skang x de lesen moto..hikhikhik *dasar budak penakut*

  20. >Riza ahmad,Don't forget our friend Aswady…the one who spent his entire semester on the road with his Charade :)Visited your blog and left some jejak there.SiRibenMerah,Wah…canggih punya modus operandi. Tapi pompuan takpe takde lesen motor pun. Takut nanti tercabar pula mat rempit kat jalan tu 🙂

  21. >Salam. Pertama kali komen walaupun dah byk kali skodeng. Saya lg terer umur 47 baru ambil lesen, nasib baik lulus skali cuba je….kalu x malu ke budok2 ….xpernah pegang stereng walaupun duduk sblh drebar berpuluh tahun……

  22. >beejeanne,Salam beejeane. sekurang-kurangnya itu dikira sebagai pencapaian hidup juga. Yang penting semangat tu.Patut rasa macam asyik kena skodeng je 🙂

  23. >Assalamualaikum docbila sekarang bercakap pasal nak ambil lesen mau tergelak ja.. macam-macam hal semata-mata nak ambil lesen.. dan sesudah dpt lesen.. kereta pun kemek calar sana sini 🙂 Maiza lps SPM terus ambil lesen walaupun penakut.. mujur lagi terpaksa keraskan hati ambil juga lesen.. kalau tak susah nak gerak..PS : pic lesen memang nostalgia

  24. >i got my licence after 2nd attempt, at that time the famous Hassan Ibrahim was the the Director general RTD..

  25. >Dr sam…U still have that classic driving license?…woww..i got my license 11 years ago on the 1st attempt itself… i did not know whether he really wanna test me, but when we passed through the school area, or the area that we need to slow a bit according to the particular km/h, he asked me to move faster. around 70km/h for example.. And i did. I just follow his order though i knew it was wrong…Fortunately…i passed!! heh

  26. >Absolutely interesting story you wrote there. Brought me into it like watching a movie, or better..like I was there.And…my driving licence (which I also got right after my SPM after 2nd attemp :)…"I just renew it without driving as I don't have car of my own now" :(Happy New Year Doc! Regards to your beautiful wifey & handsome heroes.P/S : Actually you're very handsome looking man too.Your pix on the temp licence proves this! 😀

  27. >MaizaC'Joe,Salam Maiza. Saya rasa memang ramai yang mempunyai pengalaman pahit manis mendapatkan lesen. Pengalaman yang kelakar pun pasti banyak juga. dulu kereta yang digunakan untuk ujian pun bukannya baru sangat. Semput-semput. Baru nak masuk gear empat kereta mati. Nak masuk gear pun sangkut-sangkut bukan tak terer tapi gear dan shift pedal tu ketat sangat…alasan je :)zino,Ha…ha…I bet the testers at the time surely missed the duit kopi…Afida Anuar,I keep almost everything and everything that has a sentimental value (that include my wife) hi…hi… My house is like a living museum you know…I bet your tester must had that unstoppable urge or nature's call…it was not his fault :)MariaFaizal,Hey sis… Since there were many who share similar fate with us, why not we have a 2nd-attempt-club then :)Have a great day to you and your beautiful clan…p/s: I'm blushing red now…I hate red you know…

  28. >Salam DrSam,how are u?Happy new year 2011.Oh catz pernah 3 bulan bawa kereta lesen dah expired baru perasan. somewhere in Ogos 2010.hahaha. time realised yg lesen dah expired tu nak kena outstation jauh on Sunday. menggagau gabrahhh. padahal 3 bulan tu xde rasa apa. bila dah tau rasa scary. Alhamdulilah xde roadblock or apa2 berlaku.:).

  29. >berapa lama dah mati? hehehe… i didn't renew mine until 7 months after it expired (baru perasan), tapi tak melt lah! 🙂

  30. >catz,Salam catz. Alhamdulillah I am fine thank you. rupanya ramai juga yang tak perasan lesen dah mati. KOG pun boleh join kelab tak-perasan.KOG,baru je 1 bulan lebih 😉 Memang kes haru. Ingatkan tahun 2011…

  31. >Dr Sam,I have to made 3 attempts before passed my driving test in 1997. But now, my collegues use to call me, Minah Rempit coz I love to speed.

  32. >Salam Dr Sam:)Punyalah panic dgn abg tester sampaikan terlupa nak pasang tali pinggang keledar!hehe..tapi alhamdulillah…lulus utk sekali ujian !!terror kan..hehe:)

  33. >Hmmmm..tell or not to tell..tell or not to tell..ok..ok..i'll tell..ready? ready?ready?ready?i got my license at d age of 34!!! muahahaha! why bother to drive when u have a 'supir' hehehe

  34. >Jap jap…nak tahan gelak jap..Who's that funny looking guy?hahahahhahahaahahha……sorry!….hahahahahhahMaaaaa…still keeping your L-LESEN?BTW,I thought I was THE ONLY one who forgot to renew the license!

  35. >i am theoretically 21, but still i do not know a single thing about cars and driving.guess that i took things for granted knowing i would have someone to drive me around. now i am desperately longing to learn to drive.

  36. >ha ha ha…2nd attemp club sounds great to me (made me feel accepted in the society he he he..)and i love red, hence red jazz 😀

  37. >sy pun dpt lesen utk 1rst attempt.hihi

  38. >Dr Samme as well as got the licence after completed my SPM. That year is very busy year. It was 1990. After getting my licence at the first time try.. wohhaaa.. me being a personal driver to my mother.. we go here n there just two of us.. Until now.. i still drive to office to market to kid school.. but after 20 yrs being a driver.. it never get me tired at all.. That's life…

  39. >Hunny,With your everyday's busy schedule, I think you really need that rempit skill :)Pn. Kartini,Salam pn. Nasib baik tak kena potong markah banyak-banyak :)sally,thank you for sharing you well-kept secret 🙂 Send my warmest regards to you excellent supir.

  40. >ashley,Luckily, that was the only surviving portrait of me during that era. Wait till another 5 more years and then I will put it on e-bay under collectible item 🙂 Wadda you think sis…?mirachantek,I think ladies in general have a very good excuse of not having a driving license 🙂

  41. >MariaFaizal,When I said I don't really like red, it doesn't mean I won't jump into your fabulous red Jazz if ever I got invited :)MiSya,Ini mesti ada kenyit-kenyit kat abang tester ni tak :)Zareda Norman,some like to drive and some don't. Some even got phobia of driving because of some bad life experiences. It is a personal preference. But at the end of the day it is good to acquire the skill (and license) so that you can be somebody who is not dependent to others. Bebassss gitu…

  42. >hehehe dan pada masa itu juga gear keter ala2 tinggi sekaki kat tengah-tengah seat depan tu 🙂 so innesenlah ittew driving lesen… cayalah simpan lagi tu hehe

  43. >PerantauSepi1306,kalau tak silap, tester pun ada brek kaki juga. kereta sekolah memandu sekarang tak tahu pula ada tak lagi brek kaki satu lagi, kalau tak ada alamatnya pakai break angin je le…

  44. >Happy New Year and Happy Birthday again Doc! It's been a long time I don't click Google Reader. Lucky you, got your driver's license at such a young age!

  45. >Small Hiker,Thank for the good wishes Small Hiker. Wishing you all the greatness in life.

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