>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.
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.
What a fantastic year!