Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A 'New' Frontier

Part 1

Last Friday, I drove a fully-loaded car of 4 people to Sitiawan to attend our colleague's wedding dinner in Sitiawan. Dinner was at 7pm 'sharp' (I inverted-commaed the word - Malaysian Chinese should understand why it is so). So, we gotta leave office at 4pm in order to avoid the jam on the Penang Bridge. And, tell you what, we left at 4pm sharp (note: no inverted-commas), and yet when we reached the northbound bottleneck to the bridge at 4:10pm, it was already jammed. Sigh...

Taking a detour (using southbound bridge entry instead) and having filled my car with the RM2.70/liter gas, we finally left Penang Island at 4:30pm. I was a bit excited over the journey, because I NEVER traveled from Penang to Sitiawan before. [Ya lah ya lah... I traveled from Penang to Ipoh 100++ times, and I traveled from Ipoh to Sitiawan 10++ times, but never straight from Penang to Sitiawan lar... :-P]

The journey was interesting... I got this map above from the bride herself. Quite informative, but I would prefer a backup map, so here you are, Google map!! See below - click on it to enlarge it.

Half of the journey was on the blood-sucking PLUS highway - a journey far too familiar to me. After taking the Changkat Jering exit at 5:25pm, I ventured into a totally brand-new route. It was a two-lane slightly-widened trunk road which crosses Pantai Remis and Segari, not mentioning 3 long bridges across Sungei Dinding (one of them is 1-km long!!). Sorry folks (my car passengers), it is not Sungei Perak... Haha... I was speeding like crazy. PLUS highway limited me to 110kph, so 110kph I went. The trunk road got speed limit but no speed trap, so 120kph I went! Haha!!

No photos. Of course lar... siao ah? I was driving you know? Passengers cannot take ka? Cannot! Camera in my car boot... and I just enjoyed speeding on the empty trunk road. Hahaha!!! Too bad my car suspension was not as good as AE86, or else I'd do the Takumi stunt!!

I reached Sitiawan at 6:29pm. :-)

Part 2

The dinner ended at 10:20pm. After lingering around, I left Sitiawan at 10:30pm. Another group of friends (in another car) wanted to go to Ipoh for an overnight stay and Ipoh food the next day. So, I led that gang to Ipoh. Using the Ipoh-Lumut highway, I soared again for 120kph, with the other car trailing some 300-400 meters away. Man... The highway used to be a 2-lane trunk road, and it used to take 1.5 hours between Sitiawan and Menglembu. But now, the 2-lane trunk road was upgraded to 4-lane highway. That's why I sped like mad - it only took me 40 minutes to reach Menglembu.

The funny incident during this journey was that, because of the 300-400 meter distance, I tend to shoot past a green light, and right after that, the light turned yellow, forcing the tailing car behind to stop for a minute. At that moment, I would slow down my car till the light turned green again, so that my friend behind was able to catch up with me before I sped again. That happened at least 3 times - from the 2nd time onwards, all the passengers in my car (include myself) would laugh!! Why? Because we kinda expected that my friend behind us would flash high-beam to us!!

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