Traffic light in far distance yet again cycles though Red Green Orange Red. Movement? Not even a millimetre. 10 minutes sitting in a left hand turning lane at least 100 metres from the intersection. Never before in the last nine months at the new place have I experienced such delays getting home from the supermarket at 3.30pm in the afternoon.

Even though we are still technically under Movement Control Orders (MCO) due to Covid, it appears that this big City of KL is back to pre-Covid Jam days no matter the time of day. So frustrating that a 10 minute drive home turns into another ten minutes of waiting on top of the other ten minutes and am still ten minutes from home. The straight ahead traffic flow appears to be working. I give up trying to turn left. Get out and drive straight. Get stopped at the Traffic lights, look left and cannot see an end to the stationary cars. Open Waze to set up a new route as I am driving into the unknown. States 8 minutes. OK!! Lights turn green.

Am about to take off my normal Grand Prix style but have to slam on the anchors as right hand turning traffic ignores the Jam into which they are turning and are still feeding into it well after their traffic light has gone red. They now successfully block the entire intersection. What is wrong with these drivers?Couldn’t they see the Jam ahead of them? Didn’t they see the traffic light turn red? Why can’t they just wait until the intersection is clear? In my frustration I honk the horn at the car that I almost T Boned when I took off. Driver sits there stony faced not even glancing my way. I up the ante, honk again and show the middle finger salute.

“frustrating that a ten minute drive home turns into another ten minutes of waiting on top of the other ten minutes and am still ten minutes from home”

Very unbecoming, but my frustration with inconsiderate and extremely selfish drivers in KL has reached breaking point. Still nothing. Stony face looks dead ahead. He appears to be comfortable waiting in the middle of the intersection. Two more light changes. Still more traffic tries to feed into the mess. I am getting honked by cars behind. They cannot wait but they also cannot see. Finally Stony Face cars moves about half a length, just enough for me to wedge my tiny car between him and the car behind. Wait? Cannot any longer.

Light is Green, about to take off to clear air, but a safety glance to left (compulsory in KL) highlights some Red light runners (three cars) coming through at least five seconds after my Green. I wait, just manage to take off on now the Amber light. Clear road ahead, but Waze indicates 12 minutes to home, not the original 8. At least I am moving. Am told to turn left into strictly back roads and laneways in places never seen before. Left turn, right turn, straight, left, straight, right again. Am getting dizzy with all the turns into little more than one lane roads.

Kampung (Village) world in the shadow of the urban skyscraper metropolis it is. Street vendors out and about. Locals casually wandering about at Kampung speed. I could be in the Country. Fascinated, I drink it all in and realise about 20kl/hr is the preferred speed. No sense becoming impatient or gain the levels of frustration of a mere five minutes ago. No hurry, home still beckons and as the Crow flies no more than 2 kilometres away. None of these people here are waiting in jammed traffic.

They are only waiting for their “Iced Kopi O” in a bag or “Pulut pangang” from the street vendor. Speed along? Honk horns? The middle finger? Red light runners? These Main Road realities are now nothing. Almost blissful it becomes to be part of this antithesis to urban life. My bliss is interrupted by a Horn honk from behind. Apparently my Kampung dawdle speed had become too much for the driver behind who could not wait any longer. Maybe the driver had a point.

Check Waze. 100 metres and turn left.Turn left is onto major highway. four lanes of highway speed traffic! Such a shock to the kampung suffused nervous system. Adjust I must and do, go with the traffic flow, hit the off ramp near home. Hardly any traffic and no more waiting. Home I am. Almost disappointed that the Kampung feel dissipates too quickly. I look south from the balcony towards the World where waiting doesn’t matter. High rise apartments block the view. Urban world is all there is.

Wait I must for unexpected life experiences once more. Patience it will be. The next traffic Jam? I will wait no more. Go wherever the traffic is not, via Waze and revel in the back roads and lanes that beckon once more.

3 thoughts on “Waiting

  1. I am now at the opposite end of the spectrum … I could not do what you do anymore. I walk to the surf, I walk to the shops, take a casual 10 minute bus ride to and from work, great cafes, bars and restaurants across from the beach and only 5 minutes walk from home, and we live in a pristine area.
    It was Rehan who pushed me for us to get out of Malaysia. It turned out to be the best decision I ever made.

    Liked by 1 person

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