May 18, 2006

522KM – The Journey to Redemption

Scribbled by Perky |

I know I haven't been updating my blog for a while now. Sorry about that. With so much going on, I could hardly find the time to sit down and blog. Earlier this week, I surely did have my calendar fully booked until at least July. Well, that was when I had a job. When I submitted my resignation on Tuesday, little did I know that was my ticket to now-I-have-all-the-time-in-the-world!! Well, until I start my new job (no idea when I'll start), I thought it would be great to let you guys know that yes, I am indeed still very much alive.

Let me start today's blog by telling you about a recent trip I took to Kuantan, Pahang, with 2 of my buddies. I am as impulsive as impulsive can be. And it gets worst when panic is factored into this equation. 2 Sundays ago, I got up at 12pm, only to find a message from my client that my things are indeed at her office. My worst fear became true. I had to take the 2 ½ hours drive to Kuantan to pick up those things. What made me panic to the verge of having a heartattack was that today is a Sunday, which means if I don’t do this today, I’m just gonna have to face another week of being yelled at for my carelessness. Couldn’t bear having another bad week, I called for backup (you didn’t think I was gonna go there alone now, did you?)

Thankfully Ivan and Umar was available for the day. It wasn’t hard to fool them to come along for this long and boring journey. “Hey you guys wanna go for a roadtrip to Kuantan? They’ve got great beaches and great seafood. Come lah”. Add that sentence with my sweet and charming voice, voila! I suckered them to come along.

1pm – Leave house. Things to do: Buy takeouts from McD’s (we all just got up btw), stop by the ATM machine to withdraw cash. First boo-boo of the day: Had to make this huge ass U-turn to go to the ATM as it has slipped my mind that there was one nearby my apartment.

1.30pm – Well on our way. Talked and laughed some more. Pass the scenic hills… together with large billboards to remind us that we are still in the city. 261 kilometres to go.

2.00pm – Driving up on Genting. Slowed down to 90km. Crazy slopes and even crazier drivers who treat this like a Gran Turismo game. It’s a lonnnggg way down the ravine. You hardly get to drive on a straight road. Now that’s how curvey this road is. On top of that, with none or very little warning, you’ll suddenly find yourself a highway that started as a 3-lane road becoming a 1-lane road. Even scarier, all these sudden road changes happen when it’s at a curve going downhill. Talk about blindspots.
Scary drive factor on a scale of 1 to 10: 8.5.
Drive mode: Cautious of own driving and others.

2.35pm – On the infamous Karak highway. This is a highway that’s infamous for accidents and of course, its ghost stories. Scary drive factor on a scale of 1 to 10: 7.

Bet you guys are curious about the ghost stories surrounding the Karak highway huh? One of the stories that I remember about this Karak highway is that one night a couple was driving back to Kuantan. And like all scary stories, this one too happened during the rain. Their car broke down. So the husband does what any other men would do. Tells the wife to stay put in the car while he goes out to get help (they passed a petrol station not too long ago). 5 minutes passed by…. 10 minutes passed by… almost an hour had passed by and still no signs of the husband returning to the car. The wife starts to worry. And just as she was lost deep in her thoughts, she was abruptly disturbed by hard tappings on her window. A policeman. So her husband did get some help. Or did he?

Anyway, the policeman tells her to follow him using his patrol car as it is not safe to be on this road. As she was about to get out of the car, the policeman quietly but firmly told her “Whatever you do, just walk straight towards my patrol car. Don’t look back ok”. Well, when someone says shit like that, naturally you’d feel curious. It’s like we’re all programmed to do the exact opposite of what was being told. The lady managed to walk a few steps without looking back. But the temptation was just too great. And slowly, she looked back. To her horror, she saw a female figure bouncing the head of her husband like as if it was a basketball. Well, I’m pretty sure she screamed her heart out after that. Can’t really remember what her reaction was. But until today, they never found her husband.

3pm – On the Pantai Timur highway. This is where the System Mada of Perky was invented. Ivan kept asking how much further to go, to which I gladly replied “Sikit lagi” (eng trans: A little bit more). Now he’s expecting we’d reach there in like the next 5 minutes. But 5 minutes is basically an hour according to MY system.

4pm – Reached client’s office. Grabbed my things, said my thank you's and goodbyes.

4.15pm – Time to head to the beach. Telok Chempedak here we come!!

4.30pm - Arrived at Telok Chempedak. A public beach, but surprisingly no one in bikinis. Everyone was fully clothed, including the foreigners! Didn't want to be thrown in the Kuantan jail, I kept my clothes on too. It was great to be at the beach after being away from it for so long (Kuala Lumpur doesn't have a beach, btw). Saw some monkeys (I mean, real monkeys... but there were people trying their best to imitate monkeys too... but that's a whole different story), posed with a snake, played by the sea.

Telok Chempedak beach
Me posing with a snake
I am actually very scared of monkeys... mainly cause they're rabbies carrier and flea-infested creatures
Umar and Ivan

7pm – Time to look for food. Kuantan is famous for its seafood. I'm very particular when it comes to seafood. It must be cooked by the chinese because you know, that's what the chinese are good at. I mean, I've tried some seafood made by the Malays, and I don't mean any disrespect, but seriously, it SUCKED. Found this place called Pak Su Seafood, famous for its stuffed crabs.

Pak Su's Stuffed Crab - YUMMY!!!
Kang Kung Belacan
Buttered Prawns - A Must!
Talapia Fish Cooked in Sweet and Sour Gravy - Sinfully Good!

8pm – Time to head home. This is one thing I hate about road signs. I was following the ones that said "Kuala Lumpur". It was fine until there were TWO signboards that read "Kuala Lumpur": one was in blue and it pointed straight, and the other in green that told me to turn right. So I got confused... Oh which one to follow? I suffered for a temporary blonde bimbo moment and decided to follow the blue signboard as blue is my favourite colour. We ended up on this unfamiliar road that had no street lights and more curvey slopes than before. The further I drove, the more my gut was telling me I should make a U-turn. I asked Ivan (whom I've realized shouldn't be the person to ask for directions, btw) if I should make a U-turn. He tells me that since we're already this far, we should just keep on going. After 10 minutes, I couldn't take it anymore. The road was soooo creepy and dark, I just made a U-turn. Better to be safe than sorry, you know... don't wanna end up in some Malay tabloid "3 Friends Missing... Presumably Eaten by the You-Know-Whats".

9pm – Finally we're on the right track! Note to self: Always follow the green signboards (it indicates highways). Blue signboards are a NO-NO (it indicates roads... creepy roads... like the ones in "I Know What You Did Last Summer")

11.50pm – Arrived Kuala Lumpur! It feels so good to be back in civilisation!

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4 Your say:

Anonymous said...

:-) Have a great weekend Lydd :-)

Alex said...

I'm actually surprised to see you holding a python. That's brave man. But I still can't figure out why your fucking scared of roaches!! Hahahaha!

Jay said...

That snake picture really gave me the shivers! Sounds like a wonderful time.

Anonymous said...

Hi there

came across your blog while i was doing some research on karak highway ghost stories. i enjoyed reading your impromptu trip over to the east coast.

that being said, the highway over to the east coast is one of my favourites, for all the crazy reasons you described.

You should try the east-west highway up from Grik, Perak over to Kelantan. That's a beautifully scenic drive as well.

One last thing, the next time you come across Kuala Lumpur in both blue and green? Ask yourself how fast you want to get home. Blue signboards are the federal, trunk, and local roads. green signboards are for the highways and tolled roads, which are almost always, faster...