Posts Tagged ‘cars’

When I first arrived in Malaysia I wasn’t able to drive right away. My husband’s company required that a safety course be completed before getting behind the wheel.

It was an all day class. About the dos and don’ts. The rules.


Some interactive sessions.

Driving with an instructor.

The finale was a long video with horrible, horrible accident scenes. Set to weird music.

Lady with baby in pram walking across road. Boom! Car hits them. 

Truck filled with logs that become untethered. Causing chaos all over the road.

One gory image after another. Seemed to go on forever.

A woman I know said she attended the course and decided that there was no way she was going to drive after seeing all of that.

Horrible video aside, I learned a couple of things that day.

One was about the position of hands on the wheel to avoid broken arms in a collision.

The other thing was that it is really important to look ahead while on the road. Not just what’s in front of you.

We tend to keep an eye on the car directly in front of us. Checking the brake lights so we don’t slam into it if the car suddenly stops.

But we sometimes forget to look ahead.

I am now very conscious of this.

Also thinking that this could apply to life.

We look at each day. Each situation. And that’s good. Live each day to the fullest and all that.

But we also need to look ahead. Plan ahead.

Not just at the lights directly in front of us.


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Yesterday, I was driving home from the grocery store and passing an area called Ulu Kelang. I call the roadway, on which I was traveling, by the same name.

I’m driven crazy by the fact that it is spelled three different ways. Hulu Kelang, Ulu Kelang and Ulu Klang. But I adapt. Sometimes I’m working hard at pronouncing the “H”sound. Or drawing out the word “keelang.” Other times I don’t work hard at all.

Back to yesterday.

I happened to notice something on the road just outside the high speed lane. Sort of pushed up against the barrier.

Roadkill is not uncommon here. It happens. Just like it happens everywhere.

Bodies of cats, dogs and monitor lizards are often left on the road, in this lovely equatorial heat, for a few days. Me no like. I do not want to be driving down a street, day after day, and see a form get flatter and flatter. Or smaller and smaller. Especially if they’re puppies.

This unfortunate victim was a monkey.

I have been known to question many things. Usually not rocket science puzzles. But the things that really make me curious.

Like why do we spell refrigerator one way and fridge¬†another? Why did the “d” appear?

Why have I never, ever seen a baby squirrel? Our backyard was loaded with squirrels, the huge maple tree being a safe haven, when I was a kid. Never saw a baby.

I’ve also often wondered, since living here in Malaysia, about the monkeys. I’d never seen a dead monkey. Even though there are bunches of them. Not that I wanted to see one! I just wondered.

Where do monkeys die? Do they go deep in the jungle? Do they die of old age? Does the clan take a dead body and bury it somewhere?

Unless a person is a city dweller most folks are probably living pretty close to the jungle.

But I never heard anyone ever saying that they saw a dead monkey.

Well, I don’t have to wonder anymore. Some of my questions were answered.

And then I started thinking.

It’s sort of sad that a monkey gets hit by a car on a highway.

A lot of people here do not like the monkeys. They can be cheeky. Sometimes scary.


I personally steer clear of their groups near the golf course and mostly watch their antics from the safety of my car.

I’ve heard the stories of them entering houses. Going in the fridge. Doing this. Doing that.

Why wouldn’t they?

My friend recently looked up to see one in her kitchen. Her scream sent him scampering upstairs to escape. She then found the second one sitting on her son’s bed opening a bottle of moisturizer.

It’s still sad that a monkey should be on a busy roadway. And die as a result.


It’s a jungle out there.


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Nearly thirty years ago, my friend picked me up at the house for the morning drive to work in downtown Providence. He worked for the Providence Journal at the time and I was working for the phone company. That’s what we called it back then. As in, “She has a job with the phone company.” Was actually AT&T.

He was never much of a driver. More of a bus guy. As in riding the bus. Not driving it.

But I hopped in the passenger side of his grandfather’s little jeep. Took the entrance to the highway. Just about to round the bend that quickly straightens to merge with the other lanes leading into the city. Never got to do the merge thingy.

Darn curve.

Because that jeep was tossed over on its side. Like a flapjack not quite completing the perfect flip. (flapjack=pancake)

These things happen so quickly. Hard to get your bearings when you are checking for injuries and fighting gravity.

Everything’s dark. I’m blind! I’m blind! Funnily enough, I can feel a comforting wool fabric. So I pull down my errant skirt.

And then, of course, I finally see the light. I once was blind but now I see. From the window I squint and spy a haloed black man standing on the jeep looking down at us. My first thoughts were, “Oh my God!” (literally) and “My friend was right! Jesus is black.”

He held out his arms, pulled me up and out of the car. I was saved. Just keeping with the Jesus theme.

I was so grateful it was just a minor accident with neither one of us hurt. Not a scratch on us. I still made it to work.

But often wonder what makes some people so quick to jump in and do the right thing. To rescue. How is it that they just appear out of nowhere?

Are they angels?

Nearly seven years ago, Rory’s friend, Veronica, was hit by a car. Fourteen years old. Crossing the street on her way home from school. On a beautiful Dallas afternoon.

I remember quickly finding out that it was a friend of mine who rushed out of her car and went to help. A very sweet woman who was in my book club. She also had a son who was the same age as Rory and Veronica.

She went to the stricken child. And held her. Smoothed her hair and her clothes. And told her that it was going to be okay. And whispered more comforting assurances. That Veronica most likely never heard.

We lost Veronica two weeks later. It was very difficult. To say the least.

But I was able to tell her mom that Veronica had an angel with her. Someone was with her baby girl and comforted her while they waited for her to be careflighted to the hospital. She was not alone. I also told her that God could not have placed a better person there that day.

There are angels everywhere. The ones who rescue. The ones who offer assistance. The ones who hold out their hands. The ones who gently whisper comforting words.

And they appear out of nowhere.

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