Driving

car

Today, as you probably know, is David Hasselhoff’s birthday.

I found out that fact this morning as I was listening to the radio while driving to school. It reminded me that I wanted to write a post about my transportation situation in Malaysia.

The picture above is of the car I’m renting this year. I’ve nicknamed it David Hasselhoff. Here’s why:

carinterior

Yep, this car’s interior is straight out of the 80s. Which is remarkable, considering it was made in 2002.

All snarking aside, I really appreciate having this car. It’s a tiny little thing, which is awesome for parking. It’s also has these racing stickers along the sides of the car, and conveniently, on half of the windshield. It’s a good thing I’m short; otherwise, I’d never see the road. And the CD player doesn’t work, so I listen to the radio now. The one English station we get plays an eclectic mix of music. One minute I have to endure a Selena Gomez song, and the next, I get inordinately excited because they’re playing I’m Blue (Da Ba Dee Da Ba Die).

Driving in Malaysia has been an interesting experience. I was expecting to be confused by driving on the left side, but I adapted fairly quickly (though I still occasionally get mixed up). What I was not expecting was how aggressive driving is here. This guide to driving in Malaysia gives you an idea of what it’s like on the road (read it, it’s hilarious). My favorite lines are:

The most important rule is that you must arrive at your destination ahead of the car in front of you. This is the sacrosanct rule of driving in Malaysia.

It is sometimes useful to turn on your left hand indicator if you want to merge right, because this confuses other drivers enabling you to take advantage of an unprotected gap in the traffic.

One of the things that stresses me out most while driving here is how frequently vehicles overtake each other. This happens to me a lot, since my car can’t go over 80km/hr (about 50mi/hr). I’m in a more rural place, where the roads are narrow, windy and littered with huge logging trucks and wild boars (seriously). It’s a little scary to get on a narrow road and constantly see a pair of headlights coming straight at you. On the plus side, driving in a rural area means no stop lights!

So here’s to you David Hasselhoff (the car). I’m grateful for the freedom you give me.

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