... once upon a time ... a long long time ago ...

Small satchets of happenings from pockets of my life, as lapses of memories rewind to the particular place, moment and time ... realities of life
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Friday, May 16, 2008

Hitchhiking to Johor Bharu

After MCE, in December 1973; Ahmad Nawawi (now in Maybank HQ) and me decided to hitchhike to Johor Bharu (to visit his brother, Abang Pendek). Ahmad came to my house in Taynton View, Cheras and we walked out to the KL-Seremban road putting our finger out to the traffic bound for Seremban. We got a crazy driver; two young men. Got in the car; they drove like crazy, but we made it to Seremban and he dropped us at the Seremban-Kuala Pilah trunk road. We managed to hitched another car that took us all the way to Tampin. From Tampin, we got to Muar; in a car driven by a teacher.

We stopped in Muar as we wanted to taste the famous 'Mee Bandung Muar'. The teacher took us to 'the' famous restaurant (how nice of him) and we had two plates of Mee Bandung Muar each. After the sumptuous Mee Bandung Muar, we walked out to the Johor Bharu trunk road. As Muar town was full of cyclists, it made it difficult for us to hitchhike, but we managed to get another car; an Austin Mini (Car No : JL718 - I remember this very clearly) who was going to Johor Bharu.

It was raining heavily as it was during the monsoon season. When we reached Bakri, water level has already risen. Driving through the water, the car stalled and died and just refused to restart. After pushing it a few miles, it still won't restart. The driver even ask us, 'Why do you care, you can go if you want'; but we didn't. Passing motorist from the other side advised us that the distributor cap is wet, thats why the engine cannot start and run. We opened up the distributor cap, wiped it dry and even uses matches to 'burn' the contact points to make sure it is dry and to also warm it up. After reassembling back the distributor cap into place, we restart the car, which starts, purrs and run! The driver sent us until Abang Pendek's house in Johor Bharu. We said thank you and our goodbyes. What a nice man!

We reached Johor Bharu in the evening and stayed at Abang Pendek's house for 2 nites. In the evening, we walk to Lido Beach and look at Singapore across the causeway - how we wish we had passports to cross over. At that Lido Beach was the first time I had ice cream sandwiched between a bun. Superb!

We came back to Kuala Lupur on the third day, hitchhiking too, but an easy route. We had a Doctor in his Mercedes S280 driving us all the way from Johor Bharu to Kuala Lumpur. Hitchhiking days are not in fashion now. I do have friends who have hitchhiked all the way to Europe! This is the only time that I hitchhiked, except small trips from ITM Shah Alam to Kuala Lumpur on the Federal Highway - that's another story to tell.

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