The fasting month has begun!
Even though the fasting month is observed by the Muslims, everyone is affected in Malaysia. By affected I mean businesses automatically adjust their daily schedules to include the horrendous jams that spring up during this month …. everyone Muslims and non-Muslims alike, brace themselves for the inevitable traffic jams that occur, as almost everyone hurries home, the Muslims to break fast with their loved ones at 7:25 pm (depending on where you live of course) and the non-Muslims to avoid the jams!
Evening markets, selling primarily every dish and delicacy you can think of, spring up everywhere. The roads are packed! Cars are parked on the kerbs and even at traffic intersections. The cops turn a blind eye and I doubt it crosses their minds to slap parking tickets on errant drivers shopping for food. I mean there are people hungry here!!!
KL has gone crazy … thank goodness it’s only for a month!
I rushed home today to cook for my family and for my father. I was out shopping for the incidental stuff I needed for the clinic … stuff like floor mats, towel racks, decorative plants and a paper towel holder. I rushed home to cook … it’s inconceivable that I buy food for breaking fast on a Sunday! So hurry back I did, cook and then rush off to a discussion group I lead in Shah Village Hotel in PJ. I had 30 minutes to get myself from Ampang to PJ.
I drove fast, breaking all speed limits on the DUKE highway and Â just after passing the National Science Centre in the Sri Hartamas area, I saw a road block ….Shucks!
Sure enough I got flagged down and trembling with fear Â (I don’t like cops! and I was already late!!) I stopped and waited whilst the traffic cop sauntered towards me.
I wound down my windscreen and smiled … “Sorry Encik, saya memang memandu laju.” I said. He just looked at me and I quickly said (in Malay) ” I was driving fast, as I am late for a meeting which I am to lead ….” He smiled (whew!) and said,” Slow down, OK… Don’t drive so fast” He pointed to the piece of paper in his hand which had my car’s number plate and 96km written on it. Some hidden cop with a speed gun had caught me on his radar.
I smiled, he smiled, I said, “Thank you!” and got out of there as fast as I could without appearing like I was about to turn on the turbo jets again.
Whew … I am lucky! Cops can be nice after all! Perhaps it is the Fasting Month where we are to exercise patience, kindness and love for our fellow men.
Whatever it is …. I did follow the speed limit and got to the meeting on time with 5 minutes to spare.
Thank you God!
PS: The funniest part is when I told my Dad what happened, he said I should get a GPS system in my car so it would warn me of speed traps! 🙂