Kancil, my first flaming-red love was only 6 mths with me. I had to sell it for cash because it was just a week before transferring to Japan that I made the selling transaction. It depreciated RM6, 000 for 6 mths that meant I used it at value of RM1,000 monthly. Which was not bad considering the running rate for renting Kancil by the day was RM60.00 that time.
I prepared Malaysian International license before going to Japan with validation for a year. We were sent to the northern part of Japan, Iwaki City, Fukushima state.
The test center was far inland into the mountains that took us 2 hours traveling on state highway. Hubby took the day off work to be with me.
Since I was just converting into Japanese license, it wasn't necessary to take the test on public road. I sat for the Highway Code test in English gladly enough. I passed this test and then went for the actual driving on the test-center compound.
Waited for my name to be called...aboduru lazaku bengte, more familiar to the bush-man of Africa!
I have driven on Malaysian roads for 6 months, I was more confident or so I thought.
Don't guess, I think you should know by now from the past phobic encounters of the road kind.
Why? You may ask. Why am I so uncontrollable behind the wheels?
Hey, take me for what I am, like my hubby, he was shocked beyond jumping!
Anyway, I failed because I didn't make the proper safety procedure before starting the engine. You know how the Japanese are very particular about the starting and the finishing points.
Hubby made me go to a driving school and learnt the proper driving way according to the Japanese road laws. Hubby always felt the way they teach driving in Malaysia was inadequate. This time I should be taught the proper way, the Japanese way.
At that point of my life, I took anything that comes. I was willing to do anything but just give me that magical paper that said part of the road belonged to me.
I took five lessons and mind you the price I paid was most expensive compared to Wales and Malaysia. The teachings were good, very official and compact.
For the second round of test, I made my way alone this time by the express bus. Left the house very early in the morning after giving instructions to the old lady next door. Relieved that she was willing enough to take care of the children after school.
You would think I should pass this round, wrong!
As I said driving a car is not part of my system. Driving was like a virus that the anti-body system in my DNA rejected all the time.
Well, second round I failed again. This time on the road hump. I was told to stop 1 min on top of a road hump. I stopped and counted 1 min. and continued. Big mistake!
I didn't pull the handbrakes!
I wanted to cry on the spot if not for the tester still with me. I was sobbing all the way home on the express bus. The word dumb, dumb, dumb kept on running in my head like the updates of stock exchange price on my TV screen.
First thing hubby said when he saw my miserable face at home was he wondered how I ever passed the test in Malaysia, the old festered “menanah bisul” repeated. He told me to take the test again and again, even if it I had to go over the 100 landmark!
I went back to the same school and this time a more serious and senior instructor took over. He was the no-nonsense type and he repeated everything he said twice even 3 times just to let me remember strongly. He told me I was the type that needed to be reminded all the time.
The third test came on the last day of summer school vacation. The test-center was crowded with young people taking advantage of the summer vacation from work.
It was a humid, wet and steamy especially when all the winds were trapped in between mountains. I was shaking and nervous. I was having some kind of heavy head preparing to fail again.
I went and this time I was familiar with the roads and places there. All the reminders and all my failures were in my head. Should not do this, should not do that...
This time after the test-run, the instructor didn't tell me my failures. He just left the car and told me to wait at a certain counter.
Waiting for my name to be called seemed like ages, all the people waiting were silent. We just occupied ourselves with our own thoughts or looked blankly at the TV screen on the wall.
I got the result slip and looked at the figures and still couldn't read the result. Again, I was told to wait in line at another counter.
Then, after some anxious hour, they gave me a rectangle, laminated card with my photo and details on it. Just like this here.
Hey, that was my license. I managed this time. I was feverish and wet with sweat. I slept all the way home on the express bus. Reached home, took some fever pills and was knocked flat for two days.
See how easy for me to be hurt. The stress and built-up to the third test was so unmanageable for me.
Now, as I write, I give praise to myself at the strength to keep up, the determination to success and the sheer hard work.
Anyway, that was 10 years ago. Last week I went to renew my Japanese license and was told that I had a clean record on the road for the past 10 years. This time they gave me a blue license to indicate that I am a safe driver. That was another certificate to prove the success of my life.
Counting the sun's repeated cycle, I am 51 today. I have done what I had to do and now its time for me to let go. This time it's my children turn to enter the cycle of Life. I can sit back and count all blessings with peace in my heart.
Happy birthday girl! I love you, I love you.