Thursday, May 24, 2007

A Waris

This is an entry long overdue. I intended to type it out shortly after 19 Jan, but somehow delayed here and there and never got down to doing it. Needless to say, it was a permanent fixture on my ever-changing to-do list.

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I sat the driving test on 19 January, and had to take a day's leave off school. The date in Cantonese sounds like Cantonese for 'sure enough', and I reminded myself that morning that God is sufficient.

In the toilet early in the morning, I revisited Psalm 121.

I lift up my eyes to the hills—
where does my help come from?

My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot slip...

--Psalm 121:1-3 (NIV)

The third verse took on a whole new meaning for me. Anyone learning to drive will know that the trickiest thing about driving a manual car is controlling the clutch. And anyone about to take the test will know that a mistake on the clutch causing the car to stall will result in an immediate FAIL. (Unless, of course, one opts for the 'sure pass' route.)

That verse was an encouragement, because I knew my route wasn't a 'sure pass', and I knew who the true Judge of my driving was. But the One who judges is also the One who provides, so I went out in His confidence.

Although my number was 'Kuning 59', I was the first to go. I will always remember my tester; the moment I got into the car, he told me to start the engine. Anyone learning to drive will know that the procedure begins with checking the cockpit, adjusting the mirrors, seat etc. But this guy just said "Start engine!". And as soon as I started the engine, he cried "Jalan!!" leaving me no time to adjust the mirrors!

(I had to stop near the dragonfruit farm to do the adjusting.)

We all know that Malaysians are good at slamming the accelerator even when the light is red, but what about people who slam the brakes when the light is green? Doing that at the first junction under the flyover must've shocked the tester; he said, "Hoi! Awak buat apa?!"

He spent most of the trip talking to someone on the other side of the phone, and eventually passed me with 18/20 marks. One of the marks was lost in the 'correct gear' section, because I never really knew then that a car should not travel too long on first gear; it becomes more obvious when one drives a car larger than a Kancil and at speeds higher than when learning. I forgot where the other mark was lost.

I remember that David thanked God for providing him an honest tester; I cannot quite say the same about mine. I mean, rushing the test by not going through the pre-driving checks isn't exactly honest, is it? But then again, I do thank God for an otherwise 'non-corrupt' tester who did not find fault where there was none.

And here's to anyone reading this who has yet to learn driving: it is not true what people say about the necessity of bribing. Although many officers may be corrupt, not all are. And many people just pay the bribe before they are asked for it, just as an insurance measure. I say this: if you believe in God, then know that He is the Great Tester. Fail Him and no man can save you; trust Him and no man can stop you.

Jeyabaskaran also sat the test on the same day. It was nice to see a familiar face. We talked about giving tuition and fees, and somehow reached the conclusion that RM 20 per hour seems to be a good average rate these days.

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I am the new owner of my grandfather's Proton Iswara Hatchback. Indeed, the word 'Iswara' can be anagrammed to form 'A Waris' which is basically English-BM rojak for 'an heir'. But that's really what I am: the heir of my grandfather's car...

...which got smashed yesterday by a BMW 7 Series which was speeding in the Mid Valley car park.

Some people are oblivious to 'Berhenti' signs; that's the BMW on the far left. And some people obviously don't realise that, no matter what, there is no fast lane in a car park.

Thankfully Mum and I emerged unscathed.

* * * * *

David is back.

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