Thursday, May 17, 2007

Morning traffic

8.00am is too early to be at work.

It takes a conscious effort to be on time, even when it's unnecessary since I always wake up before my alarm rings. As soon as I do, my mind creates mental blocks of time that I use to gauge my efficiency. If I'm able to pray and shower by 6.15am, then I'm too early and can take my time putting on make up. If I'm done showering and I head to my parents' room to primp (they have a nice big mirror) and dad is already home from the masjid, then I better buck up and might have to compromise my... no.. just kidding... there's no compromising with the make up bit. I have to look hot.

If I'm done on time, then I should be out of the house by 6.45am. I have to be at the first toll by 7.02am, and failure to do that will result in a 120km/j spree all the way to Sg. Besi. Depending on the weather and the density of morons on the road that day, my speed will vary - rainy days see me under the law doing a 90km/j or less.

Hell begins after Sg. Besi. And here's when I start my monologues - creating dialogs I'd have with people who cut in front of me, imagining I'm a kick-ass driver who'd swerve in and out of lanes without a single scratch, thanking the audience at my first rock concert with whoever's playing on the radio, etc etc. If you see me talking in the car, it's not a conversation on a bluetooth cell phone.

It's pretty much Snail City from there, and as long as it's 7.16am just after the eyewear billboard on my left with Amber Chia pouting at grumpy motorists, then I should be fine. If it's past 7.16am, then it'll be a bad day and I'll start thinking of excuses as to why I was late: car broke down? Road block looking for a gang of illegal Thai thugs? Motorcycle skidded in front of me so I had to stop and help him to his feet? Dog ate my car?

NPE is my lover. After fighting traffic all morning and shifting my foot from the accelerator to the brakes nine gajillion times, I actually light up when I see Exit 10. I always speak fondly of NPE even though it costs me RM3.20 everyday just going to and fro. And the best part is, the long stretch of road in front is sparse and I could do zig-zags across all three lanes at 100km/j. I could. But I'm a square, so the craziest thing I've done is go over 100km/j and already feel badass. Who's "Malaysia's Most Wanted" now, punk?

After all the fretting and excuses planned for the day, I always discover myself in the office compound by 7.45am. I could walk to my office backwards and blindfolded and still be early. But somehow it's rewarding to just arrive to an empty office and make it on time when you feel you're almost beaten. It's like mocking the system for making us all get to work by 8.00am against our will and shoving our timecards up their faces. If they thought they could make me late by making office hours start early, they were wrong.

Ah, revenge is sweet.

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