Monday, February 8, 2010

Pity The Carless Ummie

Relatives and friends whom I occasionally met or accidentally bumped into, whenever moving around by myself in Singapore, would be surprised to know I commute between Singapore and JB by means of public transport.

"Why Ummie? Cars in Malaysia is sooo cheap. Go and get 1 now..."

Or...

"You don't have a driving licence? Learning to drive in Malaysia is sooo blardy cheap..."

Well, my husband did teach me driving -
Around ... Chinese cemetery area.

Best lesson learnt - Never ask your spouse to be your driving instructor and he believes I can never be a driving licence holder.

- I feel a sense of eeriness every time seeing big vehicles such as cement mixer with glaring big wheels.

- I have many friends with driving licence who fear the road.

- I have seen how many others scrimp and save (sometimes up to the stage of being stingy to oneself) just to have a car.


Excuses aside, I honestly enjoy Singapore's world's best, cheapest and cleanest public transport. It's reliable too, because its arrival is stated at the bus stops.

- Bus fare in Singapore costs me from as little as 19 cents (Yes, that's very,very true - I alight from my MRT ride at Bishan then take a 19-cent bus ride which is as far as 5 bus-stops that will take me to my mother's house.
The bus ride is the most convenient as I alight at the bus stop which is just behind her block.

- Two Singapore Bus Service (SBS) rides from Larkin Terminal to my mother's house which is roughly 30 kilometres away costs me around S$2.40 (It used to be S$1.90).

- There's fare rebates (around 50 cents) in between bus rides - The lapse of timing is up to 30 minutes. Enough time for me to attend a wedding invitation and go to another.    
   

Bus fare home in JB costs me RM1.80 - A 6 bus-stop ride away from City Square.

- But I would rather take a cab from Larkin market as bus drivers in JB are good hearted drivers - Often waiting for bus to be full before making its move or when there's traffic policemen on duty.

- I have many taxi drivers neighbours. You know, it's a very good feeling knowing whose pocket your RM goes to.

- I rarely move around by myself in JB. 


Maybe not having a family car is indeed, hereditary.
- Ask my husband why he's not buying one.
Answer is, he'd rather add another van to the already existing vans he has if the need arise - Car to him is more of a liability that depreciates in value whereas van is money generating transport. 

- My daughter, prior to having her driving licence, had warned both her 'emak' and 'ibu' (my sisters) never to expect her owning a car -She's driving a University Malaya (UM) rental car for her fortnightly research and fieldwork trip in Kedah.

As she was told by her prof, future car after her PhD ( God willing. She is always  a strong-willed person ) would mean to have it often parked at the airport.

- She always looks upon my architect brother as a good example in fulfilling her ambition in study and leading a more meaningful life.
Yes, not only my architect brother doesn't know how to drive, he doesn't even know how to cycle - He walks daily to his office in Raffles Place from Selegie.

But, just last week my son, who is currently taking his driving licence, was talking about car.
What will my husband say this time?

4 comments:

Mr. Stupid said...

Its great that you depend on public transportation. Its always safe, comfortable and sometimes even faster. In other words, why waste your fuel when you can waste that of the government... lol

Well, I drive. Everyone panics on the streets when I do so. It is a bit of an issue... hehe

Have a great day!:)

Ummie said...

Yes, I've been to places and realised that Singapore is indeed a blessed country.

Ha ha ha ...
Drivers like you will be banned from driving - Here, putting one's life at risk, animals too, is a serious matter.

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