Thursday, November 10, 2016

China Day 17: Driving on the Unconnected Highway...

~ 11th February 2016 ~
I was glad that I brought along my international driving license or this holiday would be a pure headache. There were just too many of us, one big family which made father decided to change his car. Father kept pointing to us this car and that car, and just two months back, I mean in September, father really bought one huge car that could fit everyone into the car. 
So, we were in two cars. Mi madre and my navigator were with me. Pinky's hubby, Mr. Ma was in father's car. Pinky checked out the map in her phone and we saw the unconnected highway. There was a stretch where it was in the middle of a town and then we would be connected back to the highway. The journey was suppose to be 2.5 hours but because it was not Waze, which could calculate time including traffic jam, I was not mentally prepared. It was a grueling 4.5 hours of drive. I am okay with roads with light traffic. I have changed my work schedule for next month so that I do not have to face any form of traffic jams. I am very afraid of traffic jams. I will abandon my car and call for a tow truck and I will gladly walk home.
When we were in Taiwan, we became afraid of huge crowd. Now, I am afraid of traffic jam especially those stand-still jams. Could you imagine what I see? I saw a car driving horizontally towards the exit to the right because the driver missed the exit to the city. One will never fall asleep on China's road. There were too many stunts by drivers which you have never seen before. Some drivers just stopped all of a sudden in between the fork road or the bridge, trying to figure out which turning to take. Even in the city, when they came across crossroads, they would just stop and let the others honk at them. 
You see those cars parked in the middle of nowhere? That was a road opening for cars to turn into the small town. You see on the right there were stalls but due to the massive traffic jam, nobody wanted to give way, including me. No way was I going to leave a big gap for all cars to cross over. So, they just parked in the middle, walked across the street, bought their things and walked back to the car, reversed and continued along the road. The opposite side was almost empty.
We had to drive pass the small town. Why can't they just build an overpass? Then, the traffic congestion would not happen. I was bullied from left to right because the three lanes became two lanes all of a sudden.
The whole time my navigator finished watching one episode of her Hong Kong drama and she even slept snoring. Oh, signboard~! Wake the navigator up!! Navigator read the signboard and said don't know. At this point of time, I have lost father completely. He was out of my sight. I just drove on to connect to the next half of the highway. We stopped by one of the roadside stalls to buy swimwear.
Yeah, now father said got hot spring bath and I did not bring mine. I reminded Pinky to bring hers, to pack her things into her luggage but she forgot. Why la I have to be her reminder all the time yet she still cannot remember. She's in Australia and me in Malaysia and I'm still reminding her things through WeChat. If I'm staying with her, I'll be her nagging stepmother.
The end of the highway came to almost a stand still. Traffic was  a terrible mess and I could not afford to lose father from my sight. My navigator, instead of becoming my helper, has become a silent tourist. She was just enjoying the ride. She said my driving scare her and she has to close her eyes. With her eyes closed, she said that she will never drive in China throughout her whole life. Oh, so now every time I go to China I have to drive you around la har? I was driving a mere centimetres away from the car in front of me. On my left there were cars trying to squeeze in between to go to the opposite road. I could not let them squeeze through or else I would be giving way to more than a hundred cars. I checked my rear mirror, the car behind me was less than an inch away also. No slamming on emergency brakes. It would be a disaster. The jam was caused by two inconsiderate drivers who were holding a shouting match in the middle of the road. The cars were not even dented. Can't see any scratches at all. Get a life la~!

My legs were turning into jelly. We needed food. Father simply turned into a place which looked like a place where food would be served. I'm good in doing reverse parking. By now, left hand drive was not a problem but I had to remind myself to drive on the right side of the road. 

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