We started our journey at 7.30 pm from KLIA when the plane departed from the airport. The sky was clear. For a long time, I haven’t been travelling the South-North Expressway. I was lucky that the driving was fantastically smooth. Two night before I was driving along the East Coast old trunk road from my house down to K Lumpur. The experience driving from the East to KL and up the North was very much similar to exploring the East and West coasts which essentially pursued distinct lives separated by the main range, Titiwangsa.

It was in the midnight that we reached Hentian Tapah to take some rest. I was lucky to skip the experience of having to face a low sun throwing a rich golden light along the expressway, unfairly blazing into the eyes of me, the driver.

My wife was just talking in order to keep me awake. I’ve had forgotten the torture of driving home along this highway since we have not been doing this for quite some time. It was like pelanduk yang selalu lupakan jerat (a mousedeer which often forgotten the trap). I thought I disliked the metaphor since I knew it was my choice to drive home at this hour.

The route that I disliked much driving at the midnight was Ipoh Utara-Changkat Jering-Taiping. I can’t stand the hill and the slope before and after the Terowong Menora. I didn’t mind being in Dabong or Gual Periuk as long as the land contour was flat. Although the car ride wasn’t an affront to me and my family, the timing was indeed not so perfect.

By the time we reached Kepala Batas, it was past midnight. I couldn’t stand any more. I needed sleep. We stopped at the quiet area and I practically leapt off to pee and slept in full exhaustion all the way there.

It was 1.30 am that my wife woke me up and we continued our journey again. A narrow lane led me off the highway. Later, there was a signpost, white lettering on a green background: Alor Star Selatan. I was relieved, at last, we reached home. It was 2.30 am. In 30 minutes I will reach home, I said to myself.

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