The Uncle talked non-stop and drove recklessly. When we suggested that he should concentrate on his driving, he reassured us that everyone in Malaysia drives like him.
To prove his point, he swerved dangerously into other lanes, narrowly avoiding other motorcars. It was such a close shave! 'It's okay, don't worry, there are car accidents everyday in Malaysia, no worries,' he cackled,' you Singaporeans are jokers. Do you know what Jokers mean?'
! Don't worry? Daily car accidents? How could we not worry, especially after his mad outbursts?
My friends got so scared that they contacted other friends who were in another cab and asked that they trail us.
He was filled with such bitterness. Such anger. 'Please, Uncle, our families would be worried sick if we aren't back home in time,' we pleaded when he refused to tell us how long it would take before we reach the bus terminal. We cajoled and wheedled, but all he'd repeat in a harsh cackle is that it'd take two hours before we would reach the terminal.
Two hours?! By then, the bus would have left!
'Worried? Who would be worried for me?!' He had exclaimed resentfully. I could only imagine the hardships he went through. An immigrant from China, driving in a completely foreign Malaysia where cultures were radically different. I could only imagine his initial joy when he left his homelands, in search of a better future, of the subsequent trials and tribulations which left him bitter, disappointed and disillusioned.
Life is a series of peaks and valleys but his life seemed to have bottomed out permanently after hitting a series of increasingly steep and narrow valleys. His insane laughter while he swerved recklessly between lanes, his freehand driving, his mocking words, his rudeness to the ladies, his reluctance to heed the cries of frightened customers...
It felt as though he had nothing left to lose. The dangerous way he drove, it reflected a psychological disturbance, a suicidal wish to end it all.
I prayed hard for him, prayed that he could find the peace that he so seeks, peace that he so desires but perhaps knows not that he desires.