Friday, 23 April 2010

Vulnerable in a Viva

Having no car is by far the most inconvenient experience that I have gone through. It felt like suddenly my freedom has been taken away; and there is this bubble inside of me wanting to burst and be free.

Meeting with an accident, having a huge dent on the right back passenger's door and major scratches on the right side of the car left me without a vehicle for about two weeks. Luckily, my cousin (who is also the elder sister I never had) came to the rescue and loaned me a car (bless her soul!). It is a Perodua Viva (better than nothing!), used by her maid, for running errands. And coincidently she is not around for 10 days (falls nicely in the picture).

Having driven a normal sedan and a 4 WD before, now temporarily driving a compact car, Viva nonetheless, left me with an almost nerve-wracking experience. The first time I drove the car on the highway, I became very agitated. I lost the sense of security which I always have whenever I drive my own car. I can't help feeling insecure whenever I am in the car as the body of the entire car seems hollow. The door seems easily dented. I felt that I am separated by only 2 sheets of soft metal from the sorrounding that includes larger vehicles like busses, lorries and not to mention other bigger cars when I am on the road. The car is not even equipped with airbags, when I am used to the comforting thoughts of having the dual airbags feature of my car. It was indeed a vulnerable feeling.

I also felt that that Malaysian drivers, especially those driving bigger cars, generally have near zero tolerance towards the smaller cars. Driving my own car, whenever I signaled to change lanes, others would make way and show on-road manners. However, when signaling in a Viva, I was ignored. Nobody bothered to give way or showed any courtesy on the road.

Viva's 650CC engine capacity also made me feel that the car is slow, therefore taking a longer time to reach the same destination compared to driving my own car.

I wonder why the car is made such that it lacks security features. I wonder why do people even buy the car? As a secondary car is perhaps OK but not as the main car. Price is indeed the main determining factor but why must the safety features be compromised? During my student days in the US, I knew a fellow student with a part-time job who could afford to purchase a brand new car, a Hyundai at USD 6,500. Here, is Malaysia a mere Viva cost RM 25,000. Comparing 1:1, it is indeed sad to note that we have to pay so much more for our basic neccessity. Yes, a car is a necessity in Malaysia, no more a luxury! I can't help but wonder if it is our system that made it such.

Driving the Viva for the past 3 days left me with a humbling experience. It makes me realised that if I am in need, there are others whose plights are worse than me. I am only temporarily inconvenienced and will get my car back soon. The damage on my car is covered by the insurance, not that I have to fork out money to pay for it.

I believe that this is a lesson from Allah swt for me to be thankful with what I have and the rezeki that I have been given. It is at anytime that all this can be taken away. Subhan'Allah...

Found this quote on the net:

Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough - Oprah Winfrey