Thursday, Jan 22nd, 2009
Teet! (My mobile’s message tone.. ehe!)
Cibol: Me in Miri. Just landed.
Me: Oh? I’m still working today. Tomorrow take leave. Kenot meet now, after work can.
Cibol: Namind. Going back Bintulu later by bus.
Me: Eh, you in Bintulu oredi, dude?
Me: Eh, I think I’m going to your place and stay for the night. Ok?
Cibol: Kam lah. What time you are coming?
Me: Later. Going back home now, packing then cabut. Planning to use the coastal road. Faster eh?
Cibol: Ya. Around 2 hours liddat can reach. Remember that no matter what happened, don’t stop on the road.
Me: Wah! Scary weh. Okeh.. noted. Around 9pm can arrive in Bintulu, if I am not sesat. Hehe!
Cibol: Got a lot of robberies mah.. Samun. Just don’t stop lah.
A landslide happened somewhere near Tatau earlier yesterday morning, cutting off the access road between Sibu and Bintulu and this may wreck my plan to drive all the way from Miri to Sarikei. Normal travelling time (for me) is around 6-7 hours, and I would not want to be trapped at the landslide area for hours because that would be a very tiring journey back home. Gossip mills Reliable news saying that a temporary access road is being constructed, and vehicles could pass through that segment of broken road at snail’s place.
I was thinking that by cutting my journey into half (Miri-Bintulu, Bintulu-Sarikei) I may spend less time on the road especially if I need to queue my way at the landslide area. Hopefully the situation would be getting better on the next day. Meanwhile, it’s good to catch up with Cibol for some updates.
Checked the car’s dashboard. The petrol tank was a quarter full. Note to self to stop at petrol station to buy petrol. Drove along Jalan Riam, cut to Luak and off to coastal road. I am on my way home! Hurray!!
Hmm, no petrol station in sight…
It was my first time driving on the coastal road and I had no idea how it’s like. I assumed there must be some petrol stations along the way for me to fill up. (Later I found out, there is not a single petrol station along the coastal road, Miri-Bintulu)
I had no idea how much left the distance to Bintulu. I checked on my Google Maps Mobile application, it gave me an estimated distance of 140km, from my location to Bintulu town. (Google Maps Mobile is a very neat application, maybe I should write about it in the future). Oh shit! The low petrol sign was blinking, and it told me I only had petrol to last for another 60km. I was a little panic at the time.
I was sweating nervously. “Damn it, am I going to spend the night on the road with its dark and creepy surrounding?”, I thought to myself.
A Kancil car in front of me signalled for me to overtake. I flashed my hi-lights and signalled him to stop at the roadside. The car stopped!! Thank you effing God! Went to the car and asked the driver.
Me: Sorry boss. Tumpang tanya, berapa jauh lagi ke Bintulu? (How far still to Bintulu?)
Boss: Jauh lagi! Ada 1 jam lebih. (Stil far! Another 1 hour drive)
Me: Haa?! My friend told me Miri Bintulu using coastal road only take around 2 hours. My petrol is running low, can last another 60km. Any petrol stations nearby from here to Bintulu?
Boss: Bawa laju 45 mins boleh sampai. Oh.. memang tidak ada petrol station kalau pakai jalan ini. (If you drive fast, maybe take another 45 mins. No, there is no petrol station along this route).
Me: (thinking.. “Oh Fark!”) Boss, can you give me your number. Perhaps when I run out of petrol, I can give you a call and you come to rescue me. *chuckles*.
Boss: (with that reluctant look). Er.. maybe you can try drive back for another 10-15mins, there is a small village on your right, I think they sell petrol there.
Me: The area where there are some houses with lights on not far from here just now?
Boss: Yeah. You drive back, and when you see the houses look for a small junction on your right and drive further in a bit, there is a canteen for the loggers and plantation workers there. I think they maybe sell petrol there.
Me: Thank you boss.
To cut the story short, I managed to find the canteen. I got myself RM3 per litre petrol, and I dashed furiously to Bintulu. What an experience!
1. Never ASSUME. Assumption make an ass out of you and me. (In that case, I am referring to yours truly …)
2. When preparing for an unfamiliar route especially before driving, make sure you have ENOUGH petrol to last, and of course the other important things to check such as tyres, brakes, water, engine oil – You get the drift. Simple things but important enough to take note, still sometimes we always take it for granted. (In that case, yours truly…)
3. There’s a thing call luck. It’s lucky that the Kancil car actually stopped, because people just don’t stop along the coastal highway at night. It’s very dangerous. Read Cibol’s reminder again – “NO MATTER what happened, don’t stop on the road.” I told STP and AlexAllied of the experience, they said the same thing. Err.. only fools stop and probably a ‘fool’ save me, the bigger fool. It’s sheer luck, I stopped at the right place to ask. Elsewhere, I probably would not make it anywhere. Good fortune for 2009? I wish!
ps: I have drafted quite a long post, I may need to make it into few parts. I intend to write it in some short journal/diary style for my boring doings over the CNY holiday from Jan 23rd to Feb 1st. For this post I only managed to cover Jan 22nd night. Haha!