Going Home aka Balik Kampong

August 22, 2010

It is a Sunday morning, everyone is still in their blankets at 0800 hrs, plus the skies are gloomy & rain is in the air. Well the day when all will sleep and catch up on the lost and lack of it for the past 6 other days!

More so it is the fasting month, after sahur and solat subuh, what else but snooze! The day can wait till 1100 or 1200 noon to start, thinking of what to prepare for berbuka! That is the norm and the usual practice of Malaysians during Ramadhan.

As early as 3:30 pm the mad rush starts….everyone drives to the nearest or sometimes furthest ‘pasar ramadhan’ immaterial, one is a fasting muslim or otherwise, they all enjoy the goodies once a year!

They will buy almost the whole market…jokes aside, when one is fasting everything looks good and tasty, the eyes are bigger than the stomach!

Bak Kata orang Melayu : ‘Nafsu Sahaja Kuat, Perut Kechil Aje!’ Mata besar dari perut!

The non muslims also will also buy and eat right there and then at the pasar ramadhan!

When it is a normal working day, one better get out of the office and off the roads before 4:00pm, otherwise, “lucky you” be prepared for the massive “JAM session”.

This is a daily affair for about 4 weeks, out of 12 months, on a yearly basis!

The next BIG thing is the ‘Balik Kampong’ exodus and JPJ and PDRM will have statistics and ops here and there, fliers….leaflets… not to forget the nightly news update and score sheets live on prime time news!

DEAD —……


Accidents….highways, sub-ways, by-ways…


I always remind my family members and close friends two things!

1. If you want to see god real soon, drive at break neck speed!

2. If you want to reach your destination quick also drive at lighting speed!

Both will bring you either to the hospital or grave yard!

So, please think of the consequences,,…..your family, the loved ones and those who awaits for your return…do not disappoint them all!

Drive carefully and stay kool, calm and collect at all times, the faster you want to drive the slower you will arrive! I have tested the theory with my daughter whilst driving to UITM, Malacca, we took a real slow drive and we arrive before we knew it!

As for all the Muslims brothers and sisters who wants to balik kampong, my sincere advice is to:  “do not take the risks”….as a “muslim”, we are allowed to break the fast if one is on a long journey – “musaffir”, the almighty ALLAH swt allows us to break our fast and replace it another day and time, do not be “sombong” and do not want to take his advice!

It is just so simple, have good look at the accident statistics, what does it show? Those who were fasting, driving at late afternoon, and those who woke up very early in the morning and are already tired after the long jam and weary eyes!

After 4-6 hrs, a human body would have normally broken the food in the body (stomach ), thus the stomach is empty, the sugar level drops and off course the energy level is depleted…and your eyes start to twitch and shut!

It only takes 2-3 seconds for an accident to happen…boom…it is too late.! The eyes are body parts which have to rest and needs energy! The brains shuts down because it is tired!

Imagine a father driving off after his ‘sahur’ and subuh prayers, the earliest he would be able to leave is at about 0630 am. Kindly, plus 4-6 hrs from the time the journey started…it would be about 1230 noon, we add one hr for the stoppage time for ZUHUR prayers!

After a short rest he continues…if one sees the trend, any time after 1400hrs or 2:00pm it is critical ! The point here that I am trying to drive home is think safety and drive carefully, pick a good time and make a good decision and a right choice! As a father, husband, son or just a driver you and the lives’ of others in your car is your responsibility, do not kill them !

As for those night travelers, some would take off after Solat Terawih, which would be about 1000 pm. Mind you they only travel once a year at night, some say they would like to avoid the jam & if they leave at midnight sharp, everyone thinks the same and what we have is another massive jam…from Kl to Gua Musang..the treacherous killer path!

NIGHT DRIVING is so much different from day driving, for those who understand what I am saying knows it well enough! You need to be double careful, the darkness limits ones vision and observation, the night is cool, dark and silent and it makes one sleep faster!

Golden RULE – if your eyes are tired it means your body and brains are too, no point trying to fight that feeling, SLEEP is the answer, take a short nap, even 20-30 minutes would be good enough to recharge the batteries!

Get out of the car and do some vigorous stretching, walk around and shake the body, have a hot cup of coffee and go take a leak. Wash your face with cold water, even have a bucket of ice with water and a towel to wrap around ones face and neck, it helps keep one awake and fresh.

My own secret recipe or weapon one may call it is, chewing on ” Tongkat Ali”, if you are up to it, that is, try either the leaves or its root, much more effective and cheaper than the chewing gum!

There is no way you can avoid the jam, unless one takes leave one week well in advance, or fly home…or ride a train…going by taxis, buses or whatever bullock cart & all are the same, this country has more cars than humans! Our roads are single lane actually!

So, for this very short note, I do hope that all sane drivers will take heed and plan your journey well. Do not regret later, it is of no use anymore!

I wish all Malaysians – Have a good and safe journey home, enjoy the holidays and come back in one piece!

Selamat Hari Lebaran


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