Sunday, 1 August 2010

Walk talk

If you ask any Malaysians currently residing in Singapore – what is the thing that they hate most about Singapore, you will most probably get one common answer… “need to walk a lot lah…”

Using “poor public transport” as an excuse, many Malaysians evolved into car addict. Walking became secondary. To some, not owning a car (which is very rare in Malaysia) and having to walk means you are of the lower class.

Try asking a girl for a date and tell her you will meet her at the LRT station, see what reaction you will get…

I personally know a friend who said… “The only reason why I will not work in Singapore is because I can't stand not having a car”… Wow…the “only reason”.

Admit it, we are all car whores. Even if the Malaysian public transport system improves tremendously, many will sill drive. Being one where my car used to be less than 20 steps from my door, and it takes less than 5 minutes to walk from my parking lot to my former office… not being able certainly did worry me quite a bit…

But things took a twist…

As you know, I had ACL reconstruction surgery due to a football injury. I was bed-ridden for almost a week, with very limited mobility via the walking frame (not even the crutches). Only after a week, crutches came into the picture. And the crutches stayed with me for a month, with another week of limping before I can finally walk normally.

During that time… believe me when I say… I long to walk… when I finally can get up from my chair without having to get hold of my crutches and immediately take a step forward to wherever I want to go… it was joy beyond description.

We are so pampered by various means and we forget that walking is not a torture, or low class… it’s a gift. Ask those who are without limbs, and they will tell you they would love to walk rather than to be wheeled around in a chair.

Are you able to walk and complain about it?


2 years ago…
Who thou seeketh in thy sadness?Live your best life

3 years ago…
The sponge and the dirty spoon

31 comments:

Terra Shield said...

I have no problem walking and do so quite a lot.

And seriously if anyone complains about walking in S'pore, they need a smack. The walkways there are amazing - shaded, wide and safe... it only gets a bit messy if it rains!

jemima said...

The furthest that I've walked in S'pore was from Tangs to Marina Square.. I'm not kidding. :D

Fi-sha said...

Hi Zewt...

I hope you're doing fine down there..

You know...i cried reading this... now we know why we aren't going anywhere having those car whores...

Thanks...as I was still tinkering about my post on holistic approach to public transport in Malaysian...

Take care and have fund discovering life in SG. I miss SG...

p.s. Going for date using public transport - i must say I could judge a guy from so many aspects from that particular date...

secret agent woman said...

I like to walk and love cities that are set up to be walkable. Unfortunately, where I live it is not. Many of the roads are narrow and have no shoulder at all and very few places have sidewalks.

Just to let you know, I had to change my blog URL. This avatar links to the new site.

sinlady said...

insightful :)

Joanne Khoo said...

I love walking along the streets of Melbourne. Firstly, the cool weather permits you to walk. Secondly, its safe!

In Malaysia, sometimes you sweat like a pig even walking from your car in an underground car park center to the door of the air-conditioned shopping mall. Secondly, as we all know, its not exactly safe.

But once, almost a decade ago, my friends and I walked from klcc to the bukit bintang area after some music concert at about 10 pm at night. It was such an amazing feeling. The city was buzzing. The cool breeze was flowing through our hair. And we actually felt relatively safe. I'm pretty sure that we will never in our right minds attempt that again today.

The Envoy said...

Doesn't Singapore have the MRT system that takes you to pretty much everywhere in the city?

day-dreamer said...

I don't think I'll mind walking around in Singapore... coz I'm still under the impression that the MRT and bus stations are built quite near to places where people would normally go. Haha.

InjusticeSistem said...

"Try asking a girl for a date and tell her you will meet her at the LRT station, see what reaction you will get…"
No money no honey,yes im shallow...just like every1 else

Being healthy n having all ur limbs functioning properly is truly a blessing most healty ppl tk for granted....
im guilty as charge....just like every1 else too

zthon said...

i don't mind walking if it's not too hot. i think most people just can't stand the weather here. i think i've walked more in uk because it was not so hot there. and i think the efficiency of the public transport is also a factor.

grace said...

hey zewt! nice post :) ever since i left singapore to come to boston, ive discovered what it really means when people say boston is a walking city :P its not so bad.

and your line abt longing to walk.. really true, i can attest to that :D get well soon!

MKL said...

You're so spot on with this one, haha. I once decided to walk around Batu Pahat, actually from the house of my ex to a shopping mall, 15min of walk. I hated to ask for a ride every time and I like to walk. So when I came back, my ex's mum was so shocked that I walked. And she was afraid that someone might attack me.

So, basically there are 3 reasons, why Malaysians ride cars all the time:

1 Heat (you walk 5min and you sweat like a monkey)
2 Safety (harder for mat rempit to snatch your purse when you're inside the car... although even that is not impossible in Malaysia, haha)
3 Comfort (read lazy, haha) So your post is about my last point. But don't forget 1 and 2 ;)

Akira said...

When I was in Malaysia, I came down my apartment, walked 10 metres, got into my car, arrived at office, walked another l0 metres from the parking space and sat the whole day in the office. Hardly went out for dinner. Too hot.

Now in Seattle, walking is a breeze. Chilly even in summer - not sweaty and pollution free - hardly see/smell exhaust fumes. I walk the 500m up and down and around to nearby neighbourhood mall. Unless I have a lot to carry out of the grocery stores, I'd walk. Nevertheless, there are more drive through outlets here than anywhere else I've been from fastfood outlets, pharmacies, starbucks to banks.

Jerrenn said...

I agree completely. Being in Australia now where the public transport's more efficient, I find myself missing the joys of driving where I don't have to stand at a bus stop waiting for the bus, or having to plan my journey in order to arrive at my destination in time.

Cars just make everything more convenient.

Pinknpurplelizard said...

If I were living in country where public transport was so convenient, I'd just enjoy it. It's a way to stay fit as well.

Having a car works only if the public transport system is crap and do not service the areas you live/work. This happens to occur in most Malaysian states.

pinsysu said...

a man who was exhausted from walking sat next to another man complaining how tired he was. the 2nd man smiled & said, "if only i have legs, i will understand how it is like to get tired from walking."

Huei said...

hahahahh! i walk! being a pro in getting LOST, esp in the city, i'd rather take LRT or public transport as near as i can get then walk over..it'll be faster!

so improve the public transport system puhleseeeee...everyone else can drive n i can take train to work n save ALOT!

n oh btw public transport in malaysia..ppl effing rude lah! i was letting ppl out of the ktm the other day n some fker was scolding n said "masuk lahhhh" behind me before cutting my queue!

Huei said...

oh wait! msia..cannot walk at night..u'll most likely get robbed! hahahahha so yeah when night falls..i'm a car whore! i almost wish there were cars that can fetch me to the carpark..scary lah picking up your car in a public carpark at 12am alone

Crankster said...

I walk a lot. But Malaysia is not very pedestrian friendly. Sometimes, there are no sidewalks and you end up sharing the road with motorists which can be a frightening experience.

Klaw said...

Dude, Me = Self confessed car addict.
The only time I will consider public transportation is if there is going to be less traffic/parking hassle.

But you're right, I somehow feel similar to you cuz I've developed a knee problem which is hampering my running (and I long to run better and faster). I mean, it's impossible to compare my minor problem vs. your ACL but I know where you're coming from la.

And to answer the question you left on my blog many many months ago:
Yes I've kinda stopped blogging due to work and other priorities, but I did put up a blog post yesterday. :)
I'm thinking of restarting it, because I found that it helps me articulate my thoughts and organize my points, which is always good when it comes to speaking in public :)

zewt said...

Terra Shield - who complains?... malaysians... :P

Jemima - respect!

Fi-sha - hmmm... how would you judge that guy, interested to know.

secret agent woman - thanks... why go into hiding?

sinlady - thanks...

Joanne Khoo - a decade ago... yeah, many things can be done in KL... i suppose you're right... safety is a concern... and all the more, malaysians shouldnt complain in singapore when it comes to safety, right?

zewt said...

The Envoy - well, there's still quite a bit of walking.

day-dreamer - haha... again, you're wrong. it is very convenient but not till you dont have to walk.

InjusticeSistem - no money no honey... hahaha... else, make money by going to the right school lor haha.

zthon - well, good for you... but i still think a lot of malaysians have become overly pampered by cars.

grace - boston... hmmm... very nice, i am jealous.

MKL - i think safety is a very valid reason... nevertheless, i think it has evolved into something more shallow, and that is sad.

Akira - seattle... wow, everyone seems to be out of malaysia at the moment... good luck to 1malaysia.

zewt said...

Jerrenn - hmmm... so you're admitting you're a car whore? :P

pinknpurplelizard - i still think it doesnt apply to everyone. many will drive regardless... like that friend of mine. but good for you for willing to walk.

pinsysu - wow... so meaningful! :)

huei - eh... those ppl in singapore public transport... they are not exactly very polite either. as for getting rob... totally agree!

Crankster - that is one very reason... how do we change it? hmmmm...

Klaw - hey man, take care of that knee... you seriously do not want to mess it up... i am a living testimony of someone who has not been taking care of the knee...take supplements, strengthen your quads, anything... make sure your knees are well preserved man...

PabloPabla said...

They won't complain about walking in a sprawling mega shopping complex, that's for sure.

Crankster said...

We need to lobby the government for more sidewalks.

Unfortunately, our government wants us to drive around, because that propagates the use of petrol, from which they receive royalty money.

Can't win.

zewt said...

pablopabla - that's damn right!

crankster - basically, it's all about making them rich.

TRACE said...

hey bro. i didnt know that u had serious injury. hopefully u recovering well. ^^
It was long long time ago(cant remember when was it) since my last visit to AZAIT...
suddenly thought of u, then decided to visit AZAIT again to say 'hi'...

"hi~"

zewt said...

TRACE - thanks... hope everything is good for u...

Yvonne Foong said...

Yeah I also feel the same after my spine surgery in 2002. I almost became paralyzed from chest down. So today, if the roads and pavements in Malaysia were better maintained, I'd rather walk. I walk a lot in L.A. as you know.

Antares said...

This post is classic, bro. Top marks!

zewt said...

Yvonne Foong - yeah, we humans take too many things for granted.

Antares - cheers bro :)