Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Exodus

Bumper-to-bumper northbound traffic at 6 am today, taken from the overhead bridge near Slim River toll plaza.

The CNY 'balik kampung' exodus. Pix taken from the same bridge as we made the decision to turn back to Kuala Lumpur. No way were we going to continue our journey in this jam.

Stopped by the roadside enroute to KL to capture this image of dawn breaking over the hills of Slim River.

LEFT home at 5.30 this morning heading towards Selama, Perak, to attend the wedding kenduri (feast) of our newly-married friend Affendy, at the hometown of his bride, Leha.

I had my reservations about long-distance road travel during Chinese New Year holidays, especially today, when celebrants were rushing home in time for tonight's once-a-year Reunion Dinner.

But we had to take a chance with the traffic; it was Affendy's big day after all and we were supposed to be part of the groom's entourage.

So off we went at 5.30 am, planning to do our Subuh prayers as well as have breakfast at Rawang R&R, before continuing the journey to Selama some 300 kilometres away from KL.

Lo and behold, the jam started well before we even left Klang Valley! Ten minutes out of Taman Tun Dr Ismail, and it was already bumper-to-bumper traffic.

By the time we reached Rawang R&R, there wasn't even space to park the car, let alone stop for prayers and breakfast.

Some motorists took a chance by parking by the roadside; not a wise thing to do, considering that some reckless drivers were using the emergency lane to cut queue.

We decided to give Rawang a miss. Perhaps the next R&R would be a bit more accomodating. But traffic went from bad to worse and Pak Abu was getting really restless, having to contend with the snail pace.

At the rate we were going, we would be lucky to reach Selama by noon. The possibility of arriving at the bride's home when the kenduri was over loomed large in our thoughts.

A decision had to be made fast. Should we take a chance and proceed, or should we just turn back and go home?

For sure the traffic would not get any better as more and more vehicles piled onto the North-South Highway as the day progressed.

Some 500 metres from the Slim River exit we decided to go home, thus joining yet another crawl, this time towards the toll plaza as many other motorists had the same idea.

I think some of the motorists were opting for the old trunk road north while others probably decided to turn back, just like us. [I had this sneaky feeling the old trunk road would be gridlocked as well].

We made a U-turn at the toll plaza, parked our car at the PLUS office and had our solat at the surau there (which was also packed with fellow Muslim travellers stopping by for prayers).

Then we hit the highway again, stopping at Ulu Bernam R&R for breakfast before reaching home at 8.45 am. Sorry Fendi, the traffic jam won the day.....


MA said...

Kak Kama,

It took me 2 hours and 30 minutes just to reach Seremban exit from Sungai Besi!

After that baru lah clear sikit traffic. It took us 7 hours for a usual 4 hour-journey downsouth.

mamasita said...

Thank u Traffic Ranger Puteri!
Mujurlah I am not heading North for the moment..
Hopefully janganlah ada jam besok menghala ke KL..I don't think I pandai give a thorough report like you..great snapshots too..alahai pernah jadi journalist! You have not lost your magic touch!!

pakmat said... it has been so written that you both will not be there for the kenduri..but the niat is there..and recorded...:)

Pi Bani said...

Time time gini, traffic would be smooth only if you're heading the opposite direction ie towards KL.

kay_leeda said...

Kak Puteri,

Heard on the radio this afternoon that traffic southbound on PLUS highway was crawling 12 kms!! And it was a very wise decision you made turning back.

We are staying put in Shah Alam. Very quiet here, not many cars and I loikee :D

Have a good holiday to you & family :)

Kama said...

Ladies, Pakmat - No, it's no fun being stuck in a jam and yes, traffic was clear all the way back to KL. took us only 15 mins to get home from Ulu Bernam.

tasya said...

kak kama,

I went out at 930am from Kota Dsara and only reached Bkt beruntung @ 1045am!!patah balik and smbung tidur at home..then keluar balik after isyak @930pm and reached jitra @3am and traffic was smooth..wise decision i tink, at least i dont waste my time + petrol :D

Kama said...

Tasya - you did the right thing. Balik rumah & tidur dulu.. bertolak lambat sikit dan sampai lewat pun takpa; janji perjalanan smooth dan selamat. Have a good break, dear!