Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Rules? What rules?

It has been 2 weeks since I was back and I have been waking up at 7 am almost everyday since then, except during the long weekend of Raya. . The morning sun was beaming, a tad too bright, directly into my eyes. I could somewhat see the Petronas Twin Tower and KL Tower in the distance, but the rest of the city scape was just a blur because of the haze. I've not seen a clear city scape since I came back. I wonder if haze is a norm now, because I remember the last I came back, I still hear the radio reporting every time there's a haze, but I don't hear anything like that now.

I was driving at about...100 km/h (please don't report me) and I saw a police sitting by the highway. I shrugged my shoulders and continued speeding. I used to slow down to the speed limit whenever I see him last week, I was anticipating for a police barrier in front to catch whoever's disobeying the traffic rules. But this morning, I thought 'he's sitting there every single morning anyway and he doesn't do anything, why should I bother slowing down?' Really, he's there every morning. But he's always looking down, probably at his phone... I wonder why isn't he more eager to fine those who break the rules, after all, he will get more 'pocket money'. Pocket money? You may ask. Yes, why not? Just turn on the radio and television and go online to read the news, I think our people's ability to perform advanced bribery and corruption, top to bottom, is worth to be our next national pride. 

After dodging several 'professional' drivers who think signal lights are only for decorative purposes (no wonder so many Malaysians have high blood pressure), I reached office parking lot at 8.29 am safely. I am rather proud of my fast reaction on the road. I locked my car and pulled the door handles a few more times just to make sure they are really locked, just in case, people try to break in. Even though this is the territory of our country's federal government, it doesn't harm to be cautious. After all, the security guard only guard those big black cars in front of the buildings. Who cares about my humble (but cute) MyVi? 

I thought I'd be late for clocking-in so I ran up to the machine at 13th floor. To my delight, the clock on the machine showed 8.27 am. Someone must be rewarding me for being late, I earned an extra 3 minutes in my life. 

So I strolled into the office (since I am 'early') only to realise, there's no one's here yet, not even the supervisors! I couldn't believe this. Isn't 8.30 am the latest we should be at work? I went back to the clock-in machine to check if everyone's really late. To my surprise, most people have already clocked in at 7.30 am. But why isn't there anyone?!

Molly the admin secretary arrived. 
'Where's everyone?' I am allowed to ask stupid questions because I am an intern, and interns are 'meant to be dumb'. 
'Oh, downstairs for breakfast. They will be back before 10 am.' 
Damn, they made me feel stupid for rushing my breakfast at home when I can have it leisurely in the office cafeteria after I clocked-in. Then my record will show that I am always on time and I can have my breakfast properly. What a win-win solution, why didn't I thought of that? 

It has only been 2 weeks since I came back from the UK, where rules are not mean to be broken. Otherwise, you will, not only, get fined (and you can't bribe your way out, damnit) but you can really cause accidents if you don't obey the rules (maybe because everyone's not trained have 'fast reaction'). That life on the other side of the world seems so distant in the past now when it has only been 2 weeks. 

This routine. This daily dose of rule-breaking act is perhaps what makes this mundane, mind-numbing routine that bit more exciting. Love it or hate it, this is home. We are told to 'fit in', to be complacent about it, you know, just for the sake of maintaining 'national stability'. 

There is nothing so pitiful as a young cynic because he has gone from knowing nothing to believing nothing. - Maya Angelou

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