An event like this is common for all city folk. Time just flies by when you seem to be stuck in traffic most of the time. No wonder people are stressed out! And are likely to go on a rampage involving machetes and lots of dead rabbits!
Every single morning during my college days was always frustrating. I’d get up early to have my breakfast and leave just before traffic started to crawl slower than an overweight caterpillar. By the time I reached my friend’s place I would park my car, walk to 7-Eleven to get a newspaper and maybe a doughnut. Then I’d wait. And wait. And wait. At the very least—a good 20 minutes later—my friend would finally come down, put on his shoes and off we go. Even though college was theoretically only 20 minutes away from his place, we had to leave at least a good hour to be just in time for class. If I was going to college by myself, I would leave much earlier just to avoid the cursed jam. I’d rather be an hour earlier than to spend the same time inching my way, cursing at all and sundry, and wait for the rest to come. Till this day this friend of mine is still late for most engagements.
If there’s one thing my father thought me well was that it’s better to be early than to be late. It’s something that has shaped my personality. I’m a planner; that is I will set my alarm, pick out the clothes I want to wear and plot the route I’m going to take. All this will be done the night before, so that I don’t need to rush and put my underwear on my head instead. I estimate the time it takes for me to get there and punch it into my internal hard drive and whoosh! I’m there. It is one custom I have no qualms with and is the reason why I am always the earliest. Or one of the earliest, depending on the nature of the meeting of course.
When someone is late we call it a Malaysian thing. I call it being inconsiderate and discourteous. We’re too much of a laidback people I guess. We take things for granted because we have this mentality of since it’s there, it’s there. There’s no need to rush things. Take it easy some may say. And yet these are the same people who are chronically late for everything and the one time you’re slightly behind for a very important engagement, they’ll push the blame unto you in an instant.
Life isn’t always fair but it can make you very pissed indeed.
When my friends are late, especially the usual suspects, we just shrug it off and say, “That’s him all right. The late bastard strikes again.” But when I’m late, even by a mere nanosecond, they say, “That fucker is late!” I am that bad. Where does this blatant apathy stem from? When you’re running late, I’d very much appreciate it if you could tell me. A simple SMS with the words, “Am late,” would more than suffice. It’s the thought that counts after all.
Tardiness is a national disease and while a cure for it exists, none are bothered to take it. Something about not having enough time…
Gute Nacht und Gutes Glück.
PS: I try my best to be not late due to circumstance of any sort. If I am late, that means I did it on purpose. Really.