The KL Curse

If I leave here tomorrow, would you still remember me?

So about two weeks ago, a friend asked me out to dinner at a restaurant I was not familiar with.

If you know me well, you would know that new places and Adlina driving are generally two non-mixy things. I may wash my own car, will attempt at assembling my own furniture, drilling and other manly things – but when it comes to driving and getting lost, I’m a stereotypical woman.

I am so good at getting lost, my record for getting so spectacularly lost was on the way from KL, I ended up in Puchong, headed towards Cyberjaya.

My family has a nickname for my disability – they call it the KL curse i.e. if Adlina is in the car when we’re driving to KL, rest assured even if you LIVE in KL, you’re bound to get lost when I’m in the car with you.

I refused to give in to this curse of mine when my friend asked me to dinner. Though she offered to pick me up, the husband offered to come back all the way to KL and then send me to dinner – I was adamant. I spent a good one hour before leaving memorizing the way there – I studied Google Map, wrote down the instructions in my trusty notebook before heading off. My friend kept calling me to make sure – seriously, I’m that notorious. Like getting lost from Mont Kiara to One Utama notorious.

But surprisingly, I DID NOT GET LOST. WAHEY! I may have driven like a turtle, annoyed all the cars behind me but I arrived on time! Said friend was well impressed.

Dinner was good, the company as always was lovely. After a long conversation, we hugged each other goodbye.

Of course, so gung-ho was I on studying the path to get there, I did not actually find a path to get my way home. Was I nervous? Yeah, sure I was, but come on. If I could get there, surely I could get back.

At the first wrong turn, I did what most idiots do when they get lost. Panic. And keep driving. Keep driving straight until I reach somewhere familiar. Hopefully. And of course, as all idiots do, I won’t stop to ask for directions. That’s the manly part of me. Asking for directions are for sissies.

The first 10 minutes was okay. I was blasting Free Bird by Lynyrd Skynyrd on repeat and feeling quite a lot like a reckless renegade, driving free and easy. The next 20 minutes however, I was getting rather grumpy. And edgy. Did not help that the tank was empty and the light was flashing. And I wanted to be home with the husband and even poor Lynyrd Skynyrd’s voice was starting to annoy me. I could change music but the only music I had in my car was a mix from 2005 and seriously, what on earth was I thinking back then, listening to “Because of You” by NeYo. I should be ashamed of myself.

It was in the midst of potentially stalling my car in a dark creepy alley in the middle of the night in an area I was not familiar with, I decided to do some things that was unlike myself. I stopped to fill up my car, as opposed to hoping I could find my way home with a minute amount of gas (I hate filling up at non-familiar stations) and secondly…I asked for directions.

The dude at the station looked at me with surprise. ‘Long way from home!’ he said.

‘Well, yeah. Not used to this place,’ was my miserable answer.

He gave the directions and then offered to fill up the tank for me. He also insisted that I fill up the competition form to win RM 30,000 (my friends in Shell, I’m still waiting for your ahem, inside help here).

Mana tau? Boleh menang! Banyak duit!’ he said to me. (Who knows? You might win! Lots of money)

I’ve given up on these competitions because, heck I never win anything. But I thought so far tonight, I’ve done some things that are unlike me. Firstly, I studied google map like I was studying for an IB exam. And I did not get lost to the restaurant. Secondly, I asked for directions. Who knows? Perhaps this new change in attitude would lead to me miraculously winning RM 30k. I filled up the form gladly and almost, smugly.

I left the petrol station, feeling rejuvenated. My spirits were soaring and I thought. Yeah. That is what has been wrong with me. My attitude. Eizwan was right. Unlike the rest of my family, he never believed in the KL curse. He always believed that it was in my mind – that things can always change, that things can get better, if only I wasn’t so insecure of myself.

So true, I thought as I drove down the road. With newfound confidence, I found my way through a series of complicated roads back onto the Federal Highway. I put on Free Bird at very high volumes that my car shook. I Looked like a teen on crack. But it doesn’t matter. Because I am Free Bird. Won’t you fly high free bird, yeeaaaaah!

But of course, in true Adlina fashion, I took the wrong turn as I was getting onto the Federal Highway and got lost again….

Lord help me, I can’t chaaaaange.

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