James Michael Bush: Eat, Play, Write, Travel

The Perils of Buying a Beater

My shitty car broke. Again.

I really miss the public transport in Shanghai. Taxis, public buses, uber, but most importantly I miss the metro. You don’t know what you got, ‘till it’s gone.

Upon moving to Penang, Malaysia I bought an old beater; a 2001 Perodua Kembara. I loved the freedom, and was thankful to be away from public transport. The old SUV was perfect for our needs, which was to take Merissa and Lucas to school and back. Oh, and for me to go buy groceries. Then we added taking Jonas to daycare and back to the daily trip list.

We took it on a road trip to Bukit Merah, about an hour and a half drive from Penang. It almost didn’t make it. But it did, and we made it back home. Barely. So I took the hunk of junk to a mechanic. New engine mounts and universal joints later, it drove like a charm. A new car, it seemed!

And then today, visiting the campus of Segi University in pursuit of continuing education, I found myself unable to

leave. The car was dead in it’s tracks. A nice man offered to lend me his jumper cables and the use of his car for a jump start. It did not work. So now, here I sit at a small roadside coffee shop awaiting the arrival of a foreman that Uncle called for me. Uncle is what you call a man older than you as a term for respect, much like “Sir” back home. And the foreman, well, I’m hoping that’s a mechanic. They said he was bringing a new battery. We’ll see if that fixes the nightmare on four wheels.

Oh, and it’s hot in Malaysia. Did I mention that?

Like, really really really hot. So I’ll just sit out here and die, I guess.


Uncle Foreman Mechanic showed up and threw a new battery in my car and I killed him. And by killed him, I mean paid him 200 ringgit ($50 bucks) for that new battery. That seemed steep to me, but who am I to question my Uncle? Plus, I would have paid double that to get back into a functioning car with the air conditioning all the way up.

Featured Posts
Recent Posts