Cars and Mental Health

To most, owning a car would be the best thing. Waiting for our Malaysian buses and relying on the KTM would be the thing of the past. You get mobility and convenience.

So, the first few weeks or months of knowing how to drive and having your own car will seem like a ride over the cottony clouds of happiness. You pick up friends to go for a drink and you suddenly become an extremely charitable older sibling and child by volunteering to fetch you younger brother to play football.

A year down the road, you’re telling your mom you’re not the taxi driver (she taught you that) and you begin to discover how having a car can pose detrimental effects on your mental health, and many more things you never knew because your dad did everything.

1. Parking spaces. You spend more time going round searching for one than buying microfibre cloths to wash your car. Parking spots can cost up to RM5 per day in PJ.

2. Washing your car. Though I take pleasure in seeing my grey car turn white in the process.

3. Technical problems. Sure, the driving schools taught us how to check the oil and water levels. But really, who really registered that after a indolence-inducing 6-hour lecture? Tech problems also bring about symptoms of extreme worry and fear that the car will break down, possibly in the worst places, like in the middle of a busy traffic light square or in torrential rains.

4. Maintenance and repair. They bore a deep hole in one’s wallet and there is no guarantee the car will function just as well as it did.

5. Pea-brained idiots. They have no regard for your car which may be a piece of rusty metal on wheels, but mean the world to you. So, they reverse into your front, because they are in a hurry, and that’s the only way. They scratch your car because they don’t want you parking there or just for jolly fun. Or they whack you windows broken for whatever reasons that are known to them only. Or they may just drive off with your car.

My car has seen better days in Ipoh. In just one month, my window got smashed, visited workshops twice and got branded with a one-foot X on its bonnet. This is KL for you.

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