What a joy indeed. Driving around KL during Chinese New Year is like exploring a new city. The streets, the buildings, even the sky seems so different. It would normally take me at least half an hour to drive from Ampang to PWTC. It took less than 15 minutes. What a joy not to be confronted by bottlenecks. How I grinned as I the car sped along the empty roads, no stress, no grind, no frustration.

It was like KL 25 years ago. When I first got my licence at 17, the route I memorised was down Jalan Kuching, up onto Jln Sultan Ismail (the flyover over the Klang river had only recently been built), then down to Sungei Wang Plaza. Sungei Wang was the latest shopping complex and its array of shops was dazzling. There was even an ice skating rink there. The trip would take about 15 minutes!

As a teenager with a car, KL unfolded itself to me. I would hit the nightspots. These included Faces in Jalan Ampang, 10 Kia Peng in Jalan Kia Peng, California in Bukit Bintang and Riverbank in Central Market. The ride was smooth. There was plenty of parking and no traffic jams. It was a commuter’s dream.

I wish everyone a wonderful Kong Hee Fatt Choy and Happy Holidays … and a smooth ride on KL’s streets. As we left KL, on the new Maju highway, I could see that KL traffic was almost back to normal. I suppose we’ll just have to wait ‘til next year!

P.S Great News … the competition for a FREE copy of my children’s encyclopedia has been extended to 10 May 2009. Visit http://www.historyofmalaysia.net and slot in your entry!