Sunday, October 10, 2010

Real Talk: An Unpleasant Ride, A Cautionary Tale

Last night was a voyage I will never forget and hope to never duplicate. I went out to the Hard Rock Cafe in Kuala Lumpur. I went out there with my Malay Indian coworker from work; he knows the manager. He's a cool dude, but I can tell he has a tendency to go overboard if u let him. A month before I arrived he totaled his former car because he fell asleep at the wheel and ran into a wall. So whenever we go out to drink with him (because he's usually driving) I always try to keep an eye on him. The other few times we've done it, he's held himself together and not drunk much. Last night, I saw the ugly side. After a few jugs of beer (all they seem to drink here), I, clearly the more sober, decide that I'm good so I don't need anymore beer and I KNOW he doesn't need anymore beer. As I look at him, his eyes and his balance just aren't quite where they should be. So I turn down the offer from the manager. However, I go to the bathroom and come back to another jug of beer. At this point, I kind of have to tone down my fun and surrender my buzz to get him out of this place. So I fight through the "...but we're not finished with our beer" and pull him out of there. I convince him it's a good idea to walk around for a while before he drives back (my license isn't valid here plus I don't know how to get back, so even though I'm fine, I shouldn't drive back), so we walk around downtown for 30-45 mins. We get in the car at 3:45 or so, I'm fighting my fatigue to keep an eye on my friend. He's been feeding me this "I'm fine, I wouldn't try anything stupid if I have a friend in the car with me" line all night, but I'm not buying it. So I'm watching him for about 20 mins, he seems alright. He's driving slow, which isn't a bad thing, so I think he's gonna b ok. I accidentally dose off. I wake up, it's 5:15 and the car is driving real choppy and slow, and he has the blinkers on. The car is driving choppy because for some reason, he now has the parking brake on....on the highway. I'm like "Man, it's been over an hour, where are we?" His response "Yeah, I don't know what happened, I was going the wrong way." At this point, I'm truly a little scared. Like once again, my full attention turns to him, the road, and the signs. If we're closest to his spot, we should go there and I can sleep it off. If we closest to mine, we can go there and he can sleep it off. But we have to get home and off the roads. His niece, who is always bugging/checking up on him calls and I get a good idea. Let's go wherever she is and if she's in the car, she will nag/bug him or she can drive. So we do that. At this point, I can dose off. I wake up at my apartment at about 6:15 am and as I'll leaving I'm giving her a pep talk, "please watch him closely. If you need to take over, take over." This is one of those events where if I were in Atlanta, or Charlotte, I would have either driven or just told him to park the car and figured something else out. Because I didn't know exactly where we were beyond just being downtown somewhere far from where we stay, I handled things a little differently. Still looking back, I feel like it may have been safer to tell him to park the car anyway. But hindsight is 20/20. But all in all, it made for a scary experience and now I see that my friend truly needs some help. I may have to bring my British roommate, who hasn't been drinking lately (can't hold his alcohol) and has a valid license here, along to be the designated driver or something man. It seems he still hasn't learned his lesson after totaling one car. It's sad to see. But the phrase "Friends don't let friends drive drunk" is true and I can't get it out of my head. Luckily nothing happened, but I don't want there to be a next time to chance it ever again. I'd recommend you do the same looking out for ur friends too. To steal a line from Jerry Spring "Take care of yourselves, and each other."

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