Monday, April 04, 2005

The Zombie March

The Zombie March

It's been a long time since I last joined the rush-hour traffic going towards KL. I had a seminar to attend at nine this morning, so I left home from Subang Jaya at seven plus. It took me more than an hour to reach Jalan Sultan Ismail. I was quite happy to be able to squeeze in some time for a quick breakfast at one of the roadside stalls.

A decade ago, I used to do this everyday, driving down to KL from my home in Subang Jaya to work. During that time, it was worse: there was only one exit from Subang Jaya--the so-called "KFC exit" (after the KFC outlet there, which had since made way for a widened exit), and I remember having to leave home at 6.30am to avoid the massive congestion there.

On the road together with the other cars, all lined up in a bumper-to-bumper crawl towards the city, with every driver looking blank-faced, eyes fixed in a dull distant gaze, one couldn't help but feel as if one is part of a zombie march--the grand march of the Malaysian workforce towards some mindless middleclass utopia.

That's the life many of us still lead everyday. I haven't had the chance to experience that for a long time. Being part of that zombie march again this morning actually made me feel a bit nostalgic for those old days.

Maybe those were better times, I really don't know. Everyday we went to work, and everyday we watched the skeletal frame of the Petronas Twin Towers and Menara KL rising slowly from the rubble of construction. We were reaching for the skies and we were all part of a grand dream.

Where is that dream now? Are we much happier people now? I really don't know.

All I know is that the zombie march goes on...

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