March 18, 2006

Personal Navigator

Posted in Malaysia, Reflections at 2:35 am by egalitaria

Every now and then, I come up with a brilliant idea. Yes, indeed, “sometimes, I amaze myself.”

Of course, the root of the idea is not in itself very flattering. But I bare all in this startling new entry about my very humane weaknesses. Yes, they do exist.

For the past two and a half months since starting work at ASLI, I’ve been faced with many challenges, but none so tough as to navigate myself through the web of roads in downtown Kuala Lumpur, where the lanes are jungles and cars animals. (make that the drivers.)

The thing is this: I am clueless about the KL roads, having lived and driven in Petaling Jaya (a surbuban area in the outskirts of the main city area) my whole life. Secondly, I have a sucky sense of direction (read: close to none). What I CAN do is:

  1. Read a Map
  2. Follow directions fairly accurately (unless the directions are wrong, in which case the blame is of course, of course, NEVER on me)

For No. 1, my KL bookmap has been my ol’ faithful. I use it whenever I need to drive out to some obscure, unheard of place. The problem is, it’s not very reliable when I am actually out on the road itself. I dare say it’s rather dangerous for a bookmap to be open on my lap. It’s a battle for my attention: Map vs. Road. Who wins? Road, I hope.

Item No. 2 is the more interesting of the two. You see, I have a hotline made of two very good friends (who just happen to be male) Kevin and Cheng Yee. Whenever I’m in a fix, tough spot and am unsure of where to go at all, they lend me their ears and valuable advice.

Why not set up Personal Navigation Systems for women whose sense of direction could cause their countries to lose a war? A typical conversation whilst driving and lost would be this:

Woman: Operator, I’m lost. I’m in between a very tall building with green words and a grey roof, and a kindergarten on my left.

Operator (who happens to be male): Woman-driver (not to discriminate against you), you are in Location ABC. Where do you want to go?

Woman: Home.

Operator: Okay.

and proceeds with valid instructions.

Alternatively, get a GPRS navigation system. Unfortunately, it’s not been fully implemented in Malaysia yet. Until then, go personal, guys! Set up a network and get paid to do the thing that you continually pride yourselves on anyway. Help weave women back safely to their homes, like an ant out of a labyrinth. Be a personal navigator.



  1. Matt said,

    By nature’s design, there are some things girls are good at and there are some things guys are good at. And since you made it a point to list this particular issue in your blog entry, well…hehehehehehehe….

  2. egalitaria said,

    I know! 🙂 Girls are great at some things like multitasking. Guys are great at some things like sleeping. Haha. But seriously, we’re made different and that’s okay.

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