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Hello Henry!

A few days ago, I took Suzy for one final wash by little old me. While watching it being washed down by those good fellas at our neighbourhood petrol station, I felt a tinge of sadness.

I really enjoyed Suzy. It took corners beautifully, it’s zippy, it’s pretty. It could be fast too, I had great times pushing little Suzy to 180kmh for no particular reason other than because it could. We had fun!

While I loved and enjoyed my Suzuki Swift aka SuzyGanas aka Suzy, it was time to say goodbye.

I picked up Henry a few days ago. Henry is my new Ford Focus TDCI. It runs on diesel and it is badass.

# – Meeting Henry for the first time.

I waited over a month for Henry simply because there was a nationwide shortage of black coloured TDCIs. But it’s all worth it in the end.

I hope you can try to guess why I name my new car Henry.

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Replacing Malaysian road tax without damaging your windscreen.

I believe I’m not the only one that doesn’t like the current Malaysian road tax. The old design was perfectly fine so I don’t know why they did away with it.

The current one looks better I guess and has its own adhesive for sticking onto a windscreen. HOWEVER, nobody warns that removing it would be a pain in the arse.

After a year in the sun, removal of the road tax would mean that it disintegrates with ugly glue marks left behind on the windscreen. In fact when you google Malaysia road tax, you’d be inundated with pictures of tragic road tax removal. Such as these:

# – Tragic 1.

# – Tragic 2.

I know people who just don’t remove an expired road tax at all, because it’s too much hassle. So they just slap on the new one right next to the old one and eventually have 1/2 of their windscreen covered in road taxes. My dad is one such person lol.

After a while, I realised that auto accessories shops like Brother or Eneos do sell plain car stickers for cradling road tax. They also have ones with branding on them but I just prefer plain, transparent ones.

# – Plain car stickers for cradling road tax.

All you have to do is laminate the road tax at a bookshop, put it on top of the plain sticker, then stick it onto the windscreen. Hence, there will be no adhesive contact with your windscreen at all.

# – Laminated road tax.

That said, because I’m so lazy and stingy, I decided that paying RM2.50 to laminate the road tax every year is a bit too steep to pay. Also, it’s such a pain to find parking near my neighbourhood book shop and the girl that works there is one of the slowest people I know exist.

So I came up with a brilliant idea, of which is the point of this blog post:

Ladies and gentleman…clingwrap film! One of the most common item in one’s household hehehe.

# – Roll out some clingwrap film. Using a cloth or paper towel, smooth it down over the surface of a table.

# – Carefully peel off the road tax.

# – Stick it on top of the clingwrap film.

# – Now, lift the clingwrap film off the table.

# – Trim off excess film around the road tax with a scissors.

# – Fold in excess film around the road tax.

# – Clingwrapped road tax, DONE!

# – Now, just slip the clingwrapped road tax into the car sticker and onto the windscreen.

# – Replacing Malaysian road tax without damaging your windscreen, DONE!

And that, ladies & gentlemen, is how Kim sees it.

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You’re safer on the road now thanks to MINI.

I was clueless! I was doing everything wrong. When it comes to driving, that is.

You’d think that for someone who came from the loins of a former competitive rally driver and someone who used to market Subaru for a living, I’d have more idea as to what correct driving is. All these while, I’d prided myself for being a more competent driver than the average Malaysians, but it’s all a lie! My totem was spinning, ha ha.

When I got the call about MINI Driver Training, to be honest I was more interested in trashing the brand new Mini Coopers more than anything :P Little did I know that the 1-day course would change my driving style entirely.

# – MINI Driver Training

Our instructors were Hammond Lai, Ivan Khong, Irwan Ismail and Wong Kah Keen. Seeing Ivan’s face brought relief as he was the instructor for the awesome BMW drive last year (read about BMW Drive here & here).

# – We’re in good hands.

We started the day in a classroom where we learnt about the correct way to hold a steering wheel, how to steer correctly, the types of braking and many more. It’s about unlearning the bad habits and adopting the correct techniques.

# – Back to school :D

# – With ST, KY, Haze and others in the class. Asking questions like a good student should.

After the end of the class, it’s time to get into the cars for some practical lessons! The cars we got to use were not just any Mini Cooper, they’re Mini Cooper S :D

# – Our car was the red hot number 8.

# – Driving the MINI :D

# – Queuing up for a serving of fun.

First, we got to warm up by slaloming through some cones.

# – Swear it wasn’t me who knocked down the cone!

We were taught how to do emergency lane change, emergency braking, braking & swerving, recognising & countering understeer and Agent-Turn.

# – Getting briefed by Ivan Khong.

# – I think this was the recognising & countering understeer session.

It’s actually a very exhausting thing, re-learning how to drive. By afternoon we were famished. Thank goodness for the lovely lunch spread catered by Putrajaya Shangri-la.

# – At lunch with ST.

After lunch, it’s driving again. Ahhh life, I love it!

# – Don’t even know my arms could do that :P

The most awesome part of the day was learning how to make the Agent Turn. It’s actually a more glamourous way of saying J-Turn. Yeah, we learnt how to stunt drive! No words could describe how shit scared and excited I was!!

A J-Turn is a driving maneuver used to reverse a backwards-traveling vehicle so as to continue driving in the same direction, but with the vehicle pointed forward. The J-Turn is also called “moonshiner’s turn”, based on the elusive driving tactics used by bootleggers.

SOURCE: wiki

Here’s a video of an Agent Turn demonstration by the instructor, followed by my own attempts… hehe.

After that, we got back to the Pit to find a lot of helmets lined up. Turned out we’re going onto Sepang track!!!

# – Never have I loved helmets so much.

# – On Sepang circuit :D

# – Ready to rumble.

# – And off we go..

# – Focusing on not spinning out.

And that concluded the MINI Driver Training course. I was awarded a certificate and according to it, I passed with flying colours :D From now on, if you see me on the road, you don’t have to slow down to avoid me because I am now a safe(r) driver!

# – Graduation ceremony. Check out Ivan’s bling bling trainers!!

# – Group pic.

Wow, what a day! Thanks Sashi and BMW! Am filing this under my ‘Special & Cool‘ category :)

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