Two years ago I bought a new car, not a second hand vehicle as is the norm in New Zealand, but a genuinely new European car. It came with its usual Teutonic pedigree and a guarantee that it would perform without problem.
Two days ago, the small plastic grab handle for the driver's seat adjustment gave into the strain with a loud crack, propelling me backwards and leaving me with a handful of plastic shards.
Why was this so mortifying? Firstly the factor of the unexpected release which propelled me backwards into my seat. Secondly was the growing realisation that the part in question was grossly inadequate for the purpose to which it was put.
A thickness of two or three millimetres of plastic was never going to last the distance and so it proved. What to do?
Fortunately a new car comes with a warranty and in the case of our model this was for three years. So I dutifully made a temporary repair with a bandage of used rubber bands and called the dealer.
It is here that I must give kudos to the Service Manager of my local franchise. Often the term "service" in a title means anything but. In this case he couldn't have been more obliging, agreeing that the offending plastic was inadequately designed for the job, and giving me a replacement free of charge.
To be frank I would much prefer to travel by public transport as I did in Singapore. Yes, there has been the occasional and frustrating MRT failure in recent times but at least there is an MRT to fail!
Now come the news that Singapore and KL are going to be linked by a high speed train. The planned service includes stops in Johor, Malacca and Negeri Sembilan. Pity there is no stop mooted for Ipoh; giving passengers the chance to stock up on some of their famous kueh kueh.