Losing my religion

"The lengths that I will go to/The distance in your eyes"

A post shared by Laremy Lee (@laremylee) on

In the song, Michael Stipe sings the lines “That’s me in the corner/That’s me in the spotlight/Losing my religion”. The phrase “losing my religion” is an expression from the southern region of the United States that means losing one’s temper or civility, or “being at the end of one’s rope.” Stipe told The New York Times the song was about romantic expression. He told Q that “Losing My Religion” is about “someone who pines for someone else. It’s unrequited love, what have you.”

(via Wikipedia)

It’s getting quite troublesome to own and maintain a scooter.

The breakdowns are getting more frequent; the roads are getting more dangerous; and to top it off, it’s becoming harder to get spare parts when I need to replace stuff.

I had to travel all the way down to Bukit Batok today to order a front tyre – a front tyre – for Pooters. I have to go back again on Fri to get it fixed on.

Mind you, this is in the context of having failed an annual roadworthiness inspection – Pooters’s first failure – because the front tyre was worn out (unbeknownst to me), and having to return for another inspection after replacing the tyre.

In Singapore, the Certificate of Entitlement (COE) policy effectively endow your vehicles with 10-year lifespans.

Most people sell sell/change their vehicles when their COEs expire, because it’s the most cost-effective thing to do.

COEs can be renewed – at a price pegged to prevailing rates.

That may not be the most sensible thing to do if you look at the numbers alone; the price of a renewed COE may be more than what the machine itself is worth.

This Monday will mark Pooters’s ninth year of existence. It has one more year to go before circumstances dictate whether I hang on to it – or I send it to the knackery.

I’m leaning toward the latter because, frankly, I’m losing my religion.

On one hand, having your own personal transport in Singapore – regardless of how many wheels it has – really makes you more mobile: a boon in a country with a ‘developing’ (for want of a better word) transport network.

On the other hand, what exactly am I conserving when I hang on to Pooters? Memories? Experiences? An out-of-production scooter?

But at what cost? Shouldn’t I save all the trouble and hassle – the lengths I have to go to – by getting a new scooter?

Should I even get a new scooter at all?

I’m still trying to figure that out.


I got into a minor scrape while on my way to Holland Village for dinner last night.

It was raining but I was doing my thing i.e. being safe.

However, this hmstrfckr of a driver came along and nearly sideswiped me after the right turn from Farrer Road into Holland Road.

As a reflex action, I jammed on the brakes but Le Poots skidded and I took a tumble.

(Yes, I know I could’ve corrected the skid but hindsight is always 20/20.)

Anyway, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. I took the impact of the fall on my left side so I have contusions/abrasions on my elbow and left leg.

My phone bore the brunt of it though:

Guess Gorilla Glass ain’t as strong as Titanium huh.

Anyway, I picked myself up, dusted myself and my bruised body/ego off and continued on to dinner.

It was only after dinner that I realised Pooters was missing a cylindrical plate.

I was, like: do I go look for it? Do I just send Pooters to the mechanic and ask him to order a new part for it?

On a whim, I thought: OK, I’ll just sweep the area and if I find the plate, I find it; if I don’t, I don’t.

Bruised and battered.

A post shared by Laremy Lee (@laremylee) on

I found it!

Alternative measures needed to curb motorcycle fatalities.

Dear Madam/Sir,

I REFER to Mr Peter Heng’s letter (“Act tough to curb motorcycle fatalities”, Nov 3).

I acknowledge that speeding motorcyclists and reckless riders have contributed to the high fatality rate for motorcyclists on Singapore roads.

As with any issue, however, it takes two hands to clap.

Dangerous driving is also a major factor in the deaths of motorcyclists on the road.

I have been a rider for six years and have both seen and experienced two main instances of dangerous driving that have resulted in accidents:

  • Intimidation, where lorries and buses tailgate riders unnecessarily e.g. when riders are already in the leftmost lane, and
  • Callousness, where cars cut into lanes of riders at exceedingly fast speeds and at angles which are too close for comfort.

Unfortunately, motorcyclists have no means of redress or protection from these actions.

Mr Heng’s suggestions might also exacerbate the current situation, as motorcyclists will then be deprived of a degree of speed to escape from their tormentors.

To address the root causes of the problem, I would like to propose the following measures instead:

  • Courtesy campaigns by the Traffic Police to remind road-users to share the road in a friendly and respectful manner,
  • Motorcycle lanes, if the Land Transport Authority will consider this, to protect riders from drivers,
  • A hotline for motorcyclists to report dangerous drivers, where the Traffic Police can then take action against deviant behaviour, and
  • Driving re-education classes conducted by the Traffic Police for errant road-users, who will have to watch videos of fatal road accidents to remind them of the sanctity of life.

I will be happy to partner the agencies I have mentioned in working together for a safer and death-free road experience for all.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,
Laremy LEE (Mr)

(Published as “Don’t blame just (sic) motorcyclists” on 8 Nov 2010 in the Straits Times Forum Online.)