Photo: Alvin Teo
At 54, one would think that Ah Ge Li Nanxing would baulk at the thought of having to pick up an entirely new skill. As one of the ambassadors of the Ride & Drive Safe with the Stars initiative, however, he was tasked with a very unique and challenging task – learning to ride a motorbike.
“When you’re in a car, you’re surrounded by metal that’s protecting you in case something happens. The first time I sat on a bike, I felt like I was very exposed!” he remarked. “I almost gave up on learning how to ride after I fell for the first time. Thankfully, nothing happened because all the safety precautions were taken, and I’d also like to think that my reaction time was fast enough for me to jump to safety!”
Nanxing’s careful nature worked against him when he was picking up his 2B bike license this year. “Sometimes, I’m so safe on the roads that the passengers in my car complain that I’m driving too slowly!” he quipped.
As a result of his hard work, he passed the test on his first try and he’s now taken a liking to bikes.
He grinned, “I’m thinking of buying a bike for myself. Not a big, fancy one, just a regular bike to take rides around in the evenings to enjoy the night breeze. I’m starting to appreciate things like this. Is this a sign of me getting old? I hope not.”
While speaking to the actor at the ComfortDelGro Driving Centre, he also took the opportunity to extoll the virtues of the center’s Drive Safe Course. That’s when we casually slipped in the question, ‘What car are you driving right now?’
Without naming brands, Nanxing let on that he currently has a SUV – and that’s the one and only car he has.
“What’s the point of buying so many cars? They just sit there and depreciate in value,” he laughed. “And it’s not like I can rent them out either, people will be like, ‘Wah, Li Nanxing is renting his car out leh!’”
Photo: Alvin Teo
This very pragmatic Ah Ge added with a chuckle, “I don’t believe in spending money on sports cars, so you’ll never see me with a Ferrari or Lamborghini. The most ‘over-the-top’ car I’ve had was a two-door BMW.”
Nanxing mused that rather than spending it on “stuff that loses its value the moment you buy it”, he’d much rather invest his money in property, because that way, he’ll get his rental back at the very least. Sounds quite a lot like what Desmond Tan believes in.
Back to the topic of safe driving, Nanxing revealed that with decades of experience on the road, he’s encountered his fair share of rude or unreasonable drivers.
“The way you drive really reflects what you’re like as a person,” he let on. “There are times when I really want to mirror their anger back at them, especially when I’m not in a good mood. But I stop to think, what will I get out of it?”
“Plus, I’m a public figure, so whatever I say will be scrutinised. Even when they’re being unreasonable, I’ll just let it go, because if you look at it in the long run, that’s the better route to take.”
This zen approach has seen him pay for minor accidents out of his own pocket, even when he was entirely not to blame.
He reasoned, “If someone scratches my parked car and even if I witness it, if he or she just drives off, there’s nothing much I can do. I’ve never been involved in an accident since I started driving. There are incidents when another vehicle hit me from the back, and even then, sometimes I just have to let it go.”
From now until December 31, 2019, the Drive Safe Course will be offered at a promotional price of S$214 and the Ride Safe Course has three levels available, with fees starting from S$53.50. Both courses are open to public and more details can be found on ComfortDelGro’s website.