Scared & Embarassed – But I Smiled My Way Through

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

True story.

Not many people know this, but I was drafted for National Service in 2006, right after I graduated high school. In Malaysia, our National Service (henceforth referred to as NS) lasts for 3 months, and we are educated on our country's war history, given physical training (5am call-time for marching drills) and basic survival skills. I was posted to Semenyih – within the forestry outskirts of Selangor. Bear in mind that these forests were cleared in haste to accommodate the NS program – and I think the land was not cleansed properly. Which brings me to one of the scariest and most embarrassing tales from the NS camp.

I mentioned that the place was not properly cleansed when they cleared the lands to build the camp. Which was too bad for us because our encampment runs from June to August. Which is during the 7th month – the Ghost Festival month.

Now, I'm not overly superstitious or religious, but being in that camp during the 7th month opened my eyes to many things. I will not deny that spirits/ghosts/demons exist. I have dorm-mates who got possessed (and actually kicked a bed flying across the dorm) and witnessed a Malay-exorcism, have seen an 'orang minyak' in person, saw a djinn as well, witnessed over 5 different scenarios of girls being possessed and have sleep-walked out of my dorm for no reason. I know many would not believe me, but these are stories I have relayed to my parents and close friends over and over again – because time does not make these experiences fade away.

So, in August (the peak period of the Ghost Festival month), it rained almost everyday and there have been a few cases of girls getting possessed in the surau and some of the other dorms. One of my guy friends who is Sabahan also confided to me that 'something' has been following him around.

You can imagine the paranoia and fear we all felt.

We mostly travelled in groups to do anything – from buying food to going to the bathroom. Even our 'Camping Program' (where we will be pitching tents and sleeping in the forest with only a map to navigate ourselves) had to be cancelled – and for good reason too – everyone was scared, even the camp counsellors and trainers.

One morning, I awoke at 4am, an hour early before my usual 5am. It was still dark and the dorm is filled with soft sounds of snoring and the swoosh of overhead fans. I decided to sit up and grab a drink of water since my throat felt a little parched, but before I could sit up, something white caught my eye.

I froze. I didn't want to look but I was wide awake by then. I sneaked a glance from beneath my blanket and saw it again, that flash of white, at the foot of my bed! It looked like a floating piece of cloth, that seemed to be floating closer and closer to my feet.

I ducked under my blanket, crying and screaming 'no, no, no'! (I think I was hoping the sounds I'm making would make 'it' go away, while praying very hard for it to disappear)

I felt something touch me through the blanket, at my feet! In that moment I was so scared I cried even harder, but it didn't let go. Then I felt more touches on my left and right and almost got to a hysterical point when I heard my friend calling my name. My friends removed the blanket and I saw that I had woken half the dorm (some staring at me with a scared expression thinking I was possessed).

And at the foot of my bed, the white creature was still there.

Except that 'it' is my Malay friend, who was actually doing her morning prayers – wearing a white cloth that shrouded her whole upper body. Her bed is actually across from mine, but because I am in her Qiblah direction (the direction facing Kaaba in Mecca that Muslims pray to), it made more sense for her to pray at the foot of my bed as there is more space.

After I conveyed my apologies and explained myself, everyone laughed at me. I have never been so embarrassed in my life! Someone even exclaimed, out of jest, "Thanks for the morning call! Now we have an extra 30 minutes to get ready, so everyone please take your own sweet time!"

I laughed with them because the relief was immense. I was so grateful that it wasn't anything supernatural that came to 'get me'. Not my best moment, but at least I came out of it with a smile. Until this day, this is one of my favorite stories to tell – as it is both funny and ridiculous at the same time, and not something I would ever forget.

*This embarrassing but hilarious story is relayed for all to read in conjunction with the #NuffnangMY x #MYInvisalign contest.

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  1. OMGG the plot twist!! But seriously when I was in boarding school even I got scared by a Telekung before ;P

    1. Haha tell me about it, I was scared shitless. A Telekung in boarding school? Damnn.. that sounds terrible! These people need to start blessing all the places they've built upon. :s


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