Sunday, November 22, 2015
Everyone should have encountered frightening moment at least once in their life. I have had encountered few but I remember two incidents fairly well.
That year was 1982 and I was still serving NS. It was our hard earned 3 days rest & recreation trip (R&R) in Brisbane city after more than a month of army training in the wilderness. We went to Dream World, it was already a highly developed outdoor entertainment park then. My army mates and I were queuing up to board a boat which will take us through the man-made river and into the man-made safari. At the entrance, there was this big notice warning us that a lion had escaped from the zoo and was on the loose. I happened to read that notice but it didn't bother me. As we were slowly moving, there were crocodiles in the river and some other animals. We knew these were not real. As we went into this man-made cave, it was quite dark and while the boat was gliding through, I saw a moving lion from a distance away. Suddenly, the warning notice that appeared at the entrance struck me hard and for that moment, I thought a lion was really on the loose and it was hiding inside the cave. I thought there was no escape for us as our boat was moving nearer to the lion. I swear I was frightened stiff. All the hair in my body simply shot up. It took me a while to realise that the lion was not real. My army mates had a good laugh at my expense, of course.
Second incident was in 1985. I was to attend a seminar in Bangkok. On arrival, I made my own way to the hotel which was quite near the airport. It was a nice 5-star hotel but tried, I did, I cannot remember the name of that hotel now. I managed to check-in, got the key and took the lift to my room. When I opened the door, it was pitched dark. First thing first, I had to find the switch to on the light. I couldn't find the switch which was usually near the door. Finally, I managed to switch on the light. I saw a figure standing in front of me. I cannot describe the fear that struck me at the very moment. I thought I saw something I was not supposed to see. Everything happened very fast. When I regained my composure, I realised the figure that I saw was actually my own mirror reflection. There was a big mirror mounted on the wall near the entrance and since it was so dark, I had no idea that there was a mirror in the room. Again, all the hair in my body suddenly shot up. I had a good laugh at myself after that.