This afternoon in office, I went upstairs to send some documents and the secretary halted me to tell me stories when I asked how was she feeling.
Since she came back from Shanghai in June, she had been plagued by health problems. Almost half of her tour mates suffered the same. One guy went into a coma immediately after he came back from the trip. Another person was involved in a car accident as soon as he gotten home from the trip. Several travel mates were in a daze for a few weeks.
A lady who shared a room with 2 others while being in Shanghai bumped into the unknown. She wore sweaters when she went to sleep. The next morning she woke up, her sweater was laid by her bedside. She was puzzled and asked if her room mate made fun of her and took off her sweater as she was sleeping like a log. The room mates denied having done so.
Someone told me this story before. A friend actually almost suffocated in her sleep when the unknown tried to pull off her sweater over her head when she was asleep. The sweater simply couldn’t come off her head easily and it was left hanging there till she cried for help. The moral of the story is – wear loose sweater if you were to sleep in any hotel room!
Okay. Back to the secretary. She was hospitalized for a few days sometime in August for suspected stroke. One after another, other symptoms of different diseases came to her all at once.
While in the hospital, she kept smelling stench of something rotting (Mr Stinkee Poo didn’t visit her, if you must know). When her daughter and husband came to see her, she kept saying she smelt something foul and wondered if there was a garbage truck nearby the hospital. The husband and daughter could not smell anything, other than the usual heavily chlorinated smell of a hospital. She told her daughter to come near her body to smell the supposedly rotting smell but the daughter couldn’t smell anything.
After a few days in the hospital, she went home. Still feeling unwell, she was prone to losing her temper. She started to be anti-social and any normal chattering sound of people talking would irk her. She felt a strange heatiness attacking her body all the time.
When she was sick that weekend, she attended a cell group and her pastor was in the midst. As they pray together, the pastor sensed something was wrong. Before she went home, the pastor reminded her to come again the following week for another session of prayers. When she left, the pastor checked with the others did they smell anything funny while praying but the others did not. Strange.
The following week, she wanted to go to church but since she was still feeling weak and her husband went outstation, she didn’t go by herself. Another week passed and she wanted to go to church even if her husband again was going outstation for a job. She told herself, no matter what, she would make it to church.
When she was ready to get out from her house, her neighbour was having a party and they placed the canopy right in front of her house, blocking her car.
Another week passed and she kept telling herself she has no time to lose. During the week approaching the weekend, her aunty passed away. Since she was feeling totally unwell, her mother did not ask her to attend the funeral. She was determined to go to church no matter what.
It was then, she was hit with a severe tonsillitis. The following day, her tongue swelled up and she could not even swallow. Medication did not do her any good. She couldn’t even talk and she was crying in pain. Her husband came back and took her to the church immediately. It was already the third week since the pastor told her to come back to church.
She was sitting in the car while her worried husband went to talk to the pastor. They brought her in to the church and conducted a prayer to cleanse her. It was then she vomited everything from her guts and the stench was of rotting corpse. However, only she and the pastor could smell the rotting smell but not her husband.
She is feeling much better now.
She recalled visiting a memorial of a famous figure in somewhere in Suchou or Nanjing. She couldn’t remember where. She said they were brought into a hall and was instructed no pictures to be taken there as a sign of respect for the dead. Since she doesn’t understand Mandarin – the whole tour was conducted in Mandarin, she took picture of the statue sitting inside the memorial. It was then it hit her. She remembered taking a picture of the statue but what came out from the picture were blinding flashlights and there was nothing else.
That was why I didn’t dare to take pictures of skulls while I was at the Killing Fields in Phnom Penh as respect for the dead. I think sometimes, these spirits, already passed on due to terrible massacre, do not need the unnecessary harassment from the living.
When I heard of this story, my skin crawled. It was about 4.30 pm and the sky turned dark.
I remembered another colleague telling me about a friend who went to Bali some months ago and came back with a bulging tummy. It was not because she had a one night stand and got pregnant, seriously. Her stomach gotten bigger and bigger by the day as if she was pregnant. Upon seeing this, her friends advised her to go see a doctor. The moment she went to the hospital, the doctors couldn’t find anything wrong with her except for this unidentified growth which is not tumor, after biopsy. From the scans, they found three growths carved with faces of men. The doctors couldn’t believe their eyes and they asked where had she been the past few months. They acknowledged this as something out of the norm. She could have done something to provoke the spirits in Bali.
Not wanting to take chances, the doctors immediately perform a surgery on her and took out 5 kgs of the growth which was green in color. Till today, they couldn’t verify what that thing was.
Sometimes, I guess, we have to learn to respect where we are visiting by doing some reading up prior to a trip, especially places in Asia. Asia is a mystical place and filled with diverse mythologies, religions and many wars histories. I guess we just have to learn to understand them and try our best not to do anything disrespectful while going on vacation. There is no such thing as it won’t happen to me because I don’t believe in it. There is always one way or another of things happening whether you believe in it or not.