Friday, October 26, 2012

How Bizzare-o Is That?

(For all you Miss Congeniality fans who read the title in the correct tone, thank you.)

I like to think I've lived a pretty eventful, atypical life. I've witnessed tribal warfare, climbed mountains in my backyard unaccompanied when I was 7 with my then 9-year-old brother, been to the farthest corners of the Earth, and too much more to count. With this track record, it somewhat amazes me when things happen that I find "bizarre". After the events of September 29th, though, I think I need to find a word stronger than bizarre.

My sister Stacy was visiting from Jakarta. I wanted to show her a good Malaysian time, so naturally I suggested we go to the local Board Game cafe. All my nerdy friends, be jealous. :) I had never been, but it sounded neat and had a legit website, so we went to check it out. Had we known that we'd walk through the Twilight Zone and back during that time, we may have thought twice.

It started with the elevator. I live on the 19th floor, so stairs aren't an option. We rode the elevator down to the ground floor, but then I remembered that I needed to stop by the management office on the 3rd floor. We got back in and as the doors were closing, we heard a loud knock come from behind the inner wall. It was not just a creaky old elevator sound, it was a definite "someone's behind the wall and wants to get out" knock! (Our building is <10 years old anyways, so the elevators are pretty new!) Naturally, we stared at each other, stared at the wall, held our breath, stared at each other some more and bolted out off the elevator when the doors opened. We were only on the first floor and there was a lady waiting to get on. We stared at her, not sure whether to warn her of the impending dangers or not. We didn't, but decided to skip the office and walk down the stairs to get out of the haunted building. As we're walking up the road to the game cafe, laughing and wondering about what we just survived, we heard the sound of gunshots in the distance. I lived in Newport News for 8 years, so I can't say this is necessarily a new sound to me, but it's NOT something I want to hear while I'm walking down the streets of Malaysia! But, naturally, we just laughed it off.. and started walking faster.

At least, I THINK it was a cat...
The shortcut to the game cafe involves cutting through a neighborhood park. Not a big deal. I've seen kids play here before, it's well-kept, the basketball court is often used for pick-up games, and the streetlights provide enough light to keep it safe. Note: never take a Malaysian shortcut. We weren't even 10 yards in when we noticed some bones on the ground. Not chicken bones leftover from a cook-out. Not bones that had been fed to a dog and forgotten about. Cat bones. In fact, a FULL cat skeleton, lying complete and untouched in the middle of the grass. How long must it have been there?!

We snapped a few pictures and kept walking. We noticed to our right a group of Asians having a party (or work-out session, hard to tell the difference some times!) in the clubhouse. Not a big deal, except that within 15 seconds of listening to the music they were blasting, we heard the lyrics "Mary's boy child, Jesus Christ, was born on Christmas Day". That's right. They were having an Asian work-out/hang-out session jamming to some Christmas Classics. WHAT? It was at this point or slightly before that we decided instead of asking "WHAT IS GOING ON?!" We'd simply look at each other and ask, "Where are we again?" Seeing as living in Malaysia was the only explanation for any of this chaos!

As the finale to our adventure (before we got to the game cafe, which actually turned out be AWESOME!), we were at the edge of the park, when I noticed a man sitting on the ground, leaning against a park bench with a walker nearby. I watched for a few seconds before it became clear that he was handicapped and he was struggling.We walked over and motioned/asked if we could help. He muttered something along the lines of "Yes. Lift." We each took a side, were blown away by the alcohol on his breath, and lifted him onto the park bench. He muttered something else, but we couldn't make it out, so we smiled, waved, and quickly walked away. Simply shaking our heads and reaffirming that "bizarre" takes on a whole new meaning in a foreign land.

We also stopped for frozen yogurt on the way, and their toppings of lychees, corn flakes, and red beans didn't even phase us after all we'd just been through!

1 comment:

  1. I will never forget the look of terror we both gave each other when that person knocked from inside the elevator walls.