A few days back, my classmates were talking about ghosts in their hostel to one of my lecturers. The ghost of a little boy, the ghost of an old man, the ghost in the toilet, etc.
The funny thing was despite post-hearing these 'chilling' stories the lecturer went home & watched a horror movie; and couldn't sleep after that.

Which brings me to my memories when I attended training camp when I was in Form 4.

I was a Senior Scout in Form 4, and the training camp was held during the mid-year school holidays to toughen up the male junior scouts in Form 1 and 2. Form 3 fellows weren't allowed to join because of them taking PMR, and female scouts weren't allowed too because of... you know la the complications.
The camp was held for 4 days and 3 nights in our school; back at our H.Q near the tennis court(which was located at a quite remote area of my school.)

My school has its fair share of ghosts stories,especially it being a Japanese fort during the Japanese Occupation.
My K.H teacher who was a warden of the school hostel would tell us stories about him encountering headless soldiers marching at the badminton court near the canteen past midnight, and of voices talking loudly in the middle of the night and there would be nobody there.

Honestly, you don't feel anything when it's morning, but when it starts to grow dark, especially when I had afternoon sessions, I even had to think twice about going to the toilet which was quite remote. You can feel a quite sinister atmosphere when it's about 7 and the whole place feels different.

Below are the encounters with the supernatural that took place during the whole camp.

The 1st night

Encounter 1: After backwoods cooking, after we 'taruh' every dish for dinner from the 6 patrols, me and 3 other friends decided to take a bath. We went to the men teachers toilet to bathe, but seemingly there was no water. So us 4 Seniors decided to leave for the female toilet, but 2 juniors who came with us decided to bathe themselves with the tap water instead. We were joking telling they'd meet 'something' but they just ignored us and stripped till their underwear and started soaping themselves. So we left them there and went ahead (I had no intention of watching anyone of the same gender bathing).

We bathed using the pipe water in the female toilet cubicles. I was the last to bathe while the rest waited for me in the toilet. When I was about to get dressed, my leg felt so numb and there was some unseen force pulling it. Worse, my friends shouted that they wanted to leave; complaining that I was so slow.
I panicked. Oh shit, I thought. Quickly I read some holy verses(I'm not a religious person, but during then the holy verses sprouted like a fountain from my mouth), only then did the pain subside and I was able to get dressed. I quickly kicked the cubicle door open & raced out with my friends.

The 2 juniors we left in the men teachers toilet did encounter 'something', and came down with a high fever that night. Their parents had to come to fetch them and they were hospitalised.

Encounter 2: It was about midnight. We carried with the tradition of spooking the juniors with ghost stories before their bed time. It was fun looking at their scared faces and they giving us the bullied look. The patrols were broken into small groups and 2 of us seniors were to tell them ghost stories in our school and prohibit them from prowling around at night.

I was paired with my friend and it was his turn to tell them a story. I was listening when I saw a window-shaped light on one of the tennis court fences. Weird, I thought. There was no light source near us and the closest building which was the hostel was quite a distance(also, it was a school holiday; the students had already gone home, only us scouts were there).

And I could only see the light on the fence.

After the fence there was a small stretch of land with some grass and there wasn't any light on the grass. The light had an eerie orange color, and it was slowly gliding towards me. I was fixed upon it until it came very near to where I was sitting. I was scared out of wits and closed my eyes and I prayed like never before. Only when my friend shook me I dared opened my eyes and he asked me why was I staring at the fence for so long.

I asked him if he saw the window-shaped light and he asked me, 'What light?'

The 2nd night

Encounter 3: It was roughly about 10 p.m. We played hide-and-seek with the juniors and we were to look for them while the juniors hid. They were scared and didn't want to play, especailly after hearing the ghost stories the night before. Only when the Troop Leader threatened them with a 1000 push-ups they relented.
Before playing we told them never to hide at 2 places, the biology lab and the art room. Those 2 places were the best places to go if you feel like getting a good fright.

So we counted till a 100 and went looking for them. When passing the school library I saw a gardener sitting there having a smoke. Alright, nothing weird. My friend even raised his hand to acknolwedge him and he returned the favor.
We didn't feel anything wrong until we passed a good distance; how can the gardener be there?

The school was empty except us scouts, and what would a gardener be doing here at night? We rushed back to the library and the place where he was just a plant pot, but we could still smell cigarette smoke. We ran like hell till H.Q. and refused to go anywhere, not even to the toilet.

Encounter 4: This happened to my friend. They were still playing hide-and-seek and were still looking for the juniors. Intially there were 5 of them in a group, but they decided to split up.
So they went in pairs and this guy went alone.
So he went looking and got fed-up and decided to go back H.Q. He was so pissed at how good the juniors were hiding that he didn't notice he was passing through the art room, one of the famous haunted places.

On the way back he heard his name being called.

He almost answered until he realized the voice was a lady's voice. There were no females attending this camp, and who was this, he thought? He stopped and looked around and saw a pair of red glowing eyes staring at him. There was no face, no body. Just the eyes.
The next thing he knew, his legs were running towards H.Q. before his brain could even tell him to do so.

Encounter 5: The school guard dozed off during his night shift. When he was sleeping he heard his name being called.

Sleeping like the lazy ass he was, he ignored the gruff voice. He continued to sleep when he felt a hand stroking his thigh.By then he was half-awake and thought it was just a dream, so he brushed off the hand and continued to sleep.

But the stroking persisted and suddeny he felt his thigh being gripped, hard. He opened his eyes and saw a hairy arm pressing his thigh.

And the hairy arm wasn't attached to anything, it was just an arm, dangling in mid-air.

He told us he almost pissed in his pants and kept reciting holy verses from the Quran. Slowly the hand released its grip and disappeared.

The next morning there were bruises on his thigh, the mark of 5 human fingers.

The final night

Encounter 6: The last night of stay. We held our cultural night as the closing ceremony of the training camp and other troops from different schools were invited.

Two friends and I were given patrol duty, where we had to patrol every class to prevent any guy and girl from 'playing'. We almost finished our beat and the only place left was the row of classrooms near the badminton court. It was just around 6.45 p.m. and decided to wrap it up as the cultural night was to start at 7. I remembered the last time I looked the sun was yet to set and it was still bright.

But when we reached the badminton court, the sky turned dark and a cold wind was blowing. Before we could get to the classrooms we had to pass the badminton court.

We were just about to make our way there when suddenly we heard the faint sounds of marching.

The sound got louder and louder; like there was really a platoon marching synchronously. We were scared shit and ran when suddenly we heard the voices of people yelling behind us, telling us to come back and march.

We ignored and ran as fast as possible, if we entered the 100m race we would've broken the MSSD record.

Encounter 7: Cultural night was wrapped up around midnight. We sent the guests to the school gate and decided to get some sleep. I was relieved that I can finally sleep in the comfort of my bed tomorrow night and was looking forward for morning to come. But before we could hit the sack we were to clean up the things, and to throw the rubbish. Crap.

Orders were orders, I thought. And I didn't want to do 100 push-ups that night, not after my 100m sprint. So we packed when suddenly a junior said he saw an owl. My friend(who just joined in Form 4) pointed his torch light upwards to the trees and asked, 'Where?!'

Now, there's a rule that you CANNOT point your torch light at the trees especially at night, cause trees are the natural habitat for ghosts. And the guy did just that. We scolded him and he just laughed at us, calling us superstitious.

We finished cleaning up around 1 a.m. and decided to hit the sack. As the night was hot we decided to sleep on plastic chairs instead of in our tents, one chair to support our body and another to support our legs. I was fast asleep when my friend woke me, saying he wanted to get revenge at the guy who called us superstitious. So we sprayed shaving cream on his face and uniform, and had a good laugh.

Then we decided it was enough and shook the guy to wake him up. His eyes were still closed, but his face showed a weird, almost afraid expression.

We asked him not to play the fool and shook him harder to wake him up. But still there was no response. By then my friend was so pissed he slapped him hard on the face. Still the guy wouldn't wake up. Again my friend slapped him but he remained motionless on his chair.
I tried to pry open his eyes and I got the shock of my life when I saw just his whites, I couldn't see his pupils where ever I looked. I panicked but my friend remained calm and read some holy verses. He then kicked the guy's chair and the guy fell down.

Only then he opened his eyes and he gave us an eerie smile, asking us what happened.

I couldn't sleep that night, I had gone through enough. I stayed up till morning and left a.s.a.p when the sun rose. When I reached home, I bathed and slept like a log for the whole day.

Looking back, I wondered why the hell did I attend this damn camp when I had to sleep on the dirt and suffer of thousand mosquito bites?


The French Connection

This morning I attended a talk at my university's auditorium; the speaker was a French professor from a certain university in France and was supposedly to share and promote his university to the students here.

Honestly, I was a little excited because this was the 1st time I would get to see a French man live from France speaking French, and I was looking forward to listen to the French accent.

Quoting the Merovingian, 'I've sampled every language there is in this world, and I love the French language most.'

So, today I arrived earlier than I'd normally go for class, and chose a good seat to savour the moments to come.

But then, the whole French 'affair' went totally wrong.

After 5 minutes, a cock-head sat next to me and couldn't stop yacking. He was dribbling non-stop and was addressing every Tom, Dick & Harry in the auditorium. And to top it off, his elbow keep hitting my chair or leg.
Patience, I told myself. The French professor will be here in no time.

I checked my watch, it was 10.35 a.m. It's alright to be 5 minutes late.
Time went on, 5 minutes, 10 minutes; it was already 10.50 and he didn't show up yet. I was wondering did the guy change the time on his watch when he arrived in Malaysia?

And they laugh at our Malaysian time. Right.

So I'd to occupy myself playing Asphalt Urban GT on my phone while enduring the cock-head's antics. For no reason he'd call the person 2 rows in front just to ask how they are even though he asked them thrice already. Maybe he's not evolved properly, I thought.

After 5 minutes of Asphalt Urban GT, my phone went dead because of low battery.
So, I had to look at a pretty girl sitting a few rows next to me just to kill time. Not bad, I thought. Quite pretty but surrounded by ugly guys. Pretty, but has bad taste in men.

I was starting to regret coming when suddenly the auditorium door opened & my lecturer organizing the event walked in. Where's the professor, I thought?
In followed a stout guy dressed in a smart coat; and all of us began to clap our hands welcoming him. My lecturer introduced him and he was given the floor.

The problem was, the professor himself was nervous and failed to present himself properly. Talk about being a professor. The session lasted for just 20 minutes, after the audience had waited 40 minutes for him.

Wow, the session really was an hour, just as my lecturer promised.

Honestly I was a little disappointed as I expected more from this session and thought that he could've shared more during this rare encounter.

What was the connection? Well, of course not his jokes; they didn't connect at all.
But as far as I've heard is that the French university and my university have successfully negotiated to reach a joint collaboration.

Oh well, I guess it wasn't a total loss after all.


Courage is....

A couple of weeks back, I was having lunch with my girlfriend at McD when suddenly something caught my eye.
Well, the 'something' was a guy; (plz don't get any wrong ideas) slinging a bag and was going from one table to another placing a small card on the table. What was this, I wondered?

Those interested would pick up the card and read it, some ignored him and the rest
dismissed him immediately. By then I had already finished my meal & my girlfriend pestered me to leave, but out of curiosity's sake I decided to wait for the guy to see what his game was.

Now, I'm sure all of you might have experienced this; especially when having lunch or dinner out youll be approached by a salesman/salesgirl trying to sell their products to you telling that it's for charity's sake.
By the time you get to refuse them, you'll be virtually drenched with them dribbling on & on when they get the chance. I know it's for charity, but sometimes the stuff they sell like pencils, cakes & stuff just aren't worth the amount that they 'want' you to donate.

When the guy came to my table, it turned out he was a volunteer worker collecting donations for the school of deaf and mute. In his bag were hand-made crafts done by the students of the school.
More interestingly, the guy himself was mute and the card that he placed on the tables were his means of communicating with people.
Instantly I felt a sense of awe towards this guy, I mean the average salesperson would be turned away even though they could talk, but here a guy who can't talk is selling items even though he knows he's got a handicap!And because of this, I bought a hand-made keychain from him, shown below.

When I got home my brother chided me for buying the key-chain saying it wasn't worth the price, but I coolly told him that the guy's courage was what made me buy it.

p/s: well, the Bangladeshi men workers here hold hands in public; nah... that's not courage.


official opening

Ah yes.... so it begins; the thoughts & chronicles of my life are inscribed on-line. Initially I thought of posting some reflections immediately, but I contemplated that
at least a decent introductory post should be done before getting into business.

Without further delay, I announce that Tony Redgrave's blog is officially up and running.