Archive for the ‘old lady and child’ Category

I am sure all of you have been to Port Dickson before. In 1998, the property development firm which I worked for launched a new luxury hotel there. It was our company’s latest star attraction at that time. Before opening it to the public, all the company’s employees were given a free stay in this newly built five-star hotel. Almost a hundred staff took up the offer, including myself. We were ferried there in a few luxury coaches for a weekend of food, fun and sun.

First we played at the beautiful white sandy beach. Later that evening we had a sumptuous buffet dinner followed by a musical extravaganza put up by the hotel’s resident entertainers. After some songs and dances, it was time for karaoke which I was not too keen on. By then it was almost 2 a.m and I was tired. I got up to go back to my room, leaving my colleagues to sing the night away.

As soon as I came out from the lift on the sixth floor, I walked towards my room which was at the furthest end from the lift. As I was walking, I saw an old woman and a small female child squatting outside one of the rooms next to mine. I was very surprised to see them. Who are they and what are they doing in this place at this ungodly hour? Deep down in me, I knew something is not in place and my heart almost missed a beat as I approached them.

The old woman was a petite Malay lady in a pale colored baju kurung with her greyish hair tied at the back into a loose bun. I could see her wrinkled face. It was badly beaten by the sun. Her blurry eyes were sunk so deep into the sockets that I could hardly see them anymore. The child beside her looked as if she was plunked to the spot by a hurricane. Both looked disheveled, lost and forlorn.

“Dulu rumah saya kat sini, tapi sekarang tak jumpa (this used to be my home but now I could not find it anymore),” the old lady grumbled in a low tone that seemed very hollow and distant while giving me a bitter look. In a blink of an eye, both vanished into the air, leaving the same spot empty.

With my hairs standing on ends and my heart beating wildly, I ran back to my room and got inside as quickly as I can. I switched on all the lights, quickly took a shower before jumping into bed. My room-mates were still downstairs singing. I did not tell any of them. I do not want to spoil their fun because we have another day ahead of us to enjoy ourselves there.

Not long after this, I found out from a senior colleague who was one of the engineers in this project that the same spot where this hotel now stood used to be a Malay cemetery. It was leveled to make way for the hotel where we spent that weekend.

Now you know why the old lady and the child were there that night?

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