Friday, 22 November 2013

On a German Mountain

I am on a tour bus going up a mountain. It is autumn with the air slightly cool outside. We alight at a small town whose houses are all of modern design circa the 1970s. They cluster together and are linked by cobbled alleyways.

I walk through one and pass by a white building whose ground floor home is adorned with wide glass panel doors that reminds me both of a Spanish hacienda home and a car garage. The walls are sandblasted and rough to the touch, a wall treatment popular with condos in Sg built in the late 80s.

Into this white building I enter. It is a home.

We are in fact in a small kitchen, an utilitarian one that is so common in UK flats from the 70s. The table is red formica and its edges are trimmed with a strip of aluminum.

We are going to have some kind of German cake with white cream.

I look out of the kitchen window. Forested ridges and valleys lay below. It is a magnificent view.

Outside, there is a commotion. I go out and discover that evening has fallen.

There seems to be a religious festival going on. Opera face masks - both large and regular size - float in the air. People are following them and wondering at their magical presence. I too wonder how they manage to float in the air without seeming to be attached to with strings or other method..

A teenager is seen marshaling the masks forward. He is doing his job and using a handphone at the same time. Typical, I mumble, and go "tsk-tsk" at his split attention.

When we reach the lookout point at the top, a giant moon in the sky greets us there. The moon is huge and covers almost the whole sky. I think Old Man Moon is smiling back at me but only fleetingly. The bright moonlight feels warm and inviting though.

In the crowd, I am with two of my former GFs. One is with her hubby; the other, well, she is her usual quiet, smiley self.

Around a corner, I find myself alone in an alley once more. In the short distance ahead, I can see a watch repair shop. Jurgen Procknow the actor is the watch repairman. He is wearing a watchmaker's magnifying monocle and leather apron. Or is that man Robert De Niro? In any case, I am thinking of a character actor.

I revisit the kitchen a couple of times. The owner couple is there as well as a much younger lady. We seem to be in a discussion over something. Perhaps the development of the mountain region or something else entirely. Not long after, I wake, feeling I've been to the highlands and watched someone carry on a traditional craft.

The end.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

A Haunted House

We are in a place not too dissimilar to Cameron Highlands. Cool, scenic, ancient.

At the moment, we are in a nice wooden kampung house, the kind that comes with a corrugated zinc roof. It is painted green and I am looking through a window grilled up with square wire mesh.

Outside, folks are engaged in some sort of a commotion. It seems the transport  that is supposed to take us out of town has been delayed.

I am wondering when I can get my family (apparently I am married with two kids and a wife) safely away from this house that we are in. It is haunted and the spirits are getting more malevolent as each minute passes.

At any moment, I am expecting one of them to crawl out from under the bed or step out from the walls. What are they going to do? I have no idea. My 'kids' are scared but they are not panicking.

I sit on the narrow bed and ponder what to do next. I try to recall the spirits I have seen earlier in the other half of the house. A double door is all that separates us.

Remember, this is a wooden house commonly found in a Southeast Asian village. It is a kampung house - something traditionally found in a place like, say, Pulau Ubin, Singapore.

Earlier, when we were put into this house for temporary accommodation, I had checked the place out. It didn't take me long. The house was square and parted in the middle by that double-door.

I had gone in to check and noticed the change in air quality immediately - the proverbial "thick air" that harbors more than just atmospheric molecules. As I walked in, the air visibly resisted. I knew something wasn't quite right. It's as if there was some sort of plasma thickening; it just didn't feel right and friendly. Definitely something evil or poltergeistic in the air.

It was at that moment that the spirits started to slowly appear one by one. The first one manifested from a far window grinning as it grew larger and flew towards me. It disappeared as soon as it touched me. The other two came out from the other wall but just hovered in mid-air looking on in silence. I couldn't tell if they were just bystanding or scheming worse things to inflict upon us.

I retreated back into our bedroom and closed the door. "What the f...?" I said to myself, more alarmed than scared. It was certainly not a place to linger about for long.

Back to the present, the commotion outside rages on. A crowd has gathered, which makes our own spooky situation look kind of odd and out of dimension.

Next, I am talking to a lady and comparing notes with her as to who has seen the more hauntings. It's not exactly the right thing to be discussing now but at least it is taking my mind off worrying. In any case, it is good to know more.

This lady has actually come into the house to analyse the going-ons and concluded that the place was indeed very haunted.

So we are now stuck.

All of a sudden, things in the other side of the room starts to clang about, raising themselves up and down. A few bang against the double door, making us on the other side nervous.

I should be scared but I am not. Perhaps because they are spirits -beings with no substance- that makes it illogical for me to be unafraid of them. I would be more frightened of a big sized, rampaging serial killer.

I hold my kids to console them more out of instinct then anything else. They appear to have fallen asleep from fatigue.

The 'wife' has her legs curled up as if sheltering from a storm. When will this pass? she seems to question with those large frightened eyes of hers.

I am wondering the same as no one wishes anything paranormal to happen.

I've never met an evil spirit and would love to see one; now there are three to contend with.

Things continue to fly in the other room. The double doors occasionally being slammed at. Outside, the commotion continues.

I wake up to a knock on my window. There's a woodpecker outside. It stares at me with its ringed eye. It looks quite like that spirit in the dream. Has it come to haunt me as a flying thing? I would roast you like a pigeon, you know, and throws a pillow at it.

Monday, 11 November 2013

A Conjuring

It's been a while since I wrote up another dream. Lately they have come in bits and pieces without much significance. Or it could be that they vanish quickly from my memory come wakey time. It is difficult when you wake and find the neck stiff for no apparent reason. You try to get back to sleep hoping it would go away but then the dreams would either jitter to a stop or a short sequence of something unrelated would pop up. At times, the morning sunlight plays up and makes you dream of stuff in the sun.

So, in this next dream, I am a TCM doctor standing behind my TCM shop counter contemplating a certain illness. Which cure, which cure, I seem to ponder over and over again.

The room is quiet and uncluttered. I see myself as I would from the vantage point of a CCTV camera affixed at a corner in the ceiling. I am still (not moving), head downcast on the counter. The aisle is empty. Time seem to stand still like for an eternity and moving in some kind of time-lapsed sequence. The whole scene looks positively spooky.

My friend David pops up. He is asking when I would like to go to Taiping, his hometown. Apparently that town is quite well-known for its infestation of snakes. Would I go there to make snake wine?

In my mind I am wondering what kind of snake. Cobra? Coral?

I see David's mouth move as he talks, all in slow motion. I am not paying attention. I turn my head to the patient behind me. She is suddenly there and wanting my attention. She is about 11.

I ask her, What is the matter, love. She replies with a doleful look and silence. I look her up and down. She's shoe-less in a white nightgown that reminds be of the countless girls in evil-spirit possession-type movies (e.g. The Exorcist, Carrie, etc....) Her hair is somewhat disheveled too. Oh crap! Am I in a horror movie?

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Floppy Tennis

The dream begins at a tennis game. I am a boy and playing against two other schoolboy friends. Strangely, I am not dressed in Mattar Primary School uniform but that of Boys Town English Primary. I am trying to show the boys some tennis moves. One of these is the forehand topspin. I sort of succeed, and realize that I am using an old Yonex aluminium racket, one that is light green and once owned by an elder sister. But although the game starts off well, things slowly take a surreal turn. When I try to execute an overhand lob, the racket turns soft like noodle. I kind of flop the shot through and miss contacting with the ball entirely.

We continue the game awhile, but matters do not improve. I keep missing the ball because the floppy racket.

Next, we are in a large field flying remote control planes. I see my arm doing the same floppy movement. This time, however, in my hand is a remote control. I am waving (or flopping) the control about to direct the plane, like some Wii game controller. The plane flies about in sync with my 'movement commands'. I seem elated by that and run about the field as if I'm flying a kite; the model plane flying in the sky as if connected by an invisible string to my handheld remote. In my mind, I am thinking what a marvelous invention that would be, being able to point the remote at the plane and direct its movements... Including doing a loop-de-loop.

The scene again changes, but the focus is still on a hand. This time, instead of holding something floppy, I am gripping an iron bar that's a handhold inside a robot's fist. I am punching as if it is my boxing glove. I realize I am inside a robot suit and involved in some sort of futuristic robot boxing match. I am boxing and people outside are cheering. This continues for a while and the scene fades, like that of movie ending. The dream then ends. And I am none the wiser.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Escape to Fado

In this dream, I am stuck in a semi-submerged tanker. Not a very big one but its central hold - the size of a small swimming pool - is filling up with water and the whole rusty contraption is listed to one side. I am beating the water to keep some creatures down. Not sure what but they are ferocious. I try to climb up the side ledge of the tanker even as I try to hold on and defend myself.

There are two other people with me in the tanker, each trying to survive from what's in the water.

The scene changes. Shots are being fired at a wall. They blast through leaving holes grouped rather close together. Shots fired from close range?

My family is trying to get out. For some reason, we are being pursued. We fire back.

As we retreat, I set up booby traps, the kind that employ a string, a can and a hand grenade.

We leave as the building blasts from the inside, throwing a black cloud of dust outwards and upwards through the doorway - or what used to be a doorway. The blast also throws us to the ground.

We cough, pick ourselves up and dust off. We see a gap in a fallen wooden fence and race through it.

On the other side, a pack of wolves lies waiting. I leap over and start to bash the wolves left and right. I don't feel good hitting them as I quite like wolves for their bravery and intelligence. But hey, when bark turns to bite, I rather not be the one to be bitten!

The wolves put up a fight but it is only temporary. They scatter soon enough when someone comes  running with a torch of fire. That person is rather manic, swinging his torch as if fending off unseen zombies.

I look down and am surprised to find myself and my family up a tree. We can see the shapes of wolves running away. However, a band of orcs is climbing up the side of the hill and shouting to burn us down. Wait, am I in The Hobbit movie? In a moment, Gandalf comes riding on a giant eagle and whisks us away. I know, in The Hobbit, Gandalf is also rescued by the eagles, not riding shotgun like some hero coming in as a savior.

We pass through clouds and I find myself on solid ground again. My family is not with me, only an old girlfriend. When the clouds clear, we find ourselves on a rocky shore. A lighthouse is not far in front. It appears we are back at Cabo da Roca, a remote tourist attraction (or rock outcrop) that bills itself as the furthest point west of the European continent. A few buildings surround the lighthouse. There isn't much to see except for a sign that proclaims the significance of the place. I think anybody who turns up here will take a picture with that sign. We do the same.

Afterwards a guy insists we stay to take photos for the others. After a while, we flee. The road is an isolated country road that winds down a hill. Fortunately a bus comes along and we hop on. Sometime later we arrive at a village. The streets seem too narrow for the bus but it manages to squeeze through though.

We arrive and stop at a cafe that bills itself as the place for Fado, a kind of Portuguese music. We enter and sit down for a drink of coffee. A small band plays while a lady sings.

The song appears sad but nice to listen to. It is no different from what Edith Piaf used to sing, I think. As the sun sets, we make our way out of the cafe and head to a place for grilled sardines. We could see lights and smoke and soon, someone operating a grill. My girlfriend and I smile at each other as we take a slow leisurely stroll towards where the smell of grilled fish and onions is coming from. We feel happy and content.

A Dream of Kuan

This dream I had dreamt of in parts before, especially at the beginning, where I find myself walking through a small shopping mall and coming across a makan store.

I am walking along and near the end of a corridor when I see a an local cafe selling stuff wrapped in ketupat leaves. The food packages are of various sizes including one that is quite large - not unlike a packet of nasi lemak. I ask for the price and find it expensive. I tell the macik no, I don't think so and walk on. Some items on display continue to interest me.

I walk on past some clothing stores. Eventually I come to a sofa bench and sit down. After a while I find a desktop scanner cover next to me. Where's the rest of the machine, I wonder. Then I notice a small black laptop, only that it is not. It holds a smaller game machine in its casing, like a Nintendo DSi XL. A blue and white school bag lies nearby, unattended.

Suddenly I realise that two boys are playing handheld games in front of me. They are sitting in some sort of boxed-in sofa seat, why I have not noticed them before and they, me.

I contemplate hiding their stuff to 'punish' them, but think better of it. I move away quietly. The boys do not notice, still too engrossed and noisy in their game play.

I leave the shopping centre and wait at the bus stop opposite. There I bump into my Engineering schoolmate, Kuan. He seems distracted, if not a little polar... smiling but troubling inside. I knew he went to China to work. Did it not work out?

We are about to board a bus and I ask Kuan if he likes to go for coffee instead. He agrees and we cross the road back to the shopping centre. We seem to have gotten to the blind side of the complex and there is no entrance. We help each other climb up and down a few parapets and flower beds to get onto a corridor. Eventually we walk round to the entrance.

Inside, we try to find a place to sit down for a drink. A lady calls out to me. She appears to run a cafe shop. I look round to inform Kuan. He has wandered off to another place.

I search for him but at each turn of the corner, can only catch glimpses of him. Eventually, I catch up to him and finds that we are now in his home, a large complex. An older man greets Kuan and he goes off with him.

The entrance to his home is high and reminds me of the large atrium of a corporation. I can also see that it is situated on a hill.

I can still hear Kuan but he stays out of sight; I wonder why he is being so elusive. The lady of the house, an Eurasian, invites me in for a drink.

We move upstairs to a verandah area to sit and talk and drink tea.

Beyond this, another hall, one that is made to look rustic, standing by itself like some ethnic community hall. The rest of the house has been concrete and painted in white. This new hall is made of timber and grass and stands out vividly like a prayer hall atop a hill. In the distance, the weather has changed and clouds can be seen growing and rolling. It is an amazing sight and the lady of the house comments so. By now, a gaggle of ladies have also joined us - some in their teens - for tea and  they say the same. Some are sipping tropical cocktail drinks served up by the bar from inside that timber hall.

Soon, the storm is upon us and all of us run in for cover.

Still, no sight of Kuan, although I continue to hear him speak with someone nearby.

The wind from the storm blows hard, flapping the bamboo blind around us. Rain begins to pelt. It is an awesome sight being so high and exposed.

I retreat into the big house again and stand behind a glass. I marvel at the storm now raging outside. It feels me with awe. I don't hear from Kuan and it seem not to matter anymore.