24 September 2007

It Was A Dark & Stormy Night... Part 1

"Ok ok..." *nods gruffly and gestures to the seat behind him.*
"Ok, you can take his bike."

Without a second thought, I got off my friend's motorbike onto this heavy set middle aged man's bike. Suddenly, he made a U-turn and went off in the opposite direction from where we were headed. Surprised, I turned to see if my friend was following. The last thing I saw were their surprised expressions and open jaws. Oh dear.

The driver took a deep breath from his cigarette and swung into a dark, deserted alley. Good gosh, where was he going? With mild panic rising in my heart, I constantly turned around to see if my friends were anywhere nearby. They were no where to be seen. The next thing I knew, we were up on a highway, crossing a river. Where was this stranger bringing me to?? Why can't I see my friend if we were really going the same way? Unless it's NOT the same way? Is this an abduction??

The driver turned around and gruffly said something to me. There was no way of communicating; I didn't speak a word of Vietnamese, he doesn't understand English. Great, I have just proven myself totally vulnerable to whatever schemes he may have. As we zipped past the river on the highway, headlines blared in my head: "Singaporean Girl Missing in Hanoi", "Tourist Kidnapped", "Stupid Things To Do When On Holiday: Accepting Rides From Strangers". I rummaged through my bag and dug out my handphone, frantic to call someone. I dialed and dialed, all I got were "Active Call Barring" alerts from my hp. Frustrated, I wondered about my chances of escaping by jumping off the bike while on the highway. Looking at the heavy traffic moving quickly around me, it doesn't seem like a good idea; I need to be alive before I can be rescued.

"Dear Father, please keep me safe. Please let my hp miraculously dial out. Please send someone to contact me. Please watch over me. Amen amen amen." That was all I could do while hanging on for dear life.

He got off the highway into another deserted alleyway. As he slowed down, he mentioned something about "Wait here". Wait here for? For my friend or for his funny plans?? I didn't need another prompt, I got off his bike as he slowed down when making a turn, burning my leg on the exhaust pipe in the process. "Ow!" I cried. He looked irritated, saying "Ow, ow!" in return and gesturing for me to move away from the pipe and to get back onto the bike. Did he just show some compassion for me? Maybe he isn't really going to kidnap me?

He finally stopped at... a dark place in the middle of nowhere with a whole group of strange men with sinister smiles walking ominously towards me. "Wait here, wait here!" he said. "20,000 dong." I paid him and he reiterated, "Wait here!" With that, he left. The strange men closed in on me and chorused "Taxi, miss? Take taxi?" Everywhere I turned, there was a leery smile with an offer to take a taxi. I backed away and walked briskly (running will show too obviously that I was afraid. Must look brave.) towards a closing stall.

Finally, my HP rang. It was Spelling Bee.
SB: Quirkie! Where are you? We were so worried for you! I kept praying for your safety!
Me: Spelling Bee! I don't know where I am! Where are you two? How do I find you? Why don't I pass my hp to someone and then you get our friend, T, to speak to him / her?
SB: Ok let me pass the hp to her.
T: Quirkie! I was so worried!
Me: Yah I was also very worried! Hold on, I pass the hp to someone here and you can ask him where is this place.
I approached a lady who looked really shocked and surprised; she mumbled something into the hp and suddenly I hear the screech of a motorbike and a man's hand reached out for the hp. It was my would-be-kidnapper! He took my hp from the lady and spoke gruffly into the hp, then passed it to me and told me again, "Wait here, wait here." I looked around worriedly, but did my best to put on a brave expression. "Your friend!" he cried as he pointed to Spelling Bee and T approaching on a motorbike not too far away from me. They didn't see me but it didn't matter, they soon would.

"Thank you!" I waved to the gruff motorbike taxi uncle as I ran after the bike, shouting "Spelling Beeeeeeee!"


Anonymous said...

wha bian, so dangerous, ....never never took a ride from stranger...u so pretty...what happennn......


Quirkz said...

thanks for your concern, den =)

thank God for keeping me safe that evening ; ) haha!