Cycling alone can be petrifying to myself and others

January 24, 2013

I try not to fear, fear. I try very hard whenever I find myself barreling down the plantation trail roads on my mountain bike. From time to time, I stop to take survey readings. I even stop to look at the birds. Then I am off again.

Came across a blocked road this afternoon. Standing to the left was a stout Indian man in his fifties with two younger men standing on the other side of the road. It was their body movements that gave them away – a pensiveness, nervousness even. I dismounted left the bike and walked towards the gate. Both younger men had their hands on their parangs. They were gripping it tightly. Their hands were shaking. The older stout man stepped back. I made some lightning calculations. 15 feet separating the stout man from the two men at the opposite side of
the road. If there is trouble. I will have to take the stout man hostage. I go through the movements in my head as I walk towards them. I imagine how the two younger men will react when I slip my arm around the stout man and draw out my dagger.

I pick up speed. Then the stout man shouts out, “take what you want just don’t hurt us!”

It took me a while to register this Indian family had mistaken me for a oil palm thief warlord. After sorting out the misunderstanding – I gathered from Kupusamy & Sons there has been a lot of stealing in these parts. They just mistook me for a hoodlum.

I really need to work on my image. This is really not the first time. Either that or I simply need to change my cycling wardrobe.

How stupid. And this was supposed to be a trip to bridge minds and build relationship with my distant neighbors.

How stupid of me. How utterly stupid of me not to see it. During dinner when Mrs Kupusamy ladled me another helping of her five chili fish head curry. The stout man asked,

“Yes, I know where you come from. It’s that village with the old pavilion by the lake. The one where everyone says the devil lives on the hill. Am I right?”

I only smiled.

Darkness 2013

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