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Confession by Ram
Malaysia has a famous urban legend of a Phantom Yellow Beetle that haunts the Karak highway. You would probably have heard of it. There was one night I had to drive back from a durian plantation in Pahang back to Kuala Lumpur, and that route meant I had to drive through Karak highway. Now, I'm not particularly spooked by the tale lah. I had driven along Karak many times and so far never encountered anything. But those times were in the day. Ghost stories aside, I had other things to worry about the Malaysian highway at night, and seeing the Volkswagen Kunning was the least of it.
As the living conditions in the plantation weren't suitable for my wife who was heavily pregnant at that time, we decided that if we drove slowly and carefully, we could minimize the risk of a night drive, and be home by 1 or 2am, in the comfort of our own beds.
From the beginning of the drive, I had already felt something wasn’t quite right. When walking to the car, we could smell the strong scent of the banana tree, which wasn't surprising because there were banana trees planted as shade for the young durian trees. When we got into the car however, the smell turned to something rotten. It was so strong, I had to wind down the window. In such situations, the best thing to do is to ignore these entities and the signs; never acknowledge them. I prayed under my breath and soon the car felt peaceful again. I felt that whatever that had been following us had left.
About an hour into the drive I turned into a petrol station to fill up my tank. When I pulled out of the station and back onto the highway, the car felt extremely heavy. I stepped on the accelerator and pushed my car all of the way.
Then knocking sounds started coming from the floor of the car - Knock knock knock. It really wanted us to know she’s there. By now it’s a bit hard to ignore.
I looked into the rear view and said to whoever was in my backseat to let us “tompang jalan”, meaning to excuse us if we had trespassed on “her” land. By "her", I’m sure you know who I'm referring to - the Pontianak.
If you have driven along Karak, you would see that on either side of the road are just plantations. If you are in need of any help along the way at this time of the night, you are quite screwed.
I prayed even harder till we got home. I left my car outside, instead of driving into the house. My wife and I quickly got in, showered thoroughly, prayed some more and went to sleep.
That night we slept peacefully.
The next morning, feeling more courageous in the day, my wife and I spoke about our experience. We both smelled and heard the same thing, so what we encountered could be validated. When we got into the car again to head out for lunch, we smelled the rotten smell again. This time stronger than ever, and we found a packet of durian apam that had been left in the car since yesterday afternoon and had probably turned bad in the enclosed heat of the car.
And also, I found out that I had driven home without disengaging the handbreaks, and according to the mechanics who serviced my car later that day, the sway bar link had broken off and was knocking on the undercarriage when I drove over bumpy roads.
So yeah. I guess there was no hantu. Just one goondoo driver.
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