Rantglass - because that's how things are.

Way to the moon.

Way to the moon.

My friend came to pick me up for our scheduled appointment. I was astonished to find someone seated at the front passenger seat, but got in anyway instead of leaving my mouth gaping like a fish and embarassing myself by asking aloud, “Who is this dude here?” I was that close to doing that, though.

After he got off somewhere near his intended destination (he suddenly insisted on getting down at a bus stop), I turned to her. “A new member of your club?” She had just finished her martial arts practice in uni.

“No, I didn’t know him,” came the hestitant answer.

“What?! What do you mean?” We were already late for the appointment, and I was hardly amused. But her facial features did not seem to imply that she meant it as a joke.

Apparently she did pick up the total stranger and gave him a lift down to town. A security guard stationed at the gates of the uni had stopped her and passed along the request from the foreigner, who claimed to be one of the new postgraduate students, having just stepped into Malaysian shores last week. No form of public transportation was in sight, and they had resorted to asking for help from drivers on the way out from uni.

I cannot believe that the security guard actually asked her to drive a stranger to town – after all, she was alone in her car. In any case, my friend could have said no: but she found it hard to come up with the negative. That, I think, is one of her weaknesses.

While what she did may have been a helpful and noble gesture, I cannot help but wonder: is it really worth taking the risk? Anything could happen within that one-hour journey to town. A stranger with you in your car, in long, deserted highways, with only a passing car or two.

Perhaps he really was not one of our new students.

Maybe he was on his way to meeting a secret client at an undisclosed location, to finish up one last job before he retires and finally gets to keep his shotgun in his cabinet.

... I hope he does not remember the way to my house.

I could not focus on anything else but that incident for the later half of the day. She did not seem as bothered as I was. She probably did not realise that she was putting her life (and mine) in danger as well (at this point, my mind was already full of countless possibilities and what-ifs). Two girls may not have the advantage over knives and guns – martial arts or no martial arts.

I have to say she has been quite lucky all this while. I hope it does not run out soon enough for her.

On the other hand, imagine being alone and having to fend for yourself in a land away from home. No contact numbers of any sort. No one to turn to. People do not give you a second glance because, heck – no one knows you. You get into someone’s car and see the unfamiliar roads and buildings pass you by. Wait – what if this supposedly ‘good’ Samaritan whisks me someplace else?

These days, it is hard to help someone without feeling the slightest worry and hint of suspicion. Newspaper reports can confirm that. Good people are getting cheated and victimised when their only crime was only to extend a helping hand.

Unfortunately, none of us have the ability to verify a person’s intentions.

To help, or not to help?

Well, what would you have done? I know, I do find it difficult to say no (and especially so to friends, too) sometimes, but I believe I would have known where to draw the line.

Details of this entry.Sunday, February 20, 2005, filed under Blogger Archives.
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