Sunday, March 6, 2016

Taboo At Sea (海上的禁忌)

There are many taboos at sea and those fishermen and avid anglers would be aware of. For example:

·         While the ship is sailing on the sea, one should not sit at the edge of the ship and swings his/her feet. For such action would attract the water spirit, drowned ghosts etc onto the ship.
·         The bow of a ship is deemed to be sacred and one should not pee or store rubbish or have intimate relationships there or unfortunate incidents would happen.
·         During dinner, it is not allowed to call up “dinner is served, come and enjoy!” Instead, one should just call up the names of individuals “Liew, come and have your dinner!”

Let me just stop at this point and tell you about a story of my angle friend, Mike. Mike is a rich guy and he likes to explore the mountains and the seas. He is also an avid angler. So not surprisingly Mike would charter a medium size cruise boat together with a few fishing fans to fish in open sea every few other months or so. Mike did invite me but I hate to part with my $1,000 each time so I declined his offer every time.

Well, that was until he has met with a sea disaster…

Normally Mike would charter a boat to fish for about one week at sea and his favorite spot is at the South China Sea. According to him, he could fish for bigger and fiercer fishes such as sharks and groupers and that are more challenging than fishing in close waters such as in Malaka Straits.

However, this time Mike and his pal decided to charter a cruise boat to fish in Andaman Sea and celebrate Christmas on the boat. As usual he gave me a call perhaps he just wanted someone to share the cost though he would expect me to decline each time. But this time I told Mike that the 3-kills (三煞) are in the north and reminded he to beware of the taboos at high sea.

His answered: “Yeah, yeah! You are so superstitious… See you after Christmas!”

Time flies, soon two weeks passed and one evening I received a call from Sam, our mutual friend. Before I opened my mouth, Sam said:

“Hey, Liew! Did you know Mike has met with an accident? He is now transferred to Penang GH; do you want to visit him? I’ll come to fetch you!”

Sam hung up the phone before I could reply him… So we were in front of Mike’s sick bed.

Looking at Mike, I jokingly asked: “How’s your Christmas?”

Mike stared at me for a while and said: “How do you like it to sing Merry Christmas while soaking in the sea?”

“Well, tell me about it…”

And below is Mike’s story:

At first the life at sea was quite peaceful; they fish in the morning and evening. Then at night they party on the boat. The good Mike also hired a cook to do the cooking as he didn’t want to cook for 10 people. All were peaceful until on the night of December 25th

On that particular evening, after the cook has prepared the dinner; he yelled out:

“All of you come and have your dinner!

Just as when everyone proceeded to the dining room, suddenly there was a gust of wind blew into the boat. The wind was accompanied with stingy smell of decaying flesh and sea water.

Soon after that, Mike felt the ship seemed to be crowded but he could only see his companions. After a while, the boat skipper yelled out:

“Abandon ship! The boat is sinking…”

As the story goes, they only have time to put on life jackets before the boat turned side way. Luck was to their side as there were a few fishing boats in the vicinity and they had managed to pick up the SOS call.

Now Mike turned to me and asked:

“I supposed you have any ideas about this?”

“Well, the Tsunami happened around Dec-26, and many people died in that part of the sea… when you called out dinner free for all; all of the drowned souls climbed onto your ship together and that made your ship sank… Hahaha!”

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