Tuesday, June 27, 2017

One Night Stand (一夜情)

Old Chinese believe that the life after death of a person is just like the living. So one needs houses, cars, money and in some instances, servants too. This belief gave forth the profession of paper craftsmen. These master craftsmen can make just about anything: mansions, houses, cars and human manikins.

The most human shapes are the pairs of servant and maids. These human manikins are just human manikins before empowerment ritual. Once they are empowered, then these effigies are deemed to be 'alive'. So, experienced Taoists would only empower these paper crafts right before they are burnt. This is to prevent these inanimate objects from wandering about and scared innocent folks. 

I myself have seen half Merce moving in the middle of the night when I was in Padang Rengas when I was small. Later, my grandma told me that it was the half-burnt paper made Merce taht I saw. Apparently someone's offering wasn't burnt completely.

Below is a story of my distant relative happened in the early 60's. 

Uncle Kow was a distance relative from my father's side. 

At that time, Uncle Kow stayed in a rubber plantation in Kuala Kangsar. Houses were built scattered across the rubber plantation on private owned lands. It took the 10 year old me to walk 15 minutes from my grandparent's house to Uncle Kow's.

Uncle Kow was single then and lived alone. He tapped rubber trees in the morning and sell fruits at night in the Kuala Kangsar town. So, by the time he returned from town, it would normally be after 9pm.

One day, Uncle Kow returned home at night as usual. He passed through a household holding a traditional funeral rites.

Without thinking too much, Uncle Kow hastened his pace as though he wasn't too superstitious; he didn't like to look at the deceased's photo displayed right in front of the altar.

After about 50 yards away, there Uncle Kow saw a young lady wearing maid's attire. Though feeling surprised, he approached the lady and asked:

"May I know what are you doing walking in the dark alone?"

"Oh, I just came out to take a breath of fresh air." The lady answered.

So both person started to chat and the lady said that she was Ah Moy, a maid of the deceased's family.
As they talked, both of them reached Uncle Kow's house.

Since both of them felt that they have much to talk about still, Ah Kow invited the Ah Moy into the house and they spent an intimate night.

Later, Ah Moy told Uncle Kow that she would be travelling the next night. Reluctantly, Uncle Kow gave Ah Moy his heirloom necklace and she returned the favor by giving him her red handkerchief.

When Uncle Kow awoke in the morning, Ah Moy was no where to be seen.

Missing Ah Moy, Uncle Kow decided to visit the deceased's house first to pay respect and more importantly to look for Ah Moy.

Uncle Kow wasn't a stranger to the deceased's family. After some casual talk, Uncle Kow asked about the maid, Ah Moy.

To his surprised, the answer from the deceased's son was: "We have no money for maid. The only one is this paper manikin for my late old pa!"

Uncle Kow looked at the direction of the finger point, there he saw a life size paper manikin of a maid. Strangely speaking too... it was wearing Uncle Kow's necklace!

Due to extremely fright, Uncle Kow yelled out loud from the bottom of his lungs and fainted.
Since then, he fell ill and passed away a few years later managed to tell his story to me.

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