Due to my interests in getting rare herbs and to enhance my Thai magic, I frequent myself to hike up the Banjaran Bintang mountain ranges in the Northern Peninsula to look for those plants normally grown high above the mountain.
To local folks, a mountain range is a mysterious and dangerous place to be at for those decent folks. Set aside the steep landscape to overcome, the weather in the mountain can change very fast too: a clear scene ahead can turn into foggy over half an hour or so.
The tropical rain forest too is infested with many poisonous animals, insects and leeches too just to name a few. Unlike the common lowland species, mountain leeches are normally large and green in color; and they could 'jump' onto an unwary traveler at close range.
So a season mountain hiker would prepare some salt or tobacco water to be smeared on his body to ward off those blood suckers. Of course, modern insect repellents work too. The bottom line is that one must wear long stocking, long pants and long sleeve shirt.
Ideally too and in most instances, mountainous jungles in Malaysia is a forbidden place for ordinary folks. Anyone who wishes to enter a jungle must first hire a guide and inform the local forestry department. This precautionary act is to ensure that in case of emergency, help can be dispatch quickly to save lives.
No one practically enters a mountainous jungle now a days alone. So said, I am a lone ranger and it is not quite possible to gather a group of people to look for herbs. Hence, other than crossing my fingers for luck, I relied very much on my practice of Thai magic and Tibetan ritual frankly speaking.
My area of concentration is mainly the Banjaran Bintang ranges as I could catch the weather pattern over there and hence avoiding many problems. For example, the best time to go up the mountain would be early in the morning and descend before 2~3pm to avoid rain fall. However, if it rains in the morning; then it is best to call off the hiking plan as nothing would go smooth for the whole day.
After a few trips to and fro from Banjaran Bintang, a creature came to me in the form of a snake head with wide opening bloody mouth. It identified itself as the mountain god of Banjaran bintang.
At first, I dismissed the creature as just a dream. Then strange thing started to happen...
During one of my herbs hunting trip on Banjaran Bintang, I was hiking up a section of the mountain range searching frantically looking for arisaema species. Nothing was found after walking for an hour or more, I knew that my time was running out. So, I said to my self: "Give me one plant and I shall return, just one plant..."
I continued to walk while repeating my words and after a few minutes, an arisaema plant came before me and I happily plucked it and just as I have turned my back, I saw that the whole place was filled with arisaema!
Naturally I dared not collect anymore and hurried home. Strange enough, just as when I reached the foot of the mountain; heavy rain started to pour. I thought had I delayed for a few minutes longer, I would be trapped inside the mountain..
A few weeks later, I ventured for another trip to hike up the Bintang mountain range. This time I brought some food offerings for the mountain god. As before, I walked and walked but saw nothing interesting. So I decided to return home. Very strangely too, as soon as I have thrown away all of the food offerings; many strange and rare plants came into my view.
After getting a handful of herbs, I returned home only to find some of my stuffs went missing. My guru said that the mountain god wanted me to give it something in exchange.
I thought it was my carelessness naturally.
Then I ventured on a third trip to hunt for another herb that I always wanted. As usual I brought some offerings and as before, nothing was found on the mountain. So I prayed to the mountain god: "Give me the plant I want and I will continue to do Thai magic."
Strangely too, after murmuring a few words; the path before me suddenly widened and I walked forward. There, just a few feet in front of me was the plant I wanted for so long. It was a huge plant and I only had a small bag... Somehow I managed to bring it down miraculously.
Again, some of my hand tools went missing... perhaps the mountain god wanted something in exchange. I didn't return to look for the missing stuff and again, it started to rain just as I have descended down from the mountain!
That night, I went to a supermarket to buy some item. As I stood on an elevator, a gigantic lady weighing more than 150kg just a few flight in front of me suddenly fell backwards and took somersault; and she laid face down almost making me a pancake!
Miraculously too, the lady was okay as she could still raise her head and smiled at me...
I visited my master the next day, and he said that it was a warning from the mountain god that I must keep my promise to continue with my Thai magic... So, maybe I am stuck with Thai magic after all! Believe it or not?