If I had to pick a place I guess it would be SE Asia. Not any one place in particular. I was stationed outside of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from 94-98.
There were times when I'd wake up like a shot in the middle of the night, I'd be soaking wet and I'd have this seriously foreboding feeling that I
was never going to get out of there. I saw a lot of death there too, like the up close and personal kind, and I'm sure that didn't help matters. In
fact, I saw so much of it I kind of got numb to it and that actually bothered me the most. Human life meant nothing there. It wasn't the individual
events which haunted me so much, though some were pretty extreme (think: recognizable human body parts strewn around like confetti, kind of extreme).
It was the general feeling that life meant nothing, and no one would know (or care) if we ever made it out of there. And, there were some who didn't.
They didn't die or anything, but the place took over their soul or something and they stayed behind to live there forever.
I can't put my finger on exactly what it was, and even writing this post brought back some of those feelings. It took me quite a while to shake it
when I did come back Stateside. It still bothers me a little sometimes.
I remember one event which really solidified this feeling for me. I woke up one morning in someone else's house, but no one was there. I had no idea
where I was, how I got there or who's house it was. This wasn't some drunken bender thing, I hadn't been drinking or doing anything like that. I
knew I was in a different country (i.e. not Malaysia), but I didn't know what country. To make matters even worse, my passport showed my work Visa
had been cancelled in Malaysia (typical when you left the country) and I had an exit stamp, but there was no corresponding entry stamp from wherever
the hell I was now. I looked out the window and I saw all these old Fords and Chevy's, it was like I went back in time to the 60's. I knew I wasn't
in the US, but as I looked around everything was in English so I knew I wasn't in Asia. I just about freaked completely out, thought I was going to
have a complete meltdown or a heart attack or something!
It took me about 30-40 minutes to piece together what had happened, but that seemed like hours or days. (note: this is a long story, but I'll keep it
short). I figured out I was in Australia. I had been sick the preceding few days, I'd been in about 5 countries in the span of less than a week and
I was exhausted. I was at a colleague's apartment, and he was on vacation for the weekend. I sat there on the edge of the bed, my head spinning and
my heart racing. That's when it hit me...I had to get the F# out of SE Asia! As I sat there it hit me like a brick to the forehead. I had nobody to
call, no one knew where I was (including me for a while) and if I had dropped off the face of the Earth that day no one would know or even care.
That's probably the scariest place I've ever been. Not Australia mind you (I LOVE the place), but that place inside your mind where you can never go
(Note - this was really hard for me to type).
edit on 7/19/2019 by Flyingclaydisk because: (no reason given)