Wednesday, December 2, 2009

I am a chicken

You probably won't know it but I am the worrisome type.

I am scared of heights. Living now in a 16th-floor apartment, I worry about accidentally slipping from the balcony while I'm hanging out the laundry. Or the windows giving way if I or either of my kids lean against them.

I imagine being involved in an air traffic accident. Free fall is a horrible way to die. Do you know vacuum pockets exist in the atmosphere and if an airplane flies into it, there is no air pressure to support the weight of the plane and it will simply drop? There is at least one documented example of this and many passengers suffered broken limps. So my kids and I are always buckled when we are seated.

When I was a teenager, I'm fearful of ghosts and all things paranormal. I blame multiple viewings of The Exorcist and Nightmare on Elm Street I, II, III; but I thought the Hong Kong-produced movies were more eerie. During late nights studying for exams, I waited for a green-faced zombie to fly across my window.

When I took up my first editorial job, I would wake up suddenly in the middle of the night, thinking: did i put a full-stop at the end of the sentence? Oh no, it's already gone to print!

I'm not a gambler because the likelihood of winning is near zero. I've tried blackjack, slot machines, poker, roulette, Toto... usually lost it all in the end, so seldom keen to try again.

I am a bystander of the stock market. My heart can't take the stress of the price of shares going down. Once, I watched the indices of my mom's shares and broke out in cold sweat as the numbers fell. I walked away, thanking my lucky stars it wasn't my money.

Low appetite for risk, that's what I have. No pain, no gain, my husband advises.

Am I an eagle thinking I'm a chicken?

I've taken hundreds of flights. There were some harrowing experiences that finished with a bag full of puke but I'm still here.

I've been to the top of the Petronas Towers. Not just the Skybridge on the 43th floor - yes, I clung on to the side railings in case the glass floor gave way - but a privileged ride all the way to the 86th. Just 2 floors away from Dr M's office, I'm told. The clouds were floating before my eyes and the tower was swaying in the wind. Motion sickness threatened my recent buffet lunch but thankfully the contents stayed in.

There hasn't been any sightings of headless horsemen or powdered Qing-dynasty zombies. I haven't had much trouble sleeping alone in a strange room for several years now. As long as the 24-hour news channel is on.

I'm in the midst of a transformation, I believe. There's more than meets the eye.