Thursday, 21 October 2010

A stranger

I went out shopping for some maternity dresses with my husband yesterday at Jusco Mid Valley. It was JCard member's day where discounts were offered up to 80% of the original price. The place was terribly packed with excited shoppers who took the opportunity to get something for themselves or their loved ones.

There was a wide range of such beautiful maternity gowns and blouses and pants and skirts of various colours and the materials are so soft with floral prints and pastel colours and ribbons and laces... Oh my God! I could buy them ALL at once!!!

After two hours of searching and trying and deciding what to buy, I already felt exhausted. We hurriedly paid for the clothes and moved on to the shoes department. This is where my problem lies. I am not a BIGFOOT of course, but I have BIG FOOT... err... big feet, to be exact, because I have two foots (*nuts?*). I can't simply point at any pair of lovely shoes and say "I want that one" and give my size and 5 minutes afterwards pay for it. No, that's just not me. I can only buy 'wide fitting' shoes, and they are of very limited selection here in Malaysia, considering the fact that Malaysians on average have smaller body frame compared to the Americans or Europeans. So, another two devastating hours were spent simply to find a pair of comfortable flat shoes.

By the time we finished shopping and went out, I was huffing and puffing for air and desperately need to rest a while. My husband pointed to a bench nearby and told me to sit there and wait while he go redeem some shopping vouchers. I, together with my shopping bags, headed slowly towards the bench like a tortoise. There was a woman already occupying one side of the bench. She watched me with this sort of funny expression on her face as if thinking..."What is she? A sloth?"... Owh! I really don't care what she thought of me... I am tired I can hardly move my legs!

"Oh you poor girl! Come sit beside me." She got up, took my hand and pull me to the bench.

"Alhamdulillah. Thank you"  I smiled. It felt so good to sit down and relax a bit.

"Where are you from? This lady stranger started the conversation with a wide smile. I gave her a short reply and thought the conversation would end there immediately. I was wrong. She asked me many, many other questions about myself, where I work, how many children I have, what I shop, how many months I am pregnant, and so on. I did not see any harm in telling her everything she wanted to know as long as they are general facts. Soon afterwards I know her as Junainah, a mother of five (all girls) and lives somewhere nearby. We talked for quite a while until my husband appeared in front of us and gave a signal that we should get moving.

I thanked Junainah for accompanying me and for the nice conversation, and grabbed my things and got up on my feet. Before I left, she asked for my mobile number and without thinking twice, I happily gave it to her. My husband was curious but did not say anything until we reached home.

Kuala Lumpur - a city crowded with strangers of all kinds
"You are one straight forward kind of person" he scolded. "Anyone with evil intention could cheat you easily"

"But I don't see any harm in her. She looks like an honest person" I tried to defend myself.

"How do you know she is not a bad person?" He asked back.

"I don't know, really. But she's a mother too, just like me. How bad can she be?"

"Listen. I never say that she IS a bad person. All I am trying to say is, we can't simply trust anyone we know only after 2 or 3 minutes of conversation. You need to be more careful next time. Don't give away personal details to strangers".

I nodded softly. He is right. I was such a fool to have given away my mobile number to someone I hardly know. I promised him I will not repeat the same mistake again in future.

Later when we were having dinner, I received an sms. It was from Junainah, the stranger. She asked me what time I reached home, whether I have had my dinner, and some other things. To my surprise, she also asked for my home address, saying that she wanted to visit me one day. She was a bit pushy this time.

"See! I told you! Now we have a stalker!" My husband got heated up when I showed him the sms. He told me not to reply to the sms, so I didn't.

Early this morning, around 7.20am,  my mobile phone rang. I rushed to the bedside to fetch the phone only to find out that the caller was Junainah. Again? An eerie feeling crept in me. What did she want from me?

"Don't answer her. She may try call you again later. Don't answer her!"  My husband warned me. He sounded so angry.

"I won't. She scares me. I am sorry things turned out this way unexpectedly"

"It's okay. Take care of yourself." He kissed me and left for work.

At the moment as I write this, I kept asking myself, how did all this happen? Was it wrong to show some politeness and smile a bit to strangers? I don't simply do this to everyone. The stranger is only a lady of much smaller size than me. Can she harm me in any way? Perhaps she is lonely and sad and is in need of a friend to talk to. But then I am myself a stranger to her. It is simply not right for her to trust me easily.

Perhaps she has good intention from the beginning. Perhaps she is a salesperson. Yes, that makes sense. She tried to sell something to me, that's why she contacted me. Insurance, maybe. But even if this is true, she approached me the wrong way. She scares me off.


  1. Owh my. Maybe she desperately needs a friend. Just be careful ok? Scary, though. Really.

  2. As-salaams sister, firstly your picture of Malaysia looks so lovely, makes me want to go there, everyone I know who has been to Malaysia just loves it. I think your post is so important because I'm sure many of us can relate to what you've experienced. I dont know if it's common with all women, but I have found that as women we tend to just trust people easily, we also easily believe anything that they tell us. Maybe we should be more careful, I don't know, it sounds like you were just trying to be polite. I hope that all turns out well for you though because a situation like this can be quite scary, and on the other hand, maybe this woman "Junaina" is just lonely and in need of someone to talk to, who knows what her real situation and intention is. These situations are tricky, never know what's the best thing to do. You seem like a very good natured person, people can sometimes take advantage of that. Maybe we need to be more stern sometimes, my mother always reminds me of this, she tells me the advice of the Quran and the Prophet (SAW) that we should not be too sour so people want to spit us out, nor should we be too sweet so they want to eat us up, we should be somewhere in-between, sometimes though, its very hard to find that "in-between".

    Anyway, sister, I hope that all works out well with you, take care and look after yourself.

    Stay well


  3. Sis Nurul,

    It is scary. I am glad I've not given her my home address during conversation. But if she really is in need of a friend, then I feel so sorry for her...

    Thanks for your concern, sis. Appreciate it.

  4. Waalaikum salam, sis Zarina!

    Masya-Allah, sis. Your mother's advice is simply beautiful. I like it instantly. Well yes, perhaps I've been too easy for people to take advantage. In that sense, I am glad my husband has always been "the knight in shining armour" to save me just in time. Only if we could read the mind of other people, then we can know whether their intention is good or bad and react accordingly...

    Anyway, I am safe, alhamdulillah. Thanks for your concern. I appreciate it very much. And by the way, if you ever come to Malaysia, dont forget to inform me. I'll take you to all the beautiful and attractive places, better than the tourist guide book. :)

  5. Assalamualaikum sis!

    Ah-hah! Something that we have in common! Sometimes I can be that "innocent" too. :)

    I've experienced something similar, and my take is perhaps the person just needs a friend/or help. So usually I'll still respond to the person, but I will make clear that I won't divulge personal details or commit myself esp. to a total stranger. :)

  6. Sis, even if the intentions of Junainah were genuine - i.e. she's nice, caring, needs a friend, etc - we can't trust her simply because this world is filled with so many bad people that we don't know whom to trust and whom not to. So it is for our best interest to be nice but keep our safe distance.

    Alhumdulillah that you are safe.

    PS: I'd love to visit Malaysia someday, inshaAllah :)

  7. Waalaikum salam, sis Hajar...

    You are truly right. It was a bit foolish of me to give away my number easily. But I've learned my lesson, I hope I'll always remember this rules with strangers. Thanks dear!

  8. Yes, sis Nadia. I can't tell if she's someone I can trust or not. But I have totally forgotten to mention in my post that during our conversation at the bench, she was holding my hands in hers all the time and only let go when my husband arrived. As if we've known each other well for many years!

    Thanks, sis, for your advice. I would be very happy to be your host when you come visit Kuala Lumpur. Insya-Allah, we'll have good times together. Already looking forward for it to happen, soon! :)

  9. I think, she want to sell something. Normally, the marketing people yang ask for our hp no, so that easy to contact us.

  10. that is possible too, Dal. Yesterday she sent another sms, still asking for my home address. I felt gulty for ignoring the sms, but I have no choice..



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