Trudging wearily from work, I decided to make this very rare choice. It is probably common for everyone reading this, but I decided to finally put the skills I’ve learnt from Gordon Ramsay on Television, to practice. So, there I was in the kitchen preparing my World-Class Crispy and Devine Air Fried Oyster Mushrooms while I was tooting my horn over a phone call to my friend, a chef who works in Indonesia.

After carefully placing the mushrooms into the Air fryer, I decided to wait upstairs in my lovely 2 story Semi-D rented property to wait. So, before I took the first step on my spiral staircase, I saw something moving on the curtain rails of my soft pink curtain which made my entire living room look like you’ve entered the land of bubble gums. At first, I thought it was just a regular house lizard, but it looked peculiar. The neck was longer than that of a regular house lizard. So, I put my friend on hold and I ran upstairs to call the emergency services.

It was the first time that I have ever called the emergency services in my life. On one side I was scared that the “thing” on my curtain rails might be the symbol of an animal which is there in the Caduceus symbol but on the other hand, I was afraid that the emergency services were going to yell at me just in case it was a regular house lizard. So, while doing the mental coin toss to see whether I should call the emergency services, I looked at the reflection in my mirror and I swear that I was the fairest in the whole world, forget Snow white.

Dealing with Ophidiophobia my entire life, I used to even walk the other way when I went for Zoo visits when it comes to having a visit to the land of the animal that represents the House of Slytherin in Harry Potter. Remembering that I was on the first floor of my house and if the people of the emergency services came to my house, they would have to break into my house since the ground floor door was locked and latched, I had to make another decision in my life- how am I going to go down safely? So, I called my fellow colleague who lives in the same area to accompany me while I ran out of the house and took asylum in the arms of my man of steel with four wheels.

Note that this entirely took place after sunset while I was about to have dinner. So, the emergency services, (I thank the Fire and Rescue Department of Malaysia for their help) came with 3 gorgeous-looking firemen who saw the unkempt, pale woman – me. Apart from being completely unprepared to look presentable, I was even reluctant to go into the house to show them where I saw the “thing”. So, from outside the door, they pointed the area to them, and then the “thing” tried to escape. When I saw the “thing” curled up of about 4-5 feet long, I screamed like a little child and ran 2 houses away – Bolted probably was the right choice of word in this situation.

My wonderful friend held me by my arms and asked if I am alright since I started hyperventilating and sobbing as I cried due to fear. The firemen came to me and told me that everything was fine and there was nothing to worry about. They made sure that I was calm and alright before they left. My friend then accompanied me into my house and help me pack a few things in my luggage. She suggested that it would be better if I stayed out of the house for the night while I calmed my nerves. She has never seen me cry ever and she knows I am a strong woman, but I suppose she felt so bad for me when I started sobbing like a little child, probably worse than the Paediatric patients that we see daily.

So, after packing my important clothes and my food I checked into a hotel. I sat on the crisp sheets of the hotel bed, sunk my teeth into the lovely fried mushrooms that I made, and wondered, what to do next. I moved into a new apartment the next day which costs me twice more than what I paid before however, I rather be in a costlier place instead of putting risk to my life in addition to the work I do every day. At the end of the day, regardless of whether it is moving to a new apartment, or getting your health screenings done despite the medical bills, safety and health always come first. Remember that early detection of almost anything in life saves your entire journey. This is a true story of your writer who learned the cost of peace, the hard way.