The midnight I got “lost” at Susupe road

Lost. Some things are just impossible to explain.

I was driving from Kanoa Resort to Garapan, Saipan, past midnight a few years back. A strange thing happened when I got close to the island intersection going to the Public Library in front of the World Resort. I got lost. I mean lost “lost.”

It felt like I had entered a fog and emerged into an extraordinary place. Everything suddenly looked unfamiliar. It was not Susupe anymore. I slowed down to about 5mph while figuring out where I was and what had happened. There were no other cars on the road, and I started to panic. I was scared to pull over because I didn’t see the road. I kept going very slowly.

Pulled over

Then I saw blue and red lights flashing, followed by a shrill siren. I looked in the rearview mirror and saw a police car behind me. I panicked all the more and kept driving at the same speed. It was the first time I was pulled over. I was not sure where I was going. The police car started honking when I kept going.

Surely, the police were not thinking I was initiating a chase at 5 miles per hour! Then I vaguely recognized the multipurpose building. I signaled and turned right to the parking lot, still driving slowly before finally pulling to a spot. It was all unreal. I was confused and still trying to clear the fog from my head when the cop knocked on my window.

Me: (trying to sound alive, alert, enthusiastic) Hey officer, good evening. What’s the problem?

Cop: I was going to ask you that. What’s the problem Maam? Are you drunk?

Me: No sir, I’m not drunk.

Cop: Were you asleep? You were driving in the middle of two lanes.”

Me: I’m sorry sir, I’m just very tired. I just flew in from coverage in Tinian.

He asked me where I worked and told him I worked for the newspaper. He was a young cop. He looked at me for a long time, probably trying to measure if I was indeed not drunk.

He then asked if I was sure I can safely drive all the way to Garapan, otherwise, he was going to give me a ride. I told him that I was going to take a 5-minute shut-eye then drive on home. Thankfully, he let me go without issuing a ticket.

Clothes off

What the cop didn’t know was I could not tell him that for a few minutes, within that short distance from the intersection to the Multipurpose Building, I was “lost.” He would think I was on drugs.

Before he pulled me over, there was one option left. I grew up with that superstitious belief that when you suddenly get lost and disoriented, you just have to invert your clothes and things will get back to normal again. Imagine what the cop would do if he finds me taking off all my clothes in the middle of the road. That would be harder to explain.

I’ve always argued that superstitious belief. What if I feel “lost” and invert my clothes and find myself in the middle of a lot of people?

Later that night, I remembered that several accidents have happened in that same place in the past, resulting in fatalities.

Lost at the Sukhothai Temple

Old Sukhothai City temple

This was not the first time that I got “Lost”. Over five years ago, I and my buddy Rolly were on a motorcycle exploring the old temple at Sukhothai City. Our hotel was just across from the Park so we decided to brave the dark and see the old temple at night.

We explored the different old structures and kept moving on to the next one. And then we were suddenly lost. One minute we were on a wide paved road, and the next minute, we were in a dark jungle. We were going around in circles trying to find the road (which I think we were still on it the whole time) but the place became strange.  It took us so long to finally see the road and make our way out of that “jungle”. Rolly confessed later that he was getting scared but pretended he was not concerned. In fact, he was even planning to invert his clothes.

A lot of you may not believe in the supernatural. I’m even 50/50 about it. But those moments when you become disoriented and lost for a few moments are real. Those are the times you hope it’s all a dream and you just rub your eyes and wake up or come back to reality.

To those who believe, no explanation is necessary. To those who don’t, no explanation is possible.

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