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Saturday, April 01, 2006

A call in the... day?

So there I was, at my computer, just checking my e-mail. And there, among the new messages, was one titled "I'd like to meet you" by some person named Avril Sagua. I had never heard of her before, but since Gmail hadn't sieved it out as junk mail, I figured it should be legitimate.

In it, she said that she and her colleagues had become very interested in my blog and wanted to meet me in person. She provided a phone number and asked me to call her back. The number looked legitimate, a local landline number starting with "6". No reason, nothing. Just "Hi, we read your blog, we're intrigued by you, please call us."

On the other hand, it did read like junk mail, and I don't know of any Avril Sagua, so I just deleted it and went web surfing on my own. If it was important, she would've provided a fuller explanation, right?

And then, I got an instant message. A stranger wanted to add me to their ICQ list. (Yes, I'm still on ICQ, can you believe that???) Normally, these would be invitations by desperate mainland Chinese women seeking companionship "and more".

This one was different. It said: "Wanna meet u -- avril sagua".

Whoa, twice in one day? This was more than coincidence and required some sleuthing. Tentatively, I acknowledged the message. A chat window popped up, as expected. The conversation went something like this:
avril: hi
me: hi
avril: we read your blog n wanna meet u
me: who r u?
avril: u really shld meet us
me: i m not meeting any1 unless i know who u r!
avril: u wrote abt sedition?
me: ya
avril: u wrote abt politics?
me: ya
avril: u said, "dear govt, u suck" several times
me: some of the services suck
me: who r u? wat do u want?
avril: as u know, elections r coming
avril: we think u hv potential
me: wat do u mean?
avril: lets meet for tea
avril: wait 4 our call
-- end --
At this point, I got really paranoid. Who was watching me? Why was my blog so interesting? More importantly, was I getting in trouble because of what I had written? I rushed to my Blogger and LiveJournal sites and prepared to delete every single entry there. I didn't want to be AcidFlask number 2.

And what was that about tea? The only political tea sessions that I knew of -- and which is public knowledge -- are usually recruitment sessions by a certain political party. What was going on??? A million thoughts ran through my head. I was going crazy.

And then my handphone rang.

I nearly jumped out of my skin. Gingerly, I picked up my phone and looked at the caller ID. Gasp! It was the number in the e-mail! The phone rang and rang as I pondered whether to answer it or not.

Finally, I flipped it open and put it to my ear. "Hello?" I said slowly and softly.

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