ZHANG JIAN TING: I had this dream when I was in high school. My parents are running a business, they are selling fruits. It’s a very tiresome kind of work. Maybe I had this dream because I had been thinking of them and I felt a bit upset. I dreamt that my father had an accident. Some people were chasing him in a bulldozer, they were driving towards our house and we felt it was impossible to stop the machine so we got really desperate. Then I suddenly felt very tired. I saw that my father had been injured, he was bleeding. I felt kind of tight in my chest, as if I was suffocating. Then I woke up and I couldn’t breathe. I went to the bathroom and there was a good friend of mine so I told him about this dream and about how bad I felt. He tried to comfort me and told me it was just a dream.
At that time we used to go back home once a month. At the end of that month I went home and when I arrived my father was sitting on the bench outside our house. He asked me: “Jian Ting, don’t you feel something is different here?” I said “No”. But he asked again: “Don’t you feel something is missing?” Then I realized that the car wasn’t there. My father told me that he had had an accident, the car had been completely destroyed and his head had to be stitched. He had already recovered so now he was fine. I told him about my dream. When I went back to school I told my best friend that my father really had an accident. I think this is really amazing. Do we have a sixth sense for our families and relatives?
My family’s economic situation was better at that time. My father had been running his fruit business for two years. He bought the car in ‘97, the year that Hong Kong became part of China again. Nothing happened until 1999. Then some relatives tried to persuade my father to give up the car because his job was very exhausting and they thought it was too dangerous for him to drive under those conditions. Many of our relatives said this, and then that same year he had the accident. I don’t know why they hadn’t tried to persuade him earlier, in ‘97, but in ‘99 they did and then he had the accident because he was really very tired.
Another thing happened when I was very little. We were living in a very run-down house in the countryside. When my parents got married, my father’s parents didn’t approve their marriage so they didn’t give them anything, only a bowl and a pair of chopsticks. My mother’s father gave them the house that we lived in. So my parents didn’t get any help from their parents at all, they had a very tough life and they were rather poor. But my father knew how to drive. His father was a secretary in the village, he was also quite poor, he had no special skills. My father’s mother had died very early so my grandfather married another woman, my father’s stepmother. She didn’t treat my father well so my father had a hard time.
When I was little, each day around 7 or 8 o’clock in the evening the electricity was turned off so we had to use candles. I don’t have clear memories of that time but I remember one day, it was around 7 or 8 o’clock in the evening, suddenly the lights went out again. My mother took me on her arms and we went outside. Then I saw the shadow of a person who was sitting on the sofa. That’s all I remember. Later when I was older I asked my mother about that day but she didn’t want to say anything. Finally she told me that that night I had suddenly said: “Look, ma, there’s grandmother!” My mother got scared and took me outside of the house until my father came home. He had been called to transport a dead person in the car, but in the end he didn’t have to do it. He came back with some other relatives and neighbours and when he arrived at our house there was nobody there. This is also quite amazing.
Later, when I went to school, I told this story to every person I met. I wanted to find someone who had had the same kind of experience so we could talk about it, because my mother hadn’t seen that shadow. Some people say that children can see things that adults don’t see. Some say it was only the shadow of some other object. But I know that there are no shadows at night. And if it was only a shadow, then why didn’t my mother see it as well? Those two experiences are quite mysterious to me, quite impressive.