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Deja vu: Have You Been There Before?

Updated on October 12, 2014

Just Passing By

What is Deja vu? I shall not ask whether you believe in it or not. I am seeking answers if such experience occured to you? I was just in high school when I began feeling familiar with certain places or situations I found myself in. I love picking wild flowers that unexpectedly bloom on side streets and rocky grounds with no landscape at all. It amused me of course, but also gave me the thrill of knowing there is always something good that can come out of hopeless state or plight. Until one lazy afternoon, my girl friends decided to cut classes in Biology and off we went treading the back roads and hiked uphill where we could pick some local root crop we locals call "singkamas." Similar to turnips but sweet, juicy, and crisp. We ate them fresh like apples. Suddenly I felt a strong feeling of familiarity. The same friends, same activity, same topic, same weather, same place. There's nothing intriguing about that, except it was my first time to be in that place, first time to pick and ate those crop, first time to be with the same friends doing this kind of activity, and realizing our conversation and topic and the very spot I was squatting was all for the first time. Yet, an overwhleming sense of familiarity gripped me. It held me, so powerful. I knew I have experienced all of these at some point in my life. But when? Where?

The illusion of having previously experienced something actually being encountered for the first time.
The illusion of having previously experienced something actually being encountered for the first time.

The Peak

In the latter part of the 90's, I was working at a software development firm and it was an industry where one must be technically equipped. Trainings and In-House Education locally and abroad where abundant. It was a rainy Wednesday morning and people where busy or maybe looking busy and in the corporate atmosphere they seem not to look at you, ,just simply look past you. I closed my eyes for a moment and I saw this image of lush green, steep mountain-like place sitting atop a city. I shuddered. I feel like I was in this place before. I do not know how this image came to mind. Surprisingly, it was not just an image. It overwhelmed me like I knew the details of the landscape and I felt I was there. It showed a red colored image kind of transport. An officemate called my attention, I opened my eyes. I thought it may not happen anymore and forget the whole thing. However, even in my sleep the same image bothered me. I was always certain I know I saw this and have been there before.

Victoria Peak. A mountain in the western half of Hongkong Island. A major tourist atrraction that offers view over Centrral, Victoria Harbour.
Victoria Peak. A mountain in the western half of Hongkong Island. A major tourist atrraction that offers view over Centrral, Victoria Harbour.

Rainy Days and Cold Mornings

Whatever it was that haunted me, it gave me longing to someday see and touch this place. I wonder what mystery lies ahead. Experts will tell us that this is called "Deja vu," a complex phenomenon that describes these incidents as "already visited" and "already experienced or lived through" though occured for the first time. The images came back mostly during rainy days or even when I wake up to cold monings. These inadequacy is very odd where it seems my present feels like my past. Do I have to fear? Never. I think I have come to terms with it.

An Incredible Experience

After those occurences, a year passed and I was sent to one of our distributor's meeting in Hongkong. It was a learning experience and a social one too. I made a lot of friends. Our host gave us a tour of the city where I stayed at Causeway Bay, Hongkong Island. Arriving at the place for the very first time, they call "Victoria Peak," I was stunned. The details of the place enveloped me. It was super imposing. I knew at once this was the images that haunt me. The mountain atop a city, the lush green girth, the red transport. It was the tram. In those days it was called the "cable car." I may not know how to explain it but I was glad I was able too see and touch my past, my present, and my future. I don't know with others but they may think of Deja vu as something common, but mind you, it is just too compelling.

"I knew I had never been in this place before but as I sat here, I got a weird sense of 'Deja vu.'"
"I knew I had never been in this place before but as I sat here, I got a weird sense of 'Deja vu.'"

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