Well, not exactly a ‘well’ as such, but more of a very large water butt that supplies water to a creepy hotel. America is a shithole, of course, packed full of the horrors of abject poverty. Why did Elisa Lam visit this terrible place? She was only 21-years-old, and I suppose she was exercising her desire for travel. I do not know if her family are ‘Hakka’ – but her family name ‘Lam’ (林) is the name of the people who live in the village next our family’s ancestral (Chan – ‘陳‘) village in the Sai Kung area of the New Territories in Hong Kong. Her surname is written with ‘two trees’ and is generally taken to mean ‘forest’. Sometimes, people with the surname ‘林’ pronounce their name as ‘Lim’ if they are ‘Hakka’ – but then although we are ‘Hakka’ we use the ‘Chan’ pronunciation of ‘陳’ as ‘Chin’ (‘Chen’ in Putonghua).
Odd, but Netflix recently released a mini-series about the Cecil Hotel focusing on Elisa Lam’s bizarre death. Most people have seen the highly disturbing two minutes of film footage showing Elisa acting in a very strange way whilst hopping in and out of a lift making surreal shapes with her hands and acting as if she was communicating with someone the camera could not see. Her glasses are missing and she is very short-sighted. I noticed her well-developed calves which are only usually built like this in a woman who has been pregnant and carried a bay for around ten months. Elisa developed her calves through cross country running she was very good at one point in her teen years. As a martial artist I routinely notice how a person’s body is built as a potential opponent who needs to be countered – or a promising student who needs to be taught.
I am now reading the book entitled ‘Gone At Midnight – The Mysterious Death of Elisa Lam’ by Jake Anderson. Although I laughed at most of the internet sleuths and their dedication to Elisa’s case, here I am reading more books about her, and watching unusual documentaries. Her family looked suitably impassive and sad as they attended at least one press conference in the US. Evidence seems to suggest a mental breakdown – although an extrapolation of certain (disturbing) details can suggest a far more sinister outcome. Was she hunted, trapped, raped and murdered? Or, did she experience an unexpected psychological episode that allowed her to traverse the labyrinth Ceil Hotel (unseen like a Ninja), and climb onto the roof before managing to place herself into a not so easy to access water tank? She stripped her clothes off and allowed herself to ‘drown’ in the water. Her decomposing body was then slowly dissolved in the water supply of the hotel over the next thirteen days before its discovery – in the meantime being consumed (as drinking-water) by hundreds of hotel guests.