Monday, 29 September 2008

Our last summer* - Abba

Heard this song when i was watching Mamma Mia this afternoon.

I can still recall our last summer
I still see it all
Walks along the Seine, laughing in the rain
Our last summer
Memories that remain
I can still recall our last summer
I still see it all
In the tourist jam, round the Notre Dame
Our last summer
Walking hand in hand
Paris restaurants
Our last summer
Morning croissants
Living for the day, worries far away
(Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus)

I was so surprised at how accurately it described my trip to Paris with me mates in 2006. Except it was in spring. Miss you guys so much!

*One of their songs used in the stage musical, Mamma Mia. It was also featured in the movie version but the stage musical version was actually sung by the characters Harry and Donna.

Don't let me be the last to know* - Britney Spears

Well, not only was i the last, but i found out in an accidental random manner by someone else!!! if i wasn't walking in that direction at that point of time and if he din see me, i would have still been in the dark.

It's alright. It's their prerogative. I'm just surprised at how much it bothered me - no, not the news but the omission to let me know. But I guess its good to know where i stand.

*The last single from her 2nd album, some say this single was her biggest flop.

Saturday, 27 September 2008

We don't need another hero* - Tina Turner

TV season resumes! Woohoo! Well, with the exception of 24 and Lost, all me fav TV shows starts again this month!

****Warning - spoilers below. Read on at own risk!****

Prison Break was the earliest.After the disappointing season 2, season 3 was entertaining and so far, season 4 is alright.

Desperate Housewives starts this weekend.

House started off how it ended in the last season. The previous season was almost losing me - until the final 2 episodes which blew me away. The first episode of the new season follows on from there.

As for Heroes, unfortunately, it is heading the same direction of season 2. Season 2 was so draggy and the characters were getting to be a real pain. Sure, one argument is that it shows them to be flawed heroes. But at the end of the day, when i watch a series, i want there to be some ppl - or at the very least, someone - to root for.

In Heroes, the good fellas are getting be a pain. Hiro gets bored and puts the world into jeopardy. Suresh gets greedy - and becomes Spiderman (what the...????)!!!! Peter - now i really disliked him in season 2 and it doesn't seem to be any different for season 3 so far.

This is what happens when you give losers power. They dun know how to handle it. The saying is so true - power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely! In season 3, he tries to be God. And ends up making things worse. Idiot!

They oso seem to be running out of ideas. Sure, similarities with X-Men are bound to be there so we have a new Pyro and Iceman. But we also have Flash and Spiderman! Still, i don't we need new heroes. We need a good story!

Oh well... it is only 2 episodes so far. Perhaps it'll get better. Most of the series i watched - Desperate Housewives, Lost and Prison Break - season 2 was always disappointing but season 3 redeems it.

Anyways, found this parody of season 1. Much more enjoyable than episodes 1 and 2 of season 3.

Can't wait till next year for Lost and 24. More for 24 as we've been deprived of it far too long!

*Taken from the soundtrack of Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Bye bye* - Mariah Carey

Take care, people! Will miss you all.

*Her second single from her 11th album, it hasn't done as well as expected yet, hitting the #1 spot only in Croatia and South Korea.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

You're a god* - Vertical Horizon

One of me mates called these fellas 'Bass Gods'. Well, i won't go so far to say that. But these blokes are brilliant. And i'm going down to S'pore later to catch their concert on Friday nite!

For those who are stuck here and will miss out on it, let this give u an idea of wat you'll be missing:-

On a separate note, did you guys see Stevie G's goal last nite/this morning? Check it out:-

See y'all next week!

*Their 3rd single from their album, Everything you want.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Life Uncommon* - Jewel

At Laban Rata, i was sharing the dorm with another M'sian. He's KL. KL from PJ!

We were chatting as we sat on our respective upper bunks - and not surprising, we started talking about local politics. KL was telling me that when it comes to voting, he wasn't really loyal to a particular party - but he was more interested in the candidates themselves.

He started telling me an incident in his family. Years ago, his uncle was robbed. The robbers injured him seriously and KL's aunt brought her husband to the University Hospital. Unfortunately, there was no place left in the Intensive Care Unit. None for 'normal' patients.

You see, they had a bed specially reserved for VIPs. There were no VIPs in the ICU at that point of time. KL's uncle's family was livid! The man was dying. There was an empty bed. Yet, the hospital refused to give it to the dying man! They went all the way to the top but the hospital refused to budge.

So the family turned to the Member of Parliament - from the ruling government. He said he'll look into it. They waited. No news. No action.

Out of desperation, they turned to the opposition politician. She was not the Member of Parliament. But it was worth a try.

I believe it was in the wee hours of the morning. The family did not know this opposition politician personally. Yet, when she received the call, she told them she would be there. And shortly afte that, she arrived. She raised hell and gave the management a piece of her mind. To cut the long story short, KL's uncle was given the place in the ICU and lived to tell the story.

KL said that that incident left such an impression on him - that was what he would want in his MP. That was exactly the kind of person he would vote for. She did not know them at all. She wasn't even the MP at that time. Yet, she came to their aid in some ungodly hour.

Today, that lady is a Member of Parliament. In fact, in the last elections, she won her seat with the BIGGEST majority. No surprise, is it?

Today, she is also locked-up. She has not been charged in court. She has not been allowed to go to court. She has not been allowed to see her lawyer.

What has she done wrong? The authorities have not released an official reason for it - just the vague allegations that she has done something which is "detrimental to the calm, peace and harmony of the country".

There are some speculation as to why she has been detained - it is only as a result of an article published in a local papers, the contents of which has been denied by her and remains unproven. Her supporters maintains her innocence (see here).

Instead of serving her constituency, she is unwell and kept in detention - for around a month. And possibly indefinitely.

In my view, this is wrong. If she has committed a crime, charge her in court for it. If not, let her go and let her do her job and serve the people.

Let us speak out against her detention. Let us call on the government to release her. Let us no remain silent. When you say nothing at all, nothing will change.

If you feel as strongly as i do, then sign this online petition asking not jst for her release but that ISA be abolished.

*The last single from her second album, i really like this song - the lyrics, the 12-stringed acoustic guitar, the gospel feel to it.

When the going gets tough* - Boyzone

What do we do when faced with a monumental task?

Some people shy away in fear. They think only of their own comfort and forget about others. They reneged on promises made earlier.

Others, in spite of fear, stand firm and give it their best shot.

Well, it is a free world - and everyone is entitled to choose whichever path they want to take. And everyone else is entitled to conclude what kind a person he is for taking that path.

Most things in life are not easy. One should not be judged on how they perform - but their attitude in doing it. Or in not doing it.

*Their remake of Billy Ocean's hit.

Monday, 15 September 2008

Sara* - Starship

Alright. Something more light-hearted.

Check out this SNL skit on Sara(h) Palin:-

Of course, you have to have watched Sarah Palin's interview by ABC's Charles Gibson to understand some of the jokes.

We live in interesting times - not just in M'sia but all over the world. As for the US, having watched Sarah's first interview by Charles Gibson, i'm not impressed at all. After all, even my students know what the Bush Doctrine is!!! I also did not like the way she avoided giving straight answers - altho Charles Gibson did not let her go so easily on some occasions. There was one point when after repeating the question a couple of times, he stopped her and asked her for a simple yes or no answer. Even then, she did not give one.

*Their no. 1 hit in 1986. Brings back memories of a trip to Langkawi where we murdered sang the song when we were travelling in a van.

Sunday, 14 September 2008

I don't feel like dancing* - Scissor Sisters

I should feel like dancing!

First victory against them at Anfield in SEVEN years!

First victory against them in 9 premiership matches!

First victory against them in the Premier League in 4 years!

It must have been a moment which a lot of Liverpool FC fans have been dreaming of - for at least 4 years!!!

I should feel like dancing!

Yet, that moment seemed elusive in the early minutes of the game. Man Utd's record signing had an early chance. Yet, the warning signs weren't heeded and a horror lapse less than 4 minutes into the game saw the Devils take the lead.

As it is, even before the game started, the signs weren't good. Their tops scorers were both on the bench. And even if they came onto the pitch, how would they perform, both having just barely recovered. Where would the goals come from? Robbie Keane?


Sorry. Let me pick meself off the floor first.

Yet, they managed to get a victory. In the second half, Liverpool FC totally controlled the game. And they were rewarded with the winning goal due to sheer determination - and a slice of luck.

I should feel like dancing!

I didn't believe it would happen. Honestly, i expected all the Man Utd fans to jam my Facebook wall on Sunday with taunting messages as they have done so in the past. Yes, how rude!

Keane was totally off. At least Kuyt had a few close chances. But the turning point for me - the moment that i started to believe - and smell victory - was when a wayward pass from Anderson to Giggs drew looks of disgust from both players. i knew then that frustration was creeping into their game. I knew then that the efforts of the Liverpool players were reaping its effects. Sure enough, a moment of madness from their most experience player on the field, Giggs, led to LFC's winning goal!

I should feel like dancing!

So there you have it! A sweet victory! A deserved victory! Fans were dancing in the stands, and especially at the Kop end.

Yet, i did not feel like dancing at all. I must admit i was tempted for a briefest of moments to send out taunting messages to me mates on Facebook who are Man Utd fans. But i would not lower meself down to their level.

Heck, i wasn't even moved to tears at the sound of the fans singing "You'll never walk alone".

What was wrong with me???

I don't know. Perhaps the events in my wonderful country here has cast a dark shadow over everything else - yes, it's so bad that even a victory over Man Utd cannot do anything to lift me spirits.


*Their first single from their 2nd album, this was written by Elton John who also played the piano in it.

Saturday, 13 September 2008

Powerless* - Nelly Furtado

So Tan, the reporter has been released - she was ARRESTED and DETAINED kononnya for her own protection, despite the Home Minister admitting that she has not done anything wrong. The question i asked (see here) among others is does it mean that her life is no longer under threat?

Further, i would like to submit that the police had acted ultra vires when arresting Tan under section 73 of the ISA. This mean that they acted outside the scope of their powers. They were powerless to arrest and detain her but yet they still did so.

Let us look at section 73:-
"Any police officer may without warrant arrest and detain pending enquiries any person in respect of whom he has reason to believe that there are grounds which would justify his detention under section 8; and that he has acted or is about to act or is likely to act in any manner prejudicial to the security of Malaysia or any part thereof or to maintenance of essential services therein or to the economic life thereof."
Do note first that any police officer can arrest and detain under this section - yes even the one who asked you for a bride the other day, and the other one who was rude to you. On what grounds? 2 grounds:-

1. If the said arresting police has reason to believe that there are grounds which would justify a detention under section 8.


2. If the person arrested has acted or is likely to act in a manner prejudicial to:-
(a) The security of Malaysia or any part thereof
(b) maintenance of essential services in M'sia
(c) the economic life of M'sia.

Kindly note that for the first ground, the arresting officer need not have any grounds - he just has to believe there are grounds!!!!!

We don't even need to look at section 8. Just look at the 2nd ground. Has Tan acted or is likely to act in a manner as provided under section 73? I would humbly submit no! The Home Minister himself admitted that she did not do anything wrong!

So if that's the case, how can the police arrest and detain her under section 73? Section 73 does not give them the power to arrest and detain in order to protect the person arrested from threats. As such, the police has clearly acted ultra vires! Tan should sue them and the government of M'sia for false imprisonment!

Is M'sia the only place in the world where the police ARRESTS AND DETAINS citizens WHO DID NOT DO ANYTHING WRONG just to protect them????

Yet, having said it all, i must remind meself to remain calm. And i hope that the rest of the country will be like me - outraged at the things happening but remaining calm.

*Song that was co-written by Nelly regarding how she was discriminated against by her record company.

Free me* - Debbie Gibson

Abolish the Internal Security Act and release all those detained under it as they are innocent.

*Taken from her 4th studio album Body Mind Soul.

Friday, 12 September 2008

Amazing* - George Michael

At the Kinabalu Park, me mate booked me into one of the hostels - this one:-

I was quite happy about it cuz the last time i was there, i stayed in the same place - so it holds some nice memories for me.

But as i thought about it, it struck me how in my life, it seems like i'm perpetually checked-in at Grace Hostel! Day in and day out, i'm living in God's grace.

Grace - to put it simply - is receiving something that we do not deserve (as opposed to mercy where we do not receive something that we deserve).

I've truly been so blessed, from small little matters - like how i managed to get the last seat on the bus just as the bus was about to pull away to the airport - to bigger matters - like how i've miraculously been given another extension of 6 months to complete my specialisation for me TESOL course (me instructor told me that my case has set a new precedent!) - to even bigger matters like being blessed spiritually.

This is all the more amazing as i look at how miserable my Christian walk has been. But tt's wat grace is all about - to obtain God's favour and mercy when we dun deserve it.

Looks like i'm a lifelong occupant of Grace Hostel!

Amazing grace how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

Thro’ many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;
’Tis grace has brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.
John Newton

*A single from his 5th studio album, Patience, this was his first single in 2 years when it was released in 2004.

Who loves the sun* - The Velvet Underground

One of the nights at the hostel in Kuching, me roomie Ordi was basically sharing about the joys of traveling. He was amused at the small things that are different - so very different.

For instance, he was so amused - and surprised - that we have products here to whiten our complexion. He said that people in his country - and for that matter, in Europe in general - loves the sun. No, the word should be adore! I know that very well, having lived in the UK for a short while.

I was telling him that when the sun peeked out, the Brits will be out on the grass, lying on towels in their bikinis!!!! Mind you, the temperature can be really cold.

Enjoying the sun on the UoE lakeside - Summer of 2006

Ordi said that he loves having a tan. But the people in South East Asia seem so scared to get a tan - and they go to the other extreme and use products to whiten their skin!!!

He laughed when i pointed out to him that he can see locals hiding under umbrellas when it is not rining but when the sun is out. He said he must get a photo of that and show his mates back home.

Oh well... The Europeans get so little of the sun in a year. We get it all year round. But they long to get a tan while a lot of the girls here try so hard to look pale! When it is easy to get, you don't want it. You want something which is difficult to attain.

That's life, isn't it?

*Track 14 from the soundtrack of the brilliant movie, High Fidelity.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Something to sing about* - Sarah Michelle Gellar and Cast of Buffy

Don't you ever wished your life was a musical? I do.

Anyways... i'm just so sick of what is going on in this country. And so sick of talking about it. Just need some form of escapism - for now.

Check out these couple of clips:-

*A song taken from my fav Buffy episode, Once More With Feeling.

Monday, 8 September 2008

Those were the days* - Mary Hopkin

Blast from the past! Things happened today which made me suddenly miss and long for the life at UoE!!!

Well, first, i was checking up stuffs for me students going over to UK later this month. Brought back so many memories - the traveling to UK, Heathrow, moving into the halls, Fresher's Fayre, Orientation, getting to know the place and people etc.

And me mate Teddy posted up some old pics on his Facebook account. Pics of the campus and of the Colchester town. Those pics really triggered a lot of memories as i remember walking along those places, hanging out, chillin' with mates or just being by meself. Here are some of the pics which i stole from his photo album (i'm sure he won't mind!):-

Clockwise, from top left pic - the uphill road i usually take to town; the post office; the pedestrian mall in the shopping area; one of the small lanes; pedestrian mall; pedestrian mall leading to Sainsbury - and you can see China World too.

Clockwise, from top left pic - South Courts in snow (HG lived there); campus lake with the library at the back; daffodils; the path in between the North Towers (Rayleigh is at the end); North Towers; Square 4 - Barclays, Blues Cafe, former fountain area; Square 3 - with Food on 3 on the right; Square 4 again; the bus stops - many a farewells took place here, including mine! Used to jog along this path too!

And here's me fav pic - methinks he took it from somewhere else cuz it looks very familiar! This is one of the views from me room window:-

Then out of the blue oso, one of me ex-flat mates left me a message on me FB wall! So very nice to hear from him again.

And tonight, i had to cook for meself. It was just like back in the halls. Cooked, ate by meself, watched Friends and now blog and chat online.

Really miss those days. Really miss me mates. Those were the days. Am so thankful for them.

*Her version was produced by Sir Paul McCartney and was the best known recording. the song was actually a Russian song with words by the poet Konstantin Podrevskii.

Romeo and Juliet* - Dire Straits

'Tis but thy name that is my enemy;--
Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
What's Montague? It is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!
What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;

So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call'd,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title:--Romeo, doff thy name;
And for that name, which is no part of thee,
Take all myself.
(Romeo & Juliet Act II Scene II - William Shakespeare)

I spent 2 hours watching this movie just now:-

OK - the only reason i watched it was because she was in it:-

To be honest, if Zhao Wei was not in it, i'd turned off the telly early - or switched channels to watch tennis or something else.

Zhao Wei did win quite a number of awards for this role (see here). But it was too slow moving for me. And the story really isn't anything special nor new. It's based on Romeo and Juliet - typical story of two lovers not allowed to be together because their parents can't get along. The couple even made it clear that they liken their situation to that of Romeo and Juliet.

One scene did strike me, tho. It was when they both read a portion - prolly the most famous portion of Romeo and Juliet. The novelty for me was that it was in Mandarin - and the subtitles were in the Malay language. Interesting how hearing it/reading in another language can make it sound so refreshing.

The portion they read is reproduced at the start of this post.

Life's like that, isn't it. We have our 'names' - and we give others 'names' too. We are Chinese, Malays, Indians, Christians, Buddhists, Catholics, Protestants, rich, poor, graduates, professionals, blue-collared, immigrant etc. And a lot of times, because of these 'names', we treat them differently. Sad, isn't it? A rose by any other name does smell as sweet.

*Written by their lead singer and guitarist, Mark Knopfler and inspired by his broken romance with Holly Vincent.

Saturday, 6 September 2008

When you believe* - Whitney Houston & Mariah Carey

I was telling the salesman and the engineer the funny experience in my past, when we used to play cards and the loser of each game would have to drink water. We were peeing so much in the course of the card games that our host insisted that no one can flush the toilet until after the card game ends - to conserve water!

The 3 of us were laughing over it until the engineer added a postscript to my story. He said "Or until the bowl fills up so much that it flushes itself".

Salesman and i did a double take. We stopped laughing. Did we hear wrongly? We questioned the engineer further. Nope. that's wat he said.

I had to clarify - "So you mean that each time you pee into the toilet bowl, the water level goes higher?"

He said yes. And it'll continue to go higher until it reaches a certain level when it flushes itself, engineer alleged.

We both screamed at him that that's not right!!!!

Engineer insisted.

Totally flustered, i challenged him - does it happen with the toilet bowl at his house?

He answered confidently in the affirmative!

Salesman couldn't believe his ears and wanted to argue some more. I told him to leave it.

After 2 minutes of silence, salesman couldn't stop himself. He apologised and said he could not let it go. He grabbed the order slip, took a pen and started drawing a toilet bowl explaining to him the 'u' shape siphon of the bowl which ensures the water level remains the same.

Pic taken from the site linked below

It was amusing - seeing a salesman (not a toilet bowl salesman but a vege salesman) explain the mechanisms of a toilet bowl to an engineer.

And the engineer refused to accept it.

I finally forwarded this article to him recently. No reply came. Either he still stubbornly thinks he's right or was too embarrassed to admit that he was wrong. Maybe he actually measured the water level in his toilet bowl after peeing.

Salesman - after reading the same article - suggested that engineer could still be right. He could pee into the bowl enuf to make it flush by itself. But according to the article, the engineer would have to pee 2 gallons or urine to achieve that.

Maybe there is something wrong (or special?) with the engineer's toilet bowl in his house. But even then, surely he has used countless other toilet bowls before in his life! Could he not notice the water level remained the same after peeing? Or even after ... erm... doing the 'big one'? He lived overseas to do his Masters. Is it so coincidental that the toilet there also was 'special'???

It's strange how educated people can be so stubborn in their beliefs. I remembered a girl telling me there was something wrong with the car that she was tailing earlier on. Apparently, she said that the brakes were not working so the driver had to engage the reverse gear each time to slow the car down. She concluded this cuz the reverse lights came on each time the car slowed down.

I told her that in all probability, the owner of the car modified it so that the reverse lights would light up when he engaged the brakes. Not possible to suddenly go to reverse gear like that. She refused to accept, she would rather believe in her own theory instead.

It's the same in church too. Some people will have some strong beliefs based either on what they have heard or on their own experiences. When we tell them that that's not what the Bible teaches, they refused to accept it.

Even a browse thru the papers today show leaders of this country committing wrongful and criminal acts but they refuse to apologise nor repent of their deeds. They believe wat they did was right - and no matter how one may try to explain to them that they are wrong, they will not accept it.

Yes, when people believe in something, it can be quite scary if the belief is not based on proven theory and/or accepted logic.

*The Academy Award winning song taken from the soundtrack of The Prince of Egypt.

Friday, 5 September 2008

Invisible man* - 98 Degrees

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Film trailer voice-over king dies

Don LaFontaine, who voiced more than 5,000 movie trailers, has died in Los Angeles aged 68.

During his 33-year career he provided the voice for films including The Terminator and Dr Strangelove.

(Read the report here)

We're all familiar with his voice. But i for one have never seen his face - til now. He's gone but will not be forgotten. Trailers will never be the same again.

p/s - check out his 'Greatest Hits' here.

*Their first single from their self-titled album.

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Too much* - Spice Girls

[This took place at a backpackers' place in Kuching a couple of weeks ago]

Ordi and i were talking before we went to sleep. He was in a chatty mood that nite and altho i was tired, i din mind at all.

He was telling me about his mission trip to Indonesia - and how poor the street kids were. For example, the kids only had 2 t-shirts. One to wear while the other was being washed. Ordi and his mission team mates felt so embarrassed! He said that he prolly had hundreds of t-shirts and people in Germany were so well off compared to the poverty he witnessed.

His team members and him were so moved that at the end of their trip, they collected all their t-shirts they had with them and gave it all to the street kids.

The funny thing was that the kids weren't too excited about it. No, they were not ungrateful. It's just that they did not know wat to do with so many t-shirts!!!! They had 2 and it was enuf.

It really struck me - how much i have. T-shirts are really a good example. I have at least one from every place i've been to. And how many Liverpool jerseys do i own?

It's only when we hear accounts like this - or see it for ourselves - when we realise how blessed we are. And how we have so much - too much!

*Their 6th no. 1 hit in the UK, their final top 10 hit in the US, and the original song from their movie, Spiceworld.

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

The circle of life* - Elton John

And the seasons they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We're captive on the carousel of time
We can't return, we can only look behind
From where we came
And go round and round and round
In the circle game
(Joni Mitchell's The Circle Game)

Last year today was my first day at Taylor's University College. Today, just like last year, i had to invigilate the last day of the exams.

The year has passed by but it sure seemed much longer. 365 days, 180 lecture hours, 67 students, 40 days of annual leave, 5 outings, 4 other colleagues, 3 cohorts, 2 Moot competitions, 1 plasma screen TV! :-)

It has not been smooth sailing, of course. No more being one of the bosses but instead taking on the most junior role, dealing with difficult staff and students, having only an hour of sleep before rushing to lectures, invigilating exams (worse than watching paint dry), not being able to do anything to help students in trouble, trying to meet expectations, etc.

But God has been good. I've been pushed to limits that i've never been to, stretched beyond my means, patience tested like never before. But it has all been worth it. And altho i can only expect more of the same in the next academic year, i dun mind. I've had fun, i've made new frens, i've had unforgettable experiences - and there is so much more to look forward to.

But for now, lemme just look back - and be thankful.

Memories of a year at TUC - of course, it's the people that make the place!

*The Oscar nominated song taken from the soundtrack of The Lion King.

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

All over the world* - Electric Light Orchestra

On the 31st of August 2008, one million people all over the world put on their running shoes and ran for a cause. Specifically, they ran for the Lance Armstrong Foundation, the WWF or the UN Refugee Agency.

The race - called 'the Human Race' was held in 25 cities all over the world. In south east Asia, the only race venue was at Singapore. And that was where me mates and i went to do our part.

See me in the crowd? ;-p
(Pic taken from the official race website)

It was really tough. I have not been training much. The conditions did not help - more about this later. And as we walked about before the race, everyone else was clearly fitter and younger than moi. At least 15 years younger than me!!!! Me mate in S'pore was telling us how these young men go thru intense physical training in their National Service!

Checking out the 'competition' - and feeling worried!!!

Green wrist tag - the slowest category!

The race route was pretty scenic. It started off at the Esplanade and took us thru quite a lot of sights along the S'pore River.

However, the race was scheduled to stat at 4:15 pm! It din help by the fact that it rained for a while before the race. It was extremely humid! And the sun came out to keep us company.

Runners rehydrating themselves... BEFORE the race!

I must admit tho that as we waited in the starting pen, i began to feel excited. Surrounded by fellow runners in red, 'Just do it' on everyone's shirt was sublimely psyching me up, the city skyline in front of us, loud music to pump us up (the usual corny stuffs like Eye of the Tiger, We will rock you, etc).

One before the race!

It was really tough. My time was embarrassing. It was due to the lack of training, the humidity and the race route! Aesthetic considerations was preferred over practicality. the route was scenic - but not suitable for a race with 11,000 people. Most of the paths were too narrow and many a times, we were caught in a 'human jam', slowing us down and disturbing our momentum. it is no surprise that the average time of the runners in Singapore was one of the slowest when compared with the other 24 cities around the world.

Oh well... it was an experience. And it was for a good cause, after all! And it really made me resolve to start training seriously again!

*One of their hits which is found in the soundtrack of Xanadu.