Alrite....this is the video that I took of Lynette and CS in the MRT back when we were in Singapore, right after the half marathon that we ran. Lynette was the 'support' team and was given the 'Supporter's goodie bag' (which by the way, could rival the runners' goodie bag) which included a white helium balloon.
We didn't know what to do with the balloon. It felt a little weird to stop a kid in the middle of the street and ask if she/he wants a balloon.... We could not release it into the atmosphere coz CS was very worried about the turtles..... Frankly I couldn't stand the sight of it......and non of us wanted to burst it.....
So while in the MRT, Lynette found out that if one inspires helium, you'd get the "chipmunk" voice effect.....and decided to try it! The above video is a short clip of the whole incident....
So I did land in Melbourne on Boxing day (26th Dec 2008) after a horrendous 8 hour plane flight from KL on Air Asia X Airbus (horrid horrid horrid....) and straightaway, was dragged to Chadstone to have a head start on Boxing day sale!
(On another note, I did try to google the beginnings of Boxing day after some friendly dispute over the actual meaning with some friends, but wikipedia wasn't satisfactory....)
Anyway....after yesterday's Chadstone trawl, (Chadstone is, according to Amanda and Trish, the BIGGEST shopping mall in Melbourne...but I'm sure someone would dispute against that; frankly One Utama in MY opinion is BIGGER) today was suppose to be a more "insightful" look into my uncle's more or less leisurely time.
Ok ok....minus the tourist-y visit to Victoria's Market in the city......tagging along to Springville to get groceries in basically my Uncle's idea of shopping paradise.
(Springville is the Vietnamese hub of suburban Melbourne)
As always...look at pictures (pictures tell a thousand words!) and invent imaginary self narrative as you scroll down!!!!
* the carpark at Victoria's Market.
* entrance into the Market at the side from the parking. Bustling as usual!
* I think the kangaroos with the boxing gloves are REALLY cute. Love those Aussie flag boxers on the roos!
* Mom checking out the knick-knacks.
* The painted Diggeridoos are really cool. However I don't feel the need to pay AirAsia extra money for the baggage to bring one of these back! I also LOVE the aboriginal arts....(can't wait to check out the Art gallery and the museum for more aboriginal stuff)
* Ooohhh....these are really cool! It's crafted into shapes of dragon flies...and it's constructed in a way that it will balance very well on a tip of...anything!!! Here balancing on dad's index finger.
Cost A$3 only...but if it snaps in two on the journey home...I may just cry...so decided not to buy!
* Fruits and more fruits! Bought tons of strawberries!!!
* lunch at the eating area at the Marketplace!
*Me and Trish
*A basker just outside the eating area.
* sigh...I wish I tried the above doughtnuts......but I bet KrispyKreme would be more fastastic!
* more baskers outside Victoria Market
* Actually...this was in Smith Street...just bought more Havaianas slippers....
I LOVE Havaianas!!!! My feet sings praise to Havaianas!!!
If I could, I'd wear Havaianas everyday...even to work!!!! But since I can't, Crocs come in pretty handy for work!
* just arrive at Springville for more market outing
* according to my aunt, these egg tarts are the BEST.....ok lah.....they tasted pretty decent. Frankly the Ipoh ones were better!
* "....so now we're walking back to the other "mall" to buy bok-choy coz it was 10 cents cheaper there???!!!!.......oookkaayyyyy........"
* walking from one "mall" to another "mall".....it's a bit tiny to be called a proper mall in my opinion....
* I find this most interesting....a bunch of people sitting down to a game of Chinese chess...in the middle of the mall!
* more fruits to get....Trish getting into the 'take-sorta-random-photo' thing
* at the butcher's deciding which part of the PIG they should buy.....again...I'm the ONLY vegetarian in the midst!
Ok...so that's my 2nd day down under... In the meantime...it's an eating fest at my cousin's place! Assorted cookies....chocolates....brownies.....and you know I have a weak spot for sweet things!!!
Oh God I'm gonna be fat!
Later.....I'm going for my 2nd run for the day!!!!! And then to eat somemore!!!
I figured I'll start early to crank up the resolutions for the upcoming year! (nothing wrong with being a little kiasu in this department.....afterall, resolutions are ALL about being kiasu!)
So here goes:
I swear by the calender of 2009 that I will try my darnest to:
1. Run 10 races the whole of 2009
- This shall include at least 5 half marathons (in preparation of a full marathon by next year, but that would be 2010's aim), and fill in the rest with 10k's and other distance road races. No need to kill myself over longer races.....I'm getting older and I need more time to rest!!!! (or else no amount of glucosamine supplements and SKII are gonna help....not that I actually use SKII.....can't quite afford it!)
2. Not buy so many shoes
- To be fair.....I only buy running shoes with such obsession that it is draining my wallet dry. But I figured that I ACTUALLY use it (unlike some other shoes that I used to buy, but only admire from my shoe rack coz it hurts to much to wear them). But rule of thumb from now onwards, is that I shall buy a new pair of runners after every 5th race.....yup, I'm reinforcing Resolution No. 1. (want more running shoes??? RUN MORE RACES!!!!!.....easier to justify the subsequent decline in funds if I'd actually use those shoes)
3. Learn to dive
- OK...this is currently in process and should be executed by early next year. Just need to settle the dates and try to make sure the dates (Amanda's, Lynette's and my church commitments') do not clash.
4. Complete a freepaper for work
- I've told my immediate boss regarding my plans for a freepaper...currently ideas are just flying around and I have yet to settle with a structured plan for my freepaper.
I really want to present this paper for the next major Psychiatric conference......if only I knew what I was gonna write up about!!!! Sigh....
Die die must have one done before 2009 is up!!!! I really want it on my resume!
(wow....I sounded so kiasu that I could actually pass up as Singaporean......hehe.....no offence!)
5. Figure out my direction in life
- Am I the ONLY idiot out there who has no proper direction in life???!!!
Sigh...at this point in time I'm a little jealous with Lynette's clear vision of what she wants to do and how she is gonna achieve it! (Kudos to you babe!)
I absolutely have to get this resolution down by 2009 before my big boss starts breathing down my neck regarding masters application.....and then there goes my training for my 2010 marathon.......(sob sob sob)
(and NO.....hoping to get married to some uber-rich guy who is all that and then quit job and be a bum at home is NOT a direction is life.....that's called a DELUSION!!!!! c'mon.....I'm a partial feminist.....that delusion is plainly insulting my intelligence)
6. To memorize the rosary
- .......just because!!!!
7. To try and get more people at work to RUN!!!
- With Lynette leaving for down south mid next year, I'm one running kaki down!
You have NO idea how boring it is to go to races alone!!! This resolution will be a bit difficult to execute considering sedentary lifestyle is a way of life at work!
8. Learn a new sport(s)
- Luckily, Michelle is into squash.....so at least I can tag along to learn this game! I promise never to take the game too personally and not to be a sore loser.....promise promise promise!!!
9. Get my bicycle brakes fix
- I will try and remember to get the front brakes of my bike fix......yes I know it has been broken for over a year now......yes I know that I've been cycling it with only my back wheel brakes working......yes I know it is dangerous in view that a lot of people at my neighbourhood are crap drivers (obviously I'm the exception to that rule!)......yes I know I'm a procrastinator......
Fine....I'll get it fix.......one day.
10. To lose weight
- Actually this particular resolution is more of a tradition than an absolution. You see, it has been part of my yearly renewal of resolutions year in year out......
Not that I don't ever try to make this one work, its just that......eating is a lot more fun!!!!!
But I'm including this one for completion sake!!! (so I don't have to work at making this one work.....so when are we going for more Japanese buffets!??)
11. Try to NOT procrastinate
- I've saved the most difficult resolution for last!!! Training for half marathon is a lot easier than to NOT procrastinate!!!
I will get my bike brakes fix. I will get my free paper plans in order. I will plan my life. I will tidy up my work desk. I will go wash my car. I will go hurry those people at Putrajaya for my work confirmation papers. I will read up the books that I've started halfway but stopped for unknown reason. I will I will I will.....when next year comes!!!!
I knew I should have taken a few days off after that hike up Penang Hill.
(by the way, totally off track, Penang Hill really reminded me of Banang Hill of Batu Pahat...such good memories!!!! I swear I had buns of steel back then!!!)
Being true kiasu fashion, I started training on Monday (I really wanna do a fast race when in Melbourne....Portsea Twilight 2009 3rd January, Mornington Peninsular) but had a freakin annoying time trying to run fast when quadriceps and hamstrings still a bit achy.
Wasn't that keen on training on Tuesday, so decided to join Michelle for a game of squash.
Did I mention I've NEVER played squash before???!!!!
(Yes, I know...I'm like the queen of bright ideas!!!)
Of course on Wednesday...aka TODAY.....was more sore than I was before!!
Tried to run through the soreness again....(remember...bright idea girl!!!).....and of course it was like crap!!!
What makes me think that I could attempt a fast pace run in such condition!?
What the @%$# was I thinking!??
(Obviously I wasn't thinking......)
And the best thing about this whole situation is.....I'm already planning how far I should run tomorrow!!!!
Can someone come over and whack my head to get some sense into it!?
Oh on the good end of things, I've found kaki to go for the Sundown 10k race in Singapore next year!!!!
That should be fun!!! Should really aim to get it below 50 min.
(I'm a really slow runner.....I'm just extremely persistent and I absolutely refuse to give up on running just because I can't outrun those running uncles!!!)
Currently am just VERY excited about Melbourne (I dunno why I do coz I've been there a gazillion times and I do the same things there all the time......eat ice cream at Trampoline, walk all the way to Smith Street to the Nike factory outlet that sells outdated and yet overpriced shoes, try to get into the Museum for free with my outdated student pass, run the 3.5km Tan, eat loads and loads of avocado sushis.....yum.......look for discounted clothes at Sportsgirl......etc)
Ok ok.....enough about my holiday (or else Lynette and Kelvin will come and strangle me for parading my upcoming holiday in their faces while they slog it out at work!)
I now declare us to be outdoorsy and adventurous people living on the edge....(well not really but after having said that, I do kinda feel like it!!!)
On second week of December 2008 (approximately 1 week after the Standard Chartered Marathon in which I survived 21.1km), the troop (me, Lynette, Michelle) made a quick trip up north to the lovely polluted (I love oxymorons!) and highly congested island of Penang!
Technically, Lynette and I were just picking up where we left off from the last trip to Penang (for the Bridge Half marathon).....and we really wanted to have as many mini holidays as we can fit in before the turnover of a new year! (yes, we are being very ambitious)
This time around, we dragged Michelle along to ease up on the financial aspect of traveling...
We actually met up with Sany (met during my last trip to Penang) and now we have a somewhat official tour guide of Penang!!!
Top of the list of things to do when we get there was to climb Penang Hill!!! (came highly recommended from CS)
As always pictures does speak a thousand words.....and it's a whole lot easier to blog!!
* us at the starting point of our hike up Penang Hill....the Botanical Gardens. We actually made a wrong turn at the very beginning as we headed to the base of the cable cars as there was..... slight miscommunication between driver and navigator (sany vs lynette). All is well after a quick call to CS (we are truly sorry we had to wake you up so freakin early on a Saturday morning!)
* yet to feel the drain of hiking up a hill with a (I swear!!!) 45 degree incline 2/3 of the entire length!!! still smiling like idiots (sany, me, lynette)
* the troop!!! (me, lynette and michelle)
* I carried the backpack so I also carried most of the handphones and wallets and other tech gadgets.....here we are stopping to check on sms-es. How on earth did we ever survived without our handphones!???!!!
* with all the news about landslides, we are "shocked" to see some "landslides" on the way up. Actually there were many areas like this all the way up Penang Hill. Many parts of the road were chipped away due to soil erosion. See....we could still laugh in the face of danger! (we are SO living on the edge)
* the only one with Y-chromosome on the trip up! He really knows how to work it for the camera doesn't he!??
* the view is actually quite good. You can actually see the bridge and all but the picture didn't do it any justice!!
* we finally reached the 5km mark...apparently the whole hike up was 5km.......upon seeing this marker, all negative thoughts vanished...even lynette (who was hypoglycaemic at one point and was ingesting Vico 3-in-1 mix like it was power-gel) got all cheered up and ready to climb another 5km!!!!)
* the troop posing infront of the old model of the cabel car (by the way, the cable car service is out for several months now.....the only way up Penang Hill at the moment is by 4WD or by foot)
* went to......(what's the name of the place again??) somewhere in Penang Hill.....for breakfast. They have great landscaping and fanta-bulous (yes I know that word isn't in the dictionary but I needed a word to express the delicious-ness) scones!!!! Everyone has to try it!!!!
* does this shot give a better view??!!! (thanks for the pics, Lynette!!!)
* hungry people waiting for food.....
"We WANT food!!!!"
"Where is the freakin waiter!!???"
"We still WANT food!"
* our fanta-bulous scones! (good to eat with butter, strawberry jam and fresh cream!!!! (yum)
* full, satisfied but not quite ready for the climb down......
* still posing for the hike down.
* yup...us champions, still manage to smile despite the consequences from the severity of the decline......
"my knees hurt.....!!"
"are we THERE yet?"
"Lynette....go show some legs and get us a free ride down to the bottom...my legs hurt!"
"do you think if Sany shows some legs, the 4WD will stop for us ah??"
* learning how to ease our way down.....by walking backwards....somehow Sany found that very amusing and started to dance/wiggle/whatever infront of Michelle.
(Take note yours truly laughing away in the background)
* washing out feet before the fish-spa.....as to not intoxicate the fish in the tank with our "tainted" dead skin cells! yes, we try our best not to kill the fish.
* We treated ourselves post hike to a reflexology-shoulder massage-fish spa at Kenko's (Gurney Plaza)
* Fish biting away at dead skin cells
* if the reflexology wasn't bad enough to tickle my funny bones (I could not stop laughing during the whole process), the fish was literally killing me!!!! (I swear I was gonna die of laughter!)
* " How on earth can you stand the fish biting you!?? Why am I the only idiot laughing!??"
* I'm trying my darnest not to laugh!!! not quite working.....I laughed my way through fish spa!
* freshly exfoliated skin.....NEVER doing this ever again!
All in all, it was a good weekend away......what a pity I have to go back to work on Monday.
Keep an eye out for more pictures posted by Lynette and Michelle on Facebook.
Facebook is currently disallowing me to upload photos there.....which explains my sudden eagerness to blog!!!!
I took the FirstCoach bus 8am from OneWorld hotel......really good bus!!!
Better than Aeroline which I took down to Singapore for the Nike Human Race....
I have to say that I was really impress with how well organised this whole run was!
The collection process was a breeze with minimal lining-ups and minimal waiting time....unlike a lot of other races (Ipoh half marathon was really bad!!! It was chaos all the way) and I was done with the collection in less than 20 minutes!
Only problem I had with this was that they ran out of M-sized.
* just outside expo, after my bib collection and heading to the MRT
After that went to Orchard to meet with Lynette and had a quick light meal prior to a carbo-loading dinner....
I was just SO glad that I was able to eat without having to throw up!!!!
* at Orchard Road waiting for Lynette
We then met up with CS and his friend WM (guys....are you two ok with your names being in this blog?? don't have to worry though....like NOBODY reads this blog except me...lynette....kelvin....me.....) and then off we go for drinks.....
Ahh.....just look at the pictures and it'll tell the story.
* WM, CS and Lynette at Orchard Road wondering where to go and what to do
* Lynette and I crossing the road with throngs of other people.....
Likely that half of Singaporean population was at Orchard that Saturday
* at NYDC for drinks. very good for people watching!!!
* I can't quite remember what my drink was called....but it was good though!
* Me and Lynette.....yup she's already to jump ship to Singapore......(eh don't forget what we've discussed ya! I really REALLY wanna sit in your cool car next time I come Singapore....so you better get to it!!!!)
* we somehow got really into taking self-potraits while walking along Orchard Road....
* HUGE thanks for CS for carrying my backpack for half a day!!! You're the MAN!!!!!
* while at the Heeren, caught a belly dancing show....(dad works in this building...wow.....I wonder if dad actually catches these performances...hmmmm.....ok, blocking that thought rite now!)
* CS attempting to take picture of us in the middle of traffic.....no...I didn't think spending my time in Singapore in casualty dept of NUH was a good idea either.....but oh well......
* seriously.....we got REALLY into taking self-potraits.....this is us in some artsy place enroute to.....was it the esplanade that we were trying to get to????!!!!!
* the Durian structure!!!!
* the Flyer in the distance....pity though didn't get to go on it....next time I'm getting Kucheh to go on it with me!
* hehe....aiyah I can't resist taking more pics of us....besides...Facebook is being a pain in my behind and I can't upload my pics there...so they are all going up on my blog!
* the guys are pretty tired by then and were ready for carbo-loading!
* more pictures of us....i think this is some giant christmas tree (yes another one!) outside Suntec city just before dinner
* my carbo-loading dinner......roti pratha with cheese and mushroom.....sounded pretty cool. tasted pretty decent
* my race kit (my shirt, gym bag, berocca, deep heat rub, granola bar, wrist band, race handbook)
On race day, everything went well from the get-go.
The cab came on time (cabbie even texted me to inform me that he is waiting at designated point!!!), bag deposition went relatively well (minus the mud from the early morning rain), found empty porta-potties prior to race on the other side (coz the ones near the starting point was like a mile long in queue!!!!), managed to slink myself as close to the front as possible, felt great overall (you have to understand that I felt like total crap for the past 5 days and to feel anything other than like shit was fantastic!!!!) and hope to complete the half marathon in 2:30 came rushing back!!!! (you have no idea how ecstatic I felt at the starting point waiting to start running....and dad said I better sit this race out!!!)
I came in 2:33:48 (2:31:26 in ChipTime)
C'mon.....it is pretty good eventhough I would obviously have preferred a faster time, but in view that I was pretty ill several days before coming to Singapore and everyone was doubting that I could even run a mile let alone a half marathon!
* the muddy place where we kept our bags
* at the starting point....sorry le, photos not very clear!!!
* my finisher's medal!!!!
* let me have my self-pride, narcissistic moment!!!
* the Chong family....(thats how CS introduce them to me and Lynette....)
* yup...very proud of self!!!!
* where we had our lunch.....aside from the delicious mushroom soup, everything there sucked!
* trying to get to Clark Quay
* lynette trying to get more shots
* actually it was pretty cool there....like a better version of bangsar on friday night
* I don't quite know what we were looking at....
* the rest decided beer would be a great way to end the day
* waiting for beer....
* of course I had coke instead....u know....me and my 'reaction' to alcohol....(yes the rest had beer)
I actually have more pics....but I'll post it up on blog another day. Facebook has been a pain lately when it comes to uploading of pictures....
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