Category: Event Coverage

Susan Boy

The party last Saturday night was a total hoot.


Like all Nuffnang parties, there’s always a theme to go with it and all guests are expected to comply. This time the dress code was “Standout”, inspired after Tiger’s new bottle designs.

It’s pretty much open to interpretation what the term “standout” as a dress code implies, and true enough everyone who came to the party dressed differently.

Some came in their typical Saturday night outfit.

 Photo courtesy of

Others put in a lot of effort to look like a farm animal.

Photo courtesy of 

Me? I came as the best standout performer in this year’s Britain’s Got Talent.



I came as… Susan Boyle.


Strangely, I reckon I looked more like Albert Einstein in drag.

It was the first time I wore a dress out in public. One thing I noticed is that people treat me differently in a dress. Everyone I talked to seem to particularly enjoy fondling my manboobs.

Seriously, I lost count at the number of times I was molested by guys and girls alike.


The best part was when this girl poked my chest and asked, “Eh you got stuff something inside ah? Why your neh neh so big one?”

“No babe, that’s my actual man boobs.”

“Oh sorry sorry!”


At one point in the evening, Liang and Jojo Struys called me up on stage. I was to be nominated as one of the finalists for the “Standout King & Queen” awards.

The Cow and Edward Scissorshand were the other two male nominees. As part of the routine, each of us had to perform something based on what we’re dressed as. So if you’re dressed as a belly-dancer, all you gotta do is belly-dance.


I smirked to myself. This is easy. How difficult is it imitate Susan Boyle singing?

By the time my turn came to face the crowd, I was holding the microphone ready to sing “I Dreamed A Dream” from Les Miserables.

Kenny: Do you want to hear me sing?
Crowd: NO!!!
Kenny: No? Then what do you expect me to do?!
Crowd: FLASH!!!
Kenny: What?
Kenny: Hey! I’m a 47-year-old woman!


The crowd would have none of it. I thought long and hard about whether or not to keep my dignity, or give the crowd what they want and let them go home happy.

Times like these I think to myself, “What would Susan Boyle do?”

Would Susan Boyle leave her fans hanging? Of course not.


So I climbed on top of a table, danced a little.

And when the time is right, I turned around and…


Photo courtesy of

Flashed them my p#^&*%.

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ADV: Steve Aoki Is Coming To Malaysia

Steve Aoki is many things.


He is an internationally-known DJ specialising in electro-house music.

He is the founder of independent music label Dim Mak Records.

He is the half-brother of sultry Sin City star Devon Aoki.

He is also coming to Malaysia to play at the U.O.X. Play Future party this Saturday, 30th May at the Bukit Kiara Indoor Arena.

The first 1,000 U.O.X. or Xpax members to arrive at the door and reload RM20 to their SIM card get free entry and drinks. Otherwise, tickets are RM73 pre-sale via Axcess, RM88 at the door, or RM53 if you are a U.O.X. member who texted ‘REGUOXPLAY’ to 28881.

This is Steve Aoki’s second visit to Malaysia. If you’ve been to his KL gig last year, you’d know how wild this guy’s party can get.

The club was literally packed tighter than a can of sardines! There was not even much room to dance at all. Everyone pretty much just huddled together, jump at the same spot a few times with their hands up in the air and wave it like they just don’t care.


At least this time round, it’s inside the roomier Bukit Kiara Indoor Arena. The crazy DJ with the long hair is also flying in his friends from the Dim Mak label directly from New York, DJ Pase Rock and Stretch Armstrong, as well as DJ collective Shitdisco from Glasgow, Scotland.

Ever heard of them? No? Me neither. πŸ˜‰ But it doesn’t matter because they are all from Aoki’s record label, so they must be good!


Now add Los Angeles party photographer The Cobrasnake into the mix. Then round it up with local DJs Twilight Action Girl and Lap Sap, and you got yourself a recipe for a electro/house/punk disco fit to be called the Grand Finale of U.O.X. Play parties.

MTV, KLue, Junk and Tongue in Chic magazines are the engineers behind the series of U.O.X. Play parties happening around town. With these people behind it, it’s pretty much a guarantee that they’re gonna tear the house down this Saturday for their final night out.


Anyway if you’ve never heard of Steve Aoki, Twilight Action Girl, Lap Sap or any of the names I mentioned, then forget it lah.

Most likely it is because:
(1) You don’t hang out at Barsonic on Friday nights, or
(2) You don’t groove to electro house music, or
(3) You’re too old for this, or
(4) You only listen to singers like Mawi.

But hey, that’s okay. Absolutely nothing wrong with liking Mawi. Really.

Mawi - Minyak Urut

You can always stay at home and rub yourself all over with this… Minyak Urut Mawi.

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ADV: The Secret To Pouring A Perfect Glass Of Beer

Wonder if everyone has watched this video floating around on the Internet.

I love that ad so much.
Because that was my EXACT reaction when Heineken invited me to their brewery Tavern at Sungei Way.

Many have heard of The Tavern, but few people have been allowed to step inside. Unless special prior arrangements were made, the freshest free flow of beer in Malaysia are usually off limits to all but the invited guests of the factory.
Heineken is one of the main sponsors the UEFA Champions League and has been planning a lot of activities for football fans to watch the Champions League grand final either live in Rome, or on a big screen in a private island together with fans from around the world.
For a chance to win an all-expense paid trip to watch the Champions League final live in Rome, they’re asking guests to RSVP themselves at to one of Heineken’s A Night In Paris Rome parties happening in Ipoh, Johor, Miri and KL.
It’s worth a shot, but invitations to the parties are limited and only three winners will be selected to go to Rome.
Most people would probably have a better chance winning the trip to watch the Champions League final on a private beach in Thailand instead.
Bikini model not included.
What is included is the tickets to Thailand, free flow of Heineken beer, and an all-round great time together football fans around the world.
True to Heineken’s penchant for online games, the only way to win those tickets to Thailand is by putting your football knowledge to a test at
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It’s an online game with a twist. The more questions you answer correctly, the smarter you are in multiplayer strategy, the quicker your raft will move towards Destination Thailand.
While mingling over beer at the Tavern, the couple of us decided to take part in an impromptu Heineken Beer-Pouring Competition.

The master bartender was on hand to demonstrate what it takes to make a good pour.
Believe it or not, eventhough the beer may come from the same tap, different bartenders will produce beer that tastes differently.
A good pour will give a beer that has a foamy head of approximately two fingers’ height.

If the head is too thick, then the first sip will end up being all foam. If the head is too thin, the beer is gonna taste flat and metallic.
Trust me, it’s a lot more difficult than it seems!
Each of us had a go at it and for some reason all the girls did very well despite none having any experience whatsoever behind the bar.

The guys, to put it bluntly, sucked. Try as we may, all the guys had trouble putting a decent head on the beer. The only guy who did well (I think) was Robb.
One thing I learnt at the Tavern is that being a good beer drinker does not necessarily mean you are good beer pourer. Because there was absolutely no questions as to who was the WORST beer pourer in the Tavern that night.
Yes mom, it was me.
Behold, my beer-pouring masterpiece.
EPIC FAIL. It was not just two fingers tall. It’s the whole freaking hand and a HALF.
Confirm lah I cannot make it as a bartender. πŸ™
I don’t know what the heck I did wrong. Why can’t I pour a beer with a good head?
And how on earth I could possibly lose to all the girls and a gay dude in Heineken pouring contest?
So unfair. It’s like they knew some kinda SECRET to beer-pouring that I don’t. Luckily, it was only much later that I was let in on THE SECRET.

Apparently, the SECRET to giving a good head, is to pull back at the right moment.

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Sayang You Can Dance Gala Premiere

Got a phone call from movie director Bjarne Wong the other day.

Bjarne: Hey Kenny, will you be free on Friday?
Kenny: Sure Bjarne. What’s up?
Bjarne: It’s the red carpet gala premiere of my movie Sayang You Can Dance. Would you like to come?
Kenny: Of course! Count me in.
Bjarne: Lots of stars and celebs are gonna be there. Make sure you dress up nice k?
Kenny: Har! Really ar? Ok ok, I’ll wear the best suit in my closet.


I’m not a suit person. I have never really invested in good one because there hasn’t been a lot of occasion that requires me to wear a suit. At least not in Kuching.

But this was also the first time I was invited to walk the RED CARPET of a movie premiere. Would it be like in the Oscars red carpet where I would be required to wear A FREAKIN’ GOOSE around my neck?


Not knowing what to expect, I got rid of anything involving dead animals and wore something safe to the red carpet.

Upon entering the cinema in my tailored formal suit and tie, I immediately felt as out of place as a Liverpool supporter in a Man United crowd.


People pretty much just walked into the cinema after finishing their shopping at Pavilion. I was way overdressed in a suit.

As if it wasn’t bad enough that a guy who had absolutely no role in the movie entered the red carpet pretending to look cool, the ACTUAL STARS came out wearing nothing more formal than sneakers and jeans.

Needless to say, my dressing has EPIC PHAILed.

Luckily, I wasn’t the only one who miscalculated the level of formality on the event. Soon after I walked the red carpet, two equally clueless girls followed innocently from behind.

I turned around and saw the current Miss Malaysia World dressed in a striking green gown.

Followed shortly by the runner up dressed in equally striking red.

Those two were so glamourously overdressed that people in the cinema literally stopped in their tracks and turned their heads 180 degrees around to check them out.

And the best part was, they wore heels so damn high that when they stood together…


…they looked like Malaysia’s tallest set of traffic lights.

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That Manchester United Vs Liverpool Match

It was almost like a fairy tale.


On the 14th March, 35 Malaysians on the invitation of Mister Potato braved rain and high seas to travel half way across the globe to Manchester, England.

Our destination: Old Trafford Stadium – the stomping ground of the Red Devils, the mecca of Manchester United fans, The Theatre of Dreams.


It was not just any ordinary football match we were watching.

Experts say that this was the most crucial match in this season’s Barclay’s Premier League. Tickets to this match were so hard to come by that there were people hanging outside the stadium offering up to 200 pounds (RM 1,050) to buy a ticket that normally costs 40 pounds (RM 210).

After all, this match was an iconic event in the great rivalry between two of England’s biggest football clubs, Manchester United vs Liverpool.


Not everyday a football fan get to witness such a big match live at Old Trafford Stadium. For many of us, it was a dream come true. And this next chapter in Manchester United and Liverpool’s heated rivalry was by all measures a historic one.

Unfortunately for Man United fans, this match on the 14th March 2009 was historic for all the wrong reasons.


It was the first time in history Manchester United suffered a defeat this badly on their home ground to archrivals Liverpool.

But before we talked about how bad Man U got thrashed, let’s go back to before the match started.


It was an experience that just cannot be translated onto TV. The atmosphere inside the jam-packed Old Trafford Stadium was nothing short of electrifying. This was the only place in the world where you can hear 70,000 grown men singing Glory Glory Man United together in unison.

The 35 of us who travelled with Mister Potato were obviously very excited going to watch this match. So much so that for the first time in my life, I bought a Red Devil jersey.


Now I know I got a lotta flak when I suggested my intention to switch support from Chelsea to Manchester United. Well, sorry to all hardcore footballs fans, but at least lemme try to explain.

Choosing which football club to support is like sleeping with a girl. When you are physically inside (the stadium), you say you better god damn say you love them. Otherwise all hell is gonna break loose.


The Red Devils dominated early on during the match.

When Cristiano Ronaldo scored that first penalty, the whole entire stadium went absolutely nuts.

Manchester United 1 – 0 Liverpool


The excitement didn’t last long. Liverpool’s star striker Fernando Torres quickly lobbed an equalizer into the net five minutes later, prompting the home team supporters into a deafening silence.

Manchester United 1 – 1 Liverpool

That equaliser was the start of the Red Devil’s nightmare.


By the 44th minute, I was pretty certain that we were gonna go into half-time draw. But right before the referee had the chance to blow that whistle, Manchester United made another mistake.

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard was charging full speed towards the goal, only to be tripped by defender Patrice Evra.


It’s another penalty, this time in favour of Liverpool.

Man U’s goalkeeper kept protesting against the referee by refusing to get into line.


It didn’t work. He instead got a yellow card for his theatrical efforts.

It was then all up to Steven Gerrard.


He kicked.


He scored!

Manchester United 1 – 2 Liverpool

Again, the small section of Liverpool supporters went bonkers. It’s now 1 – 2 going into half-time. The Man United fans were fuming.


You can see how heavily guarded the Liverpool fans were. Their seating section was sandwiched between yellow-coated policemen wearing full riot gear. No other section in Old Trafford stadium were as well-protected as they were. Not even Sir Alex Ferguson’s seats.

Such is the intensity of the Manchester United vs Liverpool rivalry that fights often broke up between hooligan fans of the two.


Sitting a row behind us, four Liverpool supporters were mistakenly assigned to sit in the Manchester United supporters area. Big mistake.

Their cover was blown when they accidently cheered the Liverpool goal, and this pissed of one hardcore Man U supporter sitting right beside them.

"Excuse me, are you guys Liverpool supporters? Why the f*ck are you sitting here!? You don’t belong here! Get the f*ck out before I beat the shit out of you f*cking scousers!"


The man elbowed one of the Liverpool supporters in the face. Immediately security guards rushed to our area to avert a potential full-blown hooligan war.

The aggressive Man U fan was about to be escorted out, but the security thought it would be a better idea to bring those four Liverpool fans to a safer area instead.

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By the time second-half of the game resumes, it’s pretty clear the Red Devils have lost much of their momentum.

The only persistent attacker was Ji-Sung Park.


Everyone else was just dancing.


Even Wayne Rooney went looney.


With 20 minutes left to the game, Alex Ferguson decided he must do something ast to turn around Manchester United’s fate.

In a triple substitution, the manager brought in Berbatov, Giggs and Scholes to inject more offensive edge into Manchester United.


That was not enough, it seems.

The referee saw Manchester United defender Vidic grabbing a fistful of Steven Gerrard’s shirt as he was going for goal.


And promptly flashed him the red card.

Manchester United was down to ten men. If the Red Devils wanted to overturn this game, they better hope for some miracle. And by miracle, I mean magically transform Cristiano Ronaldo into the Brazilian Ronaldo and Steven Gerrard into Posh Spice.

But even that might not have worked in their favour.


Liverpool’s Aurelio free-kicked a beautiful curved ball right into Man United’s goal, bringing the score to

Manchester United 1 – 3 Liverpool

That was pretty much the nail in the coffin for the home team.

The Red Devils must have given up on all hopes. Even the fans can no longer bear to watch the humiliating defeat and began leaving Old Trafford Stadium in droves.


I say they made a good move.

Because by the 90th minute, even a Liverpool unknown managed to score a goal to make it

Manchester United 1 – 4 Liverpool


Ming and I were not smiling.

It was such a painful game to watch, made even more painful by the fact that the 35 of us actually travelled some 16 hours from Malaysia to England to watch Manchester United lost in the most humiliating fashion ever.

Here’s a selection of videos we took during the match, including the two penalty goals.

Uploaded by kennysia

Despite the disappointing results, it was actually a nice to travel with a bunch of blokes to catch something we share a common passion in and bond over football, beer and Mister Potato chips.


I must say also that I have a new found love for Manchester United, although I do find it ironic that whichever team I support always seem to lose in the most dramatic fashion.

I dunno.

Maybe what Manchester United needs is a new player.


Or maybe not.

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ADV: Looking For Craic

While I’m in still Manchester, I couldn’t resist making plans to go to a country I always wanted to visit.

Beautiful Ireland. Ahh… seems like such a faraway place to go to last time, but long at last you are within grasp. πŸ˜‰
I must admit, my love for Ireland and all things Irish began in a very peculiar way. It started with Westlife and Boyzone (don’t laugh), but they’re not the real reason why I wanted to go Ireland so much.
My interest was actually aroused when I watched the movie P.S. I Love You.

For those who watched the movie, there was this beautiful scene shot in a park somewhere in Ireland where Gerry first met Holly.
It was then and there that he fell in love with her and did all sorts of romantic stuff to make her happy, even after he died.

The end result is a movie so sappy and emo that boyfriends all around the world had to endure while their girlfriends stared and asked, “EH! YOU LOUSY! WHY YOU NEVER DO THAT FOR ME!?”
Damn you Gerald Butler!
Of course lah, there are other reasons why I wanna visit Ireland. I like Irish food, Irish countryside, Irish cream, Irish coffee, Irish pubs, Irish whiskey and Irish beer.
In particular, Irish beer.

Especially if it’s Guinness Draught on tap. πŸ˜‰
Guinness is without a doubt Ireland’s most famous export. This year is coincidentally its 250th birthday, so a visit to Sir Arthur Guinness’ legendary brewery at St James Gate is definitely on my agenda.

St Patrick’s Day is not just an excuse for people all around the world to drink Guinness. It is when the world celebrates Irish culture and something the Irish people called ‘craic’.
For the real meaning of the word ‘craic’, you gotta ask a true Irish. It is an atmosphere of unpretentious feel good vibe where strangers become friends, and people put aside their differences to share jokes, laughters and mischiefs.

It’s a distinctively Irish thing. In Ireland, strangers strike up a conversation with you because they genuinely wanna be friends with you.
In Malaysia, strangers strike up a conversation with you because they wanna sell you insurance.

I had a small dose of ‘craic’ when I attended Guinness’ media preview of their St Patrick’s Day celebrations in KL recently.
The actual events are on today (13th March) at 1Utama shopping centre in PJ and tomorrow (14th March) at Juru Auto City in Penang, and everyone is welcome to join in on those days.

If you are in KL or Penang, you should go and attend their St Patrick’s Day celebrations because Guinness sure knows how to throw a good party. There’s food, there’s a good company and all around feel-good vibe.
At the media preview, they even lighted up the KL Tower in GREEN for the heck of it!

We played a goofy little game where I was partnered with Ben from indie band Ben’s Bitches (of Cha Cha Cha Amber Chia fame), and whaddya know? We took home the top prize of RM300 in prize money.
But out of nowhere I bumped into this long-time reader of mine who I know has been writing a series of negative stuff about me lately.
He said hi, and for a moment there I had no idea how to react because I felt so awkward facing someone who I know doesn’t like me. For what reason he dislikes me, I have no idea.

So there’s me, standing face to face with a hate commenter.
Should I confront him? Should I walk away? Or should I start some drama in front of everyone?
I didn’t do any of those. Instead, out of courtesy I handed him a glass of Guinness and we drank beer together.

Inside, I was feeling uncomfortable. I didn’t know what to say so I rambled on about some superficial stuff while trying hard not to show that I was upset about those things he wrote about me.
But eventually he told to me the reason why he was so against me.

And the reason is that there was no reason at all.
He said it was one of those things he saw other people writing bad stuff about me on my comment box, and he just wanted to join in the flaming mob for the heck of it. He thought that with me being in the limelight, I should be used to it by now.

Fair enough.
I wasn’t impressed by his answer, but I wasn’t too angry either. In the end, I decided to forget it and let bygones be bygones. Before the night is over, we raised our glasses, skulled down more Guinness, exchanged name cards and parted ways with no hard feelings from either side.

Gee. Amazing how bad feelings between two people can be resolved so easily over a couple of beers. πŸ˜‰

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Singapore Marathon 2008

I THOUGHT I should’ve learnt by now.

“How well you prepare for the marathon is as important as how fast you run it.” I know.
The Singapore Marathon was the third full 42km marathon I competed in.
The first one I did was in Kuala Lumpur. My preparation was bad. I began training only 2 weeks before the race, and I completed it in 6 hours 30 minutes.
The second marathon I did was in Penang. My preparation was also bad. I remember sleeping only 2 hours the night before and suffered a bad cramp very early into the race. My finishing time was 6 hours 25 minutes. A slight improvement.

Compared to the first two, my preparation leading up to race day was considered not bad lah.
I had begun training like four months before the race. Somemore I trained like crazy.
People in Kuching are so used to seeing this fat boy running by the side of the road sometimes early in the morning, sometimes late in the evening, no matter if it’s rain or shine.
Bloody hell, I stuck to my training plan so closely that I even packed my running shoes in my luggage and forgot to pack my underwear.
The only thing setback I faced this year was my workload in the office which has increased tremendously. My sleeping pattern had gone completely out of whack. Still, I always made the conscious effort to dedicate some hours for my run.

Four months of heavy training and it has finally come down to this.
I woke up at 3:30am on Sunday, ate some multigrain bread and bananas before making my way down to the Esplanade. Once again, I checked through all my essentials I had in my bag. Shoes – checked. Vaseline – checked. Energy gels – checked.
As I boarded on the bus going towards Esplanade, I put on my earphones and took out my iPod.

Only to see this.

I had done everything right up to this point. EVERYTHING. And with 50 minutes left till the race starts, my iPod ran out of juice!?
Why am I so stupid I accidentally left it playing overnight!

The door on Singaporean buses has a cock

Shit lah. I needed my iPod to run. Without my iPod, I dunno what the hell I’m gonna do.
No iPod didn’t just mean no music.
No iPod also means no pedometer, no clock, no motivation towards the latter part of the race when I definitely would need something to take the pain off my mind.
I specifically loaded up Kanye West’s Stronger for that purpose, and bloody hell I’m gonna lose that too.

I was pretty much left with two choice: (1) Take a cab back to my guesthouse and miss out on the start of the race, or (2) Run without an iPod.

I chose to (2) Run without an iPod. God help me.
How the heck I’m gonna keep myself mentally entertained for the next 6 hours is gonna be fun. NOT. *Borat accent*

As I got to the Esplanade, I faced another challenge.

The Singapore Marathon is the biggest race I have ever took part in. There were 50,000 runners competing in various categories, with 15,000 alone doing the full 42km marathon.
It was so dark and there were so many people that I couldn’t even see where the starting point is.
It didn’t help that there are so many ERP gantries in Singapore. And ALL of them look like the damn starting point!

Damn tulan.
I was starting to worry a bit when so long after the gun went off, I still hadn’t see the starting line. I was so slow to start, the Kenyan runners were already running back the opposite direction BEFORE I even reached the starting line.

Err… sorry a bit hard to see them.

Anyhow, I finally managed to cross the starting line and worked myself up into rhythm.
I’m in the race!

The Singapore marathon starts at the Esplanade, loops around Temasek Tower, back past Suntec City, up to the Golden Mile Complex, then all the way down the entire stretch of East Coast Park before turning back to City Hall.

Even without music playing in my ears, I thought I was doing quite well. I didn’t have my iPod or watch so I can’t tell the time.
Instead, I used the clock on my camera to keep track of my progress.

I ran past the gorgeous Singapore Flyer early in the race. The next time I saw it would be in full daylight, towards the end.
The first 10km, I finished it in 1 hr 17 minutes – just in time for the break of dawn.

No aches in the ankle, no stiches on the sides, no soreness in the muscle. I was running not too fast and not too slow. In fact, I was still on track to finish the race within my target time of 5 hr 30 mins.

Running in Singapore was quite an experience.
There were so many runners and was constantly surrounded by people. Unlike in KL where I was always one of the last few, I never felt alone here.
But having many people sucks also because I kept having to avoid bumping into people. It’s not easy resisting the urge to whack them slow-walking idiots not considerate enough to move to the side and let others overtake.

Everytime we approached a drink station, it’s a total nightmare. Whole bunch of human bodies just swooped in to grabbed all the drinks.
But then I saw something funny. Some runners were actually queuing up to use the loo!
How law-abiding are these Singaporeans! Marathon racing time is way too precious to be spent queuing for toilets. At every other race I’ve been to, people just don’t care and pee behind a tree.
Not like the police gonna run 42km to catch them.

By the time I reached the 21km halfway point, I was clocking in at 2 hr 53 mins. That’s a tad slower than the Borneo Marathon I did a few weeks ago. I needed to pick up my pace.

I was beginning to feel a bit sore in my legs. The volunteers passed me some analgesic gel to rub on my knees, but that only helped temporarily.
To take my mind off the pain, I observed the people around me.

It’s nice to see there were so many people of all ages, races, shapes and sizes doing the marathon.
There were 15,000 of us doing the full marathon. Most of us weren’t expecting to win anything, because we weren’t competing against each other. We’re competing against ourselves.

A majority of runners there are lean and mean.
Luckily, I wasn’t the only fat one doing the full 42km. There were plenty others bigger, fatter and meatier than I am, and they’re all doing the full 42km!

The girls who ran in the marathon were quite good too. And dammit, they’re yummy. Who needs iPods when you got so many girls in short shorts?
When you’re tired, your mind can’t think straight and every girl in short shorts looks pretty.
Even Rafidah Aziz can look like Amber Chia.

I am Amber Chia!

Truth is, I had never seen so many sweet sexy women in pony-tails and mid-riff baring outfits blazing past me. I couldn’t even keep up with them. Whoever thought Singaporean girls are all lazy princessy barbie dolls waiting for the next angmoh to pick them up have obviously got it wrong.
Those girls were really good.
They must’ve got their training from walking through all those shopping malls.

I was happily running along when disaster suddenly struck at the 28km mark.
The first sign of cramp creeped up on my right knee. It was a mild one. I ignored it, hoping it’ll go away eventually.

No such luck. Instead the cramp on my knees spreaded out to my ankles, my calves and thighs. With every step, the pain got worse and worse. I wanted to go on, but I couldn’t.
It was almost like that Christina Aguilera song. My heart is saying let’s go, but my body is saying NO!

I concluded that I have officially “hit the wall”.
It was truly a depressing sight looking at the people around.
By the time I passed 33km, everyone around me was slowing down to a slow lazy crawl. Some were even lying down flat on the side of the road, preferring to forfeit the race even when it’s only less than 10km to go. Nobody had any motivation left in them.

He was so hungry, his ass started eating his shorts

I tried to stay positive despite all these, pushing and limping and trotting along. I overtook whole bunch of people albeit at a much slower speed. My leg muscles begged for mercy and all I wanna do is go home.
With the pain, the cramp and the fatigue overtaking my entire body, my mental willpower was the only thing that kept me going.

I kept on running and running. And somewhere along the side of the road, a supporter smiled at me and held up a sign.
It read:

Almost instantly, tears began flowing down my cheeks. I was so moved that I cried like an idiot for the next 20 minutes, wiping tears off along with my sweat.
Of course, those were merely words of encouragement meant for the marathon runners. But I was touched because it related so well to the situation I am in.
I was extremely depressed after having ended a stressful relationship where my pride was constantly being assaulted. Seeing that sign gave me the self-confidence I needed so much to move on with my life.

I knew I’ve missed my target when by 5 hr 30 mins, I was still at the Singapore F1 race track.
It’s 3km left to go.
As more and more runners fell around the F1 race track like crashed cars, I gritted my teeth, forcing myself to take that one step at the time.

“Go-go! Go-go!” I chanted as I jogged.
I imagined myself as Lewis Hamilton driving a Ferrari. Exept I was probably more like Lewis Hamilton driving a Kancil.

After what seemed like eternity, the end was finally in sight. From 42km, now it’s just 200m left to go.
The crowd was cheering. The music was pumping. A rush of adrenaline took over me as I surged towards the finishing line.
And I crossed at 6 hr 15 min.

YES! I have completed the Singapore International Marathon!
Oh how I love the feeling of crossing the finishing line after 42km. This never gets old. πŸ™‚

I ran 42km and all I got was a medal and this lousy T-shirt!
Just kidding, I still love you adidas.

There were actually heaps of freebies given out to the race finishers. I grabbed my free 100 Plus and nutrition bars, then went straight off to the massage tent.

The masseuses in the massage tent are all volunteers. Their humility warmed my hearts.
Imagine 15,000 marathoners, all smelly and dirty after running 42km getting into your tent, and then you’re tasked with rubbing and kneading their sweaty (and in my case, hairy) legs.
You can’t get anymore humble than that as a human being.

Eventhough the massage hurt so much worse than the marathon!
I was over the moon that I finally completed the marathon in one of my favourite cities in the world.
Of course I’m disappointed that I missed out on my target. But hey, at least I improved my time, eventhough it’s just 10 minutes. Next marathon, I’d do better!
I can’t write a blog entry on my marathon race without at least mentioning Eddie, a friend of who motivated me to compete in my first marathon three years ago. That marathon changed me as a person.
Thank you again, Eddie. πŸ™‚ Next time I’ll heed your advice and not wear new shoes one week before my race!
Eddie has been trying to get me to sign up for his favourite event – the Los Angeles marathon. He even gave me a shirt that says “LA Marathon In Training”.
But I don’t think I’m ready for such a challenge yet!
Personally, I’d wanna first achieve 42km in less than 6 hours before buying myself a ticket to L.A. Perhaps I’ll target to run with Eddie in L.A. in two years time. 2010, my friend! πŸ™‚
Meanwhile, I’m content with getting this for completing the Singapore Marathon.

You can’t appreciate how beautiful this medal is until you’ve done 42km.
To conclude this entry, here’s a video I made from my journey through the Lion City.

For now, I’ll take a long good rest, drink some Guinness, and look out for another city to do my next marathon in 2009.

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Borneo International Marathon 2008

I did it in 2 hours 42 minutes!

No, that was not how long I have to queue up at the complaint desk at StreamyX.
That’s the time it took me to complete 21km at the Borneo International Marathon in Kota Kinabalu last Sunday. My body is sore all over and now I’m walking like a freshly sodomised pondan.

KK is as beautiful as I remember it last year.
I always say that those Sabahans up north from us have it good. Whatever we in Sarawak has, Sabah always seems to have the better version of it.

If you want beaches, we have beaches here. But Sabah’s beaches are CLEANER.
If you want mountains, we have mountains here. But Sabah’s mountains are TALLER.
The only thing we have in Sarawak that’s better than Sabah is our Mulu Cave. Then again, the last thing you wanna do is go around telling people, “Hey, come to Sarawak. Our hole is BIGGER!”

Well, Sabah can now add one more to their list of triumphs. The Borneo Marathon I did was not just a very good running event, it was without a doubt the best running competition I have ever took part in, bar none.
Yes, even the ones I did in KL and Penang cannot compare to how much I enjoyed this run. And that wasn’t just my opinion alone. Many seasoned runners who have completed in races all over the world raved about how well-organised this event was.

My weapon of choice: the adiZero CS shoes and thick cushion socks from Thorlos

Sunday morning, I woke up bleary-eyed at the un-Godly hour of 4am and made my way to the starting line at Likas Stadium.

My running essentials: Energy gels, muscle rub and Nike+ hooked up to my trusty first generation iPod nano. Yes I know my iPod is ancient history, but I plan to upgrade soon as soon as Moorey got them new 16GB ones in stock.
The half-marathon race was slated to begin at 6am, and I got a good one hour to mingle around and socialise with the other partipants.

This is Jenap Said from Singapore.
When everyone else was wearing singlets and shorts for maximum airflow, she instead chose to run in a full Catwoman costume! Halloween seems to have come early for her. To top it off, Jenap had to observe the Muslim fasting month of Ramadhan and did not start proper training until ten days before the event.
But even with so many factors working against her, the 49-year-old lady still managed to kick my ass by at least 20 minutes!

This is a photo I took with the winners before the race.
Actually I don’t even know if they are the winners because the race hadn’t even started. But I assume they’re the winners because they’re Kenyans and the Kenyans ALWAYS win.

The race course in KK was a lot better than the ones I did in KL and Penang. It is a beautiful run.
The course is pleasantly flat all the way from Likas Stadium, along the waterfront to Sutera Harbour Resort, Tanjung Aru and then back. Along the way, we were treated to funky smells of the fishy central market and fascinating sights like sunrise at the water villages near Sutera Harbour.
The traffic police took care of us very well.

The organizers did a great job because there was never a shortage of liquid. 100 Plus and water stations are available almost every 20 minutes or so. The only thing they were short of were paper cups, but that’s ok. When they ran out of cups, we drank straight from the bottle.
When you’re thirsty, no one really cares anyway!

I told Shan that the only thing the organizers didn’t do well is that… IT’S TOO FREAKING HOT!
The organizers should’ve asked the sun to not be so hot!
We were well-shaded from the sun’s attack for the first 10km or so. But after 10Ks, it’s as if Kota Kinabalu was serving barbequed marathoners for lunch.

Photo credit:

The scorching sun was sucking up every remaining ounce of energy in us and it became harder and harder to push through to the end. At 18K I felt like dying. I’m just glad I didn’t do the 42km race.
Funniest thing I saw was this guy doing the marathon while holding onto an umbrella ella ella eh eh eh.

Photo credit:

Overall, I’m very happy with my run.
I maintained a decent pace of 7 mins/km for most part of the journey except towards the end when I slowed to 9 mins/km. I may be 82kg heavy, but still I managed to stay ahead of many other runners smaller in size and more athletic than me.
My diet of bananas and yoghurt must’ve worked – no cramps in my legs nor stitches on my sides.
21km in 2 hrs 42 mins is still my personal best thus far. I crossed the finishing line feeling like I could still go on further.

However, this 21km run is only just a warm-up.
The big race for me is still the 42km Singapore International Marathon that’s happening eight weeks time. Given my results, I’m reckon I could tackle it in 5 hrs 30 mins this 7th December. But we’ll see.

Bring on the Singapore Marathon, baby!

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Tiger Translate 2008: London

Nine artists, six countries, three days and countless bottles of beer and paint later, the event I came to London for has finally drawn to a close.

Saturday 20th September was showtime for Tiger Translate London. The artists have slogged through day and night to produce the kind of work that’ll earn them exposure and recognition, and now they get to showcase their work in the global city of London.
We arrived at Hearn Street carpark just as the workers are putting their finishing touches on this unusual art exhibition venue.

Adoring the walls of this indoor-carpark-turned-art-exhibition are works by current and previous Tiger Translate regional competition winners.
The number of displays at the venue were modest, but there was plenty to command my attention. It’s cool also that Malaysia was well represented with three pieces from our very own artists, including this one by a Dennis Juan Ma.

Dennis is also the guy responsible in producing this year’s flyer for Tiger Translate.
But my favourite piece has gotta be this one by Mongolian artist Badral Bold. It is his unique interpretation of the theme ‘Voyage’ that earned him the ticket to London.

I know it doesn’t look like much in pictures, but upon closer inspection I noticed something quite unusual about it.
See those hairy orange stuff in the middle of the painting? Those, my friends, are actually HORSE HAIR!

REAL horse hair!
Badral has a fine arts background and he’s been getting a lot of acclaim back in his home country. London was his chance to show off what he is capable of to people outside Mongolia. With this piece, Badral illustrated the bridging of cultures between East and West. And what better way to do it with some fine Mongolian horse hair.
I didn’t ask which part of the horse he got the hair from though.

Right smack in the middle of the entrance is the perspex glass by UK street artist EINE and Danish architect Andreas Kjaergaard.
One side of the glass, EINE wrote “LONDON’S CALLING.”.

London called him alright. Ironically, he got a phone call halfway through and had to rush off to respond to a family matter. Andreas was left with the perspex glass, who painted the other side with what he thinks Londoners are calling out about.
Not sure if Andreas deliberately left it unfinished.

Either he didn’t have enough time, or there’s some kinda deeper meaning behind his work. Like how London is so diverse, different and multicultural.
Quietly sitting next to Andrea and EINE’s work is the iconic black London cab, or at least, what resulted after Pure Evil (UK), Ben Qwek (Singapore) and Mee Wong (China) vandalised it.
If you remember, three days ago, the cab looked like this.

This is how pimped out it looks like right now.

Notice the figurine of the prancing horse and the words “Mongolian Express” in front of the car?
It is a tribute to fellow Tiger Translate artist Badral Bold from Mongolia.
The fact that Badral comes from a place where horse-drawn carriages are a common mode of transportation fascinated Pure Evil so much that he dedicated this taxi to him.

The passenger side of the car is dominated by Pure Evil’s monstrosity of a tiger.
Not sure where he got his inspiration from. I thought it looked like either a tiger on steroids, or what happened when Venom from Spiderman 3 drank Tiger Beer.

On the other side of the car, Ben added his touch of Japanese and Chinese culture influenced paintings.

Right at the back, Mee Wong drew two cute little pandas eating Chinese Xiao Long Paos.
But knowing how Mee Wong always eroticises her artwork, I knew she ain’t just gonna draw a normal Xiao Long Pao.
Take a closer look at them.

Yes, your eyes fooled you not.
Those are breast-shaped Xiao Long Paos!

We left for a break and returned to the carpark at 8pm.
As night fell and guests streamed in, Hearn Street Carpark slowly transformed from a quiet art gallery into one big party hall.

In keeping with the Tiger Translate theme of ‘Voyage’, Monorex (UK) painted this excellent mural to welcome the guests at the entrance.
With comfortable sofas to sit on all over the place and spotlights creatively lighting up the venue, that manky old carpark I saw during daytime suddenly turned into something completely different.

Heck, they even parked some tuk-tuks outside to attract the crowd!

The taxi received quite a lot of attention. One guy even offered to buy it for 2,000 pounds (RM9,000) but Tiger Beer is not selling it just yet.
They had a better idea.

Pure Evil suggested taking it for a road trip from London, UK to Ulan Bataar, Mongolia.

Sure sounds quite like an adventure, but unless they overhauled the engine, I don’t think I’m gonna bet my life on the roadworthiness of that old vehicle.

Towards the far end of the carpark, Udisha (India), Ben (Singapore) and Badral (Mongolia) showcased their spontaniety when it comes to art.
Painting in front of a live audience, they finished the large canvas earlier contributed by all of Tiger Translate London’s artists.

Indian graphic designer Udisha dominated a large portion of the canvas.
She first painted “Time For Tiger“, Tiger Beer’s old slogan, as roots of a tree in black and white. As if to underscore the brand’s growth through time, she painted the new slogan “It’s Tiger Time” in colourful stylised letters on top of it.

At Hearn Street carpark, it wasn’t just the artists that were hard at work.
The guests who attended the event weren’t just sitting around drinking beer either. They were given little tiles of canvas to paint and to hang on the wall.

It sure didn’t take long for the wall till fill up with everyone’s artwork. I didn’t even had a chance to paint my own tile dammit!

Try to see if you can spot the Malacca flag on the lower-right hand side of the wall, done by Claudine Yap, a Malaccan living in London whom I met up with to eat roast duck in Bayswater that costs 9 pounds (RM55) per plate.

As Thai band Circle 22 rocked the crowd at Hearn Street carpark, a couple of familiar faces began rocking up as well.

This is Jasiminne the Penguin, whacky as always, leaping onto her tall curly-haired man friend.
Those long time readers who’ve been following should remember Jasiminne. She used to be quite a hit until she quietly disappeared off the blogging scene after she moved to London, so it’s great to catch up with old friends again.
On a totally unrelated note, I swear her boyfriend Daniel looks EXACTLY like singer Josh Groban.
Don’t believe?

Here’s proof.
(And I am so gonna get killed for this.)
With old friends as company, I finally took my eyes off the art for a while. I checked out the crowd in attendance.

I thought Tiger Translate, being an independent underground arts exhibition, would attract more hippies and stereotypical artsy fartsy homosexuals. Quite surprisingly, not only were the crowd at Hearn Street carpark a mix of sophisticated and hip-and-casual souls, they also included many people across different ages, races and background.
Some came looking like a supermodel.

Others wore apple-bottom jeans, boots with the fur. The whole crowd was looking at her.

She hit the floor, next thing you know, her hand hurts.

The highlight of Tiger Translate came in the form of something called Secret Wars.
It is a live graffiti arts battle created by UK collective Monorex. And the way it works is pretty awesome.

Two teams of two artists get a white canvas each.
Working in front of a live audience, they must completely decorate the canvas with graffiti within a time limit of 90 minutes. When the buzzer rings, the team who gets the loudest cheer from the crowd wins.

Usually the teams would draw something sarcastic or insulting towards the other team, but they pretty much got a free reign on what they wanted to draw.
Due to time restrictions, the teams would not be able to coordinate or plan anything among themselves. The teams were only given black paint, so if they made a mistake, too bad.

Anyway, Team A on the left squared off against Team B on the right.
The crowd was enthusiastic, glueing themselves to the canvas for the whole 90 minutes as if they’re watching a football match between Arsenal and Man United. At the end of 90 minutes, this was the result of Tiger Translate London’s Secret Wars.

Not bad for an impromptu work done only by four people.
Although I personally preferred the cleaner artwork on the left, graffiti is meant to be messy and the crowd rightfully cheered for Team B to win.

I left when the live shows concluded around midnight, although many chose still stayed on and party till dawn (including Dawn who karaoked till morning came).
Tiger Translate was definitely an experince that was different from anything I’ve experienced in the past. I have been to many galleries and art exhibitions, but they’ve always been modern and contemporary, and none of them was as hip and underground as this one was.

Sure, a lot of focus was placed on street art and all the artists have names I had never even heard of before. But wandering through the makeshift gallery of Hearn Street carpark, I can’t help but to feel that there is an undeniable sense that these works, for all their different mediums, approach and styles, are bound by a shared spirit of togetherness.
And that, in a world like today, is unfortunately something we always take for granted.

I’m heading home to Kuching!

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