Friday, April 22, 2005

The bad news is...

Read your daily papers yet? Go on, open it up and read it. Anything good to read? I mean any good news? Like how they found a cure for a disease? Countries who have been at loggerheads made peace, forever? Or how about that little man on the street who doesn't need to eat scrapes anymore because he's found a job to live in dignity? Still looking for it...?

The biggest news outta this li'l red dot has to be the support for the building of 2 large resorts with a (small, they say) casino. As with everything on this small island they had to give it an acronym, IRs they call them, for Integrated Resorts. Now much has been said about this issue on the TV (controlled media), Papers (another one) and internet forums (you never know, Big Brother might be watching) that I won't go into it's pros - jobs, earning farangs' money, somewhere else to go on a weekend, and cons - vices, jobs going to farangs, and it becoming a white elephant.

It seems the know-it-alls have a rebuttal for every tiny dissenting voice that are heard. What if the gambling gets outta control? "Don't worry, we'll set aside $1 million (only?!!) to help set up centers to deal with them addicts." Have you thought of the social costs on an island of around 4 Million who's only resource is it's people? "Well they should be smart enough to know that the House always wins, they should stick to Toto, 4D, and betting on the lame S-league matches." What message are you sending to the young? "Well, there was this time hor when I dabbled in gambling..." You know, they are right about one thing. The House always wins.

Read about a new pay-as-you-use electric meter for poor households? A few more pages and you'd realize there are teenagers who spend the equivalent of my salary to get the right T-shirt, Jeans and Sneakers?!! With their parents money, who might have to use them new meters after giving precious junior the money to buy them clothes... What a Unique place that we live in!

Right then, someone tell me some good news??

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Training Day

Today I went for my 1st training for the Company's Dragon Boat Team. Bearing in mind that I have not been fit for a few months now, I went with some reservations about whether I could catch up with the rest, some of whom had been there for the last 2 training.

I got there bit earlier, did my own warm ups and stretching, thinking it'll prevent me from cramping up later. How wrong I was.

We had just finished doing 2 laps around the stadium perimeter when the coach for the day decides that we should do sprints, 100-odd metres each time. Man, this is where I seriously found out that my fitness level was the worst of the lot! Then it was on to circuit training. That was when I excused myself so that I could throw up whatever I'd had a few hours before training.

I kept myself going however, and made it thru the last few push-ups and crunches. Right before we went for the boat training, my legs cramped up, both of them, while I'm standing at the carpark! I tell you I had never had cramps like that before, I just stood there in place till it went away!

At the boat area, we were briefed about the safety aspects before going into the water. From then on it was paddling, paddling, and more paddling! My butt hurts, my knees are scraped, my arms are killing me. Yet the coach is still shouting,"one more, one more!". Are we there yet??

Training was over by early evening. I inched myself towards the bathroom gingerly. I dunno, maybe I really was the worst of the lot but the rest just zipped off as if they do this everyday!!

All in all, a good experience. If I can keep this up, I should be able to get into shape in a few months time. I'm holding my breath...

Sunday, April 17, 2005

So bad it's so good...

Now that the cinema operators(cartels) are raising prices AGAIN, I've turned to my P2P software for my movie fix. Mostly from previous years but hey you'd be surprised at the gems you can get out from it. Another "P" I just got is my precious...PSP!! Much sleepless nights will be spent on this most wonderful invention from Sony. All the rest get down on them knees and honour thee...

Goodbye Samui

I had a very relaxing trip to Samui this year. The previous years were always filled with actiites, drink sessions and lotsa buying of souveniers that I don't need. This year is different. i spent more time at the beach soaking up the sun, forgoing the shopping (at least till the last day), and actually made a new friend on the island (credit goes to my friend who spoke up for me). All in all, a satisfying trip.

I always go home with 3 things I'd like to accomplish before the next trip. Learn to ride a bike, learn to speak conversational Thai, and get my body into shape. So far, nothing. They don't call me the great procrastinator for nothing!

I start work early next morning, some employers are so cruel...

Monday, April 11, 2005


It may come as a surprise to many, but I'm looking forward to this week's trip to the tiny island of Ko Samui.

People seem to think that I'm on a short holiday everytime I fly off from our little red dot. Truth is, we use most of the time overseas to catch up on sleep. There're no "distractions" when you are in a foreign land, in a hotel room, ie internet, cable tv, laundry etc etc, so u tend to do the next best thing and that is to lie down in the comfortable bed and snooze. I mean the bed IS the hotel room! You walk in and there's this big, soft, inviting bed that just screams for you to lay down on it. Everything else is pretty much revolved around the bed, you can't even sit properly in those small chairs that they put in so you tend to sit on the bed when you watch tv or read. Then voila, you're in dreamland...

This year to Ko Samui we are not going in such a big group as before. I used to think that we'd make it an annual trip, sorta get together for the whole group. Alas, life has caught up with some of us and we are down to just 4 or 5 persons this year. Nothing but the sun, sand and sea for 7 solid days. I wish I was born near the beach, that way I would be more active than I am now, probably healthier too. I make up for it by adopting a beach bum perspective to some parts of my life; taking deep breathes, not sweating the small stuff, wearing shorts whenever I can, smiling at complete strangers.

I think we all need to do a little of all these living in a tiny city like ours, people won't be so uptight around each other then. You open up the dailys and all you read are how people don't like each other; how countries are fighting in out one way or another over tiny pieces of land; and of course those who are left behind in the rush towards capitalism and materialism. The heart warming news never make it to front page, and almost always involve some animals or pets. Granted, recent events have turn our attention to natural disasters, the passing of some of the most prolific leaders of this generation. The untold stories? How aid money promised by the Big Brothers are not reaching the victims, how they are all trying to install the next great religious leader by writing up about their own.

All this I will leave behind for a whole week. You'd find me at the nearest beach sucking on a Singha beer and watching the whole world go by without me caring, thank you.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Being in a Team

Remember when you were in school and you joined a sports ECA? The team spirit, the camaraderie, the sweat and tears. Well I'm sure since most of us started working we've mostly done sports on our own ie jogging, inline skating, watching tv at home...

Well not many opportunities comes by but one just did. My company is starting up a dragon boat racing team and I've just signed up as a member. Now most who take a look at me won't think I'd cut it in the team, I mean I don't have the arms for it. However, I am looking forward to the training that will be coming and of course build up some contacts within the team.

I did my part and took over recruiting for around 5 hrs the other day. It's kinda like selling insurance, and I'm reminded again of why I never got into that line... I did manage to sign 4 persons up and that's not too bad. Hopefully more will help to spread the word and we can make up more teams to participate in other events.

I am banking on doing this for a while, putting in time and effort to make it into the team. I was a reserve when in school, in charge of picking up after training and retrieving the balls during competitions. I stuck with it just so I can be part of a team that does well in competitions (the school team was quite a good one during its time). With many ex-rowers I'm sure we can make good too. It'll be cool to be part of that team too.