Sunday, April 23, 2006

My Love

Nowadays, its more fashionable falling in love with something that's not alive. For one, it doesn't bite to love a non-living thing. With the my recent dives and a visit to ADEX (and very nearly made myself 1K poorer). I speak, eat, breathe and live diving.

It is extremely difficult for a non-diver to understand why people "risk their life" to dive. At the top of their minds, they think about how dangerous diving is. I suspect, they watched too much JAWS as a kid. Mostly I get this question (from non divers), do you see sharks? Yes I do. But what many do not know is that the majority of the ~370 shark species are found in Australian waters. And ~165 species are harmless and less than 2m long, many species are less than 1m long. The largest shark, the whale & basking shark are plankton feeders.

Then they say, but diving is very dangerous right? So is crossing the road. In fact is, driving is far more dangerous than diving is. I'm very sure more people drive. The fact is, more people die from motor vehicle accidents than scuba diving, or shark attacks. It's pretty alarming to see how the figures jump from one category to the next. These may be old figures, but there are more motor vehicles on the road today than 10 years ago and due to human threat, there are lesser sharks in the oceans today. Go figure.

From http://www.amonline.net.au/factsheets/sharks.htm

In Australia (where almost half of the world's sharks reside) between 1980-1990, these are the statistics:

Do your math. Use your own judgement. Everything is a matter of perception.

Posted by LiTTle-FooT at 2:11 AM with 2 comments

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Do You Wanna Dance With Me?

That was the tagline of the night. I was impressed by them in under 5 minutes. Dance is a wonderful thing, when you see the interaction, and communication without a single word uttered, you visualise a story.

It's inspiring, I'm inspired. And suddenly, you want to try to dance like them.

Posted by LiTTle-FooT at 12:05 PM with 1 comments

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Why Diving Is Better Than Hiking

Diving is always better than hiking.

Because there are no LEECHES and no other creepy crawlies. You don't think about falling down that slippery slope or climbing up the irritating steep cliff, leaving you breathless. You don't cringe at the thought of wet clothing. It doesn't matter if it rains because you're wet anyway. You don't stink because you haven't bathed.

Finally, you don't end a dive trip saying "I'm never gonna come back to this stupid place again.", which you sometimes do when you go hiking (when the weather is bad, the backpack is wet and heavy, the mountain is steep, the food sucks, you're tired but still need to push on), only to be back again. :P

So, I'll end it by saying...I WANNA GO DIVING AGAIN! Diving is a marvellous, out of the world experience.

Posted by LiTTle-FooT at 2:02 AM with 0 comments

Monday, April 17, 2006

Perhentian

Perhentian is a little further than Redang. It's a torture to get there by by anything but flight. I took the torturous option. It was a long, aching 13-hour journey despite having your own chartered transport.

We reached the "resort" before 11am. They have silly regulations. You cannot order lunch till 12 noon. We ordered "breakfast" for lunch. You pay RM$12 for a whole set of Western breakfast, which they called The Full Monty, or you can choose to order a subset of it. There were also other options available but the Western set looked the most filling, since we haven't had anything to eat after supper the night before.

Everything has a price tag here, including water refills. Everything here is much catered to the angmohs. We were almost the only Asians at the place. The juices were lousy and 5 times the price at mainland. There was a cap of RM80 a day to utilise for our meals. We didn't finish using the RM80/day. The milk shakes are gorgeously addictive.

We didn't need much for a dive trip but the accomodation in a kampong was a little less than basic and non-airconditioned. There was an attached (unlockable cos it was spoilt) bathroom with no hot water (quite normal). I slept in a twin-share on a double bed with a fan mounted to the wall. The blanket was a thin piece of rag which we didn't use. One of the towels provided had an unwashable stain. Triple sharing means sleeping on the floor with an additional mattress. If not for plentiful huge spider webs with huge occupants, hammock-ing might have been a better option. You also need to be prepared with your insect repellants and mosquito coils. I chased a lizard out of my bag, and 2 millipedes out of the bathroom. This is a place where torches will be handy when the sun sets and when the electricity goes off at 730am (Windows had to be opened from outside). The mirror was cracked, the tap was leaking, one light by the balcony shared by 3 units was not working. There were no power points. Thankfully, when the rooms were supposed to be locked, they remained locked. I seriously think this must be about the worst among the lot on the entire stretch.

Its really nice (and a very lovely surprise) to see familiar faces at Perhentian. Somehow, you just feel happier to see people you know in a place away from home.

If you have time to spare and nua, consider Perhentian Island Resort. It's a 5-star luxurious world to completely rest and relax and nua with its own fine sandy beaches. Otherwise, Coral View Resort isn't too bad too. Both remind me of the at least 4-star resorts in Samui. Be prepared to pay for the luxury.

Well, for less than S$300 including 6 boat dives (fully rigged for you if you choose to), I have no complains.

Posted by LiTTle-FooT at 2:07 AM with 1 comments

Sunday, April 09, 2006

I'm such a sporadic reader

Did I ever say I loved to read? I do, but I simply cannot find enough time for it. And mostly, I'm probably more lazy.As I was walking home yesterday, the 2nd hande bookstore caught my attention. For once, it was still open as I was making my way home.

I ventured in and picked up a book by Tony Parsons. I love his books. And I have read every single book of his. They tickle and pull at your heart strings despite it being NOT about love and romance. The issues he brings up are just so real.

Stories We Could Tell. I'm sure it will be just as griping.

Posted by LiTTle-FooT at 11:55 PM with 2 comments

Jack & Jill

Two individuals proceeded towards the apex of a natural geologic protuberance, the purpose of their expedition being the procurement of a sample of fluid hydride of oxygen in a large vessel, the exact size of which was unspecified. One member of the team precipitously descended, sustaining severe damage to the upper cranial portion of his anatomical structure; Subsequently the second member of th e team performed a self rotational translation oriented in the same direction taken by the first team member.

---

Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water.
Jack fell down and broke his crown and Jill came tumbling after!

Posted by LiTTle-FooT at 2:21 PM with 2 comments

Weight Loss Shortcut

Did you really think it was going to work? Read on.
http://exercise.about.com/od/weightloss/a/shortcuts.htm

In weight loss as in other areas of life, shortcuts almost always end up adding even more distance between you and your goal. Think of the hiker who, exhausted, looks up at the mountain and thinks-why am I wasting all my time on these switchbacks when I could just go straight up and get there faster? Now, think of that same hiker, halfway up the mountain only to realize that the trail is nowhere to be found and the peak is unreachable by the path he's chosen. How much time will he spend backtracking and starting all over? Or maybe he's so lost, he can't find the trail now and will have to sit and wait for someone to find him. Or, maybe he won't even make it to the top now because it's getting dark.

Posted by LiTTle-FooT at 1:20 AM with 0 comments

Friday, April 07, 2006

Dance Shoes

These days, I'm an adventurer by weekend and a dancer by weekday.

Did you know there's a difference between latin shoes, standard ballroom shoes and social dancing shoes? Latin has the least coverage and protection for your feet. Conversely, standard ballroom shoes are fully clothed. Social dancing shoes are somewhere in between. Of course, when it comes to looks, the latin shoes beat all the others, hands down. Dance shoes give you just about the right grip for those smooth slippery dance floors without 'flying out of orbit' and very good arch support.

I finally got dance shoes to call my own 5 years after my first dance class.



Posted by LiTTle-FooT at 1:57 AM with 0 comments

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

System.out.println("INFINITE LOOP");

I cannot help it if I look like Ms Tau, or if other people want to think and make it worse. It doesn't matter for they are people who know me not; they understand me not.

Let it be, so be it. If majority wins, I concede defeat.

We have our own benchmarks, expectations and value systems. It isn't fair to pass a judgement before you have come understand the person a little better. But life isn't fair. We are too easily influenced by what we thought we heard, we hear from the other sources and thus carve an incriminating evidence on our minds even before we see, hear or feel. The belief is often too easily made more concrete by looking for a 3rd party who thinks and feels the same as you do. Unity is strength. Together we stand.

The deaf frog jumped his way to the top of the well, simply because he was deaf to the negative remarks while the others all fell away on hearing them.

It takes 2 hands to clap.

Posted by LiTTle-FooT at 1:23 AM with 0 comments

Sunday, April 02, 2006

The Most Expensive Race

In teams of 3s, the race consists of 8 different disciplines, running/walking, navigation, cycling, ascend, abseil, tyrolean traverse, rock climbing and swimming. Sounds simple enough. We had some 5 hours to do it. But the fact was that we had to run/walk in between shuttling between the places when we had no bike. The terrain could be as bad as having to walk/jog up Mt Faber.

In between, we had to make a balloon sword, trace some words, play SUDOKO, memorise pictures. Stupid SUDOKO, we wasted so much time there and gave up in the end. Guess what, I tried the same puzzle at home and solved it in 10 minutes. Feeling quite irritated with myself at the thought of it.

My handicap has to be running. I knew it and couldn't train for it when I hadn't been sick for the last 1 month with this silly tension headache, which left me unable to decide if I had toothache or headache and all I could do was to sleep.

---
I slept AT 130am last night, trying to figure out, which bag was better. I finally decided on the one that weighed only 700g. Whether I should bring my harness along, when my group didn't have one. I was busy getting the items ready when I suddenly realised I have finished my gauze pads. At 130am, I couldn't sleep, the activity level is too high for sleep. Morning came and I felt like I barely slept deep enough. It was 6am. I had my bowl of cereal with banana and milk.

Registration started at 7am @ Padang. We witness the teams in the different categories raced by before our turn came. The women's novice team had very nice fitting pink bibs. The open category went, karabines and figure of eights clink-klanking away. Sounds quite nice actually.

We started half an hour late. 930am, we started running, the sun was blazing. It was hot. My handicap is running right? I made it and was really elated to see the bikes. It means I don't have to run any more 2 or 3 clicks. Good riddance! We went to Harbour Front by bike and had to push the bikes across the traffic lights. The slope that met us, damn bl00dy steep lor. There was zero chance anyone could have gone up by cycling, without prior momentum. Bike pushing time.

Just when you thought the worse was over, there was another slope! More bike pushing! It was the kind of pathway you find in some nature trails, but narrow and on a slope. We dropped the bikes and made our way (supposedly to navigate, but in urban Singapore parks/hills, you don't really need a compass, do you? There were signboards everywhere, or we could just follow where the people went) to Faber Point. Another damn bl00dy steep slope lor. I could almost feel the stitch and cramp come together. Thankfully, I made it there before it came. Throughout the race, the stitch came on and off, usually when I try to run (See? I told you I'm allergic.)

We had to look for letters to trace here. Its not too bad, though I think we took a little too long. It was a good time to rest and catch your breathe, rest your muscles though.

Went back down, we had to make our way to Sentosa where we played the STUPID SUDOKO. Really wasted so much time here. It was 12pm. We eventually gave up since we were all under "stress" and proceeded to the ropes section.

Alas, queues were everywhere. To get your harnesses, to attempt the ropes ascend, abseil and traverse. We waited for over an hour. This was IMO, pretty badly handled. It was time for toilet break, picnic time and even siesta time. WL eventually decided to take a nap. I ended up attempting the STUPID SUDOKO againeven though we had supposedly given up. 133, wake up!! We finally got the harnesses and were by then almost the last few remaining groups. Its not such a bad thing as the rest of the stations needed no waiting.

Seeing the enthusiam of familar faces was in fact quite comforting. Only 2 members were required to ascend. Ascending is tiring work. So the gals did the honour leaving poor WL to anchor and he had to avoid all our powerful swings or "kicks". Well, didn't want to, but you can't always control your swings when you're dangling on the rope.? My stomach growled all the way up even though I had already eaten. Abseil was breeze.

When it came to the traverse (you zip yourself on pulleys horizontally from one side to the other), the rope had slacked quite a bit, and was set up in the morning when it was LOW tide. We got wet (= extra weight) within seconds. I didn't manage to pull myself up and didn't try to, anyway. I didn't want to overpull any muscles and risk an injury. Bee wasn't that lucky. They were trying to get her in when they told her to let go, she did and I saw her literally bending over backwards! It was very very shockingly scary because you can really break your back! I felt so much pain seeing it happen. No joke. She donated her watch and compass to Sentosa.

We went back to where we left our bikes and left Sentosa for Prince Edward (I never thought it was so hard to keep a wet butt on the bike), ran, jogged, walked, crawled to the Merlion where we had to swim. I jumped in without hesitation after WL. The cool water was certainly very inviting and very salty. I thoroughly enjoyed this part of the race. We took a look at 2 pictures (in the water) and answered 2 questions at the end of the swim before getting back to the Padang for the rock wall. It was really the easiest wall I had climbed in my entire life, considering I was soaked through with wet and slippery shoes. I nearly climbed over the top, when I heard my belayer shout, 133, 133, come back down. Opps..

AT LAST, I got a T-shirt in the size I want. I kept eating and eating. It was carbs time, literally. I couldn't stop eating even though the amount wasn't really a lot still. Plain water never tasted that good after sucking on diluted salty 100+ for the last 5 hours.

---

I was pleasantly shocked I could still run towards the end. I had thought I would be walking much more. Aftermath, very high. The happy kind of high. Yes, exercise does make you high. Not even alcohol succeeds. All it does is to give me a good night's sleep. After completing the race, I was in fact bouncing around instead of lying flat or stoning away. It just goes to show how I could have put in more effort and finished with a better timing right? Anyway, to race is not to win. :P The experience would be pretty memorable and would I try again? Perhaps. When the fun and the mood and the kakis strike.

It is very important never to tell yourself you'll never make it. Think it, and you will be it. Yes, we have to learn how to listen to our body, but constantly reminding yourself of your pain and weaknesses and problems is not going to help at all. Focus. Focus on what is going to help you reach where you want to be.

I never felt the muscle ache during the race. But after the race and after eating, you slowly gain your senses and realise that pain is actually there. You realised that you are aching slightly. Your muscles are FATIGUE. I guess, apart from looking like a zebra from the slight sun burn, I'll have a "good time" tomorrow loosening the kinks in my muscles. But you know, humans are strangely sadistic, we love pain. Good pain is always good.

I will still hold on strongly to my belief, that strength training is very important. The whole world can think I'm talking nonsense for all I care. No one believes me when I say your legs can bear 7 times your body weight.

Posted by LiTTle-FooT at 10:13 PM with 1 comments

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Boyfriend Rule No 1

Perhaps it is genetically programmed. Bee and I have come to the conclusion that some guys are just very focused. (Don't get me wrong, being focused is a good trait.) We all got the same name...I mean, the first part. But tong ren bu tong ming, even though we need to accomplish something together. The lackadaisical attitude can be pretty unnerving. It's ok, I'll just close close one eye.

I took a course recently, and the instructor reminded me (us) of the long forgotton term called chicken wind. Try reading it out in chinese-hokkien. He said, guys are more prone to the chicken wind disease. Yes. I think its very true.

So I came to the conclusion that, boyfriend rule no 1: He cannot be nice to you only.

Afterall, its quite natural for a guy to be nice to the gal, or rather, the prey. So how do you know if his character is what, to you is bearable? Something to tell you that perhaps things might just work? Maybe you will just know that 'he is the one' by using the force. Truth be told, marraiges are one of life's biggest gambles. And to reach there by accepting someone, is also a gamble. So prince charming is really nice to you and manages to sweep you off your feet. It is really no surprise, since he has decided to charm you. He HAS to be nice to you!

So time passes. And he gets sick of you and your idiosyncrasies. He discovers that you are not such a cinderella afterall. He begins to revert to his good old habits. You see a side of him totally foreign to you. Do you then say, "You've changed."?

Then again, I'm not saying the guy who is nice to everyone should be The One.

C'est la vie.

Posted by LiTTle-FooT at 2:59 AM with 4 comments