Monday, February 22, 2010

The Journey of A Man

This is not written by me, emailed from a friend and I find it good for laugh (to de-stress for some including me), thus posted on my blog. Probably, some women might take offence and my apology in advance, if at all.

When I was 14, I hoped that one day I would have a girlfriend.

When I was 16 I got a girlfriend, but there was no passion, so I decided I needed a passionate girl with a zest for life.

In college I dated a passionate girl, but she was too emotional. Everything was an emergency; she was a drama queen, cried all the time and threatened suicide. So I decided I needed a girl with stability.

When I was 25 I found a very stable girl but she was boring. She was totally predictable and never got excited about anything. Life became so dull that I decided that I needed a girl with some excitement.

When I was 28 I found an exciting girl, but I couldn't keep up with her. She rushed from one thing to another, never settling on anything. She did mad impetuous things and made me miserable as often as happy. She was great fun initially and very energetic, but had no direction. So I decided to find a girl with some real ambition.

When I turned 31, I found a smart ambitious girl with her feet planted firmly on the ground and married her. She was so ambitious that she divorced me and took everything I owned.

I am now older and wiser, and I am looking for a girl with big tits.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Safari Zoo Run '10 - In Memory of Ah Meng

My second run for this year was the Safari Zoo Run '10 on 6 February, Saturday which was held in memory of the zoo's icon, Ah Meng. Not a long course, just 6.2km distance in the Singapore Zoo but the start-time was scheduled in the afternoon at 1600 hrs.

This time, I managed to convince 'Happy Happy' (H2) to register in this event who has a personal goal to complete a 10km run before the end of the year. This will be a prelude to the gradual completion of longer distance for her, slowly but surely.

Prior to the event and despite her busy work schedule, H2 did some running on own. This showed her committment to do her best in her first run and am sure she will do well.

As arranged, I picked her up at about 1500 hrs on 6 Feb at her place and we arrived at the zoo well ahead of time. While at the carpark, we were pinning up our number tags and surprise, surprise, we realised her running number (2720) was just one before me (2721). Shhhh...she did confess to me she bought 4-D on her lucky number. I did not check with her whether she did strike or not after the event, guess no news means really no news lor...sigh!

The flag-off was scheduled at 1600 hrs, we decided to join the queue at about 1545 hrs. It was a hot afternoon, there was no shelter at the start line and everyone was under the direct glare of the afternoon sun. Mind, mind, there were more than 5,000 runners there. I was doing my warm-up at the start line but H2 did not seem to look quite happy. She simply stood still and looking bored despite my coaxing her to do some warm-up. I realised she didn't like to stand under the hot sun and the start-off which was supposed to be at 1600 hrs did not go as scheduled did damper her spirit. The delay was due to the earlier kids' event which was still on going.

Finally, I can heave a big relief when we were flagged off at about 1630 hrs. Due to the narrow path, running was made impossible and we simply walked for at least few hundred metres. H2 was ahead of me, I was pacing her. When we started to accelerate, we past many runners. Not bad, actually.

The route in the zoo is not conducive for running, it is too narrow, undulating and on there are many fallen branches and leaves on both sides. To my surprise, there were some who lugged along with their babies in the pram...quite unsafe to say the least.

After about 2 km, I signalled to HH2 whether she needed water but she didn't want. At some point, we had to go up slope and our pace slowed somewhat. Another 1 km away, there was a water station. This time H2 gave her nod for water and I dashed up first to grab two cups. Passed one to her and she quickly gulped down. Her pace was quite steady. I can see her deep concentration and her determination not to stop for a breather, she was pushing on. Around 4 km, her breathing was getting heavier and pace slowed somewhat but I encouraged her to stay relaxed. I looked at my watch, only 20 mins had passed we were already at 4 km mark. "Not bad", I murmured to myself.

We were nearing our finishing mark, H2's pace did slow considerably but she pressed on. I was ahead and when I saw the finishing line, I stoppped, looked back and signaled to H2. Together we crossed the finish. I looked at my watch, wow...we clocked a little over 31 mins in our 6.2 km run. H2 could not believe she had clocked that time but she did, it's a fact. Kudos to her for her grit and determination. I am certainly looking forward to more run events with her.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Closure of Barang Barang Stores

When I read the abrupt closure of Barang Barang stores in paper today, I must admit I can't helping feeling somewhat satisfied. Okay, I know it is not ethical to poke at some one else's misery but some 4 years ago, the discriminatory treatment I received from them cannot simply ease away.

That year was 2005, I was down & out and was desperate to land a job, just any job to tie-over the difficult period then. I was already in my early 40s, saw the advert placed by Barang Barang for in-door sales personnel and decided to try my luck. I called to fix up an appointment and a lady was put on the line. I stressed to her that I was in my 40s, "do I get a chance?". She re-assured me that age was not an issue, even told me they had just employed an uncle in his 50s.

After hearing it, I went to their Plaza Singapura store. I saw quite a few applicants either filling up the application forms or waiting to be called for interview. When I told the staff that I was here for a job interview, I was then given an application form to fill. After passing my application form to the staff, I waited just like the rest. Slowly, I saw one by one went in for interview and then, those who came after me were also called in. I continued to wait patiently. After more than an hour of waiting, a young staff came to me and she just told me that the HR will contact me without even calling me for an interview. I knew then that they were not even granting me an interview opportunity, simply shoved me off by getting a junior staff to ask me to go home and wait for news. The interviewers, whoever they were, simply ignored me just because I was over 40 and assumed, I cannot measure up to the younger ones. I had then wanted to kick a fuss with them for wasting my time here but no point, I told myself...face reality. It was Barang Barang's loss, not me.

I have always harboured the chance to meet Barang Barang's management one day to relate my experience and to let them realise the discriminatory treatment on over aged people by them should be and must be eliminated once and all. Well, I suppose I don't need to tell them now, they have become history now.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Urbanathlon - A First in Singapore

My first run for the year 2010 was the 12.5km Urbanathlon on 31 Jan which was also Singapore's first. I was among 1,500 male only runners to participate in this event. This event started in New York in 2006 followed by London and Singapore was the third stop.

Special about this event was not the run but the 8 obstacles to overcome along the 12.5km run. This male testosterone in me fired me up to sign up but it was not cheap though...S$128 to be exact. What the heck, a male has to do what a male has to do lor!

Flagged-off at the Marine Promenade by MP Teo Ser Luck at about 0730 hrs but not at one go to prevent chock-a-block at the obstacle stations. Each wave of 50 runners were flagged off at one minute interval and I, among the early birds (or kiasu) was in the third wave.

After about 2 km running, the first obstacle to leap over the 5 1-metre high road barricades. Easy, no sweat...I cleared, leaping over like a leopard (I think). We continued running along Clarke Quay area and we reached Fort Canning Hill. This was our second obstacle, the so-called '99-step' corporate ladder up the hill or mole, more likely. Again, not much of a sweat considering I did Mount Faber on umpteen times. It was soon over and we crossed the bridge, heading towards the direction of River Valley Road for our third obstacle, the low wall. Alamak, it was supposed to be at least 1.8m as promised by the organisers but it turned out, just 1.5m high...sigh! Again, chicken feat for even a shortie like me. We used to clear this type of wall with our full battle order during our army days without much of a sweat then, aiyo...this one lagi easy lor. These 'ang moh' organisers must have thought Singaporean males are too short or weak for the supposedly 1.8m high wall but they were damned wrong, man. Again, leaped over the wall with just one kick and off, I went. Another 1 km away, it was the fourth obstacle, the 5m high monkey bars. To overcome it, everyone needed to traverse 12 monkey bars to the other end. The person infront just couldn't hold himself after suspending on the first bar and he dropped. He had to re-queue (sorry, man) and when it was my turn, I made sure I used every ounce of my arm muscle to traverse over. Phew, I succeeded but it wasn't easy I must admit and it's all thanks to the weekly gym work-out prior. Almost immediately, the fifth obstacle just nearby. This time, it was the 5m long tunnel to crawl under. Just 1.2 m wide, I can almost run across which was just too easy lah. Another 2km, I reached the sixth obstacle, two rows of tyres to run across. Again, this one wasn't that difficult either. Just made sure where the feet landed and off I went for my next challenge. Running to the direction of Singapore Flyer along the pathway. Another 2 or 3 km of running, I reached the seventh obstacle which is named 'Leap of Faith'. Without flinching an eye lid, I just jumped into the 0.8m inflatable pool and waded 8m across to the other side. Chicken feet - just too easy lah. And the last obstacle was about 1km away. We had to do a 'leopard crawl' in the 10m mud pit. It was really really muddy and I almost drank some of the muddy water while crawling under the net...yuck! was not over yet, we had to run another 2km in a muddy and soggy condition to the finishing at the Marina Promenade, can you imagine that? My prized Nike running shoes were soaked with mud, my adidas shorts and the adidas T too and my face, coated with mud too and I kept spitting out the mud from my mouth while running. This was surely the 'mother of the obstacles', not easy running in that muddy condition and I prevailed till the end.

Boy, I am glad I clocked 1 hr 15 mins 13 secs and ranked 261 out of 1,137 male runners. Not bad for an old fella, I must say.