Monthly Archives: December 2007

And the winner for the First Asian Idol is ……………….

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………………  HADY  MIRZA  ……………

 

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….. Yes, its Hady Mirza, the Singapore Idol who was crowned the First Asian Idol last Sunday. What a shock for me as he was last on my list….. & I think a lot of people did not expect him to win either! Only 2.83% of bloggers chose him as the winner in an online poll conducted by blogspot’s E-Channel. But there’s no doubt about it, he’s the WINNER!

Well, like I said…. these competitions which are based on votes are as unpredictable as the wind. You might as well turn my list upside down, then I would’ve got it right. Thank God I’m not into gambling…… I would lose sorely!!!!!!!!

I think Hady was shocked too….. coz there was a momentary delay in his reaction when his name was called out by Ata (the Indon stage host). Then he just collapsed onto his knees with his hands clasped over his face…..!!!!! Unbelievable!! The other contestant looked just as shell shocked for the matter…ahahahahhhh!!!!!! An upset though it may have been, these are popularity contests & he could very well have benefited from the dual voting system which was originally designed to even out the disparity of the country populations.

As Fat Dragon analysed, you would vote for your favorite & the least favorite, to increase the chances of winning for the singer of your choice …

Eg: You would vote

MAL VIET OR MAL SING 

and not

MAL PHIL OR MAL INDO

This system serves to backfire chances of winning for the strong contestants therefore leading up to more votes for weakers contestants like Vy, & Hady who were not particularly singled out by the judges for their performances as strong. But that’s just a theory!

At the end of the day, I believe Hady possesses the discipline & savvy to represent Asian talent to the international platform.  And that is the most important thing!

Personally, I think this First Asian Idol show was a success of sorts. RCTI the largest TV station in Indonesia managed to produce a grand performance show & result show in collaboration with staff from the Australian Idol, Canadian Idol & World Idol shows. The venue (Hall D, Pekan Raya Jakarta) was mammoth sized & it could carry an audience capacity of 5,000.

The singers performed to the accompaniment of music produced by a full orchestra band  (which boasted of some lovely people too) & the backup dancers provided a visual feast. It was entertaining to see them move & groove to both Asian & Western numbers. As for the stage, I loved the giant screens which came out with fantastic images as the contestants sang. Even Hady commented that he was ‘nervous’ to perform on such a big stage.

What better way to bring about the spirit of unity than through music, I say! It was lovely to see the predominantly Indonesian crowd cheering not only for their Indonesian Idol but also for all the other 5 idols from different countries. So heartwarming indeed. We were treated to Indian music, Malay music, English music, Filipino music, Vietnamese music ….I could just feel the richness & diversity of the individual cultures depicted by the 6 individuals in the competition . Wonderful! And talking about unity, when Jac & Hady  finished performing a duet for George Michael’s ‘Freedom’, Jien (the M’sian host) commented, “… Malaysia & Singapore in PERFECT HARMONY and we don’t see that very often…..” . Well said, Jien!  

So, all is not lost, let’s move on & wish Hady all the best in showcasing Asia to the world.

THE BEST MAN WON (so says the SMS votes)!

It’s IDOL season again….. Asian Idol, I mean!

Asian Idol logo Who’s gonna win the Asian Idol……….?????

Yes, its Idol season again….this time its Asian Idol. I nearly missed the kickoff program to Asian Idol on 8TV, last Saturday …. both Fat Dragon & I had low energy levels on Saturday due to lack of sleep on Friday. But curiosity prevailed & I managed to stay up for a preview of all the contestants that will participate amidst Fat Dragons, grunts & snores…ahahahahhhh!!!!!

The main event will be held in Jakarta on December 15 (aired 11pm I think over 8TV) and the Result Show (Dec 16). I hope to catch the performance show at least, coz a competition that will pit winners of idol competitions from six Asian countries will be worth watching, in my opinion. Each contestant will have to sing 2 songs. One in their native language and one in English. It’ll not only be a battle of vocals but a battle of nerves, a battle for national pride! Wow…. it’ll be intense!

The winner goes home with an international recording contract and a free trip around the world to watch international Idol shows. Not bad! I notice a lack of hype in Malaysia for the event. Probably because the finals will be held in Jakarta. Pity. It would have been a great showcase for VMY2007. 

The six contestants are: 

  • Indonesian Idol – Mike Mohede, Season 2 Winner
  • Indian Idol – Abijeet Sawant, Season 1 Winner
  • Malaysian Idol – Jaclyn Victor, Season 1 Winner
  • Philippine Idol – Mau Marcelo, Season 1 Winner
  • Singapore Idol – Hady Mirza, Season 2 Winner
  • Vietnam Idol – Phu’o’ng Vy, Season 1 Winner.

Competition will be tough as all six have strengths in their own right. The kickoff featured snippet performances of all the idol winners & although the cliche goes ‘they are all winners’, we naturally have our personal favorites………

1. My first pick – Jaclyn Victor (Malaysian Idol).

 finale.jpg    Flash your smile Jaclyn …….

I’m biased of course but she’s already a winner in my eyes. I’m choosing her based on her vocal talents. She has earned many accolades & awards through the course of her music career especially after winning the Malaysian Idol contest in 2004. There is no denying, she’s got lovely vocals & great range. Coming from a singing background, she’s a seasoned performer. This should help Jaclyn deal with the nerves of facing a foreign audience. Good luck Jac!

2. My second pick is a tie between Mau Marcelo of the Phils & Phu’o’ng Vy of Vietnam.

mau-marcelo-phils.jpg …………Mau, the Soul Idol

Passionate is how I would describe her singing. Mau was dubbed the Soul Idol” and “The Black Belter” at the 2006 Phil Idol competition for her R&Bstyle.  She can even carry Shirley Bassey’s ‘Diamonds are forever’ with ease. Her soulful style can probably be traced back to her roots. Marcelo’s father is an American citizen of African and Spanish blood from Puerto Rico while her mother is Filipina.  Talk about a real melting pot of passion in her DNA! No wonder the big momma’s got so much soul in her. I’m rooting for her. My only fear is that talent alone is not enough to wow the audience. You need to sell your personality which is why I tied her with Vy from Vietnam.

phuong-vy-viet.jpg ………. oooh, the sexy sultry Vy

Vy is fresh from the oven, so to say. She just won the Vietnam Idol contest 2 months ago. She could not be more different from Mau. When I heard her sing, it just made me want to sway with the music as she belted out jazzy tunes in a smooth & classy manner. Her sultry bass tone shows off a maturity that does not quite coincide with her youthful image but its a winning formula for contests like these. She’s also a bit of a fashion diva which will put her high on the popularity scale. Her only shortcoming is her poor command of the English Language. It is reported that she’s taking intensive English lessons to prep for her mandatory English song. Good Luck Vy! Don’t let it get to you!

3. My third pick would be Abhijeet Sawant, the Indian Idol.

abhijeet-sawant-india.jpg   …… how charming can you get, Sawant!

He’s a breath of fresh air & despite being a petite man, he has a large stage presence. His voice is not powerful per se but very melodious especially when he was belting out Indian songs during the kickoffs. He’s got a real charmer of a smile though & his boyish good looks should strike many a maiden’s fancy & move a lot of fingers for their SMS’s. There’s a lot of national pride in this young man, as he is competing in the Asian Idols with a mission in mind i.e. to promote Indian music to the world & to win! Aye Aye Sawant.

4. My 4th pick would be Mike Mohede, the Indonesian Idol.

mike-mohede-indonesia.jpg  ……. Mike, the gentle giant!

Somehow I keep picturing this gentle giant serenading a girl in the moonlight with his guitar. His top 24 winning rendition of ‘Right Here Waiting for You’  by Karl Marx rings out in my head. Well, I’m not into sickly romantic renditions, hence Mike is not my favorite. He’s got a sweet voice in my opinion but lacking the WOW factor. But you’ll never know, he’s probably melted a lot of hearts already & he’s got home ground advantage as the event will be held in Jakarta, Indonesia ……

5. My last pick, Hady Mirza – the Singapore Idol.

hady-mirza-spore.jpg  ………. Platinum Hady

No offence to Hady but amongst the power house voices from the first 3 on my list, he would pale in comparison in terms of vocals. He’s known for his smooth R&B voice & charming personality. Let’s see if that’s enough to charm the audience & judges …. going by the sales of his self titled album which went Platinum in Singapore ……. you’d never know!  (FYI: In S’pore, the threshold number for Platinum is 15,000 copies).

At the end of the day, you can probably throw my list straight into the bin. We all know that these contests are as unpredictable as the wind…. its debatable on whether talent prevails over popularity or the other way round. Nevertheless we, the audience get two watch 2 hours of good performances, hopefully.

MAY THE BEST MAN OR WOMAN WIN!!!!

P.S. ARE YOU WONDERING HOW THE VOTING PROCEDURE WILL GO? : Think of how they’re going to tabulate votes fairly for each contestant given the wide disparity in population numbers for the different countries :

  • India (1.1b),  
  • Indonesia (235m), 
  • Philippines (91m),
  • Vietnam (85.3m),
  • Malaysia (25m),
  • Singapore (4.6m).

I mean if it goes by number of votes …. Singapore would get trounced by even the likes of Malaysia…..!!!!

Unlike the other IDOL shows, the voting procedure for Asian Idol requires viewers to vote for 2 favorite Idols, thus allowing contestants to receive votes aside from their respective countries.

As consideration on population size among the participating countries, tabulation of votes are done through an “Equal & Even Cumulative Method”, wherein the total votes of each country are converted into percentages. The winner will be determined through 50% viewers’ votes and 50% judges scores.

Well, we’ll see if it this system delivers this weekend….but one thing’s for sure the PHONE COMPANIES are laughing & singing (of course) all the way to the BANK!!!!

Pair of Seven Jeans anyone?

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Would you pay RM2,600 for a pair of jeans? ????

I read the other day in the newspapers that a pair of Seven For All Mankinds was retailing for RM2,600 at Bread & Butter, a high end clothing store at The Gardens………My reaction was…Huh???? What’s article of clothing was that? Couture? Gown? No, it was a humble pair of JEANS!!!!! Ummm, the most expensive I’ve ever paid for a pair of jeans was for my off black, boot cut Marks & Spencer’s stretch jeans & it was only 10% of that cost.

Then…… I found out that the jeans of today sport names like Seven for All Mankind, True Religion, Rock & Republic, Earnest Sewn, Citizens of Humanity. Double Huh???!!!!! Gosh, they sound more like rock groups than jeans’ lables. Forgive my ignorance as I grew up with Levi’s, Wranglers and Lee & Coopers  ….. 

Given that jeans have been around since the mid 19th Century, that makes it over a hundred and fifty years old & doesn’t seem to be making an exit any time soon. Evolving from work clothes to a fashion ‘must have’ judging by its price tag, it certainly merits a post to see if its worth paying so much for a pair of designer jeans!!!!!

THE HISTORY OF JEANS – Did you know that jeans were….. ???

1. born in the USA.

It was created by Leob Strauss in the 1850’s for Gold Rush miners in California, U.S.A. because they wanted clothes that didn’t tear easily. He later changed his name to the now more well known Levi. 

Its trademark lay in the strength of the denim material used, the indigo dye which produced the blue colour and the use of metal rivets (normally copper) to anchor the garment at the waist & pockets. 

2. only introduced to rest of the world during WWII

…when American soldiers wore them when they were off duty. It was only after the war when jeans got launched into the international scene that, rivals like Wrangler and Lee Cooper began to compete with Levis for a share of this new market

3. called ‘Waist Overalls’ until the ’50’s.  

Movies like ‘Rebel Without a Cause’  starring James Dean turned the humble jeans into a symbol of a teenage rebel. Students of those times, revelled in that image & they proudly renamed the ‘waist overalls’ jeans pants. The name stayed. 

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4. a symbol of ‘Western decadence’ in the ’60’s

…as the Americans went into the Hippies & Cold War era. It was a hard ‘commodity’ to come by in non-western countries & US companies said that they often received letters from all over the world asking Americans to send jeans to them. Images of psychedelic (loud, vivid) colours, bell bottomed jeans come into mind!

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5. ... synonymous with sweatshops in the 70’s

where production was concerned.  Workers came especially from the South (i.e. South America) & were paid very low wages. During this time jeans prices came down.

 FASHION/ LIFESTYLE – Did you also know that.…..??

1. … the iconic Levi 501s…

… which was a BIG HIT in the ’80’s was actually introduced in the ’60’s & ‘reintroduced’ in the ‘80’s. The traditional 501s are button fly jeans & need to to be shrunk to fit. So, launder your 501s before wearing them. Check this Classic 501 video ad out.

……………………………………….Cool!!!!!                                       levis501s-now.jpg

2. … jeans became a fashion statement only in the ’80’s…

… when the likes of Armani, Dolce & Gabana, Calvin Klein, Gloria Vanderbilt started getting involved in the styling of jeans with their own lables. Boy did they make their own styles. 

  • In the 80’s – designer jeans got ripped, frayedtorn & coloured! Whites to pastels were as popular as stonewashed blue jeans.
  • In the 90’s, black designer jeans became popular for a while.
  • In 2000, designers were crystal beading, silver or gold spraying jeans amid   the tears, the frayed slashes. Some were even decked with fur & feather decoration.

In other words, jeans got a MAKE OVER & these jeans were proudly known as DESIGNER JEANS!

3. …  a new rise of body image brands emerged after the millenium.

Apart from Seven’s today there are many designer jeans brands to choose from such as Antik Denim, Chip & Pepper, Blue Cult, Kasil, Lucky Brand Jeans, Gold Sign, People’s Liberation, and many others.  Each of these designer jeans brands has a unique quality to them.  J & Company jeans are best known for their hand crafted detail and embroidered back pockets. 

Celebrities like Jessica Simpson, Eva Longoria, Jessica Alba and Carmen Electra sport them. Celebrities wear them to photo shoots, talk shows, shopping, or when they’re just out getting a cup of coffee. …….It’s even sparked off a debate on whether it’s appropriate to use as office wear!

These brands boast of superior tailoring (which designers claim lifts butts & make you look 5 lbs slimmer – believe it or not); They are hand frayed, hand sanded, stone washed with volcanic stones, etc…..& they sport rock & roll -esque brand names… how about that for body image! 

CHECK THIS VIDEO OUT – ‘HOW SEVEN DESIGNER JEANS ARE MADE’ on You Tube made by Nylon TV!

Well, ……….now that we know a little bit of history for jeans, how it has evolved & how it’s made … perhaps we can understand why jeans of TODAY come with a whopping price tag …so back to the question:

Would you pay RM2,600 (plus Malaysia taxes and duties of course)  for a pair of jeans…. oops, I mean DESIGNER JEANS??? ?!!!!!!!!

Umm…its an emphatic NO for me…I wouldn’t be able to afford to buy it retail in Malaysia. If I were to buy it I’d be forced to wear it everyday to justify its cost & people would be wondering if I’ve suddenly developed some compulsive obsessive disorder. Looks like I’ve got to live with jeans that don’t lift butts & be contented with looking 5 lbs fatter!

P.S.

Well, in case you’re planning to buy a pair of designer jeans……… these ratings might help………….. (click on individual links to each brand name in the table below for detailed reviews & sample looks)

Butt Factor(*)

Cool

Comfort

Chip & Pepper

2.5

3

2.5

Seven

1.5

1

2.5

Blue Cult

3

1.5

3

Joe’s Jeans

1.5

1.5

2.5

       

(*) Butt Factor refers to how the tailoring of the back pockets help to lift your butt, making it look hot and sexy!

 

Ooooh…my inaugural tag…thanks to Absolut Ginger

 

tag1.jpg     Hmmm……let’s see……well Absolut Ginger, here goes…..

1. A movie that made you laugh.
Hey, my life’s a Comedy. Does that count? 

2. A book that made you cry.

When I was a KIDThe Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. Had this as mandatory reading for my Form 1 literature class. There was this mass crying session  when the ending (The Yearling dies, of course), was read in class. I’m telling you, we all cried & cried.  Girls’ school-lah, what to do! Silly though it may sound, the ending really was very sad from the perspective of a  13 year old.  

As an ADULT“We Need to Talk About Kevin” by Lionel Shriver. Highly recommended read. Intense, emotional exploration about how a parent deals with an unloved child who murdered 7 of his fellow high school students. In the wake of the Columbine killings etc, this book delves into the other side of the story…. the killer’s parents & not the victim’s parents.
     

3. A best friend.
Fat Dragon. My soul mate. Kindred spirit. Best friend.  

4. A favourite childhood memory.
I hated going for piano lessons every Saturday evening when I was a kid.  My parents would compensate for it by taking me out for dinner in KFC, in Esquire Kitchen, in Taste of Thailand (the Thai restaurant name might be wrong, my memory fails me – but it was in Imbi).  In the 70’s, these places were a novelty really. (Shucks…giving my age away..hmmph)…..

5. Your favourite animal.
Judy. My alsation/ mongrel mixed breed pet dog. Had her from when I was 12 years old to 19 years old. Will never forget the unconditional love a pet can give you. She never failed to run out of the house to greet me when I came back from school, rain or shine. Will never forget the pain of losing her when we put her to sleep at the Vet’s. Never had a pet ever since.

6. Your favourite food.
Undisputedly….ROAST DUCK….a.k.a. KAO YA….a.k.a. SIU NGAP…….my mouth is watering already!!!! (Been to Sunshine, Paramount for their Roast Duck????….TO DIE FOR…Uummm juicy, succulent, tender…..but…. long queue!!!!! )

7. An item of clothing you can’t do without.
Hmmm ……. would love to say that cute black dress …. but so over it already.  I would say its my trustee white oxford shirt & my light blue, boot cut  jeans. Sorry… cheated here, its two items but yeah… I always pack it with me for travel coz the shirt makes the ensemble a little less casual and the jeans makes the ensemble a little less formal…… ummmm, you getting me?

8. Something you collect.
Decorative Collectibles as long as it strikes my eye (& kind to the pocket). Carvings, glass ware, ceramic ware, pictures, paintings, clocks, bird cages …….the list goes on….as long as its something you can use for decoration! Gotta hold myself back tho coz these things take up wall space, storage space, you name it… & you can only store so much in your home……. sigh….. wonder if I can auction them off when I’m old. Any takers out there?????

9. Your favourite store to shop in.
IKEA (of course) … can shop, can get ideas, can eat, most importantly…. don’t get hassled!

10. Your favourite flower.
Let me digress a bit – In general, I like flowers LIVE…. don’t like them DEAD – so DON’T send me flowers….. Fat Dragon was really smart. He gave me a porcelain rose for our first Valentine. It would have lasted me until today,…..ummm that is if I hadn’t thrown it away. Ahahahahah – no offence Fat Dragon!!!!!!  

OK, back to the subject – it’s ORCHIDS, love the vibrant colours of the flower. Love the simplicity of the plant. Great idea Thai Airways has, giving orchids away as broaches. ….. dead though they may be.  Now I’m contradicting myself. OK, for orchids, I’ll make an exception – they’re wanted DEAD or ‘A’LIVE.

tag2.jpg    And now, its my pleasure to tag – Roaring Forties……….

Jogger profiles revealed………

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 I try to jog about 4 to 5 times a week in the evenings, weather & time permitting of course. I do it at a really big, beautiful & well landscaped park about 5 minutes from our home in KL. In the course of it, I have come to realize that there is quite a colourful mix of characters who make my jogging experience all the more interesting …….. 

Introducing…… 

1. Mr. Not An Ounce Of Fats a.k.a. Mr. Topless. This guy is lean & mean. His lithe body is compact with sinewy muscles & he sports a ‘hitam manis’ tan….. he undeniably carves an impressive figure in the park & he knows it. I’ve never once seen him wearing a shirt over his shorts. He’s always topless! He’s at the park everyday, rain or shine!! I think he will suffer from withdrawal symptoms if he doesn’t get his daily dose of adrenaline from jogging! Ironically, despite his healthy lifestyle, I notice he never fails to take a ‘puff” at the end of his jogging sessions. Obviously, taking a ‘breather’  ……….. 

2. Mr. Seremban Half Marathon. This guy is classic. He’s not lean, he’s not mean. In fact, he’s a little flabby (not fat) especially around his arms. Not toned at all. I know coz he’s always wearing sleeveless T’s. Why I wonder? Perhaps to show off his lack of a tan????? He’s really fair…. like ‘pak cham kai’ (white chicken as in Hainan Chicken rice) ….. definitely does not fit the profile of a jogger. Also very kiasu. I overtook him jogging once & …. he sprinted to overtake me back! Now, now, there’s no need to feel threatened by me…I’m just a recreational jogger, not a competitive jogger. Note my surprise when he passed me & I saw ….. Seremban Half Marathon…… at the back of his T-shirt! Aahahahahhhhhhhhh – no wonder he had to overtake me!

3. Ms. BIG & COOL. Picture Queen Latifah jogging. This best describes the lady. Love this gal. She consistently jogs in her micro mini shorts & tight T shirts, showing off her above average curves & proud of it! She carries her size with style. Way to go! Move aside stick figure gals, BIG is IN! BIG is HIP & HAPPENING!

4. Ms. Mainland Fashion. Day in Day out, she wears collared polo T’s. It’s always in shades of green. She always pairs it off with dark coloured track bottoms & ‘fung keong’ like shoes. Her straight black hair is always swept back into a pony tail. Her whole get-up is almost uniform-like. Somehow it reminds me very much of Mainland Chinese fashion i.e. as worn by those middle aged folk in the middle of park squares doing tai chi, ballroom dancing etc. Kudos to her despite her fashion challenges though.  Have never seen her walking round the park…. always jogging… great stamina.

5. Mr. Stocky. He’s part of Mr. Not An Ounce of Fat’s (NAOOF) jogging ‘pack’. Somehow, he cuts a stocky figure running next to NAOOF. Well, just goes to show God created us in different shapes and sizes. The thing is, this guy too, if you really look closely, does not have an ounce of fat. Just that his body structure is stockier and his limbs shorter hence creating the illusion that he is ‘fatter’. He’s not. Trust me, he’s fit too – if not he would not be able to run alongside NAOOF!!!!  

6. Mr. (s) Young and Cute. There are two of them. One Malay guy and one Chinese guy. Well…as some people would put it Eye Candy. No harm having them in the park. All the more incentive to go jogging.

7. Ms. Knee Band. Now this lady runs with a slight limp like she’s got an injury & she has a knee band to show for it but she puts me to shame. She can outrun me in terms of distance any time. Hey, aren’t you supposed to take it easy, let your muscles heal????? Would hate to see how she performs without the little limp!!!!

8. Mr. Great Posture. He towers over me (I’m short, remember?). This Indian guy’s 5′ 10″ or 11″ at least. Being lean & tall, he cuts the picture perfect figure of a jogger. He’s got great posture while jogging. He always runs with a straight body, always executing great heel toe motion & his head is always facing forward. Textbook jogging style. He’s also always attired appropriately in open cut silky shorts & sleeveless jogging singlets. What can I say? He is the epitome of a well-oiled jogging machine. This guy is a real pro!  

9. Mr. Hao Soon. ‘Hao Soon’ in Cantonese stands for filial. Now there’s this young guy who is always accompanying his father (who I believe is a stroke victim) for exercise. They are not exactly joggers but definitely there for some sort of therapy or exercise to acquire more mobility for the father. His father takes really really tiny & slow steps when walking. The beauty is the son accompanies him in taking these tiny, slow steps. He does not show any sign of impatience, nor does he show signs of displeasure or reluctance. The depth of filial piety & love shown by the young man is not a common sight as people get caught up in the rat race nowadays. You would more likely see maids put into the role of care giver in the family. It is a humbling sight indeed.

……………… Well, anyone inspired to take up jogging? I highly recommend it ….. it does not only give your body a good work out but your eyes as well!

Accident in Africa……….

africa_map.gif

Received a text message today at 10.40am with news about a friend (LSA) suffering from a broken foot and ankle…He’s scheduled for an operation at 12noon today. The news shocked Fat Dragon & I….in fact Fat Dragon thought I was joking when I conveyed the message! Now, how on earth, you might be ask, did LSA get into this jam? Yup…you guessed it… he was involved in a car accident last Wednesday in Nigeria (West Africa)….

This reminds me of our East African trip (Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda) in 2005……. DEJA VU indeed…..so many similarities…

1. LSA traveled in November. Fat Dragon and I too, travelled in Nov 2005.

2. LSA and we, were involved in separate car accidents in the African continent…

3. Both incidents involved Land Rover Classics.

 land-rover-classic.jpg    BLESS the car as its hard body frame is able to withstand  accidents very well. Case in point: Our car spun 3 times before settling on its right side. All occupants escaped with minor injuries except for Fat Dragon who broke his upper left arm and right hand. I sprained my back and the others suffered from surface wounds and nothing more. In LSA’s case: the car apparently hit a lorry carrying logs…MAN…scary… Thank GOD he only has a broken ankle, another injured his neck & one more I’m not too sure, but all are back safe and sound in Malaysia seeking treatment.

4. LSA did not tell his family about the accident until he arrived back in Malaysia 6 days later. Fat Dragon and I too, did not tell family until we arrived in M’sia, 3 days later.  Just goes to show…… its easier to break news like this when you’re back in person. This way the family is spared the agony of wondering about the unknown….

5. Heard from LSA’s wife that the hospital services in Nigeria was an experience in itself. People were crowding around LSA’s hospital bed…. all looking clueless..!!!!

Hmmph… Fat Dragon & I too were in the emergency room in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania in the middle of the night after the accident. Fact : The general attitude of the Emergency Room is nothing like what you see in the ER series on the Hallmark channel. No hustle. No bustle. People generally stroll about and take their time wheeling you into the X-Ray room, looking for the doctor…..some nurses will be settled nicely behind the reception counter…. but don’t get me wrong… they’re all VERY NICE people…. Like I said…just don’t expect urgency

Well, Fat Dragon only received treatment for his broken upper left arm. The doctor claimed his broken right hand would heal by itself…even though it had swollen to twice its size…hmmmph. Incidentally, the doctor had to put a cast on Fat Dragon’s left arm twice….!!!!! The first one was cast in the wrong position & had to be redone…… Sigh…

Fat Dragon was such a trooper & managed a brave smile every now and again. That’s why I love this man…he always sees the funny side of things. Well, the mood was infectious, his colleague (C) & I (who was lying on a bed next to him in the ER) laughed & joked, trying to keep Fat Dragon’s mind off the pain while the Doc recast the arm. C even documented the event on our camera 🙂 

africa-hospital.jpg

Needless to say, against this backdrop, both Fat Dragon & I adamantly refused painkiller jabs by the hospital staff….. there’s no way we were gonna expose ourselves to needles ….. no way at all…!!!!!!!!

Ahhh….what MEMORIES…..but don’t let this scare you into not visiting Africa. It is a diverse, unique, eye opening experience and nothing short of an ADVENTURE! Bring it on any time. I’d welcome another trip there, seriously!!!!!! (Even Fat Dragon…. broken bones, notwithstanding!!!!)

P.S. : LSA – Wishing you a speedy recovery…. !!!!!!!!!!  

P.P.S. : Tips for road trip travels to Africa :

1. Bring flashlights (in case your car breaksdown in the middle of the night. Some roads are pitch dark. You don’t wanna be run over and end up ‘road kill’

2. Bring batteries (for your flashlights of course). The ones you purchase in Africa will last only two hours…if you’re lucky.

3. If you insist on bringing white towels, white shirts, white underwear etc, be prepared for it to turn yellow. Water is in limited supply & very murky there.  Just goes to show we have to appreciate our clear running water coming out in gushes from our taps in M’sia!

4. Pack light snacks in your car. Sometimes you’ll be traveling long distances without eatery stops……

5. a) Make SURE the vehicle you travel in has spare tyres & complete set of tools. b) If possible, make sure the driver of your car has basic knowledge for car troubles & repair. Travel is rough. Tyre punctures & car troubles are VERY COMMON. During our 11 day travel in Africa we suffered 2 car breakdowns & 2 separate incidences of tyre punctures!!!!!

6. Make sure you pack some common sense with you….If you’re doing a road trip, don’t travel far into the night, do some research on where the ‘bandit’ stretches are……..

7. If you do get involved in an accident & get injured, you might want to seek a 2nd opinion elsewhere. If you’re flying Emirates, its logical to stopover in Dubai, the medical services there are excellent & nearer to the African continent. Or in LSA’s case, he decided to come back straight to M’sia. But of course this will involve a longer flight…. so it all depends on the seriousness of your condition.

Happy Traveling in Africa!!!!!