Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Down Memory Lanes

Home of the Future Leaders. Royal Military College.
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Berkhidmat Memimpin. Serve to Lead.

I went for the RMC Passing out Parade yesterday. The Class of 2005 graduated.

It was a trip down memory lane, everytime when i come for the Passing Out. Being an Exco member in my Old Boys association, i'm virtually invited for any activities pertaining my beloved alma mater.

below are some pics, showing the THEN me, and the NOW boys, that passed out from RMC. 12 years down the road, I missed the life as a Putera, badly.

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The Boys of 1993 walking out to the tune of Auld Lang Syne. Spot me.

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The Boys of 2005, slow marching to salute the Chief of Armed Forces.

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Me and SUO Zaflin(PTD officer) next to me. On my right hand side is JUO Patrick Chiam,( Dr. with Armed Forces). Behind me is Safriza Atan (Marine Hydrographer) and Kamarul(no idea), in 1993.

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Me and Putera Kanan Hwong and Putera Kanan Chan. Both excelled in their PMR by scoring straight A's. Both heros in their own right. That's what RMC maketh of us. They will both pass out in 2006.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Explorace S3 : Who are the 12 Finalist???

Merry Christmas and Happy New year all.

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The Final 18 teams called for the second Audition.

This year, they called 18 teams to Sri Pentas on Christmas eve. By 9am, the 18 teams were there at Sri Pentas' cafeteria eating their breakfast. Sheila was there coordinating us around. (really sweet of her and she remembered all our names....) and everyone exchanged plesantries and i guessed the fact that some of us might not know of each other's existence wasn't shy to reintroduce ourselves. Well, frankly, i'm one of them.

Sorry to say, i only recalled like a handful of their names. Perhaps, i'll make extra effort to know them all better.

At about 9.30am, we were all ushered into the auditorium and was given a simple briefing on the days' event and why we are national disaster in the making.

What do you expect to get when you put 18 teams of Motley Crews into Sri Pentas and all they are concerned about is the fun awaiting them (or rather the 100K price tag at the end of season 3).

Anyway, we were split into 2 groups to make logistic easier.

After teh race briefing, we were ushered up to the top floor of TV3. Yes, it's ardourous for most of us. The climb was a good warm up for what's to come next.

The first group was placed in TV3's basketball court. There, they were made to run the court 3 rounds and then a multitude of other physical activities like sprinting and duckwalk and frog jump. Felt like being in RMC again...what's missing is the forward roll, push ups and the side rolls.

The second team was placed in the gym, with Sasha (found out she's a contemporary dancer in the local performing art scene) leading the warm up session and weight session. Everyone showed their muscle for the camera, or lack of it, Me and Bandit just laze around until some camera pan onto us and then, we pretended to be doing some major workout. Hahaha...kaki tuang...standard la!

Later, we changed group, with The second group being placed outside and the first group in the gym. Yes. It was fun. I guessed we all made a joke out of ourselves in National TV.

After the physical activities, we were all told to go to Damansara Jaya, a warehouse, for more shooting. Everyone that drive drove to the place and in no time, we were split into groups of 6 again.

This time, it is to play football.

The primary school at DJ was used as the location for this mini *world cup*.

Names were created and slogan were fabricated to show how brutal the team were. Round robin style, the winning team were to proceed to the next round after 4 minutes of running in the field.

My group, the Brother Bear (no prize for guessing who was the mascot) proceeded into the final. And lost on penalty. James scored the deciding goal against me, the Kayu Keeper.

We were then placed there, and asked to practice our slogan or battle cry. The 2 jokers, complete with bear and deer's headgear made an impersonation of the Lion King's song...these two jokers are not only hilarious, they are damn talented!

After the football game, we made out way back to the school and lunch was served.

It was after lunch that we were told to line up again for the next stunt.

Yeap. It was mysterious. They wanted to capture our emotions and facial expression.

We were the 4th team that will go into the mystery test.

The first 3 team went in wet, and some screaming. We know it will be somthing icky and wet...but what is it?

OUr names were called and we made our way in. Yeap. There is a 500 gallon water tank. Camera focusing on it. Sasha usher us on and asked us to remove (hahaha) our shoes and socks. We can't go in bare naked, National TV mah. So, me and bandit removed out shorts, with thighs still intact and climbed into the tank.

I saw eel. I saw Bricks.

The task was to go into the water, grab one of the task, then catch one of the creatures inside (ie eel), take it up, show it to the camera and then read the task out loud.

Flustered, me and bandit went into the water and grabbed one of the clue. Yeap, i touched the eel, or should i say i grazed one of them. I picked up the task and placed it in my thighs. Bandit then dived in and went searching for the creature. Water were murky and he came out with the underwater camera...

"What's this?", he said nonchantly...

" Bro, camera la..." I said...

I swore the crew must had thought we were chicken as they laughed at us over this incident.

I caught one of them eel, slimy. Shasha pushed us on and said we were like the longest team that spent time in the water. Pressured, Bandit used his bandana and managed to secure one of those slimy creature...he then showed it to the camera and i think he killed it...the head and body was perpendicular by the time he let go of his grip...

I read the task: Do an impersonation of a vampire and the victim is your partner. Chase him/her around, hear him/her scream before you enjoy your meal of blood.

Hmm...acting classes needed here.

We got out of the set and walked away, anxious team wondering why everyone that went in came out wet and screaming (we forgot to scream, it was too scary).

We changed and then we were ushered (the completed teams) to do still shots, where our name will be imposed on our image.

This dragged on until dinner time, by then, shooting of anything audio was impossible as it was pouring like cats and dogs.

By after dinner, the rain slowed down and the set was set up for our *talentime night*

Guessed what? We were the first team to be called, so much for Sasha closing her eyes and pointing onto the name list on who will have to present their show.

Me and Bandit decided to make Count Dracula sleazy. With damn cheesy z rated movie script and we managed to pull it out though we skipped some scripts. It was made as we go on. I find myself being impromtu about this, and at least i managed to get a few in stiches.

Then, as i was making my way down, Sasha asked us to remain on stage, it seems we will be judged on our performances.

The crowd, being great people, gave us more than just 2 thumbs up. It's a relief, if sms were to be brought in, am sure all of us will get the equal amount of votes.

Sasha then commented:
1. You guys should NOT act, or even consider taking up acting as a career.
2. Bandit should stay being a male. (as he had 2 bandana's up his shirt for some instant cleavy)
3. and 3...

You guys made it to the final 12. The first team into the final 12!

I was speecheless, i only recalled slapping bandit's back. Bandit was numb. I said something like this is the best xmas gift ever (correction, after what my wife bought me, of course). Bandit was Numb.

We went down and was duly congratulated by everyone. it felt good.

Then it sinked in.

It might be a hoax to capture our facial expression.

One by one, each team were called on stage and slowly, their status were revealed.

The last 2 teams were a teaser.

James and David, against Ema and Suhana (The Divas).

James & David were declared the last team into the final 12. And King Kong blardy cried.

I think he moved some of us to tears as well!

it was a sight. It was.

Without further ado, here is the list of the final 18 candidates(and their status):

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1. Zuki & Sister Noreen - Finalist

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2. Amat & Azahari - Finalist

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3. Alvin & Lesley - Finalist

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4. Irene & Yuhana, the sarawakian sisters - Finalist

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5. Carmen and Layla???...wanted to call you Mani's future wife.... - Finalist

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6. Naresh & Guna - Pacer Boys. - Finalist

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7. Cee Yee & Weng Aun...charming... - Finalist

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8. MJ And Misbah - Power Girls... - Finalist

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9. Kak Jehan and Kak Am, the two teacher/legal advisor/super mum... -Finalist

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10. Reita & Mani - potent mix, Bandit has a nightmare of them chasing him in his dream. - Finalist

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11. James & David - Watch out for these two dudes - Finalist.

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12. And of course me and Bandit - Finalist

Those that will pose a threat to the finalist...should they decide to pull out...

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1.Tujri & Wan - bro in law - reserves

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2. Mariam (which i thought was a chinese) and Fahmi... easily the tallest around. - Reserves

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3. Ema & Intan - Reserves

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4. Peijal & Fa....Future spouses and damn cool! - Reserves

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5. Barath and Feisal - the Kluang Men... - Reserve

6. Azura and Adzfar pulled out from being standy on Saturday. Not sure why. Will definately miss having them around, esp Azura with her ultra hyper self!


So, there you go...Me and Azly has just received one of our many others BEST Xmas gift this year.

We were shortlisted to be one of the twelve finalist in next year's (season's) Explorace!!!

Blogger is right, the moment they call you to Sri Pentas, it means that you are already either chosen to be the main finalist, or the standby team.

We were let off at about 11pm, enough time to go back for the Christmas countdown with families and friends.

The next day, we went to Sri Pentas 2 for the promo shots at the studio.

The session dragged on for some time.

First there was the "all the teams around the big explorace banner looking at the camera from the top" shot.

Then the "all the team around the smaller explorace race banner shot, with face" Shot

By then, we break for lunch.

After that, there was " line up two by two face shot with camera panning" shot.

After that, it was the " line up inside the train track, we pan in, you walk out" shot

And the "line up beside train track, we pan out, you walk in" shot

All shots were taken until the director and art director were satisfied.

Most of us spent time sleeping, the sleeping siblings were the most apparent as Zuki and Noreen literally slept everywhere on set!

Then, there comes the "2 teams by 2 teams" shot, where the 2 teams will stare cock at each other ala hollywood movie poster style.

So, imagine the National Disasters posing ala Fast & Furious, 3 Kings, Harry Potter, Ocean's 11 etc etc...hehehe, we were made to put baby il on the face and then

Completed teams then went to the other side for their Slogan/war cry recording.

As usual, expect something cheesy from the both of us, ie me and bandit.

We were let off after the slogan shooting...it's sad to part, but in 2 month's time, some of us will be racing against each other and hearts will break, tears will roll and winner will be made.

to the all of you Exploracer Season 3 candidates from Audition 1. My salute to all of you!

Friday, December 23, 2005

Explorace Season 3 : Final Audition

After the long ardous weekend...TV3 finally called Bandit.

We are in.

We are amongst the many teams chosen for the final audition.

It will take place tomorrow and sunday at Sri Pentas. We were told to bring along insect repellent for some surpise shooting (i suspect we are going to Kiara Hill).

3 changes of clothes with no brand (we plan to use body paint, no brand!!!)

towels as we will be in water (oh what fun).

And well, we are, as usual, again, keeping our finger crossed to get into at least the first race.

And hope non of the filming date will clash with my wedding date next year. If it does...i had to choose between my wife and the race (then again, it's not much of a choise ain't it?)

Will furnish report on the audtion next week, after Christmas that is.

And Yes, i won't be celebrating it this year with wifey. She's not happy, of course.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Le Tour Le Lumut Day 2(with tonnes of pictures!!!) and Day 3(with even more pictures)!!!!

Sorry that it took that long for me to update on the ride. Been busy with work and things to do for my boss. Lets hope it is all worth it, not gotten any raise since 2 years ago, coming 3.

anyway, on for Day 2.

Saturday
Woke up feeling refreshed, with some *biological* alarm from someone in the room waking us all up. Amir went to take bath, folowed by me and Bandit.

The room aircond was powerful, I recalled fighting with Bandit the whole night for the blanket. I woke up this morning, noticing that Bandit has actually slept diagonally on the bed, with his hairy legs stuck near mine, only thing missing is his arms aren't around me for warmth. We would had made the almost perfect couple. Really.

We all took bath (no, not together) and noticed that it has started to drizzle. The ground was wet. Perhaps it rained the whole night yesterday. I asked the caretaker and he said it has been raining since 4am. Not a good thing.

We went for breakfast, fully sponsored by Bandit, of course (as per the whole days' meal). We made a deal, i paid for the room, Amir paid for the dinner(on day 1) and bandit paid for the food.

We stopped by 7-11 again to get 100plus and mineral water.

We cleaned the room, prepped it up and as we were leaving, the sky opened up again.

I received a call from OP Azudin, asking us if we are a-ok as it's been raining since morning when he left KL. I told him that we are fine, ride will go on no matter what. No support vehicle required and definately we don't need any support vehicle.

At 9.45am, we recieved an SMS from doc that says that the second group has reached Kuala Selangor, a good 60km away, which is technically about 2-3 hours behind us. They left in the morning at about 5.30am, and met up with Kutus KFC (Kutus Fraternity of Cycling) at Sg. Buluh and Peloton to Lumut.

We decided to wait for anohter 15 minutes.

at 10am, with the rain pouring and threaten to flood what is left of Sg. Besar, we left.

Sg. Besar -Sabak Bernam-Hutan Melintang
It rained, and it poured. We were wet by the time we exit the traffic light into the main trunk road (or Route 5, felt like Hotel California...just not Route 66 la...maybe resang the song to Hotel Rose : You can check in anytime you like, but you can always leave???)

Lorry hantu abound again, splashing up those road grime, covering us in more oil from the road. Water displaced by our tyres happily covers our faces. No amount of sunblock/raincoat/biking glasses would help. At one point, visibility was so bad. it was so really bad that visibility was less than 20m. Amir cycled fast, averaging almost 25km/h and me, catching up behind. We were wet, drenched. But nothing hampers our spirit. I could see amir the moment he cycled past 20meters ahead of me. The blinker didn't help, as the visibility was that bad.

By the time we reached Sabak Bernam, we were glad that we didn't cycle and stop here, as the town is dead, nothing compared to Sg. Besar. That was also when we saw the signboard for Lumut. It's a good 78km away. It doesn't make sense...we thought we were like 50km away...as the distance to Lumut from PJ is actually less than 200. But somehow...or rather...we forgot that that distance (sub 200) was taken from Sg. Buluh, not PJ. a good 4 hours ride away...

Amir stop further up front and ensure that we, the slow cyclist are catching up. I stopped, dismounted from my bike, water trickling down my cheek to my chin, dripping slowly away as if it is my own heartbeat.

My glasses were fogged up, the body heat generated was an oxymoron to the cold wet palm and the soaked shoes where my toes were feeling numb from the soaking.

I recalled i shudder a few times whenever a large vehicle zoom past. Not because of the danger, but because of the huge tsunami like wind that it brings along. It's bone biting coldness.

Bandit appeared after 2 minutes, Smiling as usual, not minding the rain a bit.

We reached the vicinity of Hutan Melintang, and the rain slowed down. By then, we couldn't really tell if it is still raining or not, as it doesn't seems to be of any differences.

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Bandit telling us it's ok to have some pain in the butt

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While me and Amir decided to exchange seats

Hutan Melintang is about 20km away from Teluk Intan. Simpang Empat is the landmark there la, turn left and you'll head to some fishing village where they made those fishballs sold in the market. turn right and you'll head towards Malaysia's Pisa. Go straight, you will end up at Bagan Datok about 20km away, then swim across Sungai Perak (hahahah...we wanted to do that, looking at the map, it's a shorter distance to lumut, really).

The road to Teluk Intan was uneventful. It was straight, boring and guess what? they have ONE lane dedicated to motorbikes, complete with barricades on the right hand side to prevent cars from coming in. Only thing is, the whole portion of that road is filled with stoones and sand, am jsut worried about anohter punture as that won't be very nice, isn't it? I brought 3 spare tubes, out of which, one has already been utilised. I'm jsut praying my luck won't run out with more than 3 puntures.

We cycled for a good 45 minutes or more and we came to the part where we turn off to Lumut. Yes, the magnificent Sg. Perak is just around the corner.

Lumut: Here we come
We turned left at the junction where the trunk road from Bidor meet the trunk road of Teluk Intan. We headed for the 1.3km bridge. Stopped half way for photos...with Sg Perak rushing below us, murky brown. The rain stopped for a moment when we were there. Bandit reached the peak of the bridge soon after and more pictures were taken (yes, i'm waiting to get it from Amir). We stopped for a good 5 minutes before rolling downhill towards the road to Lumut.

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Sg Perak...swelled up because of the rain since 4am today...check out the sky's condition

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River on one side, oil palm on the other

By then, it was already 1pm. Hungry, wet, dirty. We looked as if we just fell into some sewage treatment plant, nevermind the smell, we grew accustomed to it.

The sight of the BP station after the bridge was a blessiing. With Amir complaining about air entering his tummy if he don't eat soon...we decided to stop for a quick break. it is about 60 more km to go before Lumut. Long way. Right before we reach the BP station....we saw, from behind us, the rain, chasing down the road...so, afterall, it is a good idea to stop..and rest.

Amir went into the BP shop, dripping with sweat and water from his almost 6 foot frame. No bread. No nothing to eat. So, he ended up buying the local version of M&Ms, called Nips.

He bought one pack...and gobbled it all down.

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munch...munch...munch...

I bought 3 buns. ate it like i never ate before (and those buns suck, those that stick to the ceiling of your mouth, threatening to choke you if you don't chew them, or chew on them too much.

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Amir going for his second pack of NIBS.

Bandit was the hero, he bought one bun, and one pack of twisties...and made twisties bun... hehehe...

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Bandit...doing some cleaning up

We ate and we adjusted the bikes, Amir returned the super comfy seat to me as he say that the seat were slowing him down (i had a pannier tied to the seat..hence the extra weight) and i returned to him the ultra hard seat that my butt rested on for the previous 20km.

We headed off towards lumut, rain stopped for the time being.

Down the road, about 10km later, we reached the paddy field. great view. The signboard said we were 48km to Pangkor and 39km to Lumut. Now, is there a road to Pangkor which warrant it to be listed as 48km to Pangkor?????

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The signboard, with Route 5 signage all over

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the view, so peaceful!!!!

We stopped for pictures again.Bandit, running 5 minutes late, only to come with a bottle of Air Nira (fermented coconut sap).

The 500ml bottle were ice cold, the humidity after the rain was really bad and as he opened the bottle of Air Nira...PSSSSTttt.... there were gasses!!!!

we made our way towards sitiawan.

Futher down the road, we came across a place right beside Sg Perak. It has a few boats on dry land. Next to the boat were one warung. Complete with karaoke. KARAOKE???

The next few pics would actually speaks volume of what transpired there.

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M&W Sarsi, anyone?

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Lunch...simple...fried chicken and kicap manis...

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watcha looking at buggers???

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It looked as if someone is getting amrried, no? Those coloured bottles are actually locally made carbonated soft drinks...

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BUrrrrppppp.....

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Move over Red Box...here come Warung Parit German!!!!

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Amir on Karaoke, me on ENT prescribed aid for Karaoke overdose...

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Bandit was next, heavy stomach requires extreme singing position

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Catching up on news with the Warung Owner

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guilty as charged as well...

After lunch. We cycled the last final 20km to Lumut.

It was such huge relief that the signboard says we are 15km to Lumut, and 5km to Manjung.

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Bandit, showing us the way

That was when OP Nordin flagged me down in his Unser with his family...

We thought he was there to bail us out.

Turned out, after he left, i had a punture...darn!!!

The sky threaten to open up again and it did as i finished changing yet anohter tube. This time, the front tyre became the victim. 10km more to LUmut and i had a punture, it is as if it's some sort of test.

NEvermind, i have one more spare with me, and come, what, may.

It was pouring as we touched the last final KM to Lumut.

Drenched, excited, tired and euphoria all rolled into one. We touched Orient Star at Lumut sharp at 4.30pm.

What joy. Sense of acheivement. Since the meter showed we were 2 km short of 220km, we decided to cycle around until it touches 220km, in the rain, might as well!

We checked into Titi Panjang, our Navy friends in Lumut arranged for the apartment right opposite the Kastam's office. It felt good to be able to go home to something as comfortable as this.

Later that night, there were teh BBQ which were attended by the Chief of Navy, which also happens to be an OP. The Camp Commander is also an OP. So is the CO of the camp. Basically, this place is infested not only with Navy guys and girls, but with Old Putera. It felt like home, really.

We found out later from the KFCs that they reached Lumut by 6.30pm.

Doc and the rest was taking their sweet time. Doc fell at Sg. Buluh and had to get himself to Tg Karang Hospital for medical attention (his excuse to check his nurses out). They had 2 flats as well, rode in the rain as well and was enjoying every single bit of it. In his words, it's MADNESS, but BEST GILER!

Enjoy the rest of the pictures, as it does tell a thousand words.

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The hero that does PJ-Lumut in one day, arriving at 0030 hours

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I had to be in the pics as well...and tada...the whole Basikal gang...

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Amir showing how some Thai massage should be done on Bandit.

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Doc later show him how it is done properly on Bandit

It rained the whole night thereafter, we watched WWF until we all fell asleep. The 2 babes took a room for themselves, hiding under the sheets, as the comforters are out in the living room as you can see in some pictures above.

Day 3

Steve took one room by himself, as no one wanted to sleep with a snoring canadian bear.

Zabil sorta make popiah using one of the comforter...and that left me, doc and azmar sharing one comforter.

It was cold. Fan were swtiched off, doors were closed and windows were shut, but we were cold, it seems like some thunderstorm happened out there.

I recalled, in the middle of the night, Azmar woke up and took the curtains...and double it up as blanket!

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Ordinary looking curtains

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multi usage (no, we are not trying to show you some bad porns here

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Ta...daaaaa...

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and this is what happened when you let boys becoming boys....

BY the way, Bandit huddle up to me again...guessed i emit enough warmth to keep us both cosy eh?

Later, we were brought to KD Duyong, the Navy Dive centre for some demonstatrion. The Navy guys showed us how underwater welding was done. But the most impressive moments were when the Navy climbed up the rope using their toes...no kidding...see this to believe...they made it looked too easy!

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The platform were 10m high

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Our Navy Boys...I salute you all!

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Adilah and Karoline infront of KD Lekiu, the RMN's Battle Frigate

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Onboard MV Fajar Samudera, the Navy's Training Ship. Behind us is the Magnificent KD Indera Sakti

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On the Ship's Stern, awaiting lunch to be served

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such huge ship creating waves, we were cruising at 10knots (circa 20km/h) around Pangkor

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Me, My sis and her good friend, infront of KD Lekiu

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The return journey on the Army's 3 Tonner...it felt good to be Boy again.

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Bandit, entertaining us all in the 3 Tonner, moving at about 120km/h

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Me again, passing the scenic peaceful looking paddy field...it took us almost 3 hours from here to lumut, but less than 30 minutes to here by this truck

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Mr. Hyper finally went to sleep inside the moving truck

It was such a fun trip for all of us. Steve and Zabil took the hard way back, they cycled, one to Ipoh (steve) and Zabil to Sabak Bernam. Ironman material!

Azmar took the bus back, as he had to rush to his buddy's wedding. He sms-ed me half way and told me that he should had taken the ride with us, as the express bus he was on, well, it was so fast, that it only reached Behrang after 3 hours.....

I'll definately do this again, though most of the people would think and agree with us that this is stupid. But it is stupidity at it's best, hence, that double the fun!

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