Tuesday, October 30, 2007

My Top 5 Fortean Encounters

Halloween is in a couple of hours away so I figured it would be the best time to share some of the weird stuff that I have seen or experienced over the years.

I'd be lying out of my arse if I was to say I didn't believe in things that go bump in the night but I wont say i specifically believe in a certain phenomenon. I'm just going to leave it that there are things out there I have yet to understand.

So here goes:

1.Light under the sun
I'm still in school Its a looooooooog while back. Dinosaurs still rule the earth when I come back in the evening. I get off the bus and run up to my grandparents house who live next door. I used to love photographing sunsets in those days and on that day it was a stunner. The sun was red and the sky was glowing a simmering burn. I ran back, grabbed the camera and got up to the balcony. When I started adjusting the second shot I noticed a shining orb under the sun. It was very, very bright light so that it wasn't overpowered by the angry red sun in the background. It just stayed stationary just below the sun. It was not Mars or Venus as it was still too early and the sun was still much to bright for any of the planets to represent itself. I kept hearing that sometimes shining lights these are the rays of light bouncing of satellites in orbit around Earth. For me, I put it down to don't tell anyone about it when I looked up after winding the camera and the orb had disappeared.

2. Tree Tales
I ran a lot in the estates in Seremban those long days ago. It gave me freedom. Especially when the rubber estates gave way to the palm oil estates where the view was better and there were clear streams I could follow along. One day at about 7am, a friend and I had set out for an early run. We were taking it easy but still kept a good pace just looking out for the occasional snake that would be crossing the path. We turned a corner, a corner we had taken many, many times before...

All I remember was both of us, scrambling to a panic stricken stop. I know I shouted something and my buddy also echoed it. We bolted back up the path back from where we came. After we turned back around the corner we stopped. Both suddenly panting from the adrenalin. "What the fuk!...Fuk..man.......

Fuk it bro, this is our turf, We grew up here. I'm going back - I saw myself saying this in a weird out of body moment. Bravery in numbers is the cowards motto and my friend was bigger than me. Plus I had explored every bit of this estate alone and sometimes with my dogs and nothing had scared me this shitless.

We turned the corner and my friend barked out a sudden laugh. A branch had half-broken off a tree and hung limply in the middle of the path. The leaves waving gently in the morning breeze. Uneasy laughter.

We walk past the branch.

"Fuk shit..... I thought I saw a long haired lady." I mumbled.

"Did she wave at us?" my friend asked quietly.

We both then proceeded to break the unofficial Seremban cross country record as we realized we didn't tell each other what we saw.

3. PD Sea Monster
Another encounter via athletic adventures. It was off season for state athletics. 3 of us drove down to Port Dickson for beach runs. We finished about evening and were sitting down on the sand watching the sun set.

The tide was coming in fast and the sea was a golden reflection of the setting sun. Suddenly something broke the surface. All we saw was a black scaly shape break the water. It had small fins on it. We couldn't see the head. It almost like putting a tire in water and rolling it - you see it moving and moving without end except in this case it would sink completely and resurface closer to shore. We stood up and got closer and the shape moved closer to shore. We were alone on the beach except for some unexpected Swedish tourist (this is in itself a rare occasion!) In true Mat Salleh style one of the guys grabbed a camera and wadded into the water while his friends shouted out instructions to him where it had moved to. As soon as the guy got almost waist deep, the rolling shape moved back into the sea.

I would think it was just some old very very large tire from some mega-truck except that I saw the scales and the fins and also it moved AWAY from the Swede when he got into the water.

4. Laughing Kid
I think it was in a small hotel in Penang. Shit budget from Nike in those days and we ended staying in a aircondless dive. We Asians get this sometimes when sleeping. You want to wake up but can't. The heavy weight on your chest and all. This time around it scared the piss out of me as when I struggled awake I heard the sound a a child's laugh drifting out the open window.

5. Dark Dream
I've travelled quite a bit and spent quite a fair bit of time in smaller older hotels. The stories are just crazy - all hotels have that ONE problem room, don't stay in rooms at the end of the corridor,etc. I've had minor stuff happen but nothing really dramatic unlike my sister and her experiances as a stewardess in the hotels of HOng Kong ( i understand the Hong Kong Hotels are the most 'active')

This one incident made me start sleeping with at least one light on in any hotel room I'm in. I think it was Bintulu. I was with Nike. We had flown in early and had a meeting later in the evening. My colleague and I checked into this small hotel. I was knackered and went to sleep.

I started dreaming and suddenly felt like I was being dragged down into some crazy black hole. I tried to wake up but couldn't. Struggling to open my eyes I saw my colleague next to me in his shorts smoking his Marlboro's. He was so bored that he had given up his Chinaman prejudices and was watching a Tamil movie on the TV.

I was being dragged further down in dreamland and suddenly was overwhelmed by a feeling of dread which kept getting darker and darker. I knew whatever was at the bottom was not Santa Claus. This I'm saying it because it's true at the expense of my manhood. At I think 23 I subconsciously called out to my mom. I felt that helpless and scared, all the while smelling the cigarette smoke and the sounds of Tamil conversation from the TV. Nothing happened and I think in Dreamland I shat my pants. Something made me call out to my grandmother who had passed away. Suddenly and almost immediately I felt something warm around me and I was gently pulled out of the darkness and into the late afternoon light of our small room. I woke up shouting at my startled colleague. We changed rooms after I told him he was a fuking cockhead for not having my back. (yeah I know it wasn't his fault)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Hanoi Here I Come!

Just got back from Singapore. Brains are mush. Too many meetings and worse - Budgets! Later I'm on the 6.30am flight to Hanoi. Thank God its for a short break and the best part is I've got nothing planned. Will figure out what to do when I get there.

5 Prizes Up for Grabs

The Site Meter on the right of the page below the toys for sale is at 4,972 now. So anyone can check it out today or tomorrow and if you're between the 5,000th to 5,005 visitor leave a comment with your position. Yes a lot of trust is going into this unsophisticated mechanism. Recap of prizes:

1. Malaysian Original Nike Jersey
2. Oil of Ulay Moisturiser
3. Rainbow Fruit Bowl (haha!)
4. Nike T-shirt
5. Hard Rock Cafe Manchester Collectible Hurricane Drink Glass. First come first serve. Also delivery free to Singapore if you are willing to wait about 2 months. Hand to hand so you'll have to meet me on my next trip there! Enjoy!

I'd like to send out my HUGE appreciation to you folks for dropping by this rant fest of random thoughts from a Neanderthal clown from Seremban.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

New Therapy Discovered I Have

Small quantities try this you must. Relaxed mind a little I find. Especially good this is after reading contracts or financial reports you have. Gift from me to you it is. Treasure it and remember me you must. Presents for my Christmas tree you must send. The personal contact details of Hannah Tan I crave.

Moments of utter childishness we need. Fresher perspective of life it gives. Best attempted after 3 pints of Guinnes you have consumed and free and silly like Jack Sparrow you feel. Trust me you must. Honest I am. Now credit card details email me you will. Include 3 numbered security code at back you must. Or else Moron I will name you.

"Dude, we need to get directions from someone else. I don't get a word he's saying and he smells of old people."
*Picture and toys property of Chindiana Trails

Monday, October 22, 2007

Animator vs Animation

Check out some simple fun for those slow moments at the office! Click on PLAY here http://alanbecker.deviantart.com/art/Animator-vs-Animation-34244097

Sunday, October 21, 2007

More Singapore

I made a mad day trip dash into Singapore on Saturday to catch up with an old friend and returned as usual still amazed at how close we are yet we're still so vastly different in mentality and outlook with our southern neighbours. Here are just some bits (besides bangers and mash readily available in most pubs and restaurants!):

A Single Dude's Boss Buys Hims a Wife!

In Malaysia they try to shaft you on EPF and start getting penny wise and calculative on working hours and public holidays but on the island down under the boss buys her still single staff a Vietnamese bride as a reward for long and loyal service! Best of all the employer takes the time to go and pick Wifey out of the lineup! Haven't read our local papers yet so this could already been picked up but go HERE for more details if you haven't read it yet.

Singaporean Men's Mags - The Flesh, The Flesh!

So nice, finally I get to see Asian hotties in all their airbrushed glory. As I've said before, with all these mags and sexpot-ness proliferating the island republic I STILL DON"T see any maniacs going around raping little girls, their daughters or the family goat.

Creating New Business/Property Hubs

The illustration above shows the super exclusive development hub of the upcoming Reflections at Keppel Bay. They just keep building and building don't they? And nothing seems to fall into disrepair. Older buildings are refurbished and the property values shoot up again. And its all tastefully or radically designed or both. Urban planing is for real and not just a phrase word thrown around like anti-missile flares. Property values are sky high (although it seems to finally have plateaued). Investment in properties can get you 50-100% returns in a year if you're lucky. Over here my little apartment has increased RM40K in 7 years. Ai-fukin-YO!

Chariots of Fire - A Twist

A nice 'remixed' version of a classic movie scene!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Bloody Hell, Ironic Innit?

Somehow I knew this was going to happen! After posting something positive about women, one of their species just reminds me there is no love lost in Love and War. Nex, you fuker, you must be gloating after this!

So, I'm just back from a bar. Old and new friends meet in a rojak of Happy Hour booze and stale peanuts. The youngest female in the group happens to be pretty and vivacious. She's hugging almost every guy there and getting closer to the one or two of the rest.

By virtue of being the agony aunt to most of the women, I know her issues. She's been treated badly in her last relationship and there was no reason that she should be enjoying the company of men at this point.

One of the younger guys seemed to like her (obviously) after her attentions. He was obviously taken up and I couldn't help asking "whassup?

"I feel like it"

"But I think he's beginning to get turned on or he's beginning to like you"

And here's the bit folks:

"That's not my problem."

It was about her. The bottom line that's always there flitting around like a flaky uncertain ghost behind every women's consciousness - that selfish assurance that the world sings to their beat.

This is what gets them what they want on a good day and also, what hurts them the most even if they can see that massive 18 wheeler of hurt hurtling towards on the Highway of Love/Expectations/Whatever...

And the games.......... the inexplicable need to make stupid, insensitive and ultimately clueless men read subtle messages after 10 jugs of watered down beer:

She walked out suddenly with one of the guys who she was hugging for the most part of the night. So the compulsory snicker session started when the dude didn't come back in. And then I get a call - " I was expecting YOU to walk me out..."

Nex, I know what you're going to say so stow it. This is so old and cliched its not even funny anymore. I've gone through all these games in my life. I've even been the guy who walked them to the car even if I wasn't supposed to be the One. It just astounds me that women, incredibly smart beings that they are can be consumed by their inane feelings of self preservation and belief.

Most guys (in an 'heng tai' environment) will not do anything to a women if his friend(s) is keen on her. There were at least 2 of them in this case. If there was some effort to respect the rules of the game among the company you keep there would be subtler ways of getting the message across. Definitely NOT flat our exhibitionism.

Oh well, i guess if we DID think alike this would be an uncomfortably boring world wouldn't it?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

DJ Klang SC Session Postponed

Just a quick notice the session by the Happy Hour DJ Klang MC scheduled tomorrow at Online Pub in Damansara Kim has been postponed indefinitely due to her work commitments.

Also update on 5,000th hit - at this rate it will be sometime next Friday. Prizes so far:

1. Rainbow Fruit Bowl - new and magical from the land of Seremban. Captures light and transmorgifies it into the colours of the rainbow!

2. Original Malaysian National Team Jersey (L) size. Declare your loayalty to fighting against the odds to regain past glories!

3. Original Nike T-shirt with some slogan on it (M size) so it can fit most women as a baju tidur

4. Oil of Ulay moisturizing cream - for the women, girls and metrosexuals among you.

All products are new and unopened from packaging except the teddy that comes as is.

*Does not include cost of shipping or delivery
**Prizes to be collected by hand in KL, Selangor or Seremban
***Whiners and moaners are not eligible to win any of these stuff!


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Women - Stuff They Do

I just came across this old draft I had done a while back. The title was Top 5 things that Women Do That Piss me Off. But since I've had a hugely gastronomic Raya weekend and we're all in the festive mood I thought I'd go all Chirpy Chipmunk today.

So these women right, frustrating and annoying creatures that they are, have their moments that makes me realize that we're lucky that they have us around in the first place.

The Top 5 list below is nothing serious verging on Tamil movie dramatics. Its just a list of things that I think women/girl folk do that I think is extremely appealing/cute/adorable. Here goes:

1. The 'I Need to Pee So Bad I'm Going to Explode' Jiggy Dance
You know this one. They' re standing outside the occupied toilet, their legs are clasped together or they're hugging themselves and they are doing the one-two step jig. What makes the picture appealing is sometimes the look on their faces - a combo of manic nervousness and surprised amusement at their own predicament!

2. When they catch themselves talking to you when they are supposed to be mad at you.
Its like the day after you forgot your anniversary. You're sitting quietly in the room because you don't want your head torn off by the remnants of her leftover Amazonian rage. She walks in and casually asks, "Did you see that idiot neighbour? Think he ran over his dog again..."

She stops.

Catches her breath.

Realizes she screwed up.

Bites her lip.

Turns to you and hisses, "Don't say anything! I'm still mad at you!" Twirls around, adds "Idiot" for good measure and marches off. But if you look out from underneath the table where you are probably hiding by now, you'll see the tiniest of smiles from the woman that still officially has a couple more hours of sulking quota to fulfill.

3. Singing and their laugh
I love it when they sing, In the shower, in the car, when they're cooking or even when they're busy tapping away on the lap top. It's the most naturally pleasant sound in the world next to the sound of a happy woman's laugh.

A woman's laugh comes from within, almost from her soul. When we laugh its almost maniacal and probably inflicted by some juvenile joke about how that dumb Mat Salleh went after that 8 foot tall transvestite near Wisma Genting, mumbling drunkenly "that's the most beautiful woman I've ever seen.". Its just a surface sound. That's why we don't do it so often unless you're the office politician. Women - its part of them, hence the sometimes unexplained giggling whenever they congregate around the water dispenser. Or maybe we just forgot to zip up that day. Damn...

4. That Uncontrollable Urge to Dance
Women and music again. They're better dancers than us especially when a pack of them get together and they're all just dancing the night away. It seems their whole bodies were made to move to rhythms and they're so happy just bopping along to any tune out there.

Guys don't do that unless we're gay or we're desperately trying to pick up that hottie in that cute little outfit. We dance like drunken camels choking on a fish bone. End of story. Full stop.

Women could go on all night, enjoying all manner of tunes from trip hop to Bon Jovi to God help us, Rihanna and her frakkin' umbrella.

5. When they get beautiful
We're so used to seeing them slightly frazzled after work, even the best business suits can't hide the weariness after a long day at work, the tired look in their eyes. On the weekends, comfort is the look for the day as they go about the business of some domestic chores or catching up with the girls at La Bodega.

Then one day you've got that wedding, that company dinner or your buddy scored you seats at some posh fund raiser at the Hilton.

It's the evening and she wonders what to wear. She puts on her make-up and brushes her long, long hair. You're sitting in the hall watching that 70's Show and she walks out from the bedroom. She's stunning in her strapless gown and she's glowing. Her hair is blown and falls perfectly around her face. The make up is just right and the lip stick is tempting. She smells of magic as she walks past hurriedly to pick up that pair of matching shoes. She's late but she doesn't care.

She puts on her shoes, grabs her purse and looks up a little unsure of herself for the first time in the evening. The vision of perfection before you then asks a little nervously, "Do I look all right?"

*some words courtesy from Mr. Clapton
** and ladies, yes, you do look wonderful every night

Monday, October 15, 2007


Inquiries on Pics of Tevez, Nani, etc
Anonymous! - Hey I couldn't trace any more pictures of the MU players at the Red Devil Airbus. Most of the AA crew have pictures but it's on their cameras but don't think they have posted anywhere for public viewing. Daniel who posted his shots from the trip did not have pics from that event. Man Utd TV filmed the event so if you do catch it wherever you are you might see some footage. AA might still use some of the shots for promotional use so watch out for it in the future.

News Reels
I added the news reels to the blog as I hardly have time to even go through the papers nowadays so figured I'd prob catch the main stuff on my blog. Strictly layan diri folks since you buggers are not buying my toys!

DJ Klang SC will be performing for one night only at Online Pub in Damansara Kim this coming Friday. The only DJ in Malaysia to specialise in Happy Hour Music! C'mon over and join the 'kudikarans'. Starts about 6 or 7pm depending on traffic.

5 acre Land for sale in Rantau, Negri Sembilan
Comes with stream and little pond. By the side of the Seremban-Rantau trunk road. Good for holiday home/hippie commune/. RM500K.

Upcoming contest for 5,000th visitor to the blog.
First prize - a beautiful Rainbow Bowl! HAHA! Ok, will look for some better prizes but don't moan if it's nothing fancy as this is STILL not a sponsored site (I'm just having fun here!) ETA in bout 2 weeks.

Sunday, October 14, 2007


Ok, this is the last bits from my latest UK trip. I was always fascinated by the works of UK street/guerrilla artist Banksy. I found a book of his works in Arndale Mall going for about 15pounds. Since it was my last day in town and 14 pounds bought me 6 Coronas I put the book down, promised to check out his stuff on the Web and happily rolled down Booze Boulevard. The picture above of the girl with balloons in on the Palestinian/Israeli West Bank wall.

His artwork is mainly graffiti based but there are some oil paintings and modern art stuff that he does. He's done stuff all over the world. They're mainly anti-war, pro freedom, anti environmental pollution, etc. Enlarge the pics for max appreciation.

Artist at work. I think this is also on the West Bank wall.

Protest against bad music - Banksy redesigned the cover and remixed Paris' songs on 500 CD's and placed them in HMV(if memory serves me right) outlets in the UK. Check out the titles on the 'new' songs in the album.

He's popular with the stencil style as it helps him work fast in normally controversial surroundings.



Flower Chucker

God gets busted

Fall of Man


Queen V

Not sure of this disturbing piece but the girl in the middle is the image taken from that famous photo during the Vietnam War where the Americans hit a village with chemical weapons. The girl was one of the few hit. Can't remember her name though. Help anyone?

UPDATED 12.27am, 15th October2007 - Thanks to Nex! The girl is Phan This Kim Phuc and it was napalm used on her village. Here's the actual picture above for reference.

Title - Crude Oil. Medium - Oil paints. Brilliant!

Window Lovers.

The Ratapult - One of my favourites. Enlarge it for its full detail and meaning. I like the cape on the 'lil feller. Can't we all just get along?

Solo, Nex and S'wak! Just for you!

Pee-ing Guard.



Water Lillies

Some may not get it but I still think these are just some of the best creative ways to get people's attention to support causes. Shock tactics will work more effectively than sugar coated Rah-rah messages that are lost in this incredibly fast paced and selfish world.

For more on the dude you can head on over to http://www.banksy.co.uk/

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Malaysian Space Program

OK, so now we're looking for another clown to fill the the reserve goalkeeper spot since we've sorta decided to send the the back-up dude into Space. I keep hearing this word - Malaysian Space Program? What the hell????? I thought the only 'space program' that Malaysians had were our local DVD pirates replicating episodes of Battlestar Galatica. What is this space program thing? Is it the groundbreaking study of how to fly tourists into space on a lower budget that Branson's Virgin Galactic's efforts? Oh well at least Dr and soon to be Datuk Sheikh is from Negri Sembilan. Apo nak di kato eh wot old chap? Haha!

Anyway Han Solo covered the launch in Baikanor and you guys can check out some of her experiance and pics of the town HERE and HERE.


I'd like to wish all my Muslim friends a very HAPPY HARI RAYA AIDIL FITRI! I hope all of you guys out there get to enjoy a stress free holiday over the long weekend.

Lets keep cool in the expected traffic snarl up along the highways and especially lets ALL switch on our Spider Senses on the trunk roads of the Malaysia for that crazy potentially deadly combo of slow kampung drivers, speeding trucks, stupid cub chai riders and narrow pot holed filled roads - better than Grand Theft Auto!

To Raya celebrants in the Seremban, Nilai and KL area please bring out your best roti jala please. The Chindian is on his way!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Place, Manchester

The Place service apartments on Ducie Street in Manchester is one of the most unique places I've stayed in in Manchester. Of course I've had both ends of the spectrum having stayed at the Lowry Hotel (creme de la creme - approx 300 pounds per night) to the sorta functional effectiveness of the Portland Street Travel Lodge (approx 50 pounds per night).

I love it because this over 100 year old building which during World War 2 served as a warehouse for munitions and weapons has been lovingly given a new lease of life. The classic exterior houses an interior of tasteful steel and glass.

The apartments we booked were going at a rate of 200 pounds a night with 2 rooms. With the extremely Mat Salleh sized couches you could fit in a max of 2 couples and 2 more in the place.

All apartments vary a little in size and layout but you get the picture. Comes with washer, dryer, full kitchen appliances and most surprisingly to Malaysians, a full set of cutlery that hadn't been nicked!

Wide enough ledges to sit at the window with a good bottle of wine and some Marvin Gaye in the background. Although the view will probably be a drunk Englishman trying to piss in the nondescript canal out back.

The sizes of the beds were a little weird - about one and half of a queen size. Definitely not for sharing for those who roll around the bed like injured Italian footballers.

Its 7 minutes walk to Piccadilly Park and about 10 to Arndale Mall and about 15 minutes to the Hard Rock and the Eye of Manchester. I think I've found my base in Manchester the next time I hit town on business. Highly recommend.

Note - our bus driver warned us against walking right of the hotel entrance as there were some know troublemakers hanging around that area at nights.

Malaysian Angkasawan 2

"Komrade Kommander, the Malaysian says he's heading home because you won't let him have his Gudang Garam after his dinner."*

*Yeah lame I know, but I still think this is a dumbass idea and the pic has nothing to do with the Malaysian space tourist mission.
**Picture courtesy of Astronomy Pic of the Day.
Go HERE for more great shots from Astronomy Picture of the Day.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Malaysian Angkasawan

Watch out Extraterrestrials! Malaysians are heading towards space! Watch out for rampant tissues and plastic water bottles flung out the airlock, inconsiderate queue jumping in hyperspace and the sudden erection of intergalactic toll collection booths.

I'm sorry, maybe it's because I'm an ignorant Neanderthal but I see no rational reason for us to send some pretty boy into space. A Malaysian in space is as appropriate as a one legged albino frog doing the polka in the middle of the Federal Highway. Maybe we have new experiments to conduct on biotechnology, the study of mass produced plasma screen TVs in zero gravity or maybe just to stake out new territory to plant our optical disc factories?

At least we can say the nation sent up the first space tourist in Asia.

"OK, hang a left at that asteroid. They serve pretty decent Synthetic Engineered Nazee Lemak Special. But honestly, no one accepts Malaysian Ringgits in this galaxy."

*Picture and toys property of Chindiana Trails

Monday, October 8, 2007

Manchester Scenes

This is my fourth time in Manchester and every time I find myself short of time to steal a couple of hours and head towards the Lake District. Only diff this time around I had the digital camera and managed to hook up with AirAsia pilots Suresh and Kelvin which had me going to the clubs which I had long avoided.

Manchester as a city is fascinating as the classic buildings share space with tastefully designed glass and steel structures sometimes growing symbiotically together. Yeah and I didn't have time to shoot any of these new buildings for comparison.

So here's a quick look at my fourth tour of duty in the city of Manchester.

A jeweller near the Arndale mall. Basically the only area I hung out at, like an overfed sloth(what the???sorry...)

Manchester Chinatown, just off Portland Street. Thanks to Chung Han, the Lord of the London Roast Duck we found ourselves dragged to Chinatown two days in a row by the AirAsia financial advisor to the Boss. The Great Wall restaurant has some decent Chinese grub and the best part some of the waiters were Malaysian. Word to the homies...

So the stretch that became our haunt was the Piccadilly Park area, Arndale Mall and around the corner to the Printworks building that housed clubs and the Manchester Hard Rock Cafe.

Dudes played everyday. The dancer was especially most excellent and the best part was that he was enjoying himself. Must have had some good weed.

Piccadilly Park.

Sir Matt Busby

Sir Matt and some women in red uniforms

As usual the girls from the AirAsia attracted eyeballs everywhere they went.

Interior of the Man Utd/Nike Mega Store

Old Trafford.

Here is a place only available to Sponsors and invited guests. Off limits and high security. The Man Utd training facility in Carrington is located in a typically English countryside. The road is sadwiched between green fields with the odd grazing horse. The road ends in a one lane dirt track that stops at a security barrier. No entry unless you've got an invite. And we had one!

The indoor turf pitch of the MU Academy.

MyTeam vs the Ron Atkinson Academy at the Manchester United Academy.

Final score .....Watch the show la. Heh!

And the best part was when Big Ron Atkinson turned up to watch his boys. For you women and Chung Han, Mr. Atkinson was the coach at United before Sir Alex blustered in.

A Virgin lands in Manchester.

This was a 20 foot steel tiger that was lurking in the Tigetiger club in Printworks. Drinking anecdotes - When we ordered a bottle of vodka, we got stunned looks from the waitress. "Excuse me but I'll have to ask my manager.." Seems Mat Sallehs over there buy shots only. Also you can't order a Flaming Lamborghini because its a fire hazard!!!! Can see them living it up there..Also - they don't accept 50 pound notes in clubs- seems they're easily forged. And you can't wear football jerseys into clubs. Fair enough because of the fiercely clannish club loyalties that lie there.

Ahh...the Birdcage. This tranny was trying a buzzsaw on a metal plate tied around 'her' crotch.

The Birdcage stage area - awesome music and an even better sound system. I found myself dancing to Tiffany's "I think we're alone now"! Yes, kill me now please...

The 'ladies' come out to play.

So what if the food was rubbish and the weather turned hot and cold faster than a 40 year old tease, I love how they have given new life to all the old buildings. Buildings that have been restored lovingly. Something lost in our own silly notion of "industrialized nation" where our homes and offices begin to look like abused Lego blocks of a 4 year old.

I love their music! I could leave the radio on in the apartment and the best part I didn't know any of the bands save the Bodyrockers and Amy Winehouse who had their latest singles on and I don't mean the Hitz.fm version of "brand new" - shit old and mouldy. There were bands on that just made me bop about and when the DJ went "yes folks, only made in England today" I said a silent prayer to the Gods of Hope to give Mawi some decent talent and Jaclyn Victor the ability to sing in Mandarin. I realised that we're really being polluted by music from folks who don't know what's out there. They're just playing songs that the already lost record labels are feeding them. Oooo...ranting about music now.
Sorry, Manchester - nice place - go for a game, take the stadium tour, shop at Primark and TK Maxx -Almost Malaysian prices. If you've got time head to the stunning beauty of the Lake district. If you're a woman - just hang out at the Arndale Mall area and you're sorted. The Mat Sallehs are a little gruff but turn on the Malaysian charm and you're in like Flynn. Just don't go around declaring loudly that you're a Liverpool supporter.

The company made this trip fun. Rudy and the girls Andrea and Tisha were game for anything, Suresh and Kelvin were the first AirAsia pilots i hung out with during work, Ethan and Daniel spoilt me in the service apartment, constantly keeping it well stocked with food and drinks and even cooking the occasional pasta for me and of course the Lord of London Roast Duck, Chung Han added the element of unpredictability with his fetish for Roast Duck rice and the high he would be on after going through a couple of plates. Well worth the over 45 total hours I spent on the plane!