Sunday, 9 January 2011

A-S-E-A-N Action - it's FAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANTastic...sorta...


And a good evening to you from across the globe after another GREAT DAY in the Lion City. 4 days in, and I can still confirm that I am the tallest man in Asia. Seriously - I think I've seen one cat taller than me the ENTIRE time I've been here. I'm starting to feel like Thor.

So Sammy the Bull woke up at 8:30 this morning fresh as rain and fit as a fiddle. I banged around on the computer, had some brekkie, and chatted with Poppa Bear before rolling over to the gym for the Sunday workout. I was less than stellar, but I did manage to lift some weights and log 35 minutes on the stationary bike. Actually, I need to come clean, when I say lift weights, I mean I literally did 4 different exercises for a total of 20 minutes, including 2 sets of bench press using ONLY THE BAR. Seriously - that damn thing is heavy. Any chance it's 45 kilos instead of pounds? Yeah, I didn't think so either, but I had to ask...

But seriously, 2 things from the gym today:

1. While I was on the bike, I noticed a gal beside me pedaling at the rate of about 1 cycle a minute - NO JOKE. When I looked at her, I noticed that her EYES WERE CLOSED. Honestly, if she were moving any slower, I'd have sworn she was dead and it was just reflex taking over. She did this for TWENTY MINUTES WITHOUT SPEEDING UP A BIT. It was mind-blowing to watch - I mean, you have to work REALLY HARD to put forth that little of an effort. Much to learn, have I...

2. So just like American TV copies British television, so does Asian television follow American hits. This works fine for things like CSI (although their show, called "Counterpoint," is TERRIBLE) and The Amazing Race, but now they have announced the Asia version of "The Biggest Loser." Seriously? SERIOUSLY? EVERYONE HERE WEIGHS LESS THAN 100 POUNDS - THERE'S NOTHING TO LOSE. No joke - they have another show called "The last 10 pounds," and I swear the entire group competing would have been classed as "the peak of fitness" in the states. Amazing...

Also, in a rather fortunate/unfortunate turn of events (depending on how you look at it), I made a startling discovery today. Attached to our building (and I mean TEN STEPS from the condo) is a place called "Hog's Breath Australian Steakhouse." And whilst I'm pretty sure they flat STOLE that name from Key West, the menu boasts a key item: ALL DAY EVERY DAY HAPPY HOUR - DRAFT BEER FOR $5. That, sports fans, is THE CHEAPEST beer in the Sing, and it's the closest bar to us. I must confess that I had one at lunch - once it hits your lips, it's so guuuuuuuuuuuuuud (peppy cheekies)...

The feature event of the day, however, was at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. What was the activity, you ask? An Asian Professional Basketball League game! That's right - GOAT RODEO. Seriously, this was a hoot - Muffin, I'm sorry, but we WILL be going to the playoffs. :-)

Today's game pitted the Singapore Slingers (original, huh) vs. the Brunei Barracudas. I had NO IDEA what to expect, as the website billed this as "the hottest ticket in town." I must tell you - this did NOT disappoint. Key highlights:

1. I show up to buy tickets and ask: "What do you have left?" She looks at me like I'm from Mars, rings up the most expensive ticket in the house ($14 USD), and puts me SEVENTH ROW CENTER COURT. Incidentally, I was all by myself on that row until 2 fourteen year old Asian girls dropped in next to me and spent the entire game trying to figure out what on earth was going on.

2. Singapore billed their roster as "local Singaporean talent with key selected exports." Translation: "We have 4 Americans who we paid good money to come over here and dunk, and we have a token Singaporean who will never touch the ball in the starting lineup." Seriously - we didn't see an all Singaporean lineup until late in the 4th quarter after the game was over, and the commentator actually screamed into the mike, "It's an ALL-SINGAPORE team on the floor - make some noise!!!"

3. And speaking of the commentator - he was about 22 and WEARING JEANS. Oh, and what's more - HE TALKS THE ENTIRE GAME. Seriously - it's not just "Jackson for 2" - this dude gives COMPLETE commentary. I mean, are we not WATCHING THE SAME GAME?

4. There are 5 cheerleaders, and they are practically naked. Conservative country my ass - these gals were 1 step shy of being in their birthday suits.

5. There was a guy in the crowd who SCREAMED at the refs the entire time. I mean this cat was PASSIONATE about it. He was a big, overweight white dude, and he actually presented an award at halftime (he's the Senior VP of UPS-Asia). While he was out there, the jean-wearing commentator asked him: "Sir, you're at every game. Is it your passion for the Slingers or just a love of basketball?" His response: "I just like seeing UPS on the jerseys." I mean really? REALLY? DOOOOOOOOONKEEEEEEEEEEY!

6. Speaking of sponsors, Singapore had a bunch. Brunei had NOTHING. And when I say nothing, I mean NOTHING. They only dressed 7, and I am NOT JOKING when I say that I could have started for those guys. It was car crash television to watch them play.

7. I'm pretty sure the officials had never actually SEEN a basketball before, and the game was called HOPELESSLY one sided. It didn't really make a difference, however, as the St. Ignatius Middle School JV girls team could have beaten Brunei.

8. The final score was 103-61, but it could have been 200-5 if Singapore had left their starters in. The scary thing is that they weren't that good either.

I honestly think this could become a new pasttime - start going to other countries and watching basketball games. This win got the Slingers in the playoffs - who's excited? THIS GUY!!!!!

After the game I decided to walk home, which was GREAT in theory until, after hugging the marina shore for 15 minutes, I realized THERE WAS NO BRIDGE TO THE OTHER SIDE. Oh well, I got a little exercise. I also got POURED ON for the 4th time today. Wet season - gotta love it.

Dinner tonight was in little India, which was CRAZY, as it was FILLED with people. Seriously - I really DID feel like it was Mumbai, but we ate at a great little joint, where I tried a dry chicken rubbed in spices. Terri and Jackie (another teammate - this one from Portland) joined me, and it made for a good evening. And muffin - this will shock you, I know - but I opted for ice tea instead of Kingfisher. What has become of me?

Okay, it's now time to settle down for the evening and watch "From Paris with Love." Don't make fun of me - it was a free rental from the gym.

That's all the news that's fit to print. Back to the grind tomorrow - chat then!


Sam and (probably not yet awake in the A-T-L but curled up in a ball face down with her head off the pillow) Jenny

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