Friday, 18 April 2008

the singapore experience - day 3

you can see the pattern by now - up early, eat, go to pool, train, back to hostel. we spent an extra hour at the pool today, but otherwise it's business as usual by now.
big lunch back at hostel, then rest because we are playing with/against the locals this evening. we are hoping they will point us in the direction of a new food destination after the pool session. Whilst Newton Food Market is entertaining we have a very low tolerance for repetitive amusements and the old guy with the sunnies is, quite frankly, starting to bore us.

will report on this evening tomorrow.

report continues...

we went to queenstown pool last night - also outdoors - and played a 10 minute game against local tough guys. fairly predictable 1-way traffic. then we played a couple of minutes against ourselves because locals wanted to see what sort of damage we did to each other for fun.

after that we all split up to do some simplae coaching stuff. forwards gave forwards tips on how to make backs look silly, backs huddled in an oily group and concocted dark schemes on how to foil the balletic grace of the forwards: a fruitless endeavour, but we let them dream.

john managed to become the first casualty on the trip by gashing his knee on a broken tile. 3 stitches and a slight limp, but no lasting damage. mainly cosmetic.

lau pa sat food market, with singaporean uwh crowd afterwards. it was about 9.45pm when we rocked in there and the place seemed to be pretty much shutting up for the night. kind of strange for singapore in general and stranger still for a friday night. we finished up around 11ish and then struggled to find taxis to get home. many of the drivers weren't interested in fares that weren't heading in the direction of their home. so in the the end as soon as a driver stopped to hear our destination, someone jumped in the cab whilst others piled bags into the boot. 3 more burly lads climbed into the cab and driver had no optin but to take us where we wanted to go - home to bed.

mostly the same stuff again planned for day 4.

the singapore experience - day 2

another early start - the restaurant downstairs opens for business at 7.15am. it's a buffet and open season for our crew.

off to pool again at 9am. more of the same stuff there: heat, training, games.
back to hotel and walk-throughs of some stuff in the ankle deep kids pool at the hostel.

lunch was a school outing to tang plaza on orchard rd. at basement level next to the mrt entry is a small enclave of foodstalls that blows any food hall in Nz into the weeds. we were able to try all manner of local dishes for a $ or 2 a pop. probably everyone spent way more than they realised scoffing down everything on offer. happy, greasy fingers and faces. good times.

after lunch guys scattered to do their own thing. SOME went looking for local red light district. strictly looking, but absolutely certain they needed to see how it compared to amsterdam. John, Benson & I got the mrt to a very cool mall that only deals in electronic stuff. and prices are actually marked on the products [unlike orchard rd].

guys need regular watering and fodder so dinner was early and back to Newton Food Market to try the things we hadn't had on wednesday night or at lunch.

team fine session was held at 9pm. Darren missed the session because he was visiting relatives and unaware of the meeting. not a good enough excuse for a jury of his peers and he was duly fined for being absent.

the singapore experience - day 1

everyone pretty nuked after travel. dinner at hostel then off to bed. new adventures await us...

up pretty early for most as we adjust to changed time zone, big feed at hostel then off to pool at 9am.
arrive at pool nice and early and get given whatever we ask for. marvellous stuff.
Reuben [sun smart ambassador for WCC] decides that it is a diferent sun from the star which gently heats NZ with it's radiance and as he has loads of free sunblock at home, he isn't gonna use any here. a mistake.
however, despite liberal applications of SPF15, most go shades of pink & red because... the pool is oudoors. in the tropics. and we are gallivanting around in speedos in the middle of the day.
pool is very warm too. lovely place to play and train. but loads of water is needed poolside. in a shady spot.

after pool the guys decide they need to experience orchard road and an expedition is mounted to same. everyone does their own thing - which mostly consists of struggling from one air-conditioned mall to another.
Not a lot of shopping actually done. Pig buys a pile of local lollies which are probably just coloured sugar. i am sure he is completely content.

at dinner time we all went to Newton Food Market. hawkers going crazy every 5 paces trying to get you to sit at certain tables and buy seafood dishes at high prices. good entertainment, good food too. best event of evening is an old boy who comes past the table and lifts and opens his shirt [like a flasher] to reveal about 2 dozen pairs of knock-off sunglasses for sale. he asks Rowan for $45 for some fake ray-bans. Rowan plays with him a bit and decides to offer/insult him with a counter-offer of $15. which the old boy accepts in a flash. sold. Rowan suckered. Before giving him the glasses the old guy carefully removes the ran-ban sticker off the lenses and sticks it onto another pair. Rowan's flash new sunnies do not have Ray-Ban marked on them anywhere.
Everyone slurps down loads of fresh juice drinks and, naturally, Pig orders and wolfs down a truly horrific looking local desert.

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

on the road - episode 1

location = singapore
local time = almost 6am

everyone and their luggage arrived here in good condition.
naturally air nz told us when had no ticket details when we rocked up to wellington airport. despite checking in 4.5 hours before the akl-snl leg of the trip started i was told there were no window seats available. how early do you need to check in nowadays?

local conditions in singapore are sticky, to put it mildly.
28 deg C, raining. like being in rotorua swimming pool. i mean IN the pool. euurgh.

most of team are in a dorm room here, sharing with a few young guys from howick college. sadly John, Bryan & I are 4 floors above them in a room with private ablution facilities. we will miss out on all the jolly japes and shared esprit that the hostel room chaps are sharing, but we are tough men and will bear it stoically.

a few emails with with good wishes from past team-mates. AJ, Perry & Andrew Sanders. thanks for those guys - i can now use the blog to not name and shame everyone else.

as soon as i can nab a few cameras i'll get some of the guys photos on here.