Sunday, June 04, 2006

Myself with a Hunting Rifle Posted by Picasa

Was digging through my archives and managed to pull this picture that we took when we went to Rizal's 'ladang', malay for ranch. Now, this was like in 2000 when Rizal decided to invite a few of us over to the ladang to have a relaxing day away from the city life.

The moment Rizal mentioned ladang, the first thing that went through our minds was that it would be away from civilization and it would be a typical village place that we'd imagine. The journey there was more of a stunt rather than a convoy. Rizal, who was leading the convoy had a trail of like 4 cars behind him on the way there. Everytime he changed lanes, our convoy snaked throughout the highway. It was hilarious!

After an hour's drive, we eventually got there. The first time we set eyes on this place, it was not your typical 'ladang'. This place had proper electricity, plumbing and even airconditioning! We were all thrown off balance when we saw this. Believe it or not, the place has a water heater for the shower. Where was the simple life?

Well, his parents had his maid tag along, bringing a whole supply of food enough to feed the army. We had different types of seasoned meat, sausages, buns, chicken and enough charcoal to keep burning for weeks. My gosh, we were really spoilt for choice, and not to mention comfort. Now, the first thing that we noticed when we got in was that there were three holy Qurans sealed in a glass casing on the three walls of the house. Chee Peng, had to go and ask loudly, "Hey, why are there three? And why are they sealed?" All of us just ignored him and treated as if we didn't hear anything he said. It was there for obvious reasons. When you are in a jungle clearing, there are obvious spirits roaming about, just that we don't disturb them, they will do the same and not disturb us.

Rizal's cousin Natasha had brought alone her Italian friend who was boasting that he has been to the Amazon jungles and brought along his hiking boots. One thing about this place was that the worst thing to get you are not the mosquitoes but the leeches. They went trekking with the caretaker, to check out the durian plantation. I was not going to venture there, I'm not much of an outdoor person. Plus, I was put in charge of getting the fire started for the BBQ. The Italian dude was pretty shocked that this was quite a thick jungle. When the guys told him that this was not a jungle, but a ranch, the dude got pretty shocked. Clearly, he has not seen the Malaysian rainforest. He took a parang, Malay for machete, and in they went. When the caretaker stopped for a smoke, those fellas just stood there and looked around. Now, Ducky a.k.a. Kelvin was smart and he did not stand in one place long, same went for Chee Peng. They were scouts before so, going into the plantation was nothing new for them. The Italian dude did as the caretaker did. He just stood there and did nothing. Just looking around the forest, just observing. They continued walking and when they came across a wasps' nest, they immediately ran. The Italian dude threw the parang to them and ran back to the house for cover. Next thing he noticed when he took off his boots was that his legs were all covered with leeches. Really took him a while to get all the leeches off. Ducky and Chee Peng were lucky to get back unscathed. When they asked the caretaker why he didn't get sucked by any leeches, he pointed to a can of mosquito repellant. Apparently he had sprayed his legs full of it before going trekking. Smart.

Oh well, there were a lot of stupid things that happened during the trip. There was a run in with a scare crow that Chee Peng still swears today that it exists in the ladang. Now, according to him he saw this scare crow, dressed in white with long hair and has a rope tied to it so that when someone pulled it, it would move. He was shocked when he saw it and then just dismissed it off as a scare crow. We verfied this with Rizal and according to him, there is no scare crow and there has never been. So, what did Chee Peng see? Until today, we still do not know what it was. Just that it was something that only he himself saw. Honestly, neither of us wanted to know anyway.

A Night Out in Hard Rock KL

So, Merv decided that dinner would be a burgers. What sort of burgers? I was thinking that he wanted to go for Chilli's. How wrong I was...

Well, instead of driving down, we decided to take a cab there. HRC was located along Jalan Sultan Ismail, right next to Concorde hotel. We got in and was told that the waiting list was about 45 minutes long. Thanks to Wan Yee's bro, who has the All Access card, a seat was made available to us within 5 minutes. Sweet.

You know, in all the years that it's opened in KL, this was the first time that I've been there. The first thing that I noticed in HRC was not the wall plaques filled with the autographs of celebraties, but the amount of Americans in the place. Everywhere you looked, there was an American. At first I thought that it was close to Ampang, and there was the embassy there. However, upon closer observation I noticed that the spotted Navy haircuts. Most looked like servicemen and thanks to today's newspapers we confirmed that there was a ship in town, the USS Ronald Reagan.

Now, back to that burger. The moment he mentioned that he wanted burger, he wanted the legendary HRC 10 oz burger. Yes, the whole 10 oz burger that you'd get in any HRC restaurant in any part of the world. Man, I could've sworn that it was too much. It was delicious, a whole 10 oz beef patty, coupled with two slices of cheddar cheese, a piece of bacon, tomatoes, lettuce and in the middle of the cheese there was a slice of deep fried onion ring. It's served in the good ol' old American style, with fries. I was having second thoughts, and after eating it halfway through, I felt very full. That's going to be the first and the last time I try this. It's just too much to eat and I just had problems walking after that.

Throughout the night there Merv was commenting how many celebrity lookalikes he saw, there was a Michael Rosenbaum who plays Lex Luthor in Smallville. Then there was this dude who I pointed out that looked like P.Diddy, with the bling-blings and the Gucci sunglasses. There was a Sean Paul lookalike at the DJ booth, I figured, he was a local. Unless, Sean Paul was really in town and I didn't know about it. Finally there was this dude who looked like Charles Barkley. I would say, that night, 50% of the crowd were Americans.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

My Wira Posted by Picasa

Ducky's Second Childhood

OK. Just met up with Ducky a.k.a. Kelvin or better known as 'Ah Ngap' in Cantonese. Yeap, he loves roast duck so much that we've decided to name him Ducky. Got an sms from Adrian asking to meet up in Dallas's house in Taman Desa. They were meeting up for drinks. I could not recall how to get there, so I just waited at a Shell petrol station there. Got there, waited for like 10 mins, then all of a sudden a white Wira pulls up in front of me, gave a honk and the next thing I knew, Ducky and gang were inside.

Now, I didn't notice an intercooler in front and it sounded noisy and looked lowered. Ok, I thought, he must've picked up a standard Wira or something. So he pulls up and parks the car next to me and I looked in to the dash board. I asked him, what the heck are those meters for, to look nice? He revs the car, and it gives a suttle hiss from the blow off valve. OK, our dear Ducky got himself a Wira with a 1.8 GSR engine. The next thing that flashed by my mind was that he's gotten himself to relive his childhood.

I think I should explain this part a little further. Now, back then, I had a Wira with a 1.8 GSR. Chee Peng, had a Wira with a 2.0 VR4 engine. Our cars looked pretty much identical accept for the fact that his was gold and had as little bodykits as possible. Mine on the other hand was fitted with a huge wing and an Evo III replica bodykit. Adrian on the other hand had a Ford Telstar with a B8, which we nicknamed "black bitch". So the three of us had our share of highway terror/horror stories, while Ducky maintained that he did not need to buy a turbo car. Mind you, this was all 5 years ago.

So, there we were, joking about Ducky's newly bought car. What was his gf gonna say about it? He's pretty confident he'll get away with it. Good luck to you on that Ducky!

Lately, I have developed a habit of watching Top Gear, where Jeremy Clarkson tests a lot of supercars. He's had to struggle with a lot of oversteer to keep the car from running off the track. I said to Ducky yesterday, "Where Jeremy Clarkson struggles with oversteer, you my friend are going to suffer with a lot of understeer!" Yes, front wheel drive turbo cars are pretty fast on the straight line. Come to the corner, the car just refuses to turn!

Oh well, I guess Ducky's just reliving his childhood. For me, will I ever buy another front wheel drive turbo car? Hmmm, that's a tough one. They've been coming up with a lot of good ones lately. Take a look at the VW GTI Golf, the Astra turbo, the Megane turbo and the Ford Focus ST (which Clarkson calls the Sanitary Towel and reckons it should be named the Asbo). All European marques, all equipped with turbo and may I add, lots of torque plus understeer! Surprisingly, many motoring journalists have tested the VW, and they are amazed with how the car handles. These European marques have redefined the 'turbo hot-hatches'. I think it'll be a matter of time before the Japanese comes up with something to counter this. So far, they've come up with the new Mazda 6 turbo, that's coming out sometime late this year. However, that's a 4WD, which means it's in WRX/Evo territory.

Alright Ducky, have fun with your toy and don't get yourself killed.