fiona

That just sounds downright dodgy eh? Heh. This photo was taken at around 3 am in the morning. There’s a rather funny story about how we got here from drinks at Orchard Road in Singapore.

…rewind to about 8 hours earlier

peranakan place

I met up with Fiona for dinner – it turns out that she lives quite near my sister’s apartment in Simei. Thus, we met at Eastpoint Mall. She got there about the same time I did and called me saying she doesn’t know if she’s at the right entrance – it’s at the place where there’s a lot of lingerie.

lingerie

I pretty much knew where that was since I came to the mall the day before with my parents to the supermarket downstairs. :)

Anyway, Fiona is a flight attendant and I’ve known her since her words of encouragement when I was being all emo and shit after the last relationship I was in. I haven’t actually met her though so I only have a vague idea of how she looked like from my Facebook account.

alley bar singapore

We took a cab to Orchard Road and told the taxi we didn’t have any destination in mind, so he dropped us off somewhere near…er, I can’t actually remember. I know we walked for a bit and checked out the drinking holes around the Peranakan Place area before settling on Alley Bar.

pulled pork burger

It has the most awesome pork burger ever! It’s called the BBQ Pulled Pork Burger and it’s a juicy and tender mess of 5 hours of smoked pork shoulder smothered in barbecue sauce, topped with a whole jalapeno chili pepper.

Fiona had a bite and she concurred. Actually eating it is a messy affair – it’s like a sloppy joe except it’s not made with minced meat but rather loose meat. It’s the best pork burger I’ve had to date! I’ll need to save up for cosmetic surgery if I continue eating food like this. How much does liposuction or abdominoplasty cost nowadays anyway?

sloppy joe

We were seated outside at a place simply called Outdoors – Peranakan Place has three distinct areas built around a real Peranakan settlement. Outdoors is the al fresco zone which is a “Designated Smoking Area” (damn Singaporean laws) and there’s also Acid Bar and Alley Bar, which is the main place.

There’s a live band playing – the music is piped to Outdoors for those who’re not inside, loved this cover of Radiohead’s Creep.

I had two pints of Erdinger Beer – there are two, one dark and one white. The “dark” one is Pikantus and the “light” Weissbier. We were eating, drinking and talking and it was around 11:30 pm when the subject somehow changed to pool and Fiona found a place that’s open until 3 am.

dodgy singapore

We walked down the opposite direction at first before the GPS on her phone told us we’re heading the wrong way so we turned back. The pool place is at Concorde Hotel – somehow that place looks really seedy, it’s full of KTV hostess bars and dodgy characters loitering about who look like they would totally mug you if this was Malaysia instead of Singapore. HAHAHA

It turns out that Fiona is quite good at pool. I wouldn’t say that she kicked my ass but it was a really close thing. Tomatoe tomato.

fiona pool

Speaking of asses, Fiona is left handed, which I didn’t notice until we were playing. I was standing behind her trying to see how she plays. I thought she would think that I was checking out her butt. It turns out that she didn’t, she’s probably used to people ogling at her as cabin crew. :p

See what I did there? smirk

It’s a masterful (wah damn syoik sendiri) way of neither confirming nor denying the statement, just like how Israel’s nuclear ambiguity works, except bombs and butts are two very different things.

Anyway, they don’t sell beer inside, and we were alternately playing pool and 9 ball before I suggested we head to the 7-Eleven outside to get some. It wasn’t a 7-11, it’s a similar concept called Cheers (how apt) and I told her to just scull the 500 ml can before we head inside. It’s a strong beer at 9% and you don’t exactly drink it for the taste.

fiona apprehensive

Look at Fiona’s apprehensive face! ;)

I think we spent more than the 5 minutes we told the pool hall clerk we’ll be away outside, downing that beer and smoking in the rather unusual backdrop of closed shops, dark segments and KTV bars.

broken dreams

We went and played until it was nearly three before heading out for more beer. This time we brought it inside using Fiona’s bag, and using the same to discreetly conceal the two cans by putting it behind and out of sight. That was the first picture. Smart.

The place was supposed to close at 3 am but we were still playing so the clerk started cleaning up. I don’t think he cared about the alcohol anyway, we were the only customers in there at the time. Thanks for the beers Fiona! :)

scull

It was 4:30 am when we finally shared a cab home. I could only spare one night coz I’m here for my mom so I only went out once. I had a lot of fun, one of the more memorable night outs in a long time despite only getting two hours of sleep two nights in a row to wake up for church. Say hi to Fiona if you see her while flying!

chillax

I love to chill out just as much as the next guy. Lying down on the couch, just kicking back and watching TV series or reading. In fact, I can be so sedentary I’m almost vegetative. When I’m in the chillax zone, you sometimes have to poke me with a stick to see if I’m still alive. smirk

Heck, most of the exercise I get is finding where I parked my car in the shopping mall parking lot. They can be really confusing…

parking

…which is why I always take a photo before I leave my car.

However, that’s no way to live. Exercise is very important. I’ll give you one good reason:

You expect people to look good before you’ll label them “hot”. The beautiful people get all the attention. Well, do you want to be the person that never gets noticed or the one that gets all the double takes and half-whispered “I’ll totally hit that” comments?

gym

I live in a condo so I have a lot of usual facilities available right where I stay. There’s a full fledged gym but something about stationary bikes and treadmills doesn’t really appeal to me. I admit. I’m lazy. I even go so far as to use the #1 excuse for not exercising:

I don’t have time.

It doesn’t take a lot of time to exercise. You just need to get your cardio going for about 20 minutes to reap the benefits. I’ve been hitting the swimming pool at the roof almost every day for about 3 months now. It started out being a bit of a chore but the trick is to keep going at it.

pool

I like swimming. I just don’t like the idea of “wasting time” while I’m swimming. However, ever since I started about 3 months back, I’ve noticed that my mind has become clearer. I can think while I’m swimming. A flood (no pun intended) of ideas usually go through my mind when I’m doing laps and some of them are my best ones.

It turned out not to be a waste of time at all.

clothes

Furthermore, it’s so easy to do it. You just need to get into a routine. For me, it’s:

  • Change into my Speedos
  • Wrap a towel around myself
  • Put on a t-shirt
  • Grab my keycard
  • Head up the lift
  • Hit the swimming pool

I find it personally rewarding to swim coz after a while you get an endorphin rush.

me gusta

Regular exercise has been proven to help reduce stress. It’s the primary reason why I do it. I also like to swim coz you exercise all the muscle groups in the body and it makes it easier for you to fall asleep at night. It helps with my insomnia. #truestory

infinity pool

However, motivation can be a big issue for people who’ve just started exercising. I know. I’ve stopped and gave myself a thousand excuses before going at it seriously this past 3 months. I feel better, healthier and generally more happy.

It requires iron will and discipline though…sometimes I literally have to force myself to walk out of my place and take the lift to the swimming pool. I’ll be protesting all the way until I hit the water…and then it’s all good. Just remember that.

swimcam
Swimcam (TM)

However, if you need a bit of a push, try getting a friend to go exercise together. You can also ask someone who’s better than you to be a “pacer” e.g. they set the pace and you have to follow. It really helps get through the times when you just want to to do nothing.

Setting targets and recording your successes are very important too. I swim at least an hour now, two on weekends. I started out by swimming barely 20 minutes before I got out. You really feel an accomplishment when you start feeling the need to go exercise instead of giving yourself excuses. It’s true! It will happen at some point – you’ll want to exercise and crave for it after regular, daily exercise.

swim

You can choose whatever is the most convenient for you. I swim because I like it and it’s just upstairs so I can follow my schedule and hit the pool every day. You can choose to jog or walk if that’s easier or more enjoyable for you. There’s also a show called Sihat 1 Malaysia hosted by Fahrin Admad with health advice like healthy eating and psychical exercise. It also features the latest celebrities – Siti Saleha, Chef Zaidah, Ifa Raziah and more sharing their stories and personal health tips. Head on over to http://gayahidupsihat.my for more!

The physical and psychological health benefits, you’ll know for yourself after a while. The other benefits? Well, prepare to have people comment on how much weight you’ve lose or how much healthier you look now. :)

morning swim

I hit the pool every other day for my morning swim. It’s just the condo swimming pool upstairs so I only need to grab my towel and head up to the top level. It’s pretty convenient.

I love swimming – the refreshing feeling of a dip in the pool at around 7 am when the sun is just coming up is incomparable. I’ve been doing longer and longer laps in the pool to build up my stamina and get the cardiovascular action going. I’m trying to exercise more and swimming is something I’ve always enjoyed since I was a kid.

You use muscles from your entire body when you’re swimming so it’s a pretty solid workout. However, I sometimes overdo it and get muscle cramps or aches. I tend to go all out when I’m just about to climb out of the pool – I’m swim hard and fast and usually end up with sore muscles.

tiger balm plaster pool

It usually happens on the calf muscles for me. I’ll just slap on a Tiger Balm Cool Plaster after I towel myself dry.

I have made it a habit to bring one of those up together with my towel. It’s important to completely dry yourself before putting on the plasters. It shouldn’t be applied on wet skin.

tiger balm swimming

The best thing about the plasters is that it comes in two sizes – the large ones are good for the bigger muscle bundles, but sometimes you just need pain relief in a small area, like my calf.

I’ve shown how to apply the awesome additional adhesive in the previous post but what I haven’t mentioned is that it’s not actually necessary to do that. The additional adhesive helps in areas which move a lot e.g. elbows, knees, joints etc but for regular applications, the Tiger Balm Plaster itself will do a great job in sticking on your skin.

tiger balm pool

I just love opening up one of the packs, the smell of the time trusted Tiger Balm formulation is refreshing. The small plasters are just the right size for muscle aches in the smaller muscle groups you strain while swimming. It’s available at large chain pharmacies like Guardian, Watson, Caring, and also your neighborhood pharmacies. The small packs go for RM 5.20 and it has two Tiger Balm Plasters inside.

I’ve been using the Warm Tiger Balm Plasters for back pain ever since I realized it won’t cause an allergic reaction and it works very well for pain relief. It was so good that I decided to use the Cold Tiger Balm Plasters for the muscle strains I get while swimming.

I usually keep mine on for several hours after the swim, let the unique Tiger Balm formulation work its magic, and the long lasting pain relief from the muscle aches is absolutely fabulous! :)

tiger balm leg

Cool relief after a morning swim. Ahhhh….

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