move leg fast

Finally some time to be back here! Back to the series:

I'm documenting parts of my life, illustrated by awards that I've won in my 26 years. Could I be less narcissistic and tell the story without flaunting my shimmies? Heck yes but where's the attention-seeking fun in that?

Part 5! It's a first part of origins as a runner!

I recently posted this photo on my social media:

It's an SMS that I had with VS/VJC track legend Shi Ronghua, my old nemesis and friend. He's practically a caveman so to be able to contact him is nothing short of a miracle. I've been injured for 6 years and hopefully that is finally behind me, and now is finally the time for #comebackkhing.

I thought it'd be appropriate at this point in the series to hence document my running journey.

I've always liked to run, even before I officially joined cross-country/track in Secondary School. I'd often challenge friends to foot races (and lose) and would join the school's track and field meets (and lose). My greatest running achievement in Primary School was this:

As a clueless primary 3 kid I actually did some training on my own, leading up to that PE class when we would select the 8 guys to represent the class. I just barely squeezed into the team, having tied with Joel for 4 trials but got picked because the other 7 kids preferred me (take that, Joel). If it were the other way round, I might have ended up with some childhood scars because of that (thanks Joel for taking one for the team).

In sec 1 we had CCA trials. Apart from swimming which was actually my main sport, I was selected for track, waterpolo and rugby. Of course, I became a swimming runner. I went for a couple of sprint trainings and thoroughly enjoyed myself before being dragged over to cross-country because my 2.4 was pretty decent.

I actually wanted to sprint and not run distances at all, so I escaped plenty of cross trainings and went for track instead. Time and time again though, Mr.Bongard would pop up in my class, pull me out and ask me why I didn't go down for trainings. You don't want to mess with Bongard.

Yes sir, no problem sir, I'll go down for cross-country training sir. I'm only 13 but you want me to run intervals on Mondays and Wednesdays, then run 7km on Fridays and 16km on Saturdays just as a start? And after that when training picks up? No problem, sir, I'll be there, sir.

And that's how I got converted into a distance runner. 

Just look at me. You can plainly see the willingness on my face and the liberty that is abundantly expressed in my quadriceps stretch position. 

Anyhow, I did sort of begin to enjoy running - after endless miles it does eventually get to you. Things only really took off when we discovered that I was pretty good at sprints and long distances, then made the logical conclusion that I should be decent at middle distances. It took a while to fully realize it, but I was born to run mid d.

When you go for job interviews you might be faced with a "greatest achievement of your life" question. I never used it for an interview before, but it happened on the track when I was 14. It'll be the story I tell my grand kids, so I'm definitely leaving it here so I never forget.

By the start of sec 2, we knew my best distance was the 800m. It is a most horrible event; sprinting practically the whole way - but I loved it because I was good at it and I loved the rush of competition; running down the final curve and outlasting my opponents - as long as I can take more pain, I can win. 

In March that year, I ran my then personal best of 2:17 for the 800. I was the fastest on my team, but far off Andy from Fuhua Sec, who was already running a 2:12. Andy was always interviewed by the papers and always favourite for every 800 race. I wanted to beat Andy. But before I caught up to him, the day after I ran that 2:17, chicken pox caught me.

Just like that, I was out of training for a month and a half with an unusually long drawn out chicken pox and fever. When I recovered, I came home from my first training with a terrible ankle sprain. After all that, I restarted my training all over again in June. I missed every competition leading up to then and was left with one more race mid-June and then National in mid-July. Everyday leading up to my first day back on track, I believed I would beat Andy.

I knuckled down and trained as hard as I possibly could and credibly ran another 2:17 in mid-June. Andy was already running 2:10; the usual Nationals' winning time for our age group. Didn't matter. I was going to beat Andy.

I trained so hard after that. It was really amazing because even when I got older, I still struggled to complete the trainings I managed to complete back then. Every time I faltered, I only knew that I wanted to beat Andy. To beat Andy. To beat Andy. I thought it when I ran, I thought it when I showered every night and I thought it when I woke up in the mornings.

Nationals came and I ran my heats in an incredible 2:12 to qualify third. But if anything, I was only disappointed that I wasn't close enough to Andy's 2:10. It was one more week to the finals.

I don't exactly remember the race like it was yesterday, but I remember being laced up in my spikes, lying beside the track before the race with my eyes closed, controlling my breathing and imagining a star-lit night sky and hearing the sounds of a waterfall. I opened my eyes and it was time. I lined up on the starting line and before we knew it, the gun was off. Andy, in his flashing red and white top took the lead. I started ok and was running in a pack for the first round. We were overeager - I crossed the line 9th on the first 400m and I had ran a 1:04. 

I sat in 9th place for another 100m, and then, as I always envisioned it happening from since I began wanting to beat Andy, I burst at the last 300m mark, leading my run with my hips. I was 9th, 6th, 3rd, 2nd and then just before the last 200m mark, I was first. Andy breathing down my neck. We ran down the curve and Andy tried to overtake me on the outside lane, but I was on the inner lane and I couldn't let an inner lane advantage slip. I slowed down to run alongside him, giving him false hope that he could overtake. He ended up running on the outside lane for the final curve with the little precious energy he had left and I knew it was in my hands. I accelerated out the curve and onto the final straight, the last 100m. I could barely open my eyes from the effort and the searing pain in my legs were crying for me to stop. I heard myself think that I just needed to finish this as fast as I could, and I would be national champion. My thighs were gone, so I switched to my calves to take me through. I was running fast but still I heard footsteps and they were quicker than mine. Then I heard breathing.

Then I beat Andy. I knelt on the line and held up my arms. 2:08:01.

Thinking back, I'm amazed that I didn't just believe I would beat Andy, I literally believed it so hard I knew it. It thoroughly shaped and affected who I eventually turned out to be. Distance running is really the epitome of doing something over and over again until you really get good at it, which set me up for many of the good things I consequently achieved because I believed in hard work and experienced first hand how keeping at something will always pay off, whether you're talented or not. You only need talent to become world class; if not, you just need hard work to become really, really good.



Probably was not the best idea to commit to blogging more each week with a weekend event round the corner. We're doing a booth at the Sundown Marathon race collection thingy these few days and I'm sitting at the back blogging because my fingers are the only parts of me still able to produce kinetic energy.

There's a mountain of sweetness behind me in the rest area here:

That's about 3000 cups of cotton candy and there's a thousand more in the office. We're giving away free tote bags and cotton candy and the skepticism is sky high, so hard to give away free things! Probably easier to move if we charged at $0.10

Back to work now! 


big walk

I'm documenting parts of my life, illustrated by awards that I've won in my 26 years. Could I be less narcissistic and tell the story without flaunting my shimmies? Heck yes but where's the attention-seeking fun in that?

Part 4!
Back when I was still running, we used to have pre-season training, like most sports. It was the fun part of the season where during the year-end vacation we'd do easier, fun stuff then go play LAN after that. Pre-season was about long, low-intensity runs, a little sprinkle of gym here and there, the occasional swim and then waterpolo in the wading pool. Then usually the coach would sign us up for a race like a half marathon (goodness) at the end of December so we'd have something to leisurely work towards.

It was in 2006 that coach decided to do something different. Totally random, but he decided that we should join what was then the last edition of the Newpaper Big Walk, schools' challenge category. 

It was to be our first experience with the glorious sport of race walking, the most awkward sport of all time.


Of course, it was meant as a side for us since our focus was still running. So we spent all of 2 days preparing and learning how to race walk. Plenty of technicalities, but we managed to nail it pretty quickly.

The wait before the flag off was just like any old running race. Except Kevin was more excited about the helium balloons and left the starting line to go find one. The race started before he could come back with his ball of floating rubber. Typical.

Flag off was particularly odd for me, being a habitually quick off the block in running races. It was really strange attempting to make a blistering start by forcefully trying to salsa. 

That's where I got my sexy walk from, son; those hips don't lie.

Anyhow, we found out along the way that we were pretty damn good at race walking. Particularly David, who was honestly quite bad at running and seemed to walk faster than he usually ran. David of course went on to finish 3rd in the entire category. Cool.

Someway near the halfway mark, Kevin Ng appeared out of no where with his balloon. He had missed the start by like five minutes but buoyed (heh heh) by the excitement of his new toy, he managed to make up on lost ground and even overtook me. It's unfair, those long legs.

When you're not experienced enough to know the abrasions that thick thighs like mine might cause in the groin during race walking and hence not prepare for it, you'll finish the last two kilometers like I did.

Vaseline, guys. Remember your Vaseline if you not only don't have a thigh gap, but have a thigh overlap.

Anyhow, I managed to finish 4th in the team and 8th place overall. I think it was 1hr 11mins for 10km. Pretty sweet for a first-time and it also earned me a top10 medal to rub into Xide's face because he finished 11th. 

After gloating for half an hour at Xide's expense, the official results came out and apparently I had received 3 yellow cards along the way for not race walking properly. I was disqualified and Xide moved up to 10th, which means he got his top10 medal and the pleasure of counter gloating, which by the way is still happening to this day.

Is there a deeper meaning to all this? No there isn't. I know the last few posts had such a pattern but I just remember the Big Walk fondly. Good times.


black white black white green

I'm documenting parts of my life, illustrated by awards that I've won in my 26 years. Could I be less narcissistic and tell the story without flaunting my shimmies? Heck yes but where's the attention-seeking fun in that?

Here's part three of the series.

Read till the end; I promise the story's quite good this time.
We've mostly all tried our hands and failed at several chess games before. At least I did. My dad was one to introduce me to all sorts of chess games. There was Chinese Chess which I was so horrible at I never beat anyone at school before. Chinese Checkers which I often played with and celebrated victory over myself from time to time. Weiqi that took way too long for anyone else to want to play with me. Checkers and Animal Chess that I used to play with my mom over a basket of chicken wings and a bottle of red wine between us, every night for a couple of months.

For the benefit of those who've never played or don't recall Animal Chess:

Then there was Othello. Or as some of you might know it, Reversi.

I started with a little Popular bookstore board and played with my dad. Soon, while everyone else was playing this:

I was off playing Internet Reversi instead. Ok, I'm a 90s kid and I played 3D Pinball Space Cadet too. But I probably did spend more time playing IR. 


The one thing I remember about IR was that it didn't have a normal chat system. You could only communicate using a list of courteous responses like "Hi, how are you?", "That was a great move!" or "Thanks for the game". Presumably it was to cut out verbal abuse and irritation, but retards will be retards and they still found ways around it like chatting "It's your turn" immediately after they make their move and do it repeatedly, non-stop until you do make your move. Classy.

I used to blaze opponents in the "expert" difficulty setting and felt pretty proud about myself for years. Then during one training back in hall, we whipped out someone's old Windows XP laptop to play IR on expert mode. Apparently it was to make sure we knew how to deal with noobs like those on IR when we went for tournament. The famous Othello adage holds: A minute to learn, a lifetime to master.

I got my real taste of Othello when I joined Hall 3. As aforementioned, my IR-acquired skills were largely IRrelevant (sorry). I'm thankful I landed in probably one of the three halls in NTU that had good Othello training. Slowly, I did get good at the game. 

We won 3 golds in the 4 years I was there, each with it's own story.

The first one was really, really dramatic. We lost our very first match and had to fight tooth and nail every other game to qualify for the semis. We did, but in losing the first match, we had to play tournament favourites Hall 9, regarded as one of the strongest teams ever to grace NTU. 

My captain won, another teammate pulled off the surprise of the year and won his game while two us us lost ours. It was left to the other senior after almost an hour of game time. He eventually drew 32-32 with his opponent and both halls were at a stalemate. After some deliberation by the officials, it emerged that in a game of 320 seeds across 5 tables, we had won by a seed count of 8. All five of us played a part; each one of us literally made it count. We went through to the final and then won it narrowly as well. That day on, Hall 3 Othello always learned to do our best, even when we're losing.

I don't remember much of the second gold because I was a peripheral figure in our then dream team. I was, however a main figure in the chasing of the third. Armed with an experience of 10000 online games (excluding IR, of course), I was well known for sweeping away opponents while playing with my balls.

My baoding balls of course. I rotated this pair in my hands while I was playing just for the heck of it and was soon referred to as the ball guy from Hall 3. I won all 9 games to the gold. Felt awesome.

(left hand playing with balls under the table... baoding style)

I guess the greatest story belongs to my 4th year, which, by now you know - we didn't win. We lost our very first match and had to fight tooth and nail every other game to qualify for the semis. We did, but in losing the first match, we had to play tournament favourites Hall 9. 

My captain, who pulled off that surprise of the three years ago, won. Another teammate pulled of the surprise of the year. The other two juniors lost. It was left to the other senior to seal the win. The ball guy from Hall 3. 

It was, oddly, though auspiciously familiar.

But this time, he didn't win and he didn't draw. I lost 28-36 to a really good player, and with it, our place in the finals. I did win the last 7 matches to take us this far, but I fell when the team needed me the most. 

It wasn't for lack of trying, the pressure of responsibility or a silly mistake during the game. I was just simply not good enough. But as with every time I step on the track, get on the pool starting block, putting on my waterpolo cap, prepare to dance or sing onstage or just about everything else. I knew there wasn't much more I could do. That's why I'm always calm after defeat; if I am down, it is because the other person deserves to beat me - I gave all there was to give and there is nothing more I can put in beforehand.

Never waste a future opportunity by doing not enough. You'll live with the regret that you could have done more. If you try and try and still fall short, then you know for sure that it was beyond you. Then you can move on without looking back. #deepsiol


wayang khing

I'm documenting parts of my life, illustrated by awards that I've won in my 26 years. Could I be less narcissistic and tell the story without flaunting my shimmies? Heck yes but where's the attention-seeking fun in that?

Here's part two of the series.
Last time round, it was about my wayang award back in primary school, which was a pretty long time ago. As with every other skill, they sharpen with practice and time and sometimes it feels like there is an invisible force, edging you on and preparing you for what is to come. Some call it destiny. Others call it fate. You are prepared for "such a time as this".

Indeed, the day came when my ability to attract attention and manipulate people's impression of me, exaggerating my pluses and playing down my minuses was put to the test on wayang's grandest stage.

The subtle skill here is that I didn't make any enemies or cause people to dislike me at all. Everyone liked me - the instructors, the platoon, the section. I was always helpful, I was ever encouraging. I was determined and I was very sincere. Especially so if someone was watching. Even more so if someone thinks I don't know that people are watching.

In the end I attracted the attention that I wanted, but this time, I didn't think far ahead enough.

I never wanted to become an officer. Not even for the attention (of course, when I became one I just shun bian leverage). When I was picked as what we succinctly termed "platoon best", I was called in for an interview with the Officer Commanding for him to pick the "company best". I promptly told him that I didn't actually want to become an officer; I just wanted to be a Physical Training Instructor. 

I guess that blew my chances for company best - apparently my sergeants told me that my BMT scores were off the charts. OC wasn't very pleased and perhaps he had some quota to fulfill in sending recruits to OCS. Anyways, my request to be a PTI was shelved and I was promptly shipped off to OCS.

Throughout my time there, I would speak to my instructors, telling them I didn't want to be an officer. I think they were trying to be encouraging and all, saying stuff like the tough training is getting to me and that every cadet goes through such a phase.

One week before commissioning, I was still pretty sure I didn't want the leadership and responsibilities that came with the rank. By that point, most of my peers were drunk with the prestige and superiority that comes with becoming an officer. I was still unconvinced because that sense of prestige was built on war stories, mental associations and constructs that were not relevant to what we were or would be doing as officers. Certainly, the quality of the people who made it to OCS was poor - I thought my one consolation of going to OCS was that I would be surrounded by awesome people, but was disappointed to find myself among a majority of complainers, weak-minded boys, cheats and myopic visionaries.

I know I sound like your typical disgruntled Singaporean who had to go through NS, but it really wasn't the case. I was genuinely excited about BMT. I remember when it was coming to an end, I wished I could go through it all over again. I still finished top 15% of my OCS cohort, and I did an okay job as one after that without much fuss or cursing the army or the government.

It's just a part of my life where I invested 9 months into becoming something I didn't want to be and I know that part is something many of us can relate to. Being me, I commit to what I get myself involved in, regardless of whether it was by my own free choice. It's a habit.

It came to a point where I decided to stop putting the limited time and effort I have into things I don't care about. I looked at all those parts of my life and where possible, started to remove myself from them. When that happens, you free up space to take in new things that you might actually love to do or wish to become. I've almost finished doing that in my own life, and I'm really much happier now.


guai kia

Sometime last year when I was moving house, I had to throw away a big chunk of my trophies and medals - about 246 of those - because there was little space in the new place. They ranged from all kinds - from inter-class Counter Strike to Chinese Karaoke Competition to track honors at ASEAN schools' level.

Knowing my terrible ability to recall, those were memories that I will never get back ever again and I sort of regret that now. The few that I made sure to keep, I snapped pictures of in case my sense of forward-planning ever fails me again. Not every award that looked good on my CCA list made it, but each one that I kept held meaning and memories. In the coming few posts, I'll document one at a time, in no particular order.

The first one is the cutest; it's not really a trophy or something, but my limited pre-secondary school memory still vividly captures this period of time. Here goes:

I was Pupil of the Month in primary 6. It wasn't so much the award itself (9 awards x 10 classes = 90 people who received it) but it was the manner in which it came about that was interesting.

I was so proud of my very first wayang award. It was so next level wayang that the vice-principal called me out for good behaviour. It wasn't that I was a bad kid who put on an Oscar-winning performance, but I've always been extraordinarily good at attention seeking so I knew how to do some things more prominently and say some things that will manipulate people to see me in the light I wanted them to see me in.

I remember very clearly that morning assembly - I was yet again first in the entire school to sit at the assembly area because I was so badass-ed disciplined. Timothy strolled in second and shot a hateful glance in my direction. I'm beating him by two or three assemblies at this point. Plus, I'm now sitting straighter than he is. Straighter is better.

Soon, the quadrangle was filled and assembly was starting. After the usual announcements, the VP suddenly started talking about a boy who's always early for school, never talked during assembly (actually I just started to dislike people), wore his uniform impeccably (thanks mom) and stood super straight during the singing of the National Anthem and school song.

I was genuinely surprised when it turned out she was indeed talking about me even though in my mind I was all like aiya is me la say until liddat i shy. She called me out to stand beside her. Started asking me for my name, whether I was in a uniformed group ECA and like wow guys see he's not even in a uniformed group he's a swimmer they don't even wear clothes but look he's so well-dressed (again, mom).

The whole school then had the privilege of watching me stand my now legendary straight pose while I belted out the National Anthem and ACS Forever in full patriotism. Afterwards, VP wrote a little note to my parents in my little school diary on how exemplary my conduct was in school. My form teacher had no trouble picking Pupil of the Month that August.

Thinking back, LAME. This was the sort of thing that classmates who remember would have poked fun at just a few years later and if you saw it from the VP's point of view, it served her a wider purpose in trying to evoke a desired behavioral response from everyone else. Textbook VP stuff. Still, it made my month as a self-absorbed 12 year-old and led me to feel really awesome about myself. A lot of things I accomplished in the future after that was down to arrogant confidence and insistence that I'm better than everyone at everything else. For whatever reason that it happened, I'm just glad it did!


Insert post

I've been meaning to blog recently but haven't been able to muster neither energy nor time. Wanted to do a really long post on some memories I've kept in medal- and trophy- form but obviously that hasn't been pulled off. Pretty lifeless around here and a post every week is as you can see immensely boring for a blog. 

Furthermore, through the interesting phenomenon of having more visitors here every time I post something on Instagram - because that's how I started the first few posts (so observant, you) - I gather that I actually have active readers on this black, red and gray piece of thing. In this time and age, you guys are seriously extinct. I go to espnfc.com several times a day (go to work time, poop time part 1, poop time part 2, on the way home time, failing to sleep time) and feel disappointed to see the same 30 articles from just a few hours ago. Please identify yourselves I love you all. It's like going back to the same fishing spot every time even though you only get one ikan bilis every few weeks. Only coming to my blog is worse; it's like fishing in the toilet bowl hoping to catch a shark. 

I only have 4-5 readers and I'm letting you down. You know what? I'm gonna fix this. For like, two weeks. Then after pampering you for that while I'll regress back to 9gagging my free time away.

Basically I'll blog more frequently by... breaking down that aforementioned medal and trophy post and blog every two or three days. Yep, grand strategy there. 


Two-coloured rainbow

I'm colour deficient, a.k.a. partially colourblind. The other day Anas came over to my place for the first time and thought it was funny that I had pink curtains.

"WHAT. I haz pink curtains? I thought they were gray! I tried to keep my room gray-white-red"

It's not the first time something like this has happened; it makes for some forehead smacking from time to time. I even had the nerve to take visual art for O levels and got totally slaughtered when it came to painting and had to rely on my pencil drawing to save my grades.


When you first tell people that you can't see colour very well, somehow the first question that invariably pops up is: "Ohhhhhh so what colours can you not see?"

Eh bro, you should be setting viral PSLE questions sia. The kind only those Mensa one can answer. Fantastic question. I help you modify with all the variations k:

"Eh blind guy, so what objects you cannot see?"
"Aye leg amputee, which toe you cannot feel?"
"Hello is this LTA? You will lower MRT or bus fare next month?

Ok, I do know that I'm red-green and mildy blue colour deficient because my doctor told me so, but I like to mess around with people, so I just go: "If I know, I won't be colour deficient already".

Polite right.

Usually, the next 5 minutes will be spent answering "this one what colour". I don't mind that I'm colour deficient and that you're making a fuss out of it, but I'm 26 now and going through the same motions gets old. It's not even a good conversation topic anymore. The only upside is that I get better night vision!


I remember my first encounter with colour deficiency back when I was in kindergarten. I didn't know it then; I only knew I was colour deficient when I turned 11. Anyways, in between imagining myself marrying the girl seated opposite me, I was deciding on how to colour my "a day in the kitchen" masterpiece. 

"The teapot shall be red!" said one voice in lil' Khing's head.
"The spoons shall be blue, chicks dig blue spoons" said another.
"And the plates shall be that special blue colour in the corner of the crayon box!" declared another voice in his head, though it also wondered why there was a need for light blue, dark blue and that special-looking blue.

I reached for what I thought was red, but paused because the crayons in the compartment beside it looked red too and every other compartment seemed to have a different colour. I grabbed a crayon from each of the "red" compartments and held them up against the sun to get a better look. They both looked like red, but the shades seem slightly different somehow. I randomly chose one anyway and proceeded to fail to colour within the lines of the teapot. 

I'm not sure how or who told me, but in the end the teapot was green and the plates turned out purple. I did get the spoons blue but the chick didn't dig it and never asked for my hand in marriage so I'll count that as a minus. I didn't dwell on not getting the colours right for too long because it was moulding period soon and the plasticine wasn't going to shape itself.

A few years later in Primary 1, we had a colouring listening comprehension test - listen and colour accordingly. My leaves were brown, the tree trunk was green and I coloured the sky purple. For my efforts, my teacher failed me and told me off for trying to be a clown. I was more puzzled than pissed - who swapped the papers?


Finally when I was 11, a routine health check in school led to the discovery that I was indeed unable to see the full spectrum of colours. It was totally unexpected because all we were worrying about was the pubic hair check part. I failed the Ishihara Colour Test spectacularly and basically got one card right.

Being me, I was pretty nonchalant about it, but it shed light (heh heh) on incidents passed. Just as how you can't understand how my world looks like, there's actually quite a bit of colour in my world already and it never occurred to me that I was lacking something.

The thing about lack is; you never feel you're lacking until you know you can get more. #deep

I'm gonna get me one of these when I feel a lot richer!

So apparently, my world is less saturated and different colours are a lot more similar than they are to you. That explains why I always tend to over saturate photos when I edit them; I have to consciously under saturate them now when I try to insta something richer in colour.

My rainbows have always been yellow and blue - just two colours. It's a shame because I've seen really beautiful rainbows - I've seen three circular rainbows orbiting the sun on a clear blue sky against a snow mountain; the outer rainbow ring you had to physically turn around to see. I've seen huge, abnormally thick rainbows. I've even seen the origin of a rainbow, literally coming up from the gorund (nope, no pot of gold, sorry).

I'd love to see the world in full (or your) colour, even if it may sadden me that I've spent 26 years of my life in non-HD. I'm not the guy who settles for less because it'll hurt to go for more. That's another thing about lack; we only really lack when we convince ourselves that lack is enough. #deepdeep


The bad joke corner of Taobao

One of the perks of working in a Taobao-related company is coming across the occasional nonsense that people put up to sell. There's no end to the rubbish (epic foreshadowing happening) you can find; some are strange to the point it makes you squint until you become more Asian.

Since Taobao polices for scammers, inactive sellers and silly stuff like these pretty vigilantly, they can be removed real quick, so I've created a list to immortalise some of my favourites.

Here they are, in order of disbelief (click the titles for links!):

The two successful transactions were probably made by Satan's left hand and Satan's right right hand respectively. Some of us wouldn't even step on these with our feet, much less kneel. Even the seller didn't have the heart to get a picture of someone kneeling on it. There's a special place reserved in hell for people who even contemplate getting this (either side of Satan).


Apparently, it's been taken down since I last saw it back in November. Or they got sold out.

They were mostly rental services. Physical dates cost quite a bit, but the common man could rent a girlfriend and have her text him sweet nothings throughout the day. Spiffy.

Decided to give it a try. I was broke from all the shopping I did before though so I budgeted a bit and got the smaller one. I've hid it because it's a bit too sexy:

Pretty good value; the amount of girlfriend isn't much but she's a darling.

After the initial chuckle, this one's actually pretty cool. Genius way to announce a pregnancy on social media, actually. Chope!

Some sellers actually sell the rubbish bags with proper items as a surprise, which is pretty neat, but this particular dude is seriously trying to offload his rubbish on Taobao.

A two-seater plane that actually flies! There is understandably only one in stock, but why buy this when you can buy this instead:

...for a lower price, no less. Missiles, petrol and air clearance permits not included. This baby's no longer on Taobao though. Tough luck.

The seller's pretty serious about this virgin pee thing. The description goes on to describe the mythical and medicinal properties of the virgin pee. There's a definition too; the Chinese term implies that it's not just the urine of someone who has not had sex, but the urine of a child who has not begun to produce sperm. Extra points for the child's first ever puddle of pee. By this logic, firstborns should be held over all the terminally ill till they sprinkle their most potent stream of life juice. Oh and apparently, girls don't qualify to produce said life juice.

Reminds me of the spring chicken incident at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. 童子鸡 is the actual term, which loosely translates to "virgin chicken". Not content with leaving the description so vague, the restaurant took the trouble to rename it "chicken without sexual life".

Dozens of sellers selling bottled fart. But this particular one makes the list for the exorbitant price. Consuming this with the aforementioned bottle of virgin pee must surely cure cancer or cause amputated limbs to regenerate.

Comes in different sizes for individual preferences.

I know she means that she shaped the soap herself, but I'm tickled that the description mentions "DIY". I haven't really grown up.

Intended proof included for good measure. 50 more points for weirdness.

There're actually tons of other stuff that I got tired of adding to the list. Insects, dead and alive are pretty common. Animal testicles or brains in velvet boxes actually don't surprise me as much. Twin headed dildos for use with a friend is too porno and should just stay in that very dark corner of Taobao.

No one's used the comment function in this blog before; go ahead and comment or point out some weird stuff in Taobao you feel the world should know about.


Figure A

Blog statistics from recently:

Clearly, people recognize that getting a girlfriend requires way more skill than we care to think.



It's official - my 4-year friend is now my girlfriend. I hope you weren't expecting details of how I flew to Hongkong, stalked her to learn her schedule, left hints of my presence before surprising her with a pair of tickets to see Mickey.

Our backstory is nothing spectacular; there was no love, best friend or even connection at first sight. Our first interaction was her quizzically questioning my choice of Spongebob apparel at a pre-JCRC meeting. We ended up in the same group of friends as the only two who were attached and trying to get everyone else hitched. 

The one awww moment I can point to was when she played my female lead in my first ever piece of choreography. She danced (acted?) to the role of a playgirl who toyed with my heart but eventually got hers toyed with by me. It's something.

Very practically, I chose her because she was the only one short enough for me to achieve an even number formation with a center. While the message behind our first dance together was rather ominous, I'd like to believe she'll be dancing with me the rest of our days.

This is my shortie. She comes in a fun-size of 150cm. Acquaintances might not know, but closer friends have remarked how we are like the opposite gender versions of each other. We think nearly identically, share the same views and opinions, share the same habits, carry the same kind of passion for the things we love and give of ourselves to whatever we commit to in the same manner. We're both simultaneously aloof and sociable, noisy and quiet, fun and boring, fierce and gentle, left and at the same time right. We both enjoy mischievous acts of terror at each other's expense from time to time, although she's worst because she's 20cm closer to Satan than I am (figure of speech of course; Satan is around us not under). We're tied neck in neck for unpunctuality, but we're both always happy to wait. An odd ball like me will have to wait generations to find such a fit, and it's only now that I won't be considered a pedophile. Or less of a pedophile.

Of course, it's all easy to say on day 5. We've been through nothing, we haven't seen anything, the only constant is change. It's all gut feel at this point; I just believe we'll live happily ever after - two queer kids prancing around happily - our only constant is being strange. 


Epect the unepected

The "x" key on my keyboard is broken; it does nothing when I press on it. I avoid using the letter as much as I can, but in times of desperation, I type "epect" into google to get this:

I highlight and copy the letter, making cltr+v the new "x". I did this for when my spacebar died previously too. Woe is me if the "v" key ever calls it a day.

Repair keyboard has been sitting in my soon-to-be legendary procrastination list for so long the warranty actually ran out; that's why I never bothered with warranty extensions before - I take an era to get personal errands done. Outsmarting myself, I leveraged on my less passive urges and bought a gaming keyboard off my company's website, but that's an unboxing post on its own.

Today, I paused on the search page for "epect" to see what actually came up. Not sure what i was epecting, but I got a whole bunch of pages where people made typos. Upon closer inspection though, the first two search pages contained a few gems.

The title in google was simply "meaning of EPECT in Hindi" so this was totally unepected. I now know the pronunciation of the intended word in Hindi. I gave both pronunciations each a like too, for good measure.

The next requires much less explanation.

If it was on purpose, it's genius. I hope whoever created it is proud.



photo credits: Hall 3 pubs 2013

There used to be a time when I could swim fast enough to get a center-parting like that. Today, I swam for the first time this year and now I'm sitting here blogging because I can't get off the seat to do anything else. 

Swimming was my first love - in fact, I met my first two crushes as a 10-year old while swimming 6 hours a day in my condo's pool. I had a further 3 crushes at my swim club and 2 or so that I would get to see at major swim meets. I drifted a lot. Still, my love was for swimming itself.

I loved being in the water; when I first started learning to swim, I would stay two more hours after practice to perfect what I had learnt. I would borrow boards and buoys to repeat the drills to make sure I got everything down before the next class. At my best, I had near flawless technique but unfortunately never had the strength nor big palms and feet to match. 

I found joy in the repetition, in the monotony and only the sound of gushing waters in my ears. I found joy in the control and the perfection that I could strive towards with every stroke I took. Swimming contributed a lot towards some of the things I eventually became good at - my dance has benefited from my awareness and ability to isolate body parts, my efficient running form and rhythm was adopted from swimming and I can recall the rushing sound of water to block off everything else to think (yes pretty good at that).

The process of going from swimmer to swammer was a cruel one. Time was precious, my running was taking me places swimming never could and others had placed priorities on me that I didn't rebel against. I broke up with competitive swimming when I was 15 and had no time to pursue it recreationally. It was cruel because it wasn't painful. I simply declared myself retired.

IHG gave me an opportunity to swim again. I gladly went avatar mode and channeled teenage me to break out the old breastroke. It definitely wasn't the same, but again I took time, got sharp, and did myself proud.

I'm recognized that I am no longer a swammer. Once a swimmer, always one; even if I stop doing it from time to time, because I still love it whenever I take the plunge. 

Yep. Enough strength to do laundry now.