sunlight radio taxi & restoran sri ganesh seksyen 11 suck

So I’ve without my own car for a week now. Horng kindly lent me his car during weekdays but he needed it for the weekend. Since I have OBC sessions on Saturday mornings, I thought I’d take a taxi to Padang Astaka and asked Bev if she could give me a lift on the way home.

As I have to leave my house at 6.15 am (just to be sure), I thought I’d call and book for a taxi the night before. So I did and it happened to be Sunlight Radio Taxi (I have a few taxi companies’ numbers in my list). After handing over my details, I asked the operator if the ride was confirmed. She said yes, and that they would call me at 5.45 am to reconfirm the booking. There would also be an extra charge of RM2 for the advance booking. Fine, I said… when I had to rely on taxis many years back, it was RM1. I can live with an additional RM1.

Next day, 6 am, no phone calls. I called the company again to double check on my ride. She said it’s on the way. The taxi driver was a nice young chap, friendly and amiable. When we reached Padang Astaka, the metre read about RM10. Below that was RM2 which I assumed was the additional charge. I gave him RM12. He was puzzled and said that the add-on charge was not RM2, but RM10.

What the fuck?

I called the taxi company again. A different operator answered, and I asked about the charge. She claimed it was RM10 because the booking was made the evening before. I told her that the operator I spoke to said the charge was only RM2. She said no, it’s RM10. The conversation then went something like this:

Me: Look, I was told that it was RM2. I am not going to pay RM10.
Operator: You still have to pay RM10.
Me: I am not going to pay RM10 as I was told it was RM2.
Operator: I will scold my staff but you still have to pay RM10.

Etc etc.

If you were in my shoes, you tulan or not? The poor taxi driver was in a bit of a spot, and I don’t blame him at all as some of the money goes back to the taxi company. Finally I gave up, hung up the phone and gave an additional RM10 to the guy. It was not his fault.

Sunlight Taxi Company, you suck.

— — —

After OBC sessions, we’d usually go to a mamak in Seksyen 11. We’ve been going to Restoran Sri Ganesh (RSG) for a while then switched to Restoran Al-Berkat (RAB) which was a few shops down the road during the recent Deepavali. Last Saturday for some reasons that I’ll not get into here, we went back to RSG.

I’ll admit that the PJ Bravo can be a noisy bunch. After all, we just went through a full hour of hard work, so adrenaline was flowing all over. There was also a lot of us, so sometimes we’d speak louder for the message to be carried across. I’m sure you hang out with a big bunch of people sometimes, you know how it gets.

That morning, we were no quieter or louder as usual. Then out of nowhere, one of the RSG staff came and shushed us. Then he told us to lower it down. There were many evil side way glances and random mumblings from other staff as well.

What the fuck?

So we got up, paid for whatever we consumed and headed to RAB. The guys at RAB were so happy to see us. They have much better and faster service, they already know what some of us eat and drink, they hand out ice water without us even asking, they were fine with our level of noise. And I’m not saying all that just because we were dissed by RSG.

At one point, we decided to sing Happy Birthday to Sharon (because it was her birthday). The staff smiled and grinned and clapped along, so did a few other patrons.

Never going back to RSG again. Restoran Sri Ganesh, you suck.

7 things i learned from original bootcamp malaysia

So this is my 4th month into Original BootCamp Malaysia. Needless to say but I still need to say it, I learned quite a bit about OBC culture — immersed myself in it even. Since I get tonnes of e-mails asking me about Bootcamp, what it’s like etc, I’d like to share some of the things I learned along the way.

Bear in mind that these are my personal observations as a Bootcamp recruit, not endorsed by the instructors yadda yadda yadda, maybe some recruits don’t share the same sentiments. Whatever lah, what’s the use of a personal blog if you can’t use and abuse it, right? So here goes, in no particular order…

1. If you are late, make a run for it.

Original BootCamp Malaysia - Tardiness

If you don’t already know by now, the entire platoon gets punished for absentees/ AWOL (without informing the instructors earlier) and late-comers. Usually the punishment consist of burpees, an exercise that I cannot show you in real life outside of Bootcamp because I absolutely and thoroughly hate it. You’ll have to take my word for it that burpees suck the living breath out of you, insert Harry Potter reference here.

In the beginning, I used to focus my anger at those who cause us burpees. Nowadays I just get down and get on with it because I’m a forgiving person by nature there are some things in life that you just cannot predict. I know, I’ve been there myself. So suck it up and finish off those burpees lah. In a way, it builds team rapport which is essential because that is what OBC is about — teamwork, team mates, team building.

However late-comers have to seng mok a bit lah. If you are late by a few minutes and you see the rest of your platoon already doing their warm-ups, make a run for the training ground. Doing a slow catwalk when you’re already late doesn’t endear you to the rest of the platoon. It’s confirmed that the platoon would be punished, so run your heart out and look damn apologetic. In short, look like you’d give your whole fortune to them. Do unto others, right?

2. Cheating is bad. Being stupid at cheating is worse.

Original BootCamp Malaysia - Cheating

Often the intensity of Bootcamp sessions is overwhelming. The recruits understand that, everyone have been and will go through it. Everyone’s fitness level is different, so it doesn’t mean that older recruits will breeze through the sessions just because they’ve been doing it for a couple of months. Come on, 10 minutes of warm ups and warm downs and 50 minutes of hardcore workout with less than 5 minutes breaks in between — it’s tough.

But that’s Bootcamp for you. It’s not easy but it works. The instructors often say that it’s okay to do the exercises slowly as long as you do them correctly. Even that can be hard, so sometimes you sneak in a couple seconds of self-recovery, which means taking long deep breaths during that couple seconds. Then you get back to whatever you are doing and try to complete it.

This one also have to be smart about it lah. Of course I do not endorse cheating lah (ahem), but if you have to take those couple of seconds, please try not to do it when the instructors are all around you. In short, it’s faster for them to add on time to the workout than you trying to breathlessly explain that you need those seconds. You know, to live.

Unless you’re already seeing stars and having images of black sheep charging at you or something, then it’s a different story. But I doubt that lah. The sheep, that is.

3. Do not take things personally.

Original BootCamp Malaysia - Encouragement

I don’t know about you but for me, everyone is a monster during the entire hour of a Bootcamp session. That includes instructors, fellow recruits and myself. People will yell, scream and shout but not in a negative way because that is how recruits motivate each other. If you slow down, we will shout at you to keep up. If you fall behind, some of us may run back to where you are and run with you, shouting words of encouragement so you may feel motivated to go on. If the instructors add on time to the workouts because you paused for 10 seconds too long, that one no need to say lah, fellow recruits WILL shout.

Because we are in the same platoon mah. We do things together-gether one. There’s no self in a team. Everyone wants to get better and fitter. You sign up for Bootcamp, well you just signed up to do it the harder way. This is not a fancy gym. This is a outdoor, MILITARY-INSPIRED workout group where you get grass, mud, puddles of dirty water, frogs, earthworms, sand flies everywhere. Everyone gets dirty, sweaty and irritated. Everyone is the same.

Personally I’ve been yelled at many times by fellow recruits. I’ve learned not to take it personally because it is not personal. Lest I frighten you with visions of training ala Full Metal Jacket, I can assure you that it’s not humiliating and derogatory at all. Shouting and yelling is not necessarily negative and you learn to take it in stride. Over time you improve and you make new, good friends. That is how it works. I can’t tell you how appreciative and grateful I am to have fellow recruits encouraging me from across the field. How very wonderful it is when someone fitter bounces back and runs along with you, whether or not he or she has to do it.

And that is how we work out.

4. Maybe you don’t really need that water break after all.

Original BootCamp Malaysia - Water breaks

We get 30 secs, 45 secs or 1 min 30 secs of water breaks in between our session. 2 mins if Sergeant’s in a good mood ;) After the 1st week into the new month, the breaks become shorter. Over time you learn that some water breaks are not really water breaks; they are just very short breaks. As per awesome illustration above, you get 30 secs of water break. If you are very near to where the water bottles are, you can just run down and have a gulp of water then run back. If you are in the middle of the training ground, please feel free to have your water if you are a sprinter. If you are at the furthest end of the training ground, you don’t have time to run down, drink your water and run back. Just make use of that 30 secs to take deep breaths, calm yourself down. The water’s not worth it, the burpees for punishment when recruits don’t make it back to their stations on time are lagi not worth it.

You may think that it’s not fair that some recruits get their water and you don’t. Well life is not fair. Sorry to say but suck it up. From experience, there may be longer water breaks after a short one so you will eventually get to drink some. I’ve seen a few recruits who complete Bootcamp sessions without a single drop of water during the fasting month. They are still alive and well :)

5. Do. Not. Drop. Anything.

Original BootCamp Malaysia - Equipment

I know you hate the equipment used during sessions. I hate them too. But I hate burpees as punishment more so I take extra care not to drop anything that I’m carrying. It’s okay if you don’t get it the first couple of sessions. After so many additional burpees as punishment, I’m sure you will get it as well.

6. Do not talk when the instructors are talking.

Original BootCamp Malaysia - Attentiveness

Actually this is the first thing they tell you when you go for your first session. Then you’ll receive an e-mail from Selva reminding you of the same. Paiseh to say but I learned this the hard way. Kena from Corporal Dharmen kau kau :P So if you do not understand the instructions, try asking the instructors instead of fellow recruits. Most likely they will repeat the instructions another time. Or you look at what people in front of you are doing, and learn along the way lor. Not that hard what.

7. We are a team.

Original BootCamp Malaysia - Team

Kim says that it’s as if I belong to a cult. No lah. It’s just that it may be difficult for people who have not gone through a Bootcamp session to understand it. Then she doesn’t want to wake up early in the morning and/or sacrifice her Saturdays during Bring-A-Friend sessions, what to do lah :P HINT HINT!

As I may have mentioned before, only a fellow recruit knows what you are going through and what you have gone through during Bootcamp sessions. Sure, it is physically-challenging, but it’s more in the mind than anything else. I used to say that it’s difficult lah I’m not fit lah I no stamina lah this lah that lah… then over time I come to realise that it’s more mentally than physically taxing.

The instructors understand this all too well, that’s why they push us as hard as they do. Motivation and encouragement from fellow recruits also help a lot because they too go through everything that you are going through. Hence I believe it’s important to have an open mind and heart when you are at Bootcamp. Might just help to push yourself to try harder.

You also make lovely new friends such as myself, bwahahahahaha!

— — —

I’m sure I’ve learned more than 7 things from Original BootCamp, but this is already a damn ass long blog post. Besides my limited artistic ability somehow translates to being arsed to draw out only 7 of the illustrations. So there.

original bootcamp malaysia: s04e01

It’s official — I hate assessment days. As Vanessa said, it feels like exams every month. Sure, you can psyche yourself up that you are going to take it easy this time, you are doing it at your own pace and it’s okay if your time doesn’t improve. Load of crock. The pressure is still ginormous. You are a train-wreck the evening before thinking about the coming assessment. You try to sleep early but it is nearly impossible because your head’s filled with all sorts of thoughts and possible scenarios for the next morning. Unlike back in school, you can’t pull all-nighters preparing for the exam because you actually need sufficient rest for this one. When you finally manage to doze off, the alarm clock rings too soon.

Then it’s back to the usual “Why did I sign up for this…” train of thoughts.

First round: 1.2km run + 45 push ups on knees + 30 grunts + 45 sit ups. Last month I clocked in at 13m 44s. This morning I did it in 12m 18s.
Second round: 1.6km run. Last month was 14m 58s, this morning was 12m 37s.

Not bad eh?

It’s shite, I tell you. Pressure sial. Next month I’d be worrying about times again. I’d tell myself that it’s okay if the times deteriorate. But as with every assessment, you get duly crushed when your times do not improve. Then you feel bad and emo a bit.

It’s okay lah. I have one whole month to be my own psychiatrist.

hurry slowly lunch box @ eest, westin kl

Received an invitation from Yoke May to dine at EEST, Westin KL‘s Asian restaurant. Turned out she invited KY as well so we went together-gether. The restaurant was lovely, I especially like this one round table where you could see the junction turning into Jalan Bukit Bintang. Guess you could laugh at the poor sobs stuck in the traffic jam while you enjoy your meal.

Yoke May introduced us to Chef Kuan who takes care of EEST business, and set us off with a refreshing drink and some dim sum. The drink is called Zing.. I think. Quite good. As for the dim sum, I especially liked the har kow (prawn dumplings); juicy and filled with plenty of prawns.

Yoke May wanted us to try EEST’s Hurry Slowly Signature Lunch Box, which comes in a bento box, soup and dessert. There are 5 different cuisines to choose from — Malaysian, Japanese, Chinese, Thai and Vietnamese. Chef Kuan decided that we should sample the first three cuisines as they are more popular among EEST’s patrons.

EEST @ Westin KL - 03 Hurry Slowly Asian Lunch Box - Malaysian
EEST Hurry Slowly Lunch Box – Malaysian

The Malaysian bento set contained spring rolls, pasembur (rojak for us Southerners), stir-fried bean sprouts with salted fish, and nasi kunyit with wagyu beef cheek rendang. Hands down the BEST rendang I’d ever had. The soup that accompanied the set was soup soto, it was quite thick and flavourful.

EEST @ Westin KL - 05 Hurry Slowly Asian Lunch Box - Chinese
EEST Hurry Slowly Lunch Box – Chinese

The Chinese bento set had double-boiled kampung chicken soup, 3-cup chicken, some dim sum, tender broccoli in gravy, picked cucumber and pickled jellyfish.

EEST @ Westin KL - 06 Hurry Slowly Asian Lunch Box - Japanese
EEST Hurry Slowly Lunch Box – Japanese

As for the Japanese bento set, we had garlic rice, prawn and vegetable tempura, either egg or tofu with spinach (I forgot but it was quite awesome) and grilled salmon in teriyaki sauce. Now, I usually hate salmon in all forms. I hate raw salmon, I hate fried salmon, I hate grilled salmon, I hate smoked salmon… I just really do not like salmon. But this salmon served to us was TERRIFIC! Buttery and almost melted in my mouth, the texture was a bit like cod which I love. I would have walloped the entire thing if not for consideration for fellow diners, heh. It was just awesome lah.

EEST @ Westin KL - 07 Dessert

Chef Kuan prepared a special addition for us — smoked salmon with scrambled eggs and truffle and beetroot oil. According to KY and Yoke May, it was absolutely delicious. You don’t ask me lah, I just told you that I don’t take raw or smoked salmon.

As for the desserts, we had tong sui (with longan), ais kacang and mochi black sesame ice-cream, which we really liked.

EEST @ Westin KL - 08 Suanie and Yoke May EEST @ Westin KL - 09 Suanie and KY
Me with Yoke May and KY

Thanks to Yoke May and Chef Kuan for having us. If you would like to go try out EEST’s Hurry Slowly Signature Lunch Box, it’s priced at RM42++ per person. EEST @ Westin KL is open only from Wednesday to Friday, 12pm – 2.30pm. Chef Kuan mentioned that the items in the bento sets may be changed depending on what he would be whipping up that week, so go see lah what you get.