miatan: Life Magnified

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Fri
13
Oct '06

Turkish Air TK 1476 Hijack Part 3

10.00PM

We exited the plane orderly, taking with us our hand luggage.

As i looked out of the cabin door, i saw lots of police cars and fire trucks.
FIRE TRUCKS.
They were all prepared to “clean up the mess” should anything happen.

We went through security checks, our bags were all opened, body searched before we were allowed to board a bus to take us to the transit lounge.

11.00pm

At the lounge, there were food and drinks provided and we grabbed it like we haven’t eaten in days. However, none of us really had the appetite to eat.

There was alot of activity going on, lots of Italian police, going around questioning people. We were also brought to a small room where we had our baggages checked again and questioned about where we were headed and what were we doing in Albania etc.
null

12.30AM

Lots of waiting around, the police are still circling us, people were trying to get some sleep and the “health problem” Albanian fella just wouldn’t let up on the fact that “(he’s) an American citizen! I need to speak with the American embassy! I will sue your airport and the airline if i don’t get to make the call!”

Geez. The Italia Policia obviously got sick of his constant reminders that he’s an AMERICAN CITIZEN, so they curtly replied “Sir, you can call your embassy and do what you want, but now this is all we can do for you.”

Well done. I was getting so annoyed myself, i imagined walking up to him and tearing his passport up.

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2.00AM

Our passports were taken from us when we first arrived and we still haven’t gotten them back. We have already missed our connecting flight home to Singapore at midnight, so everything seemed really bleak. The waiting was actually quite draining.

3.00AM

We were told that a new plane have been waiting to take us since midnight but the Italian police wanted to be really secure, that’s why we were all held behind. We were then brought to claim our luggages from the belt and everything was opened up for checks again.
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4.30AM

We finally boarded our flight back to Istanbul and it felt almost a little eerie to be back into cabin space.

5.40AM

TAKE OFF ONCE AGAIN!

This time, we tried to catch as much sleep as we can in the 1.5hr flight.

7.00AM

TOUCH DOWN!

It was as beautiful as i remembered it to be when i first arrived at Istanbul airport on my way to albania. I love airports in the morning. There’s something so fresh yet so sad about it.

Except that this time, there’s also a sense of insecurity when the arrival hall is lined with more police.

Once again, our passports were taken from us and flight details are recorded to arrange for new transit flights home.

10.00AM

We were allowed to leave to claim our baggage but we were mobbed by the press the moment we stepped out.
There were HUNDREDS of cameras, microphones, flashes going off like a tropical thunderstorm, everyone’s talking at the same time!

“Tell us about the hijack!”
“How did you feel?”
“Did you see the hijacker?”
“DO YOU HAVE ANY FOOTAGE!!!”

Firstly, it’s a 16 hour ordeal, secondly, of course feel scared la. Thirdly, i saw the hijacker and thought he was a technician and lastly, NO I DO NOT HAVE ANY FOOTAGE.
It would be absolutely stupid of me if i said i had footage cause i’m pretty sure, the press would be crazy enough to snatch my bags and luggage.

“Oh why no footage! They are paying 5000USD per minute!”

right. no electronic devices on board remember?

By now, we’ve lost the guide who was supposed to take us to luggage, all thanks to the mobs of press who cut us off.
(this also explains why the published pictures of us at the airport have us looking so pissed and tired)

12.00PM

Arrived at the hotel arranged to put us up til our transit flight home tonight at 1150pm. Got our rooms and we hurriedly went to change for lunch.

2.00PM

After lunch, we did a quick wash up and there’s no time to lose! Dinner is at 8pm and our bus which takes us from the hotel to the airport leaves at 830PM so that only leaves us 4 hours of sightseeing!
Armed with information from the concierge, the 3 of us set out in a taxi to roam the streets of Istanbul!!

(note: none of us had any sleep from the morning of the 3rd til the midnight of the 5th when our flight is finally homeward bound)

Tue
10
Oct '06

Turkish Air TK 1476 Hijack Part 2

 

5.20pm-6.00pm

En route to Italy for a “technical” problem had me at the edge of my seats. Every rattle made me worry if the engine was gonna fall apart!

 

6.00PM

The landing was one of the scariest i’ve ever had. I saw the ground coming closer but our speed was not slowing down!When we touched down, it was literally a screeching halt. I even had to stretch out my hand to support myself from being thrown forward!

 

6.10PM

We remained on the runway, which was another odd thing cause we ought to have been taxi-ed away to the hangar for repairs?
I could see buzzing flickering lights outside, which i assumed was the “service” trucks that have arrived to “repair” the technical problem.

 

6.30PM

I HAD to pee. So i stood up.
“Please M’aam, PLEASE SIT DOWN. The aircraft has not come to a complete stop. PLEASE SIT DOWN!”

By then, people were fidgeting and wondering why we weren’t allowed to move around in the aircraft.

One guy even claimed he has a health problem!

There’s an Albanian guy who recognised me as Miss Singapore so he kept saying “hi miss singapore!”

6.45PM

I looked around for some service staff and saw a guy dressed in Dark Blue pants, shirt with a dark blue cap, walking in and out of the cockpit. He seemed to be speaking with the captain and the crew.

At that moment, i thought he was the “technician”. Afterall, he was dressed in all dark blue which DID look like a uniform!
Figuring it won’t take too long to fix the plane and trying to take our minds off things, i took out a deck of poker cards i’ve always brought along with me.
It was a gift from Mark Gan, NSF boy, who taught me magic tricks for the talent show in the pageant.

I chose card tricks because Singapore’s IR is coming up, so i figured cards will be a good icon for Singapore.

 

7.00PM

PA: This is your captain speaking. Is there a doctor on board? Please identify yourself to the crew. Thank you.

 

7.30PM

Amazingly, time passes really fast in a small constrained space and when we are playing “Dai Dee”. We were now very puzzled as to why people are still not allowed to move from their seats. The stewardess keeps telling everyone to sit down and keep quiet.

I wanted to go to the toilet but the stewardess said it was locked.
Weird.

Looking out of the windows, we saw police cars. Lots of police cars.

What in the world is happening! Technical fault that was going to cause a blowup or what?!

 

8.00pm

By now, the plane is buzzing. The passengers were all restless and the crew has stopped giving commands. Instead, they’ve started handing out sandwiches and drinks to passengers who requested for food.

The aircon has gone off, leaving us stuffy and unable to breathe.

 

8.15PM

The aircon comes back on thankfully and Kanksha (India) asked for some food. The stewardess whispered NO to her and said DANGEROUS.
WHAT DID THAT MEAN?!

Now, urgency crept in and Angie started to weep. We tried out best to console her and wait it out.


8.30PM

Suddenly the lights in the aircraft went out, leaving us in total darkness momentarily. The emergency lights along the aisle came on. I looked around again for some form of help as we all didn’t speak Albanian or Turkish so we didn’t understand all the gibberish that was going on amongst the passengers.
I saw the air crew give us the hand signal to duck and take cover and all the passengers on board SCRAMBLED to squeeze themselves into the economy class space between the seats.

Jamie, Angie and i quickly ducked and tried to stay out of sight, away from the windows!!

WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON!!

At this point, i kept picturing the plane is going to be riddled with bullets with flying window pane and spewing blood and screams!
Then the scene gave way to the S.W.A.T team storming the plane, black masked uniform men screaming “GET DOWN GET DOWN!”

Thankfully, none of that happened.
We crouched together in that tiny spac, looking at each other with fear. That’s when i decide to call my mom.

“HELLO MOMMY AH!!! i dont know what’s going on, but our flight got diverted and now we are in darkness, have to hide somemore!! HOW!! i update you more ok?”

Jamie and Angie also used my phone to call home.

(thank you Singtel for excellent roaming! i can’t wait to see my bills)

Angie was still crying and Jamie and I had to feign calmness even though we were all panicking inside.

8.50PM

The lights came back on and the guy who claimed to have a health problem told us that we’ve been hijacked!
Cause the passengers were conversing in Albanian on their phones. Their worried families and relatives had called them after watching the news of the hijack on CNN!!

THE WHOLE WORLD except all of us on board knew we were hijacked!

I called my mom again and she also found out from my sister in the states that we’ve been jacked!

 

9.00PM

The Albanian guy who recognised me as Ms Singapore then told us smilingly, “Miss Singapore! Don’t WORRY! We are all safe now!! It’s OVER!!”

Is it really over? Why does everyone still look worried?

 

9.30pm

The police comes on board and tells everyone to remain seated.

PA: This is your captain speaking. Please take your luggage and exit the plane. ONE BY ONE.

(stay tuned for footage outside the plane and security checks!)
 

Sun
8
Oct '06

Turkish Air TK 1476 Hijack Part 1

 

Miss Philippines Jamie just SMSed me.

“Hey Mia! I just got home! Had to check into a hotel for 2 days to accomodate the press. Feels so good to be home at last! I want to thank you so much for everything! I’ll c u soon! Love it!”

Woah. The Philippines Press must have had a media feeding frenzy over her.
I, on the other hand, am surprised that NONE of the local press asked me for a 1st hand account or a timeline of the whole incident!
They asked how we felt, what thoughts went through our mind but no one was really interested in the actual happenings.

So here i am, gonna blog it out.

Coz like i’ve always said, I AM MY OWN PAPARAZZI and over here, the words come out just the way i would have liked them to be written.

 

October 3rd 2006 Tues

Jamie, Angie and I shared a room with QQ (taiwan) and we woke up 8am, eager to get the most out of our last day in Albania. Shopping for souvenirs was the first thing on our minds and the only shop we found after 15minutes of walking was the Supermarket.

Stocked up on chocolates and cigarettes, we made our way back to the hotel for final goodbyes.

QQ was at the brink of breakdown when we were leaving, for her flight home was another 2 torturous days later.

I fought back tears until i saw Laura (Italy) crying. She was a tough Da Jie Da figure to me and to see her crying broke my dams.


(both are laura. Laura from Italy and Laura from Hungary, and pronounced LAU RA not LOR RA) 

 

I sobbed so hard  when Olga (Russia) came running over for farewell. She is the reigning queen in my heart and i’ve always told her so.

As the cars took us away from our new found friends, we were saddened by the departure but oh so looking forward to being home.

 

12pm noon

Arriving at Mother Theresa airport in Tirana, we were unceremoniously “dumped” at the entrance. No one from the organisation helped us with luggage, check-in or translation. What a vast difference from the VIP welcome we had when we first arrived. BAH.

Wang Cui (China), Diana (Romania), Laura (Hungary) and her manager, were along with us as our flights were at 2.30pm, 3.30pm and 4.30pm

We bought some souvenirs at the miserable 5 duty free shops there and waited in the departure lounge. TK 1476 was due for takeoff at 3.30pm. As the minutes went by, we wondered why the boarding gates were still not open.

Laura and Diana came over after their check-in for the 4.30pm flight and were surprised to see us still waiting.

 

4.30PM

We learnt that the plane was delayed due to technical problems when the boarding gates finally opened and we waved byes to Laura and Diana.

 

 

5.00PM

TAKEOFF!! HOME is just another 15 hours away!!

 

5.20PM

PA: This is your captain speaking. Due to technical problems, we have to make a landing in Italy. We should be arriving in another 20 minutes. Thank you.

That’s when our hearts sank. No, not another delay. We just want to get home!
Sigh.

And if there’s one thing i’ve benefitted from pageants, my geography got a whole lot better.

Here we are, headed for Istanbul, Turkey. However, we are stopping at Miss Italy’s home, which is in the opposite direction, for technical repairs?

Doesn’t quite make sense.
Unless they are seeking the Formula1 Ferrari team to fix the plane………

 

 

(stay tuned for more exciting updates, including FOOTAGE from the flight.)

Sat
7
Oct '06

dancing queen

video testing video testing.

this is a video of me dancing during the “DISCO QUEEN contest” at the pageant.
Jamie, miss philippines won the title!!

EH it takes alot of skill not to let your sash fall off while dancing ok!
muahahahahahaaa!! bimboness.

im soooo haapppppeeeee to be bacccccccccckkkk i cant stress it enough!!

'

My beloved Biscuit

 

Let me show you two of my favorite pictures from the trip.

 

 

We visited an orphanage in Saranda, Albania and i gave out Singapore stickers as souvenirs for the children and staff
I put on these two tattoos for them personally!!!

It was an odd satisfaction when i saw them showing off the tattoos, almost as if they felt they finally belonged somewhere.

 

Will write more soon, a little upset. I realised i left behind my soft toy doggie, BISCUIT, on board the Thai Airways flight during my last leg of transit back.

He goes around the world with me each time i travel for the past 3 years, and i kept telling him on this trip how much i wanted to be home.

Now that i’m home, he’s not.

'

Hijack Queens

 

 

Taken on our very first day upon arrival in Albania after being on the same 15hr flight from Singapore.
So glad that we were in the hijacking ordeal together.

Sat
15
Jul '06

cebu and manduae

I visited a very famous cathedral the sunday i arrived. The Santo Nino Church.


The convent of the Sto. Niño de Cebu founded by Fr. Andres de Urdaneta on April 28,1565
the day the Legazpi-Urdaneta expedition arrived in the island.
On May 8 of the same year, when Legaspi and his men planned the urbanization of the city,
they allotted a “place for the church and the convent of San Agustin“
where the Santo Niño image had been found.

Church service was packed with locals and i squeezed in with the crowds to take a look.

The locals were praying and i was awed by the cravings as well as the paintings on the ceiling.

Almost as if, leonardo da vinci himself was here hundreds of years ago, working on these intricate paintings.
Also hung along the walls were other murals.

     

I took a moment to say a quick prayer (though im not a catholic) and went out to wonder the grounds.

Just outside the cathedral is this huge arena where people sat around chit chatting and when i looked up the skies, i believed in angels.

 

 

The first sight that greeted me when i left my suite this morning was this blissful image.


basking in the morning sun.
I went around the school today (monday), where everyone came abck to work and was able to show me around. The editting suite, the recording studios, the voice rooms, the computer graphics etcetc.

That’s part of the school behind me, it is huge and self sufficient, with canteen and all, and it sits facing the sea!


This is the drawing board i found in the graphics department, rough drafts of the animated characters they were producing.

This is my favorite.


I am your fairy princess.

 

And then it was off for more gallavanting!

Noell drove me to a lapu lapu monument, near the school, in a LIMO!

YES A LIMO!

First time i’ve been in a stretched car, i felt like a princess.

This is the inside of the limo, complete with flat screen monitors and wine chillers.

       

And this is how the limo looks like from the front.

 

muahahahaha!! it was actually more like a local van modified to look like that. Notice the two horses at the side of the lights in the middle, talk about horse power.
our local ah bengs also cannot modify their cars until liddat right!

 

The lapu lapu monument.

That is LapuLapu. Yes, that’s the real name lah.

When i read the words, i was flummoxed.

Here on 27th April 1521, Lapulapu and his men replulsed the Spanish invaders,killing their leader Ferdinand Magellan. Thus Lapulapu became the first Filipino to have repelled European aggression.

waaaaaaaaait a minute.
Just yesterday, i was at the Magellan cross and it said……

Something’s not very right here.
Just barely a week before, Magellan planted a cross in their lands, baptizing many locals and was celebrated.

A week later, he gets assassinated.

I questioned Noell what happened in that one week that led to the death of the Spanish hero?

He didn’t have an answer either. 

 
I wanted to buy some souveniers back but all they sold were shells shells shells and more guitars.

It was amazing though, how every single item, from bracelets to lampshades are all handmade with shells found from their beaches.

I walked around finding lunch and i ended up at the police station.

And the poster board i saw outside the station should be placed in every country.


When the buying stops, the killing can too.

After that, Noell drove me into Manduae city for my hotstones massage!!

  

Sorry i dont have pictures of the spa cause privacy is very important at such places, but if you need to know it’s called MEDAH SPA and i paid about 800pesos ($24SGD) for 1.5hrs of kickass hotstone massage. The place was beautiful, clean with shower facilities and very polite staff.

I took a cab back myself that night and i got lost because, unlike Singapore, not all their roads were marked and though i tried my best to give him the actual street name. I ended up having to make (longdistance) calls to the people working at the school to direct the driver!

That was one scary incident, it was late, the roads were not lit and i was LOST!

I had a good sleep cause i had to wake up real early for the FTV shoot at the beach and this is my photographer, Roro.

 

Along with Noell on the left.

My flight was at 3pm in the afternoon so after a quick shoot, i rushed back, packed my stuff and was zipped to the airport.

Last minute souvenirs at the airport waiting area anyone?

 

Nothing feels like home, really.

Thu
6
Jul '06

Cebububu day 1

Finally gotten down to sorting out my long overdue pictures from the Cebu trip. 

My friend Mick, was very kind to fly me down to Cebu to check out his film school, do a quick shoot for FTV and just simply have a break lah. Too bad it was just a short 3 day trip.

My mom and dad sent me to the airport. This is the first time my parents’ pix are on my blog!


There she goes, up in the sky,
There she goes, beyond the clouds.

 

I didn’t manage to get a direct flight, so Silkair stopped me pover at Davao first.

 

Then 40 minutes later, i arrived at Mactan Int’l Airport.

Touchdown!

 

After putting my luggage down at the suite Mick provided for me, i insisted Noell, my assigned driver and makeshift tour guide, take me around town! 3 days! No time to waste!

First stop. factory outlet!


see the levis docker’s factory outlet?

He brought me to a SINGAPURA cafe for lunch. Do i look homesick already?!

Not wanting to disapoint him, i ordered popiah.

 

Then, armed with the map i picked up at the airport, i pointed to several monuments and places i would like to visit.

Shopping? You want go shopping?”

“Nono. I want to see your country.”

I felt bad making Noell take me around, because i arrived on Sunday and he has to drive me on his rest day because there was no one else around!

We arrived at San Pedro Fort.


FORT SAN PEDRO
Pier Area, Cebu City - The smallest, oldest tri-bastion fort in the country. This served as the nucleus of the first Spanish settlement in the Philippines. It has a total inside area of 2,025 sq. meters. The walls are 20 feet high, 8 feet thick and towers are 30 feet high from the ground level. First built in 1565, it served as a lookout point against enemies from the south. It was also used as army barracks, rebel hotspot even as a zoo once. Now it houses the tourism board and an open air theatre.

I noticed alot of the locals who were spending a lazy afternoon at the fields and marketplace at San Pedro stared at me when i got out of the van.Must have looked very touristy with my bag, camera and shades

The market place had alot of vendors selling snacks to the sunday lazers

 

Then he brought me to the Magellan’s Cross.


MAGELLAN’S CROSS
Magellan St. - Planted in April 21, 1521 by Ferdinand Magellan, this marks the spot where the first Christian Filipinos, Rajah Humabon and Queen Juana and about 400 followers were baptized by Fr. Pedro Valderama. In 1525 to 1740, the Agustinian priests built an open shrine for the cross, but the natives began to take chips from the cross believing it had miraculous power, so a kiosk destruction took place. To protect it further, a hollow cross of tindalo wood was made to encase the original cross which still stands today.

The roof depicted the whole story of how Magellan, this spanish fella, arrived in Cebu and held the baptism for the people.

This painting shows the actual planting of the cross.

 

Then it was evening, and Noell sent me to Mick’s office. He was in HongKong filming so he couldn’t be there to take me around so he got his friend Tobey to take me for dinner.

BigBucks coffee store that Mick set up.

And right on top of the coffeehouse is his bigfoot office building and the IAFT van i was ferried in.

This is mick’s car badly in need of a wash.

And this is the very handsome and OH SO VERY TALL and very single Tobey.

After dinner, i headed back to my suite and had a much needed rest. More to see and do tomorrow!

 

 

Fri
9
Jun '06

The sun, the sand and the bitch.

headed to cebu philippines in march on invitation by a friend to look see chit chat at his film/acting school.

took the opportunity to do a quick shoot for FTV which he also owns rights to in Phil and Singapore.

This is my favorite shot. Also because it is the most memorable.


Little Miss Miaffet, stood near the leaflets, posed for a shot so dear,
Along came a spider, webbing just beside her, scaring little miss miaffet away!

I was happily prancing in the clear waters and sun, smiling away then i saw a HUGE ASS SPIDER WEB right next to me and a big black mean ass arachnid in the middle of it, waiting to have me for lunch.

I bolted out of the waters, away from that rock faster than you can say “Go Web!”

*shudders*

 

This shot was taken at some abandoned house on the beach. Talk about beach front properties. The roof was completely gone but the toilet bowl was still there.

 

This is another shot i like. Feels like a nice postcard.

 

 

I dont like these pix but it makes me look damn fucking skinny. Which reminds me, i have to watch my diet, can feel myself ballooning a little and i’m sure it’s not the water retention.

See how clear the waters are!

 

Last but not least,

i absolutely lurrrrve this. it’s so happy cheery me.

 Make me happy will you?

 

Mon
2
Jan '06

Happeee new yeaaar!! The final installment of China Pageant!

Ok here’s some more pix…im a little lost…. too much partying and oversleeping is putting me into slow mo.

HAPPEEEEE NEWWWW YEAAAAAAAAAAR!!!! and i hit the 7000 viewership mark for my blog in the new year!!

funny but this year doesn’t give me good vibes.

somethings gotta change. first of all, that’ll be me.

Went to Chairman Mao’s house, had a drink with him and chatted for about an hour. Friendly chap of few words, i was the one doing most of the talking and translating, oooh-ing and aaaah-ing at the exihibts.

Tried to drive the girls off in the buggie even though i didn’t have a license. but who cares?! it’s in China!

My favorite girls. I dont know why but the moment i saw them i just LOVE THEM.


Over at the SeaWorld in Wuhan. Somewhat like our Underwater world in Sentosa, they also have the tunnel that brings you around the depths of the sea and animal shows with sealions and seals.


We had to do alot of autographs everywhere we go!

Niao Yu Lin, it’s an open air bird park. A little like Singapore’s.

Now heading over to HuBei TV station!!!


And now reporting news live to you from HuBei TV station, i am your newscaster from Singapore.

The palace in Beijing

And of course i can’t leave without saying bye to the guy who’s everywhere in China…

Wed
14
Dec '05

China trip trilogy

After a super late night taking official photos, we woke super early for a press conference.

This was the dress i wore for the press. I like it alot!

Here’s datuk danny ooi, he’s the main guy behind this pageant.

Ok the next day.

I lost track liao lah.
We had rehearsal for the first time, coz Rafal finally arrived in Wuhan from another pageant.

So we had to bring our national costumes AGAIN, coz Rafal has to see us in them in order to co-ordinate us and divide the groups into “Can dance with costume & Cannot move at all with costume”

Fooling around before rehearsal.

L-R gorgeous ukraine behind, paraguay, s.africa, bolivia, mexico, spain, georgia, brazil on the lap.

Oei, tired of typing all the countries names, you read yourself lah.

In costume glamour.

L-R Macau, S.Africa, Cambodia, Hongkong, Korea, Ukraine, Kazakstan, Cyprus, Malaysia, Russia and Ethopia

whoever took this shot for me had shaky hands, blardee hell.

Miss Georgia with her BIG HAIR

Back at the restuarant where we had dinner for 5 days straight. The waitress is specially attached to me i don’t know why.

(L-R Portugal same birthday as me, Lithuania, Bosnia who’s middle name is Mia, and canada who reminds me of celine dion)

This dish made all the girls squeal and squirm. Turtles in sauce, not in sea.

'

China Trip Sequel

(paiseh…this part two comes so much later after part 1 on 2nd dec…if u missed it, just check on the calender lah… eh if LOTR and Kill Bill can take one year apart to release, i also can take 1 week ok.)

Early morning, we departed to see the GREAT WALL of china. After a super long 2.5 hour bus ride, we finally arrived at BA DA LING.

Tian Xia Di Yi Xiong Guan
The most majestic gantry on earth. or something.

We hardly spent 30 minutes walking the wall coz there were soooo many tourists and people who wanted to take photos with us, on top of having to sign a huge banner.

This guy is Mr Tong. He has escorted alot of famous people, like Presidents of USA, ministers, celebrities etc and explained to them the history of the Great Wall.

And this is my FAVORITE PICTURE from the WHOLE TRIP.

Now if only i can photoshop away that boy in the background.

See, there are so many people in China, it is impossible to take a shot without people in it.

Everyone pose with our banner!

Then back to the hotel to rest and pack our bags and prepare for the train ride.

My favorite girl, Judy from S.Africa

Last year’s winner, Anush from armenia.
She looks hellalot like angelina jolie don’t she?

Kazakhstan and Krgystan.
Onwards to the train station at night, 9pm ride overnight from Beijing to Wuhan.

The girls i bunk with. Miss Taiwan on the upper deck, Miss Korea in pink and Miss Malaysia in black. (taiwan won, korea and malaysia got into top 12. so sad, i’m the only one who didn’t make it anywhere!)

SEE THE SNACKS!!!!

End of day 3

Arrived in Wuhan train station at 7am. Lots of people, press, cameras, flowers etcetc. Too early to be bothered lah.

10 hour train ride and expect us to smile?!

(back:L-R Krgystan, Venezula, Czech, Armenia, Cyprus. front L-R: Korea, Malaysia, Lithuania, Bosnia, me)

In the hotel’s conference room. Everyone is finally gathered together and meets for the first time. All 41 of us.

At this point of time, i’m like, jia lat. How do i remember 40 names?!!

By the time i returned to Singapore, i only remembered their names and not their countries.

This was a free day, and we all had a good rest, some girls went out to get snacks, i had a great hair wash at the salon.

End of Day 4.

Day 5 started with a visit to a museum that was just across the road from our hotel. I was pretty excited and i wanted to grab our tour translators to bring me there yesterday but luckily it was part of the arrangement to take us today.

IT”S A TOMB. omg. Photos weren’t allowed in the museum but of course, we are TOURISM DELEGATES, we can blardee do whatever we want.

For me, i usually don’t like to photograph in museums, coz i PangTang lah. Museums, are usually, either sacred or the exact opposite. But i couldn’t resist one picture.

THESE BELLS ARE HUGE!! And this is only 3/4 of the entire display. These are musical instruments in the olden days and we were given a demostration of similar instruments.
Then it was lunch.

(L-R) very pretty philippines, me, krgystan, puerto rico, USA, Venezula, Mexico, Brazil


And we had 10 dishes every meal. breakfast lunch dinner.
During meal times, you’ll often hear the chant, “Miss Singapore MiSS SINGAPORE!!”

The girls kept calling me to explain to them what each dish consists of and i have to eat each dish before they would touch it. I think it’s a conspiracy to get me fat.

Then it was rest time, and dinner.

(back L-R Hongkong, Bosnia, korea, philippines, taiwan, me. Seated L-R: ethopia, bulgaria, fav girl Australia, cambodia)

We were all enjoying our dinner, until one drunkard guy ran up the stage and started doing KungFu stunts. The girls were all enjoying it cause China mah, must see kungfu. They all thought it was a scheduled program until the guy started shouting and the security had to subdue him.

And then everyone rush to change into their national costume back at the hotel to take photos for the pageant booklet.

I had to do my own hair and makeup ok!! Wah lau. Didn’t manage to take alot of pictures cause we were going in batches and my batch not many people lah.

On the night of the pageant, Miss Paraguay won Best National Costume.

Not hard to see why.

I haven’t changed into my cheongsam yet. Here’s Krgystan and 3rd place winner, Czech.

Fri
2
Dec '05

Trip of China

please forgive me.

i haven’t blogged in a million years. I’m getting complaints!!

Jo, as usual, is having withdrawal symptoms coz i haven’t been writing.
Shu, is bugging me to write coz she wants to know what’s happening on this end of the world.
My cousin called me today out of the blue to tell me to blog coz she’s been reading nothing new.
Alritey, i’ve got so much to say but i don’t know where to start!

Oh the Catholic High dinner and dance that Gene hosted, (I was Vanna White), oh my gosh.

Boys prom nights are just SOOO DIFFERENT from girls’ prom night. Some came in Tshirt!!!!! They all need a David Gan.

And i was on stage to tease the boys as to their “pick-up” lines and Clarence, (refer MMS pic) said “If i weren’t gay, you’ll be my choice.”

In front of two tables of principals and teachers.

Right.

Did i also mention one boy came in a dress and stockings?
Okies, enough about that. FOTOS!!
(for the geographically challenged, please proceed with google maps as there will be many references to various countries)

I touched down in Beijing in the early morning. Beautiful. And awfully cold.

After an hour’s wait at the airport for Miss Malaysia, who didn’t board her flight in the end, we travelled another hour to the hotel resort with Miss Estonia.

This resort is on the outskirts of Beijing, used as a holiday getaway. There are no tall buildings and on the drive in, we are flanked by fields and fields of corn.

This was my first meal. I was amazed. more than 10 dishes. Woah.

I was happy to see ducks. Siao ah. Botanical gardens also have what.

Miss Cambodia, who later became really attached to me.

End of Day1 rest day.

(L-R: back: macau, canada, estonia, australia. front: russia, philippines, georgia, ethopia, korea, me and cambodia)

Early morning, we had to come down with our national costumes for some photo taking.

Then it’s time for SIGHTSEEEEING!!

First stop, Beijing underground city.

Built for nuclear attacks, it was extremely hush hush so i couldn’t take pictures inside. It was very deep, very cold.
At their souvenir section, they have silk pulling demostration.

Four women hold each corner of a piece of silk and pull together to make it a thin spread for the bed linen.

Then on the way back to the bus, i took some common street sights.

Then it was off to lucky tower! It is so called lucky tower because the corner is in the south east and during the olden times, it is considered the victory gate where warriors will ride through.

At the foot of the tower.

There, behind us, where the two walls meet, is where we relak one corner.

Took a nice shot of the train coming in from the top of the tower. The tracks are just next to it.

Off to a teahouse! Just like beer is water in Germany, tea is water here.

Wed
9
Nov '05

Press Release

I’m back home people! This is about the only press video i could find that has me in it. All thanks to the reporter Jiang Lei who was really sweet to me and always sought me out for interviews and translation.

I of course dragged my favorite gal in this contest, Judy from S.Africa to do the interview too!

I think the streaming is gonna be slow. Be patient people!

Good things are worth waiting for.

 

 

Sat
22
Oct '05

News from Miss Tourism Queen of the Year China

It’s been a hectic time so far, up and down buses.

First day I arrived and met Etsonia at the airport. Lunch was an elaborate spread, appx 10 dishes with Ms Cambodia and the crew at the Chinese Resort we stayed, 300 Miles, where they plant their own crops for food.

What i didnt realise was that the meals everyday were going to be all FEASTING!
After resting, our 2nd day, we went to an Underground City which was built for housing civilians in case of war/nuclear attack. It was pretty claustrophobic.

Then we proceeded to Dr. Tea, the biggest teahouse in beijiong and tried the different expensive teas!!

 

The 3rd day we went to the GREAT WALL of CHINA which was 2 hour jam-on-the-road-with-a-lot-of-horning ride!

We didnt even get to spend more than 40 minutes there because we were late for the next destination.

Good thing was, we managed to get a good foot massage in the afternoon.
We had a farewell dinner and then it was on to the bunker train to WUHAN!

We boarded at 9pm and arrived around 7am. Had a pretty good sleep, bunking in with KOrea, Malaysia and taiwan.

We just arrived at Wuhan which is EQUALLY COLD as beijing even though it’s down south. It’s a full rest day and a welcome dinner tonight. The girls are hoping tomorrow’s a shopping day.

Till the next MMS, this is mia signing off at the RMB18/hr internet business centre at the hotel.

 

love,mia