miatan: Life Magnified

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Tue
31
Oct '06

it’s hallooooooooooow weeeeeeeeen!

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senseless doodle. that’s what happens when you start to prepare chocolates and halloween Post-It greetings for everyone in the agency, and then you realise you need 15 unique pictures!

now that’s some doodle that took alot of time to craft.

 

 

You ready for something REALLY sccaaaary now?

 

 

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HORRORS!!!!

That’s no FAB BOD! It’s a FAT BOD!   eeeeeww.

It scares me enough to get my ass off the seat now and do some jumping jacks.
Oh wait, i’ve got a bad back.

Damn. I’ll exercise tomorrow then. Same goes for the diet.
There’s always tomorrow.

Thu
26
Oct '06

your donations will be much appreciated

your continued contributions will benefit this unfortunate little girl who now has humongous bills to pay to the blood sucking organisation who coincidentally has red as their coporate color how appropriate.

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I have until the 28th Oct to pay up, failing which my phone is going to be cut off and i shall mysteriously disappear from the surface of Singapore island, given a new identity, all thanks to the red company.

sigh.

And i hurt my back trampolining.

Can you believe that.

Less than 10 jumps on the trampoline and something moved out of place.

I cant sit properly, and i cant bend over to pull up my pants.

So now i stand here, butt naked waiting for the next calamity to whoop me in the ass.

Sun
22
Oct '06

17 articles and one more coming up!

I finally finished scanning all the news relating to the hijack and it’s a WHOOOOOOPING 15 articles from all the major papers over 3 days.

Add that to a report in January, the recent Bookends and a HotBod segment coming up on Sunday Times, that’s a hell lot of clippings.

Man i feel like Britney already.

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Wed
18
Oct '06

1.6 million dollar rock

I stepped into Jewel Fest 06 at Takashimaya tentage all by myself.

Not a very smart move.
I should have brought along someone with a huge credit card limit.

Nonetheless, i still enjoyed myself, sipping champagne, getting offered Rochere choclates and watching a fashion show presented by SooKee.

One of the models looked very much like Jade from America’s Next Top Model. I just watched my first episode of this season on monday night and here on tues, i see her?!

*blink blink*
Must be the haze deteriorating my eyesight.
Turns out it IS her! She’s in town!! o m g.

After the fashion show, i was minding my own business, browsing the gems when someone from Habib Jewels stopped me.

“Hey Lady, would you like to see the biggest one around here?”

For a moment there, i thought he was going to whip out his dick and show me his family jewels.

Instead, he led me to a showcase and there it was. A 20carat, heart shaped diamond ring, worth more than my entire life, 1.6 million dollars!

“Since you here, why don’t you try it on?”

And he took it out, and handed it to me.

I am holding a 1.6 million dollar worth diamond in my hands!
Carefully i slipped it on my 4th finger, not daring to exert much force.

In fact, i didn’t slip it on fully.
What if it got stuck and i can’t take it off?!!!

Now, is anyone crazy enough to buy it for me?

Sun
15
Oct '06

Bookends

Thursday i had a call from Straits Times.

“Hi, this is Belle from Straits Times Life. I would like to interview you.”

Oh finally. Im all ready to retell my tale.

“I’m writing for Sunday Bookends so i want to interview you regarding the books you are reading at the moment.”

Huh whaaaa?!

BOOKS? ME?

The bimbotic bells start ringing in my head.

err….i’m having dinner with some friends. Can you call me back an hour later?

I HAD TO BUY TIME and i have only 1 hour to sound intelligent.

So she calls back after dinner and i spent a good 24 minutes on the phone.

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What was not mentioned was that the book was bought from Carrefour bargain bin for a mere $5!
“Reading is a personal thing. I’m not one to follow chart toppers, it may not be up my alley.”
And the lesson i learnt from the book was “Letting go of seeking approval” cause you need to win the judges over, wow the crowd, make yourself popular so you end up trying to please everyone.
Which, i now know, is impossible.

Then she almost tripped me by asking me “So can i ask you to recommend another book?”

HENG I GOT READ AH!!!
Bimbo pageant queens dont read anything but fashion gossip magazines right?!

Out comes Allan Pease to the rescue.

By now, she prolly thinks i’m a wreck cause i only read self help books.

“Do you read anything else other than self help books and stuff related to your work?”

I do i do!
The entire Dan Brown series, Mitch Albom Tuesdays and 5 people, The crazy dog in the night and i oughta be getting started on The Game.

Watch out. The player is coming to town!

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.
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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!!

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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.

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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.

Fri
6
Oct '06

I’m home at last!

Thank you so much for your SMSes of concern!!

I cant reply to everyone coz i was busy on transit, finding my luggage, getting to my flight on time and my handphone battery was going out flat.

Still cant believe i was actually hijacked!!!

I know i’ve always wanted to be in a Quentin Tarantino movie but this is real life drama!

Most of the local press were present when we (Angie malaysia, Jamie philippines) landed at Changi Airport, but it was the MOBS of press at Istanbul airport that stunned us. Hundreds of camera flashes and sticks of microphones blocked our view and cut us off from our Turkish Air guide who was taking us to baggage control.

Give me some time to grab sleep coz these few days have been stressful and hectic!

I’ll post pics and vids from my trip once i get down to resizing them!

More stories then!!!!!!

SO MUCH TO SAY!!!!