Tuesday, September 05, 2006

A city, a punk, and a crazy guy

The trip to London may have been short, but rewarding nonetheless. I have returned safely to my beloved Kuala Lumpur with:

One... A sudden surge of enthusiasm for the work that I do, knowing that there new opportunities opening up right at my doorstep, and the fact that I work with some really nice people;

Two... A new-found respect for Alex Yoong and team Malaysia at the A1 GP;

Three... Very fond memories of Silverstone. To be honest, it was a bit overwhelming standing on the same piece of tarmac where greats like Senna, Mansell, Hakkinen, Schumacher and some of the older buggers did the ‘bees-knees’ (business)... but I did try conceal my excitement, just so my colleagues from the other offices around the world wouldn’t see what a total nerd I was.

The trip reminded me that there are many beautiful places in the world, as much as there are beautiful people. The folks in London do a pretty good job of selling the metropolitan-ness of the city: Heathrow is manned by whites, blacks, browns, yellows and some other colours in between (please spare me the grief / stares / spankings on this non-PC comment).

There are ‘brothers’ there who sound like they’ve been around since the Victorian times, but who look like they’ve just stepped out after a good meal of home-cooked rice, curd and fish curry.

Right round the corner from our hotel was this eatery proudly advertising their ‘Penang and Oriental Cuisine’. Vans transporting frozen kebabs here. A tandoori outlet there. Everyone and their brother from every corner of the globe, all trying to make a buck or a million, riding the underground, Daily Mirror tucked under arm, looking uninterested / unshaven / like Bob Geldof.

I wish I could have spent a few more days there. Maybe soon.
"The scoreboard says I have lost but what it doesn't say is what I have found... you have given me your shoulders to stand on to reach for my dreams. In my last 21 years I have found you and will take the memory of you for the rest of my life."

So goes Andre Agassi, in a retirement speech that much of Hollywood would envy.

I remember first watching Agassi win Wimbledon many years ago. Up until that point, the worst a tennis player looked like was Bjorn Borg, Boris Becker or Martina Navratilova (if not for her first name, I wouldn’t have guessed the gender; even now I’m not too sure).

Then comes this dude, looking like a blend between a junkie, a surfer, and a tomcat, and he totally blew the Tennis world away.

Blew. Them. Away.

Along the way, he helped himself to 8 Grand Slam titles, and still found a few minutes to bag a pin-up babe like Steffi Graf.

Ta-ta Andre, thanks for the memories.
And it’s goodbye too to Steve Irwin @ Crocodile Hunter, who single-handedly made the Animal Planet channel watch-able for thousands of folks around the world.

I was chatting with an Aussie friend this morning, and he told me that most of Australia feels the same way the British people felt when they heard of Princess Di’s death, and pretty much the way the whole world felt when Mother Teresa passed on.

Because he was such an ‘out-there' person, with so much life and energy, it’s even a double blow that he won’t around anymore. Surreal. Bizarre. Even dream-like.

What I will remember most about him is that he was probably the sort of man most chldren will want for a dad – fearless, witty, up for it, and so generously endowed with a sense of ‘can-do’. His heart was exactly where he said it was, and that makes him pretty tall in my book.

Crickey, mate... It’s been really good, innit?

All right, luv? Isn't she just bee-yoo-tiful!


Metria said...

"A new-found respect for Alex Yoong and team Malaysia at the A1 GP" - care to elaborate?

So sad about the Croc Hunter, the whole of Australia is in shock and mourning!

Kenny Ng said...

I just wish to visit Sepang at the pit lane during F1 race. But too bad I never got the chance.

Goodbye Agassi and my deepest condolence to Steve's family. We wish u were here...

kickciggys said...

back to our tanah melayu with words of wisdom from our dead brothers eh..glad to have u back..and about steve..dats just plain sad...had to believe really...but as our brother lennon says, "Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans."

Vanessa Acker said...

Hey! Great to see you found my blog! I did indeed buy the Horlicks stuff, along some Marmite. I still haven´t tried it, but am waiting to experience the sensation of coziness. What is the thing that makes one feel as if birds are flying out of one´s mouth?

spiller said...

i thought Boris Becker was OK, just attitude problem.

Navratilova is weird? what about this Slovakian tennis starlet called (Daniela) Hantuchova? :P

Keropok said...

Metria: My condolences on the passing of the greeat Croc Hunta'. We mourn with you.

Respect because they obviously have quite a bit of passion for what they're doing, and the team actually has recorded decet results.

1. Won last season's last race in Shanghai;
2. Came out tops in the morning test session when I was there, and best overall average times over the two days.

Kenny: Do try and go by this year, to soak up the action during the A1 GP race (Nov 26) and next year's F1 race in March. You'll love it.

Kickciggys: Pearls, my brother, I'm giving you pearls here...

London was great, but glad to be back.

Vanessa: Glad we had met, and glad you stopped by.

The name of that brilliant sweet is HACKS. You'd either swear by it, or swear at it!

Spiller: A whirlwind of misfits. I always thought Becker was so uninteresting, of not for his sensational tennis. But nowhere near as (yawn) uninteresting as Stefan Edberg, I have to say.

visithra said...

welcome back ;)

looks like u had fun

sad week indeed one bites the dust one retires - both great in their own fields

Mamabola said...

Welcome home, Keropok!

Glad you enjoyed London. I miss it. Totally enjoyed my student days there, only managed to pass by the skin of my teeth, with the amount of "socialising" I did.

I recognise the monument. Isn't it the one near the Euston Rd station?

Mong said...

Jet-setting around the globe, eh Keropok... I thot you had this innane fear of flying a la Dennis Bergkemp? No?

I've never been to London. Would like to go someday.

Didn' think much os Agassi... I probably just missed him growing up. More a Pete Sampras kinda guy.

Ta-ra, Steve Irwin, it's been good!

Jemima said...

Keropok, welcome back!

I was really sad about Agassi - he's another true tennis legend.

Keropok said...

Visithra, Mamabola, Mong: Glad to be back. Sad news about Croc Hunter eh... I always thought that dude could slip away from anything... but there you go...

Jemima: How you doing? I liked Agassi... a bit more that that dour Pete Sampras (sorry Mong). Sad to see him go, but what a career eh...

Look out for Michael Schumacher's retirement this weekend! Another for the history books.

Jemima said...

I'm doing ok, Keropok. Could be better. Thanks for your concern. Hugs!

I always thought Michael Schumacher should have retired when he last won the Championship - so that he would have retired in the midst of glory - like what Pete Sampras did.

But, I'm not taking away any credit from Schumi - he's one tough act to follow for any of those young drivers out there.

That's just my 2 sens.

Dame RoSse said...

London for work or pleassssureeee...
oh well, kerja dengan Silverstone?

Gallivanter said...

Another legend bows out this weekend - let's hope that his final year in F1 drives him to push Alonso to the limit. As for Agassi, I'm sad for his departure from tennis (Sampras? *YAWNS*), more so than Croc man's...

Mirebella said...

There has been a whole string of mishaps recently. Steve Irvin on Monday and Peter Brock today to name a few. RIP.. *sigh*. Just proves how easy it is to loose life isnt it?

Alex Yoong doing justice... really?? wow.

Good to hear that you had a good time in UK - back rejuvenated and back to blogging?

Kenny Ng said...

hey brader, Pink Floyd fan... come visit my latest entry abuot PF... Rock!

9 said...

crikey! *wink*

lilyliverbird said...

i have always liked than Shankly quote you put up :D

Freak & Geek said...

R.I.P, Croc Hunter!

Goodbye Agassi!

Alex Yoong.. Hmm.. i think he makes a bloody delicious FILF.


A Shabby Singh said...

Crickey..... this dawg was in London??? Did you enjoy it mate?

LasalleRfags said...

Welcome back mate.. there's no place like home ya... must be missing rajoo's curry

Steve Irwin, yup, we all gonna miss the bloke.. but as said, do not go gentle into the night...

As for Alex.. hats off to him. at least he had the guts to do it even with 'handicapped' capibilities (harlo.. Minardi Vs Ferrari? who are we kidding). Rev on my friend..

last but not least, care for a game of futsal all you bloggers.. keropok.. arrange for a gathering lah..

Mr D said...

Crikey mate, so glad to hear you had a good run at Engurland!! Sad about Stevie Irwin but he did what he loved bast. another Aussie icon - Peter Brock also passed away when taking a corner too fast!

Kenny Ng said...

this week match arsenal vs MU... wat u think?
Oh yah... this week im posting about Lez Zeppelin.

Gallivanter said...