Bowling Weekend at IOI Mall Puchong

[UPDATE] IOI Mall Puchong’s bowling centre is now closed. 

I haven’t gone bowling for seven years. 

The last time was with a group of high school friends after our graduation, to send Paul off to the States where he would be furthering his studies. So you can imagine how rusty I was!

Carmen randomly called me up one afternoon and asked if I’d like to go bowling with her over the weekend, coz she had to practice for a company tournament. And since there is a bowling alley near my house, I thought why the heck not? Beats being a couch potato.

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We went to Superbowl at IOI Mall Puchong. The place is pretty old – they opened it when the mall was built, so it’s at least 15 years.

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There are about 20 lanes in the alley. Back when I was still in high school, I came here a couple of times and the facilities were well managed. Now, all the screens where you can key in players names are busted.. so you have to do it at the counter. I made the mistake of leaning against one of the monitors and the whole thing came apart.

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We were there around 7pm and the place was deserted. There was a promo going on where guests can buy 3 games and get 1 free (RM24) so we got that. We had to go look for our own shoes, which were in mismatched colours. I doubt they wash the shoes regularly; the stink of feet as we entered the area could have sent most people to high heaven lol.

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The floor where the seats were was uneven, lazily covered over with cardboard and carpet. The seats were littered with garbage (you can buy snacks and chocolates from a nearby concessionaire); even though there was a garbage bin nearby. Sheesh, some people and their non-existent civic consciousness.

The balls were also greasy, like someone just decided to oil all of them.Carmen went around wiping each and everyone that she used with tissues repeatedly.

Somehow that entire paragraph sounded really wrong.

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Game on! Look at how pro Carmen is with her stance lol. I never realised she was left handed because she always used to write with her right in school. Apparently when she was a kid, her parents made her use her right hand (it’s kind of a dumb superstition that using your left hand is bad, imo) so now she’s ambidextrous.

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And then yours truly..

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Straight into the gutter

 

It took me awhile to get the hang of rolling it into the center.

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Yay me lol

Our lane’s sensor malfunctioned – it always failed to detect two of the pins. This meant that even if our ball rolled into the gutter without hitting anything, it always counted as 2. We never got a zero. Idk if that’s a good or bad thing..

I scored a couple of lucky strikes though 🙂

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Halfway through my arm was getting tired lol.

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By 8.30pm, the place was slowly filling up with groups of friends and family enjoying the weekend out.

Which baffles me… if the place is so popular and they’re doing good business, why can’t they spend a little to upgrade the facilities?

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And the winner goes to… 😀

20160109_223530-tile All that rolling had us tired, so we stopped by at Lok Lok Street for some supper.

This place is filthy as sht, but people (I’m guilty too) still flock to it for the food.

The ‘street’ is basically an open air carpark with tables and chairs, where numerous lok lok lorries are parked and where visitors can cook food on skewers in pots of broth, on the spot. It’s definitely not the most hygienic place to eat at lol.

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Pork balls and cheese sausage

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I come here for the fried oyster mushrooms coated in tempura batter and chilli powder. An oily treat once in awhile.

 

Hope you guys had a nice weekend too! 🙂

Red Bull Air Race Putrajaya 2014

Skill. Precision. Speed – all that and more at the three-day Red Bull Air Race 2014 held in Putrajaya last weekend,which I had the privilege to attend! 😀 I also got to interview pilots from the Breitling team, Nigel Lamb (who has over 30 years experience as an aerobatics pilot) and Francoise Le Vot.

I met up with a group of international journalists at the nearby hotel before we set off for the race track, which was held over the 3km man-made Putrajaya lake. It was drizzling slightly, but luckily the rain stopped around noon for the race to proceed.

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First, a visit to the hangar area where all the pilots were prepping for the day’s race. Our destination was the Breitling pitstop! You can tell it apart from its bright yellow and black colours.

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Nigel Lamb and French aviator, Francoise Le Vot. Lamb was very approachable and friendly, constantly cracking jokes and wowing us with his expertise from years of flying. Born in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), he joined the Air Force at a young age after being inspired by his pilot father.

They explained to us about the dynamics of the race, including how weather can affect flying and how it was like in the cockpit. They have to wear suits that weigh 6.5kg – but due to strong G-forces in flight, can weigh up to 65kg! The reason why is because the suit is filled with fluid which compresses their body, preventing blood from flowing downward in the flight. Lamb also said that pilots don’t look at their controls until after the flight, because every split second counts – so they maneuver based on experience.

Speeds can reach up to a whopping 300 knots, so pilots need to be fit and know techniques to stabilize themselves, such as breathing exercises in flight.

Some of the crew were fixing up the plane behind, which Lamb would be using for the qualifying race later in the day. It’s an MSX-R model designed for speed and dexterity.

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We had a few minutes to walk around the different hangars and see the other pilots/crews in action as they made final adjustments to their aircrafts. There were lots of news staff walking around with cameras, some doing on-cam interviews.

 

 

 

 

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Then it was off to the actual viewing area, which was near the Marina Putrajaya building lakefront. We were given tags to be worn before entering. Since the competition is organised by Red Bull, there was free flow of the drink at several booths, plus a buffet lunch. There weren’t enough seats so some visitors sat on the staircases or standing while eating their food. There was roast duck, lamb ribs, and very delicious otak-otak popiah (deep fried spring rolls).

The rain had cleared up by the time we finished our food, so it was time to watch the exciting race!

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That’s the timer floating on the lake’s surface, so spectators can see the time for each racer.

They started inflating the pillons, which the pilots will have to fly through or around. The difficult thing about an air race is that unlike a 2D track like motorsports or the F1, the ‘track’ is pretty much invisible. As Lamb said, “Pilots can be two or three meters off the track and not feel it,”

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Andddd take off!

 

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The speed and precision was amazing. The pilots were flying through the gates within seconds, turning and twisting around the pillons with perfect accuracy. The difference between them were mere seconds.

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It was a very interesting experience and I’m glad I got to see it. 🙂 Wonder how it’ll feel like to speed through the air like that? Guess I’ll never know… but it was nice to watch!