Everything but the Race

So Alan, Roy and I decided we would go to Phuket and try out running on foreign soil. This decision was made, if I can remember properly, on a Tuesday in October 2009 after training.

None of us regret the decision.

Bang Tao Beach

Bang Tao Beach - as viewed from our room/porch.

About 7 months later and $600+ less rich, we have returned from Thailand’s most expensive island. It’s been a long ride with a lot of planning done by Roy, and a lot of individual budgeting and personal training done by all the 3 of us. We all came back with something: cheap slippers (me), hot shots by the beach (Roy), a nasty cold (Alan), and jellyfish stings (all of us). But more than just the superficial, the trip has been a tough few days negotiating 3 separate personalities.In many ways, what happened on the trip to Phuket could be a reflection of our own team.

Maya Bay

Hills & Sky at Maya Bay - too beautiful, too many tourists

Unlike Redang, where everything seemed to have gone on quite smoothly (according to the facebook videos/ photos, credit goes to Nic Tey’s planning), Phuket was planned in theory. There was no programme, no route, no guide. And perhaps that was what made everything so damn unpredictable. Everything was divided into a pre-race (Saturday) and post-race (Sunday afternoon to Monday) idea of what we would do.

Alan & Roy

Alan takes a photo, Roy makes a point

Roy and Alan might not say it, but there were times in Phuket when the 3 of us were literally at each others’ throats. We had expected discord, but I was a bit unprepared for the way we would react, myself included, under stress: wrong directions, people tailing us in Phuket town, a high tide at Phi Phi Island that screwed up our snorkeling trip, the attack of the jellyfish, and drivers trying to scam us. And many times things did screw up: we kena scammed, we got stung, we didn’t get what we wanted, we –

Alan & the Wave

And Alan almost kena knocked down by waves at Maya Bay

I would expect to conclude: “… and this taught me a lot more about my friends that anything ever could.” But, no. Not really. I did learn that Roy is a master picture taker and Alan is a garang explorer who hates routine, and that I can eat Thai street food without needing to do serious berak, and that we can all sit through air turbulence for 15 minutes and joke about throwing up while the other passengers think we’re crazy.

Pig Butcher

The only non-halal street store at the Sunday market

But, like being in a team, we’re all equally crazy. We’re all obsessed about something: Roy is obsessed with getting it right, Alan is obsessed with getting it cheap, and I’m obsessed with being boring 🙂

Alan eats prata

Alan shows off his banana-carnation milk prata. The makcik who made it looks on.

Somehow this obsession kept us in one piece. And we can still run together, we can still see each other every week. We can still say: ok fine, you were right, then share drinks/food later.

Group photo

Group photo at Maya Bay - And, yes, we made it back alive.

And everything’s all right. And that’s how a team should be.


Posted in fun

5 thoughts on “Everything but the Race

  1. Yap Xiong! I’m sure u arent obsessed with boredom coz u r part of us, the fun people! ^_^
    I’m glad u guys worked the differences out and had fun despite all. =)
    Sarah, Great Wall Marathon in China?
    Melvin! LoL. U learn how to communicate with them alr?

  2. I on the other think we should make a visit to madagascar to do a jungle run. I intend to make friends with a rhinoceros and a sloth.

  3. I don’t even know what is the Great Wall Marathon. But I’m saving up, and I might/ maybe/ could possibly go to Beirut to do a half-marathon in the far, far future. (because Beirut sounds like a nice place to do some running).

  4. hey yap xiong..

    i guess it shows one thing too: that u are actuali not that boring as u thought urself to be but a lot more adventurous:) since u actuali dared to run on foreign ground..

    i guess the next time u will be trying for the Great Wall Marathon?:P

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