Thursday, September 09, 2010

ASEAN Age-Group Championship 2010

I know this is terribly overdue. I have no excuses

Last holiday, I represented Malaysia for the ASEAN Games held in Subic Bay, Philippines. I've never played chess overseas before, so this was a new experience for me

I'm not really interested in talking about the tournament, considering how badly I did. Played 27 rounds in 3 different time controls over 10 days. And I had to go for the National Championships back in Malaysia a day later. I was so damn tired.

Btw, you can view the full results here:
Final ranking crosstable after 9 rounds

Anyway, this post will be more about:

-The culture shock after meeting the people there
-All the cool and interesting people I met while I was there
-Insights into the daily lives of people living in foreign nations

and how I spent my last night partying :)

As you can see from the picture above, I met some new friends on the plane. Gotta love AirAsia. XD

It was a rather boring 4 hour flight, with a near death experience towards the end when the plane suddenly dived towards land. After touching down at Clark International Airport, we had to travel another hour by...(what's a cross between a bus and a van?).

Anyway, we arrived at the Subic Bay Travellers Hotel, which although rather small, was immaculately clean and well maintained by a dedicated staff. I've never seen a more hospitable group of people in my life.

So it seems that the people of Philippines are really friendly. From the players to the girls selling souvenirs. For some reason, I kept speaking to them in Bahasa Melayu, which they don't understand at all. XD

Can't really blame me, they really do look like Malays. Most of them even pretended to understand what I was talking about. I guess they were trying to be polite. LOL.

Btw, Filipinos speak Tagalog and around 90% of them understand English. That's what one of their coaches told me.

I remember this time at Clark International: I bought a hotdog from a shop outside the airport. Then I asked the cashier for a plastic bag. And he looked at me as if I insulted his ancestors or something. I asked again, and he called his manager to deal with me. I told her I wanted a plastic bag, and she turned and shouted at the cashier "Plastimo!"

After 5 minutes, I got my plastic bag.

Anyway, while having dinner one evening, I had an interesting conversation with one of the Filipino players. I asked him about the Abu Sayyaf situation (a terrorist organization operating in the Philippines). He told me that he hasn't heard much about them recently. Which is a good thing.

Then some Singaporeans joined our table(or did I join THEIR table...can't remember) and started asking questions about Filipino maids and how they affect the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) in the Philippines. I didn't really understand what was going on after that. But the Filipino player looked slightly offended

That night, I also watch Spongebob Squarepants which had been translated into Tagalog. XD

*To be continued*

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