Monday, August 3, 2009

Amazing RHace Part II

I finally decided not to be lazy and continue with writing up part II of the race. Read part I of it in the previous post if you haven't! I highlighted the places we went in the previous entry, to make it a better read. My legs are still aching, but at least I can walk properly now. Stairs are still a bit of a problem.

On Saturday we got up at 730 am and kept our tents. We forgot to take a picture of our tents though. Then we were supposed to go to Changi Village (our next station) to have breakfast, and after that, predictably, go off to Pulau Ubin. Being economical, our team decided to take bus trips to Changi village. Big mistake indeed. A bus which we got on was travelling at snail pace. It was incredibily slow. After putting up with it for a long while, we got down and took a taxi to Changi Village instead.

The bus ride had ruined all our winning chances (however slim). We were the 5th team to get to Changi village and have breakfast. Azi and Rochelle had lots of quiz questions about Raffles Hall, and we had to pick one nasi lemak related food item from the icons of Restaurant City if we got a question correct. After getting 3 correct items, we could eat breakfast, which was nasi lemak! I didn't look carefully at all the items and chose tomato for one of them instead! (Because some nasi lemak do have tomatos.) I should have picked rice! The most fundamental item on the list. But anyway it hardly took much time to rectify the mistake.

Nasi lemak breakfast.

After breakfast we took a ferry to Pulau Ubin. The name means granite island! Then we met Yiqiao there, my roomie for the hols. She and her friends were going for a visit too! So we boarded the ferry together.

Picture taken with Yiqiao next to me.

Our team!

Pulau Ubin was an intersection stop. Two teams had to work together to get a mahjong tile sequence. Since our team was the 5th team, we had to wait for the 6th team to arrive. And they took ages to do so! The reason was because we were a competitive team, while unknown to the RHOCers, the team after us was a leisure team. And being a leisure team, they had no reason to hurry at all. While waiting for them (the first two teams had left the island when we arrived, and the next frantically riding all over for mahjong cards), we biked a little round the island and went to have coconut drinks. This was when I found that I could bike after all! I was soon confident enough to start riding faster and faster on the bike. It was fun!

After one or two hours, Gant's mega team arrived. They were actually two different leisure teams combined.

The mega team. You can see they don differently designed shirts.

We finished the activity at Pulau Ubin quite quickly once we were started. In fact I believe that if there was no delay, we would have been quicker than the first two groups. Everything went quite smoothly. Back on land, we took a taxi to China Town next, which was our next destination. Met poor Liling, waiting patiently for us with a clue. We learned that the team before us left two hours ago. The clue was a CD, and 'Chinatown Complex'. We were actually supposed to find someone to play it for us, but we thought that there will be a RHOCer in a CD shop or something. After going round and round Chinatown, we were hailed by an auntie at a CD stall, who knew what was going on. We managed to get the CD played and there was an image file with a certain seat in a hawker center on top of the complex.

Rushing to the seat, we found another poor RHOCer sitting there, Crystal, who never drank Redbull before, with Redbull to keep herself awake. Ate lunch, and to save time (we were supposed to be waiting there for one hour plus before moving), we converted ourselves to a leisure team too, because we wanted to have enough time to at least go through all the stations. Crystal left with us to Little India, because the other leisure teams will all skip her station. Liling went with us too.

At MRT station station with RHOCers Li Ling and Crystal.

In little India, we had to do three things. The first was to thread a flower garland, actually it was just a few stalks. This was to be done by two of us.

That's me with the garland on. This isn't exactly one of my fav pics.

Jerome was supposed to learn how to make and flip a prata next. But they couldn't let him do that, so instead he had to sell a prata which was bitten at one side for 80 cents! I'd rather make the prata if you ask me. But he managed to sell it to an ang moh (which is what we call Eurasians here), who was sporting enough to buy and eat that. Lastly Jia Voon had to do a henna (google images if you don't know what this is). Jerome and Jon volunteered to be subjects so they both got a circled 'RH' on the back of their hands.

Our last stop was a Botanic Gardens, where old RH once was. We were to do three things - walk one whole round and back on a foot reflexology path (advanced version), take pictures of 10 mystery things around the gardens, and find a mystery person who has the clue to the next station. We decided to only do the reflexology path. Gallivanting around Botanic Gardens, which was really big, to find 10 obscure things certainly didn't sound fun. And since we were a leisure team now, it was ok to skip that bit of the station. Imagine, team no. 4 which was an hour or two ahead of us, was still there searching when we came round.

The foot reflexology path walk was painful, but kind of refreshing too. I was the only one who walked the whole round among us. Jerome almost made a full round too. As for the mystery person, it was Mr Leong, our hall manager, who was supposed to give us the final clue that says: "Advance for home. If first, collect $500.' We didn't find Mr Leong, because we already knew what to do. So off we headed for home, and towards the $500 which has already been collected.

Jon had this brilliant idea of eating ice-cream before going back. So we enjoyed choc ice-cream with oreo bits in them costing $9.00 between 4 of us. It was really a lot of ice-cream, so it was worth it. :) On our way to the bus stop, I finally got to enjoy the luxury of being able to hobble at last. Before that I was still running and striding on my poor legs.

Back in hall, I anticipated we would be among the last or almost the last because of the ice-cream delay. But, as Su Bee solemnly announced as we stood on the 'mat' with a Singapore map, we were the 5th team to come home, and the 1st leisure team! Sadly there's no prizes for the 1st leisure team, but the whole experience was already like a prize itself.

JV and the last clue box. Note that our boxes has a green stripe in the middle!

Su Bee (keeping a straight face): You are team number... 5.

The team that won the $500 were 4 'strong men' as we termed their team. It was a close fight between the first and second team. I wonder how many teams have cabbed all the way, and incurred big losses. But still, the bikes, the ski tickets, the hamster ball experience as well as most of our food were free. And the whole experience was so different from the conventional orientations and senior's camp.

Have to hand it to RHOC that we have such an awesome time! No regrets doing more holiday storage opening and closing to get this in return, with BBQ dinner to boot. I was rendered an invalid for more than a day, but I'm moving quite well for now! :D This is the first time I really overstretched myself physically, and I have mixed feelings wondering whether I should do it again next time, if there is such a chance. Still, thank God for good team mates, organizers, and BOPers! I hope they took lots of photos of us!


  1. Noticed that you used the word 'poor' to describe the two RHOCers :P
    I can't imagine how terrible it must have been for the RHOCers, trying to organize a large-scale thing like this! Kudos to them!

  2. Haha agreed! Hope you can blog about the experience too! Then we'll have more 'documentation'. :)