Tupai's FotoPage
Arabian nights revisited
By: Tupai O ais

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Tuesday, 17-May-2005 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Tupai's tribute to Star Wars

A bunch of jedis and siths sparring against each other on Endor
Tatooine's brand new single-seater sand speeders for sale
An imperial destroyer lands on Alderaan (before Part IV)
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It has been awhile since I last updated. Work has caught up on me. Sorry.

Since tis the season of George's much awaited Part III, I am gonna ride the bandwagon and go to a galaxy far far away. Let me reassure you that on this part of the Earth, there is no Revenge of the Sith fever whatsoever!

Anyway, here are alternative captions for the fotos above:
1. Philip, Sahrin, Khalil and Melvin pretending to play volleyball
2. Our earlier bowling alley's ball returning thingy
3. Another angle of the Kingdom Tower, during a mild sandstorm
4. A knob on the stair-railings of my apartment (it is brass coloured really)
5. I can only assume that the blokes on the music video are doing some traditional dance
6. Another shot of the Kindom Tower, purple-haze setting

Enjoy watching the last installment of Star Wars. There are no cinemas here. It will be a quite some time till I get to see it....

Saturday, 30-Apr-2005 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Tupai the Time Traveller

Bro Mel and Sahrin, checking out the tarmac on Olaya Street
Pardon the dark photo, Sahrin is there somewhere.
Sahrin hurls d ball down d longkang looking 4 d the missing pins
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A blast from the past - The only way to describe the bowling experience we had last night.

Obscurely situated in the basement of the Al-Khozama Centre (next to the Al Faisaliah) at Olaya Street, the dodgy place is like a visit to an ancient bowling site. Clearly evident is the human score taker in the form of Benny, a pinoy, who also mans the counter. Manual scoring is certainly not our forte, so Benny was a big saviour to us.

Having only 8 lanes, it is the smallest bowling alley I have ever been to. And at 10SR per game plus 5SR for rental of shoes, it is not a venue to be overdoing our bowling....

Kids, if you are wondering how your dad bowled your mom over with his bowling and score keeping skills, here's the place to go to. I do not think that there are many of its kind left on this planet.

It was a big, big escape from the monotony and monty of the week.

Thursday, 28-Apr-2005 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Tupai Touring in Riyadh

Al Faisaliah tower poking high into the sky.
Sahrin, Azli, Dato' AZH, Nasir. 3 of us doing bodyguard duty.
Dato' Zahid firing away his text. Mr Interpreter is the wing man
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Yesterday night was extra special because we went to a Tourism Malaysia event at the Al Faisaliah hotel. It was an opportunity to meet with a few other other Malaysians in Saudi and even from home.

With the main target audience being the local tour operators/agents, the event was officiated by our Deputy Tourism Minister Dato' Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who delivered a speech in english, alternating with an arab interpreter to get his message across. Amongst the attendees were the ever affable En Khalid of our Malaysian Embassy whom we met earlier, together with his colleagues: En Khairul, En Ismail and En Kamaruddin.

Adding to the Malaysian feel were musical performances from an impressively catchy 5-piece ghazal outfit and the uniquely refreshing Mohram duo.

All in all, it was a reasonably exciting occasion but the WOW-factor can definitely be improved.

However, I think I know what is the ultimate YUCK-factor....

Wednesday, 27-Apr-2005 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Tupai says Kingdom Come

Pikachu rearing its head from behind.
Sahrin on 23rd Floor.
One for the postcard.
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Reportedly also known as Pokemon Tower (looking like an imposing giant metal Pikachu), the Kingdom Tower or Al Mamlaka stands majestically tall at 302m or 41 floors high. It is definitely their version of our Twin Towers.

My office is on the 23rd floor facing north. The security into the building is rather tight with all cars entering being subject to visual checks into the bonnet, boot and on the underside - just like many critical or expat sites in the city. Also pretty standard is the presence of armoured vehicles waiting to machine-gun down any ominous characters intent on harming the tower.

There is a skybridge at the very top with entrance charged at 25SR. I have yet to experience it so that is that for now.

There is also another tower to the south called Al Faisalia, looking like an elongated, tall pyramid. These two towers are prominent landmarks and the signature buildings of Riyadh.

You can wait until kingdom come, but monty will always be monty...

Tuesday, 26-Apr-2005 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Tupai's Traffic Report for today

Sahrin is still practicing his road crossing. Cameo by a taxi.
We are more than 800km away from Masjidil Haram.
King Fahd - Al Urubah at night. One happening junction.
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So you think KL drivers are bonkers?

In fact, KL is just a training ground for Riyadh. Many are actually wacked-up nascar drivers doing kamikaze stunts, with hair-raising skills to change lanes as and when they fancy it. As US-style ruler-straight highways cross through the city, expect the mercs, GMCs, lincolns, beemers, kitchen sinks to often go beyond the slug-like 120kmh speed limit. They are fond of honking slow drivers getting off the green light too.

To make it worse, they do it on the wrong side of the road - which is the right hand side. My mates and I have saved each other a few times for looking at the wrong direction when a car was zooming in from the opposite. Real hairy stuff.

Taxis come standard in white Camrys. These are not cheap with metering starts at 5SR while a typical ride would cost around 20-30SR. But then the meter is also optional, you can bargain/haggle with the cabbie on the fare before jumping in.

If you are thinking of driving here in Saudi then it is very handy to have your international driving license prepared, especially when you get your iqama (resident status). Make sure you have the balls too - you have to be brave and literally so, because it is illegal for women to drive.

Some people are crazy drivers, while some others, drive people crazy.

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