A1 Experience

Woke up at 9:30AM today, had my shower while boiling some water for my coffee. We made some calls to some friends who would be interested to watch the A1 Grand Prix, but still we were left with 6 extra tickets. Selena slept over at Papa Jamal’s house in Subang but they both arrived at 10:30AM to fetch us from the hotel. We then hit the road and arrived at the Sepang F1 Circuit at around 12 noon. Had we arrived earlier than that, we could have gotten inside the garage, as promised by our friend Big O, and took pix with the drivers and mechanic engineers. I know there’s nothing exciting about that, but “pictures” being my middle name – you definitely know what I want.

While we were having something to eat, I saw some friends who regularly go to the lounge. I was even shocked that the restaurant there where we ate in is owned by our regular guest, too. It was great to see them in another place other than the hotel. After lunch, we had to walk all the way to the grand stand, luckily it wasn’t that hot even though it was noontime. We even thought it was going to rain and so we were ready to get drenched in the rain. But it was a great day instead.

We reached the grandstand and got ourselves a good spot infront of the pits, 2 o’clock position from the Malaysian garage. There were actually 2 races from 25 nations from all over the world. Malaysian driver Fairuz Fauzy raced for the first one which is the A1 sprint race. We were fortunate that we got to the grandstand just before the race started. I only brought with me a 64MB SD card, luckily Marlou lent me his card-reader/harddisk where I saved all the pictures and videos I took everytime my card would run full. I must say that it was an easy task but it got me preoccupied coupled with Selena’s consistent calling when she wanted to talk to me coz everyone else was so focused with the race. The engines were so loud especially during the race that we had to wear ear plugs, especially Selena. I sent SMS to Big O and he came out of the garage and we started waving frantically to him so he could see us among the crowd. It was so funny when he started waving back because some of the people also waved back at him! Hahaha!

There was a break just before the feature race so Selena and I bought some ice cream for everyone else. I saw couple of Shangri-La staff walking around. It wasn’t that hot for a noontime but it was humid. Although I was wearing a sleeveless blouse and a mini skirt, I still felt like stripping in public coz it was humid.

The 2nd race was more exciting as there were more people in the crowd cheering for Alex Yoong. Almost everyone stood up the whole race through and would always cheer everytime he passes by infront of the grandstand. It was an overwhelming experience! I felt like I was also a Malaysian when everyone would cheer “Malaysia… Boleh!”. There was also a funny man behind us who kept on shouting funny Malay phrases that would crack everyone up. I kept on laughing whenever he’d say something although I couldn’t understand him. But Selena turned grumpy, she found the whole thing boring and wanted to go back. She kept calling me out loud amidst the noisy crowd and cars passing by to say that she wanted to go back to the hotel to sleep.

At last the race was finished. Malaysia did good at 5th place. France won both races. I didn’t care about the others placed in between. After the race, we were supposed to wait till everyone’s gone then maybe we can get invited to the garage by our friend. But, I looked at my watch, computed the time, and just decided to head back straight to the hotel.

We stopped by at an R&R (Rest & Relax) to have some food before we go back, coz I know that I’ll be dead tired and will be needing some rest before we go to work. While we were eating nasi lemak, Selena had chicken with rice. Suddenly, she said that she accidentally hit her loosen lower tooth with her tongue. Papa Jamal joked that he can remove it easily for her, she then obliged and went near him. Papa Jamal shook off her loosen tooth and pulled it out. Selena was smiling all through out and she didn’t even realize that her tooth has been pulled out already. After R&R, we all slept in the car. We reached the hotel at 6PM and slept until 7:15PM.

It’s Sunday and it was still a working night for us. My voice didn’t feel too much hoarse, compared to the past days, considering all the cheering I did at A1 earlier huh! It was a great night, have some of my friends in the crowd. But I was so honored when our old friend from Concorde days came to visit us, Dato Syed Alwi. We were close with his family before and would often spend time in their house in the afternoons and during day offs. He and his wife, Datin Sophia, are very nice people, not like those other rich people I’ve known. We still kept in touch through the years especially on special occasions.

After work, we just had a quiet time in the room. I was so tired, had a long day – tiring yet very interesting one. Have to go off now… it was definitely a great day!

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