Memories of the Singapore Open

Discussion in 'Singapore / Indonesia / Malaysia Open 2003' started by Adel, Aug 25, 2003.

  1. Adel

    Adel Regular Member

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    Pre-event:
    Taking KE 641 with the Korean contingent and having Kim Dong Moon and Lee Dong Soo in the row right behind me. I had abandoned a two-week trip to Pusan following my immersion program in Seoul for the sake of the S-Open without realizing that I had booked myself on a flight with world champions. To the disgust of my friends, I did not ask for autographs or photographs, much less speak to the players - although I did steal more than my fair share of peeks at the row behind me and was forced to finally open my mouth when I accidentally ran my suitcase into Lee Hyo Jung at Changi Airport.

    During the event:
    Strange feeling of dejavu, this being my third live Open. Seemed just like yesterday when I saw the 2001 edition abt 2 weeks before leaving home for studies in the States. Lots of emotional ups and downs with Lee DS being kicked out in the 1st round (argh!), Kim/Ra beating Zhang/Gao almost effortlessly, the match bwt Peter-Gade and Lee Hyun-il, which was too painful to watch. Pity about PG - I was really hoping he would take it. Also Ronald Susilo gaining 9 points in the 1st game against Chen Hong before losing the second 1-15. Credit to RS though: I thought he improved quite a bit although CH is obviously a class above him. Plus the thought of the Singaporean BCers meeting up with JR. Did you guys manage to do so btw?

    At the entrance, it was weird to have my bags inspected on the QFs and body scans done on the SF and F. Thought you would only experience such things as the airport but understandably, there was such a need what with the recent JKT bombings and the arrest of SEA's favorite terrorist.

    And the distribution of all the different national flags. I was contemplating telling the person, "One of each please. I represent the UN". Strangely, this guy sitting in front of me really DID carry one of each and was waving them all at the same time.

    The most amusing part was this Singaporean ah-chek (I don't exactly know how to put this across to non-Singaporeans but the closest approximation would be a middle-aged man who speaks mostly Hokkien or Singlish with an unmistakable dress code) doing a live commentary to his son, who was blowing the cacophonic party horn (relic from National Day?) with such great effort, I swear he was spluttering towards the end. That reinforced my belief that badminton is great on its own but better with a laughter-inducing crowd.

    The evening after the SFs, a little bird told me about this gigantic crowd of screaming teenage girls running after the Korean players, one of whom had the audacity to RUN UP THE TEAM BUS bound for Pan-Pacific Hotel to ask for autographs. She was duly chased off by the security guard.

    According to the same source, the younger Korean players like Lee Hyun-il and Shon Seung-mo throughly enjoyed the attn and were waving and smiling like movie stars back at their adoring fans. A stark contrast to the scenario at the Inchon Airport in Seoul, when the Korean players were left on their own to watch TV without a single autograph or photograph hunter to disturb them. I asked a couple of native Koreans abt the popularity of badminton in their country and apparently, it wasn't much. On the other hand, it's "cool to be Korean" in Singapore at the mo, which probably explains the increasing no. of fans waving the Taegeuk-ki in the crowd. Not to discredit the Korean baddie players who are really of some standard though.

    Post-event:
    Had another good laugh watching another bunch of teenagers bombarding Kim/Ra and Lee Kyung Won for autographs. When Lee apparently turned down some request to pose for her millionth photoshot with the same crowd, this girl actually said in classic Singlish, "WHY YOU SO BAD ONE?". More hoo-har when they tried getting her to teach them how to pronounce her name and repeated word for word, "YI KYUNG WON". Darn, what wouldn't I give to be young again...

    Anyway, I had my own twenty seconds of blessedness taking a pic with Kim Dong Moon (thanks to someone on this forum who half-coerced and half-convinced me into doing it!) not juz coz he was Kim Dong Moon but coz I could actually request for a photoshot, say thanks and congratulations all in Korean. Okay, he didn't reply but sometimes, a smile is worth a thousand words and Kim Dong Moon has a really nice smile.

    Ah... to come home rain or shine every year for the Singapore Open... who needs a trip to Pusan?

    Btw JR, if you're reading this: Congrats on the 2nd place!
     
  2. kwun

    kwun Administrator

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    wow. that's sounds like Adel's dream come true, with Lee sitting behind you?? and what the heck were you thinking? didn't talk to them nor ask for photograph? so did you get any gossips?

    so you gonna post your pic with Kim?

    welcome back!! so is your plan to visit BF only once one year after the Singapore Open? :mad: ;)
     
  3. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Hi Adel

    Welcome home! Yes, we did meet on Semi Finals morning. The four of us - Fourcas (Denmark), Hamz (M'sia), Kaffie (S'pore) and me met at my club for a game of badminton as reported in another post here. It was nice fun. It would have been better if you could have joined us.

    We tried to meet up with the others after the SF to take a group pic, but they were too 'shy' to show up. "Unregistered" contacted me but he had to leave earlier and missed the pic we had together with JR. As you may recall JR and LP beat the Malaysian pair of Lee & Choong to reach the Finals but unfortunately lost to their Danish compatriots, J Eriksen and M Lundgaard Hansen.

    Are you back in the States or still in S'pore? You should have informed me so that we can arrange something.
     
  4. Bbn

    Bbn Regular Member

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    Things Korean are really hot in Msia Singapore, esp pop music and movies.

    I heard that even in China Korean fashions are the in- thing.

    Better marketing?
     
  5. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    Nice report.:)

    adel, there's another BF member asking about badminton clubs in Seoul. Do you know of any places?
     
  6. wilfredlgf

    wilfredlgf Regular Member

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    Ah Chek can be considered - 'uncle'. ;)
     
  7. Adel

    Adel Regular Member

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    Harlo to everyone....

    Kwun: Sorry lah. I've been SOOOOO busy, I didn't even have time to follow any badminton events, much less come here. My GPA sucks at the moment and with approx. one and a half yrs to graduation, I'm really panicking.

    Er... what was I thinking on the plane? Honestly, I don't know. It just felt kinda embarassing coz I was literally staring at them (sometimes they stared back) and I couldn't bring myself to turn around and ask for autographs. It would have been simple enough though - their stuff were in the overhead compartment above mine and they kept coming forward to open it. As for gossips, I did see Lee DS' wife at the indoor stadium on the finals. Quite a pretty girl. Kim DM reads Tolstoy (Korean version) and most of the players sleep with their mouths open, if that's anything.

    Cheung: Badminton clubs in Seoul? Unfortunately, I was there for only 6 weeks - during which I was cramming a semester's worth of work into half the time - so I really wasn't free to look for badminton clubs or even visit tourist attractions (latter didn't really matter because this is my 3rd time in Korea and I'd seen almost all there is to see). I could ask around for you though - think I have sufficient contacts. Who needs the info btw?

    Koreans play a lot of badminton though they tell me it isn't all that popular a sport. From my observation, a lot of them do it in open air places rather than proper courts for recreational purposes - the backyard picnicking or HDB void deck kinda thing. Also, my language teacher doesn't know who Kim Dong Moon is (GASP!) and the air stewardess on the plane was addressing him in English (DOUBLE GASP!)- I couldn't fathom if she was trying to brush up on her English or because she seriously didn't know he was Korean and a World Badminton Champion to boot.

    Loh: Hey! Nice to hear from a fellow Singaporean. This year's homecoming was excellent... I didn't realize I missed home so much until I heard all the Singlish around me. Every summer I come back, I devote one entire week to the Singapore Open that even my parents are used to it. My dad will always ask me in the morning, "So are you going to watch badminton today?" It's nice to feel there is always an event waiting for you to be part of. I love the floating restaurants opposite SIS btw... don't remember seeing them when I came back last yr so I guess they must be new. Then again, I always love everything in the East Coast just coz I stay in the West!

    Sorry I didn't mention my plans. It was kinda last minute because I wasn't due to return until the 31st of Aug. Then a fren told me that the S-Open was being held, which was the only impetus I needed for scheduling my flight two weeks ahead. My mum was really pissed because nothing she said could make me cancel my trip to Pusan (parents wanted me back earlier as usual) and the mo I heard about the S-Open, I told them "Okay I'm coming home".

    Anyway, I hope everyone here is doing well.... it feels like returning to my virtual home. *laugh*
     
  8. jamesd20

    jamesd20 Moderator

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    Adel:


    Matt ross would like the info on clubs in South Korea
     
  9. nauknip

    nauknip Regular Member

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    haha, so you've done most of the talking Adel. What can I say. It's my 3rd Singapore Open too, and it's Ra/Kim I'm going to remember most this year. We've witnessed what it means to be a true champion. Ra and Kim are just such charismatic, warm, humble and wonderful people.

    The post-event happenings all took place at the bus bay where only Kim, Ra, Lee Kyung Won, Hwang Yu Mi and the Korean coaches are left because the previous bus left just as Ra came out of the stadium. In addition to the "Yi Kyung Won" episode, the little girls asked Ra to autograph (for the millionth time), write her name in Korean, AND in Chinese. Haha. And they were trying to read as she wrote. "Luo... Oh her surname is Luo ah..." and Ra went "Luo.... Jing.... Min.", with the girls repeating after her as well. Haha. Quite accurate intonation!! Kim was standing in a corner doing his stretches and one of the girls came running back exclaiming that he has very nice handwriting.

    The girls couldn't stop commenting on how cute Ra/Lee look together, just like sisters. And Ra/Lee were spontaneous enough to make funny poses, with Lee putting her head on Ra's shoulder, looking pissed at each other etc. Too bad it all happened too fast to be captured on camera!! Ra/Kim did look a bit embarassed when they were pushed together for a photo. To make things worse, the girls decided they'd take far too long to take a pic with them each, so they decided to all pose for a photo together with Kim/Ra!! It really did look like a father-mother-and-lots-of-children pic. Haha. The players were all really entertained by the crowd they attracted, which is why the pics all turned out really nice with broad sincere smiles. :D

    According to my friend who was helping me take photos of the prize pres, Ra picked up one of the children from the spectators who were asking for photos when they were hogged for autographs. AWW.... how sweet. :)
     
  10. Mag

    Mag Moderator

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    Adel, that is hilarious. Did you see if it was "War and Peace" or "Anna Karenina"? :p
     
  11. Adel

    Adel Regular Member

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    Bleah... sorry Mag, I couldn't see the title. But it might not have been either coz the book looked comparatively thin. I've read "Anna" which is rather thick and "War and Peace" is obviously much thicker! :p
     
  12. Pecheur

    Pecheur Regular Member

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    It's not that funny I mean it's like reading The Outsider or Dreaming of Red Mansions in english.
     
  13. Mag

    Mag Moderator

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    Pecheur, chill, my reaction had nothing to with nationality. To me, the idea of a professional athlete player reading Tolstoy is quite amusing.
     
  14. Pecheur

    Pecheur Regular Member

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    No, no I didn't take it as racist I just took it that you thought it was weird that that it was the translation.

    Obviously just a misunderstanding.
     
  15. Mag

    Mag Moderator

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    No, it's just my esoteric sense of humour I guess...

    And regarding translations, I would have a hard time myself if I were to read Tolstoy in Russian... :p

    (Oops, who's the one being off topic now? Sorry all! Just trying to up my message count, of course! ;) )
     

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