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Friday, August 11, 2006
11:32 am

Malaysia Salsa Festival 2006.

Four days and three nights of nonstop dancing later, Cherating ended with sore legs and an impressive number of pictures. It's amazing what three crazy girls, armed with a digital camera each, can do. We racked up a whopping 300++ photos altogether!!

Funnily, I never expected congresses to be this tiring. Before going to Cherating, I was picturing sandy beaches, baking under the lazy sun with cocktails in our hands, gliding through the cool depths of the resort pool, excellent music that effortlessly set our souls on fire, and, of course, excellent dances. Reality had to strike and prove me wrong though - I was in a perpetual hot and sweaty state, cranky and sleep-deprived and tired out from the tight schedules and rehearsals. It must have been the most stressful holiday ever, really.

Thank goodness for the fantastic company. Everybody was so friendly and lovely, especially my two roomies, Crystal and Michelle! :)

There were moments when we were so tired, we almost were dozing off on our feet.

There were also moments when adrenaline suddenly kicked in and we all go crazy.

Nevertheless, a congress is a congress - we were there to relax, have fun, and most importantly, dance. And dance we did. For three nights, we were on our feet, salsaing the hours away until they felt like they were going to fall apart and give way beneath us!

In hindsight, I don't think I was disappointed by my first salsa congress. It may not be glamorous - no Los Angeles (the city of dreams) nor New York (fashion paradise) for me - just plain, old Malaysia, but hey, I managed to have my share of fun (or perhaps even more) anyway. So, no regrets, really.


The thought of having to take a 7am coach on Friday with a daunting 7 hour drive ahead of us was enough to dampen anyone's spirits, really. Crys stayed over the night before, and we ended up not sleeping at all, staying up the whole night to chat about anything and everything. The next morning, we marched to the meeting place at Neil Road, clutching our pillows (color-coordinated, no less! - she in pink with a pink heart, me in yellow with a yellow star) that attracted too many amused and/or jealous stares, dragging our trolley bags after us in a semi-asleep stupor, looking like runaway kids - or so Crys claims. The rest of the team (including Miche, that traitor!) cracked up upon seeing the two of us, clad in our skimpy shorts, all ready to fall into the coach seats and just sleep.

After 7 hours of total crashout sleep in the coach, we finally reached Cherating. To our delight, we were welcomed with pretty orchid garlands, strung together with cinnamon sticks. After milling around with the crowd at the main resort (Impiana Resort), we found a shuttle bus to take us to the second resort that we were residing at, Suria.

To our dismay, Suria wasn't half as pretty as Impiana was. We couldn't really be bothered to take many pictures at Suria since it was so aesthetically lacking, but photowhored like mad in Impiana, especially in Stella/Andy/Sammie/Ange's quad-sharing room that became our second home in Cherating, and to a lesser extent, Clarence/Nicole/Douglas?Racheal's as well. Upon stepping into their rooms, we promptly fell in love with the canopy beds, lovely balcony view and spacious bathroom that the quad rooms had to offer.


It was showtime for ADS on Saturday night. We woke up bright and early in the morning for the 10am tech rehearsal (insane timing, no?), and some woke up brighter and earlier for the Afro-Carribean exercises on the beach before that. Unthinkable, if you ask me! The day was spent running to and fro workshops and rehearsals, I was terrified we'd all be exhausted even before stepping onto stage to perform! Thankfully, everything went pretty alright save for a few screwups here and there. The performance was far from perfect, but it wasn't awful either, so...


Then Sunday arrived: our much anticipated day of rest. We had the most fun that day. No performance stress and practices, just pure, unadulterated fun - climbing the roof at Impiana from one balcony to another instead of taking the conventional route (the corridors), beaching, trying to soak up what's left of the sun, prancing around in our bikinis in the day and walking around all black-clad at night to go with our "Gupson's/ADS Angels" image. Before anybody balks at that title - as silly and cheesy it may sound (what a Charlie's Angels rip-off, huh), the name has seriously stuck. Strange, ain't it?

After the workshops, we trooped off to pay the beach a proper visit, then ended the day with a nice, warm soak in the jacuzzi at Impiana. We fooled around so much at the beach (which was so beautiful and clean!), and took a hell lot of silly photos - splashing around, shrieking at waves, attempting the SMU "We are different!" jump, basically mucking around to unwind.

We took so many pictures there, especially on Sunday since it was the last night, I was seeing spots wherever I went because of all the blinding flashes! Let me introduce some of the people who kept me entertained and exceedingly well looked after during the course of the trip:


Monday rolled around and we all bundled ourselves off for another 7 hour ride home. For awhile, we had to ourselves the most luxurious coach I've ever set my eyes on - affectionately named The Pimp Bus by the three of us and some of the girls from Two Left Feet. We took the coach from Suria to Impiana, to discover to our dismay that the bus was actually meant for Groove and not our group. :( How sad. There was even enough space for a mahjong table to be unfolded at the centre of the backseat portion - even better, there really was a mahjong table in the bus!


Finally, a big yay to my two beautiful roomies! Thank you for being such darlings.

<3 to the three of us! <3, <3, <3, to be exact. :)