Monday 17 April 2017

Furious that they forgot about Han so fast: 'One word says it all, Asian'

It’s hard out there for an Asian.

And I’m not just talking about Dr David Dao, the Vietnamese-American who was dragged off a United Airlines flight last week.

If only he had given his dragger a Pepsi.

Even Hitler did not drag anyone off a plane.(Or did he?)

Dr Dao’s lawyer told reporters that his client said being dragged down the aisle was “more horrifying and harrowing” than leaving Vietnam in 1975 when Saigon fell.

I guess Dr Dao would be giving the Broadway revival of Miss Saigon a miss then.

I’m old enough to remember when Caucasian actor Jonathan Pryce (who recently played the High Sparrow in Game Of Thrones) put on a yellowface to play a Eurasian in the original 1989 production of Miss Saigon.

It was like Mickey Rooney playing Japanese in Breakfast At Tiffany’s all over again.

But this is 2017. We’re more racially and gender sensitive now.

If Dr Dao’s story is made into a movie, he would be played by Scarlett Johansson.

Who knew the 69-year-old doctor could look so hot in a flesh-tone bodysuit?

While many have speculated that Dr Dao was targeted because he is Asian, there is no evidence of this.

It was not like United Airlines said: “One word says it all, Asian.”

That was the message a California Airbnb host sent to an Asian-American woman after cancelling her reservation at the last minute.

When Miss Dyne Suh said she would complain to Airbnb, the host replied with “go ahead” and “it’s why we have Trump”.

The host added: “I will not allow this country to be told what to do by foreigners.”

Ironically, it was later revealed that the host has another job — teaching English as a second language.

No wonder she’s so sick of those damn foreigners.

Airbnb has since permanently banned the host, calling her behaviour “abhorrent and unacceptable”.

I suspect Hollywood is already developing a movie about this incident where Miss Suh will be played by Jonathan Pryce.

But you know who I think is the most disrespected Asian of them all?

Han from the Fast & Furious movies (and not 2 Broke Girls).

Played by Korean-American actor Sung Kang, Han first appeared and died in The Fast And The Furious: Tokyo Drift.

At the end of Fast & Furious 6, it was revealed that Han was actually murdered by Deckard Shaw, played by Jason Statham, setting up Fast & Furious 7, which was essentially about Han’s friends going after Shaw.

If you have seen the trailers for the new Fast & Furious 8, you would know that Shaw is now teaming up with our protagonists to go after Vin Diesel’s character, who has gone “rogue”.

By the end of the movie, Shaw has more or less become one of the good guys.

What is this?

Doesn’t anyone remember that Shaw killed Han?!

There was no mention of Han at all in the new movie.

Are the other guys just jealous because Han had hair?

I’m not the only one upset by this. Mr Brown wrote on his blog:
“Most of you may know that Jason Statham, Deckard Shaw in the movie, was the enemy of Vin Diesel’s family in Furious 7, right? And you know that he killed Han in Fast & Furious 6, right?

See the all-caps? That’s how furious Mr Brown is.

When Fast & Furious 8 writer Chris Morgan was asked about the Han-troversy in an Entertainment Weekly interview, he said:
“Sung Kang is one of my favorite people on the planet. His character, God, I love Han. I love Han!

“And look, there is still conversations for Deckard and the team to be having about it. There’s still things we get to discover. I think that, over the journey over the next few films, I think anyone who may be having issues about that will get a satisfying resolution.”
Well, there better be or someone’s going to get dragged down an airplane aisle real bad.

I’m just grateful Han wasn’t played by Tilda Swinton.

- Published in The New Paper, 17 April 2017


Monday 3 April 2017

Why I'm grateful North Korean leader's half-brother wasn't assassinated in Changi Airport last year

Last week, nine Malaysians returned home after being held in Pyongyang following the assassination of Kim Jong Nam, half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Perhaps battle-weary from the whole Beauty And The Beastiality gay thing, Malaysia had agreed to release the half-brother’s body to North Korea in exchange for the return of the Malaysian embassy workers and their family members.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said: “We hope they don’t create a case like this again. It will harm the relationship between the two countries.”

Wait, you mean the relation between the two countries hasn’t been “harmed” already?

Anyway, it’s unlikely a case like this can happen again since Kim Jong Un has run out of half-brothers — but he still has another brother, Kim Jong Chul.

Here’s a tip for him — avoid Malaysian airports.

I’m grateful that Kim Jong Nam at least wasn’t killed in Changi Airport and the assassination didn’t take place last year.

Otherwise, I could have been the one held hostage in Pyongyang.

Yes, I was in North Korea a year ago.

And it wasn’t because I made a mistake like that teen from the Netherlands who wanted to go to Sydney, Australia, but bought a ticket to Sydney, Canada, instead.

It was not like I wanted to go to South Korea and somehow ended up in the wrong Korea (although that does sound like something that could happen to me).

I wanted to go to North Korea for three reasons.

The first is I wanted to run in the Pyongyang Marathon, albeit in the 10km category because the only marathon I have ever completed is The Hobbit three-movie marathon at GV VivoCity in 2014.

Second, you know how Amos Yee was granted political asylum in the US last month after a judge ruled that Yee’s “prosecution, detention and general maltreatment at the hands of Singapore authorities constitute persecution on account of Yee’s political opinions”?

I imagine that for people who have never been to Singapore, that must make our country sound like an awful place, even though for most of us here, it’s not really that bad despite Amazon postponing its Singapore launch to later this year.

So with all the negative publicity about North Korea, I wanted to see for myself whether the country really is as awful as the 2014 James Franco-Seth Rogen movie The Interview made it out to be.

The third reason is I wanted to get Kim Jong Un’s haircut in its land of origin.

I had read contradicting stories about Kim’s iconic do. One story was that all the guys in North Korea must have the same haircut as their Supreme Leader.

I also read somewhere that only the man himself is allowed to rock the style.

The first story was debunked when I arrived in Pyongyang and noticed that the dudes there have different haircuts.

The second story was disproven when I asked for Kim’s haircut in the hotel barbershop and wasn’t forcibly sent to a prison camp for reeducation.

The barber was a nice middle-aged lady who also trimmed my nasal hair and gave me a shoulder massage.

The other foreign marathon runners and I were prohibited from leaving the hotel without our assigned North Korean tour guides, who spoke English and appeared happy to talk about their lives in the supposed hermit kingdom.

They seemed like normal, rational human beings who just happened to worship Kim, his father Kim Jong Il and grandfather Kim Il Sung like they’re the Holy Trinity.

The locals have mobile phones like the rest of the world.

But no Internet. Just a nationwide Intranet of sorts. So I’m guessing no Pokemon Go too.

During my three-day stay, I got to ride on their MRT train and it didn’t break down.

On our last day, the guides took us to a hotpot restaurant, just like the ones in the other Korea.

I enjoyed the trip so much, I half-considered signing up for this year’s Pyongyang Marathon, which is flagging off this Sunday.

But it’s a good thing I didn’t.

Who knows when another Kim sibling could be assassinated at Changi Airport by a woman wearing an “LOL” top who thought she was on a prank show?

I don’t want to become a hostage for whom Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has to negotiate with North Korea to secure my safe return.

That would be so embarrassing.

But my greater fear is that some of you might just prefer to leave me there, you bastards.

Like I’m Amos Yee or something.

Since it’s unlikely I’ll ever go back, I haven’t cut my hair for a year — and probably never will again.

Why? So that for the rest of my life, I can brag: “You know where was the last place I got a haircut? North Korea!”

Perhaps I should start staying away from airports too.

- Published in The New Paper, 3 April 2017


I went to North Korea & asked for the Kim Jong Un haircut (and lived)

I went to North Korea & ran 10k in the Pyongyang marathon

I took the MRT train in North Korea & it didn't break down

I went to North Korea & took lots of selfies

Sunday 2 April 2017

2XU Compression Run: Should've worn socks for half marathon

My second 2XU Compression Run half marathon. I first joined in 2015.

I didn't wear socks because they tend to make my shoes feel too tight.

I would regret it.

The final few kilometres were rather painful.

EARLIER: 2XU Compression Run 2015 recap