Monday, 3 November 2008

A happy ending to the weekend

It wasn't a great weekend, mainly because (here comes an overshare) as well as the PMS that plagued me, I have another medical condition that seems to act in tandem with said evil PMS. I won't go into details, but basically, for five days of every month, it feels like my body is trying to murder me from the inside in three different ways at once. Not fun. Unless you're a masochist. Clearly I'm not.

On Saturday, TSC and I had planned to go to Dragon City, the sprawling Chinese market in the centre of town, to check out the cheap wares and let me stock up on some beads to make jewellery as Christmas gifts. The place is three storeys high and is crammed full of tiny, overcrowded, hot stalls manned by cross non-English speaking salespeople. It's kind of like this so-called mall is themed "hell" (just without the fire and brimstone. What is brimstone anyway?! I've always wondered). Sidetracking...

There is NO ventilation at Dragon City, so as you climb the stairs to the next floor, you get into the stale, hot, smelly air that's hanging around near the top of the building like a foul cloud of swamp gas. Lovely, hey? We also happened to be there over pay weekend and at lunch time so it was really, REALLY busy and most of the shop owners were cooking lunch on little gas stoves, adding to the heat and smell.

Needless to say, it made me feel a gazillion times worse than I had been feeling, so I spent the rest of the day lying on the couch and being thoroughly miserable (I am very talented at this, you can ask TSC. I've made it into an art form). So in the end I missed Angel and Glug's party, which SUX :-( It looks like it was such fun. And I had the coolest costume planned. Grrr...

Sunday I did some web copy writing work and interviewed someone for a story I'm writing, and then... it was time for the event of the year, the only sport worth watching, the race of the season, the last track on the calendar... The Brazilian Formula One Grand Prix! *drums, trumpets etc*

And it did not disappoint. Now I know that most of you think that F1 is just a bunch of noisy cars going around the track, but it's not. Hear me out...

Aside from being the pinnacle of motoring technology and the most expensive sport in the world, F1 is a test of both man and machine, working together to achieve not only speed but reliability and accuracy. It's a strategy game where everything from the amount of fuel in the car to the type of tyres and the length of a pitstop can make or break a race. And, in the case of yesterday's event, a championship.

Picture the scene as you would a movie: the crowds are cheering for the man in red - it's his home race and they love him. In the shadows stands his arch rival in white and orange. He's tired - it's been a long year of politics and unfair penalities, and although he's seven points in the lead and only needs to finish fifth to win the driver's championship, he remembers the previous year, where he also looked set to win but made a wrong choice and watched his dream disintegrate in front of his eyes. He knows he needs to play it safe now, but that goes against his racer's instinct.

As the teams line up to start the race, the rain comes down in buckets. The race start is postponed to give the crews a chance to put the wet tyres onto the cars so that they don't spin out of control. Eventually the race begins. The red driver speeds ahead and doesn't make a single mistake. He looks like he is controlling the race. He's perfect.

Behind him, in fifth place, his rival is exercising his self-control and driving conservatively, much as he hates it. He just needs to hang onto this place... He just needs to hang onto this place...

Pitstops come and go, pulses quicken and then slow again. As the race draws to its end, the momentum is building. Who will win the championship? Will anyone get in the way?

A few laps before the end of the race, with only minutes to go, the rain sets in again. What to do?! Should the drivers hang on and try to finish on their dry tyres and risk skidding off the wet track and crashing? Or should they pit and change to wet tyres and risk losing valuable time and places?!

Cut to the pit lane. The crews are coming out! There's a buzz of activity and the adrenaline is pumping. The leaders are coming in! 10...9...8...7...6...5...4...3...2...1... And they're out again! Who's in front? Have the places changed? What's going on? Wait... one of the top runners is still on dry tyres... and he's going faster than the man in orange and white!

Will he hang onto fifth place? No! NO! He has been overtaken by a navy car! Where did he come from? The championship must be lost. But there's two laps to go... Will something change? One lap to go... The last lap has started... all is surely lost for the man in orange and white, now in sixth place?

The last corner comes up. The man in red is celebrating already as he crosses the finish line. But wait, the dry tyre car is slowing down... the man in navy overtakes him. The man in orange and white too! He's won the championship! He's won! He punches the air in excitement and relief!

The man in red begins to cry. He did everything perfectly. He won the race! How could he have lost the championship? He climbs onto the podium, wiping tears from his cheeks. His home crowd roars - he's still their hero. They love him all the more... Next year. Next year he'll do it, he tells himself.

Honestly. That's how it happened. Like a flipping Hollywood film. It could not have been more dramatic. And now it's over until March next year. Phew... I don't think my heart could have handled any more!

Have a fab week, darlinks!


Kitty Cat said...

Sorry to hear about the PMS and missing the party.
I am not a Formula One fan or watcher, so on that score, I have no idea what you're talking about. :)

po said...

That chinese market sounds a bit like... China!

But as to the grand prix, I don't watch but I was happy for Hamilton, he comes from the town where my parents live, so he is a bit of a hero over here!

Ches said...

Not sure if you saw my so chuffed McLaren got the championship. But Massa is an unbelievable sportsman and gentleman.

31337 said...

i did watch the race all the way to the last 15 laps and dozed off on my couch to wake up to the podium stuff, from the replays and what has been described it was a brilliant race this, edge of the seat stuff.

sorry about the other stuff though. hope next weekend is much much better.

Arkwife said...

I fully sympathise with your PMS woes. It's the worst!!

And if it makes you feel any better, I ended up missing the party too.

I haven't been following F1 since Schumacher stopped racing, but I may need to start again after hearing about Hamilton's win form everywhere!!

Miss T said...

just dont get F1....otherwise I hope you are feeling better by now lass!

Mike said...

Can't help with the PMS stuff (phew), but great replay of the race. MMMMM what to watch for the next 5 months, Sunday's will not be the same again

angel said...

what a friggin awesome review tamara!
we are both so sorry you missed the party, but there'll be another one.

Slyde said...

i must admit that ive never been a fan of racing of any kind.

but you had fun.. thats whats important!

Tamara said...

kitty: Once you're into it, it's addictive!

Po: Then I'm seriously reconsidering my wish to see China ;-)

Ches: Agreed.

31337: You missed the best bit!

Arkwife: Yup. Every dude should be required to experience simulated PMS just once in his life. Then they'd stop with all the lame jokes.

Miss t: it's a pity. It's the best sport in the world.

Mike: Thanks, hey. Coming from you that's a real compliment ;-) Can't wait till March.

Angel: Awww... thanks, lady. I still have your bloody cake tray!

Slyde: it's a good thing too. I don't think you have any more time for TV ;-)