Thursday was honestly quite slow because it’s the day before the tournament and many of the competitors were resting so the mat room was quite empty.
Saw posters and signs advertising the WPJJC in the hotel:
Hey look the Malaysian flag’s on the poster! :) (it’s the last flag on the right)
Woke Shane and Tommy up for breakfast, then discussed what to do for the rest of the day. As for me, my plan for the day was to go to the beach!!!! I knew I had to visit Coniche beach one last time. There were a couple of people who were interested in going to the beach but because they’re competing (and are of fair skin) they were afraid of getting sun burnt. That’s such a strange concept for me, not to visit the beach the day before a competition for fear of getting sun burnt… I guess it’s because I tan easily (thanks to the South East Asian genes from my Mum’s side baby!!!), I personally have never experienced sunburn in my entire life (not even tanning under 12pm sun in Malaysia weather with just SPF4). I guess rolling in a gi with sunburn must hurt really bad.
During the conversation a sand storm hit us! Shane and I ran back to our rooms cause we had left our Gis to dry outside on the balcony. Lucky for us the balcony was facing away from the storm and was quite protected. I was honestly afraid our Gis would have been blown away! The sand storm was quite epic so I had to wait for a bit before I could head out to the beach.
So anyway after the sand storm subsided, I went to Coniche beach by myself to work on my tan. The weather wasn’t as nice as it was on Monday as it was cloudy and very windy. Was there for about 2 hours before another sand storm hit Abu Dhabi and let me tell you, being at a beach during a sandstorm is NO FUN AT ALL. The sand kept getting EVERYWHERE and the life guards eventually ushered us off the beach and into the protected areas. I was stuck in the toilet for about 40 minutes before we were allowed outside again. Well at least the toilets had air condition (I know wtf? air condition in the public toilets!!!! Only in Abu Dhabi man).
It was 3pm by the time I got back so I had lunch and caught up with Monstrinha. She was interested in chilling at the open mat area to see people roll even though she wasn’t training so I tagged along. There we saw some members of Team Llyod Irvine training as well as JT and Jared who were photographing a technique for Jiu Jitsu Style Magazine.
After that we headed back to our room to rest before the rules meeting at 7pm. On our way back we got harassed by our Brazilian room neighbors, it was funny at first then it got really annoying. -_- First they blocked our path going back to our room by sitting on the hallway forcing us to talk to them. They introduced themselves (I can’t remember their names) and asked if we wanted to join them to sit outside in the hallway. We said no and thought that was the end of that. Heck no, 5 minutes later I hear this tapping on the balcony and realized that one of them was sitting on the barrier wall that separated our balcony from theirs and was furiously tapping on it to get our attention. He then made birdy tweeting sounds after we ignore the tapping. Then the other Brazilian dude knocks on our door! At this point Monstrinha and I felt that our privacy was getting invaded and it was really annoying. We figured if we stayed in our room and ignored them they would stop it. Oh no…. they proceed to CALL OUR FRICKIN PHONE except they can’t speak English at all so it was mostly “blah blah blah Portuguese MAKE FRIENDS WITH US” now I guess it’s pretty funny looking back but I was getting pretty jumpy and pretty annoyed at the time. I told Monstrinha I couldn’t stand this anymore and when they started knocking out balcony wall again, I used that opportunity to get out of the room since I wouldn’t have to meet them at the front door. Monstrinha on the other hand was sleepy so she unhooked the phone and went to sleep.
Alone I headed to the open mat area, talked to a bunch of people and saw some people roll. It was around 6pm and since the sauna and steam area was right downstairs and the rules meeting was only at 7pm, figured I’d go there to kill time since I didn’t want to return to my room to face the Brazilians again. There I met in the sauna Sunny and Leyla (from Australia and NZ) as well as Teresa from Brazil. Had a conversation with them about what it’s like living in a Muslim country and the whole nudity issue in saunas and steam rooms.
After that at 7pm was time for the rules meeting. Finally met the head organizers and thanked them profusely for getting Tommy’s ticket in time.
Had dinner with the rest of Team Malaysia. Now we’ve been signing nicknames rather than our actual signatures from Wednesday onwards (I think Jordan started the trend). I know we’re retarded that way:
Shane’s East Side, Jordan’s West Side, Monstrinha is Whatever, I’m North Side and Tommy’s Dirty South (I know it says Side but that’s a mistake!). Heheheh :P
After that I bumped into Luanna and asked her how her workshop was and told her that we had really wanted to attend but got the location all wrong :(
We bumped into Thiago Braga from Roots Australia and he was feeling very ill (down with the flu) so I gave him some of my paracetamol tables to reduce his fever.
After that Monstrinha and I headed to the supermarket (Carrefour) to get some supplies like bananas and snacks for the tournament and headed early to bed.