Singapore Sling: Trying the original

Another bucket list cross off for me! I recently had a Singapore Sling at the original place where the legendary long drink was invented 1915: Raffles Hotel in Singapore.

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The hotel now and then. It still holds it’s beautiful colonial style of architecture. During the years, many world famous guests have stayed here.

It’s something I’ve been wanting to do for over 15 years, ever since I became a bartender myself. The Singapore Sling has a cool history and is of the world’s top 10 most influential long drinks. It’s been an official IBA (International Bartenders Association) recipe for a long time and has a given place in the heritage and traditions of bar tending. It would sure be a shame for anybody in the profession to visit Singapore without trying the original. I knew I would never forgive myself if I didn’t take the opportunity while staying in Singapore!

So what is the history of the Singapore Sling?

It was invented 1915 at Raffles hotel in Singapore by the bartender Ngiam Tong Boon.

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During that time, it was not socially acceptable for women to consume alcoholic beverages in public. Women had to resort to fruit juice or tea, while the men had all the fun with whisky, gin, rum, etc. According to the legend, Ngiam Tong Boon saw a “niche in the market” and decided to make a long drink that looked like fruit juice, was appealing to the eye, but secretly contained alcohol.

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Photo by me 🙂

This way, women could enjoy drinking too, while still maintaining their social status and not braking the strict etiquette of the times. Needless to say, the drink became an instant hit.

It’s a common mistake to refer to any alcoholic drink as a cocktail. To be anal about it; the Singapore sling belongs to the drink family long drinks, and then to a sub category of long drinks called slings. It’s served in a hurricane glass and garnished with a pineapple and cherry. As any professional bartender must know, the soft drinks part of a long drink determine the garnish, which the Singapore Sling is a perfect by the book example of. The main soft drink contained is pineapple juice.

I documented my adventure by making a short 6 min movie. Have a look here:

Half way into my drink, a pair of clueless, badly dressed, overweight guys walked into the Raffles sling bar and asked for beer.

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Epic fail

Seriously guys? Ordering beer at the birthplace of one of the worlds most iconic and legendary long drinks? They left after the bartender politely informed them that they didn’t serve beer, but recommended them to try a sling. Everybody in the bar looked around at each other and had a chuckle. No words necessary 🙂

After finishing my drink I must confess that I was almost drunk. It was the first time since coming to Singapore four months ago that I had any alcohol what so ever. At this point you’re probably wondering how I can call myself a bartender ha ha. I feel you. But I chose to skip the booze here and get back in shape instead. I don’t regret it; having lost 15 kg’s (33 lbs)  over the last four months (while at the same time having had about 20 pints of Ben & Jerry’s).

My first visit to a 2 star Michelin restaurant!

After trying the somewhat disappointing worlds cheapest 1 Michelin star meal here in Singapore, I thought I’d bounce back with trying a two star joint for the first time. The chosen place: Shisen Hanten.

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It’s about time I tried a next level Michelin star joint. I’ve previously tasted a handful of 1 star establishments, with the outstanding Cafe China in Manhattan, NY topping the list of my life’s best meal experiences. Could Shisen Hanten beat them? I admit that I was sceptical. But according to the Michelin guide, they should. After all, Shisen hanten is awarded two stars and Cafe China one.
I arrived with a friend about an hour after SH opened without having a reservation. SH is located on the 35th floor of the 5 star luxury hotel Mandarin Oriental. We were greeted very courteously and the hostess asked if we were OK sitting in the middle of the restaurant since they didn’t have any free window seats. Sure!
Interior design

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Stunning. It’s hands down the most luxurious restaurant I’ve been to. High ceiling, open space and uncrowded, lot’s of chandeliers, dark wood, palm trees, fat velvet drapes and lots of Asian style elements to the design. Jackpot! It really is indescribable, the picture doesn’t do the place full justice. It’s something you have to see with your own eyes.
Menu
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There is a lot to choose from here. The menu offers a very wide range of tempting dishes across a range of price tags. Everything seems good. Extensive wine list as well. I had a hard time choosing! Eventually,  we both settled for having an appetizer consisting of four smaller samples of the menu. For main, I went with the chefs signature dish – a sichuan flavoured tofu stew. My friend ordered Beijing duck.
Sound levels
Very important for me, there is nothing that ruins my meal experience more than a loud and noisy environment. SH passed the test well, you could easily hold a good conversation without screaming or being disturbed.
Service
Simply outstanding. We had three different staff serving us and all of them managed to make a personal connection and make us feel at home. Staff constantly refilled our tea, and they knowledgeably answered all of the questions we had about the food or menu. I ordered a martini to go with my appetizer, and my waitress politely informed me that it would take 30 min before the bar would open, which I was OK with. She brought it after less than 10 minutes – that’s good service.
Prices
SH is probably the most affordable 2 star place I’ve seen. The prices are low considering the accomplishment of raking in 2 stars! Everybody can afford to eat here. I wouldn’t call it cheap, but definitely affordable. Main courses starting at about 20$ and up.
Food
Let’s start with the appetizer. It contained of jellyfish, chicken with peanut sauce, shrimp, wagyu beef, and bbq pork. Small sample of all. The strongest performer among them I’ll surprisingly have to give the jellyfish. The only other time in my life I’ve had it was actually at Cafe China and I must admit that SH beat themvalue here. It was excellent. The other parts of thethe appetizer were decent, but not spectacular.
Moving on to the main. My tofu stew was delivered in a large ceramic black pot, and my waitress refilled my bowl as soon as I ran out. It was really good! Not a mind blowing experience, but definitely delicious. I’m no tofu expert, but it was silky and smooth.

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The best part of the experience was my friends meal. The waitress prepared the food in front of us, and she very skillfully made small rolls of fresh steamed wheat pancake that she filled with the Beijing duck ingredients. It was totally amazing. Like an Asian style fajitas, I thought to myself. She even made two for me to taste! I was in heaven. She also informed us that the chef made the Beijing duck sauce from scratch. On a larger plate, she also delivered the rest of the duck that hadn’t been used in the rolls. It was plenty of food, the portion sizes here are not too small.

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Lastly, I took a leap of faith and ordered an almond pudding for dessert. I wasn’t impressed, it tasted kind of flat. Definitely not worthy of the rest of the food. But then again, I’m not a pudding guy. It’s just not my kind of dessert, so I probably should have ordered something else. I prefer no holds bar desserts that are a bit decadent over the top and come with a phone where the coroner is on speed dial one. Pudding..? What was I thinking..
Final conclusion
So, is SH worthy of two stars? It’s a hard question to answer and I haven’t made up my mind. The place definitely has a lot going for it. Stunning, luxurious interior design and world class service. But to be honest, my food didn’t take me by storm. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not in any way dissatisfied! It was delicious! But I’m not blown away like i was by Cafe China, which has one less star. And what’s more, I even had two visits at Cafe China during that trip and both of the visits were equally good!  Maybe it’s because I had the tofu dish which I’m not that familiar with? And the dessert was a let down. It tasted like the mass produced snack pudding I ate as a kid and bought for 50 cents in a grocery store. The presentation of the dessert could be improved as well.
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I draw the conclusion that SH is definitely worthy of at least 1 star. But 2? I kind of want to go back again and try something else before making up my mind.

I tried the worlds cheapest 1 Michelin star restaurant!

Singapore has a plethora of restaurants in all price ranges, this is somewhat of a food lovers heaven. The  country currently has one 3-star Michelin place, quite a few 2-star places, and many 1-stars. Here is the complete list.

It stirred some controversy not too long ago when two hawker stalls made it on to the list of the 1-star places! Many raised their eyebrows, wondering if a hawker stall even should be considered a proper restaurant. But if they got awarded my Michelin, it must mean that the food is delicious right? I decided to try one of them: Liao fan hong kong soya sauce chicken rice & noodle. It’s the worlds cheapest Michelin meal, with a plate of chicken rice landing around 2-3 $.

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I have some experience with one star places before. So I was naturally very curious – have the Michelin testers become sloppy and watered down the quality of the award, or is the hawker stall really able to produce food of the likes of Cafe China in New York, which still today is my life’s best restaurant experience? I must admit that I was skeptical.

I arrived on a weekend around noon. The place was crowded, and looked to be a bit more renovated than the usual street food stalls. There was a line going up to the counter, with the menu propped up on posts here and there. I knew what I was having: the chicken rice.

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I ordered, and a very stressed auntie at the counter assisted me without any smile or welcoming service minded gestures. I got a ticket and when my number was up I could collect my food at the counter – almost like McDonald’s style of eating.

I didn’t have to wait long. When I got my food, I found a free seat and dove right into my meal. I’d had chicken rice before at the NTU campus, and while this meal was quite good, I didn’t find it that much better from what I’ve previously tried. The meat was tender and the soy sauce was nice. But mind blowing? Hardly.

Conclusion

You get what you pay for, I guess. The place has totally non-existent service. Looking forward to eat in peace in a nice environment? Don’t go here. The place was very noisy, packed, and reminded me more of a McDonald’s than a real restaurant. But then again, it IS a hawker stall so don’t expect too much. Is it worthy of one Michelin star? While being a quite good meal for a cheap price, I don’t think it comes anywhere close to the previous one star places I’ve tried. Not by a long shot. For somebody who is after the novelty of trying the worlds cheapest Michelin meal, I could recommend it. But don’t go here if you are expecting the kind of service, eating environment, and level of food that normally comes with a 1 star joint.

Review: Hello Kitty Orchid garden

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of Hello Kitty. I have a HK pillow, a HK bracelet, a HK onesie pajamas, and I even tried to get HK to sponsor me for a fitness competition. My plan was simple. I made an Instagram video where I dead lifted 200 kg wearing my HK pajamas, and then sent in to HK. They didn’t respond.
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Landing in Singapore, one of the first things that caught my eyes at Changi airport was a luxurious looking Hello Kitty Orchid Garden! I just had to try it. Recently I made that wish come true. Here is my review of the establishment, from the perspective of a well traveled foodie with a long experience as an international bar manager.
Interior design
They’ve definitely pulled out the stops here. The place is lavishly designed. Marble tables. Lots of flowers. White picket fence and even crown moldings! Right up my alley. Approaching the restaurant, it’s clear from the beginning that they are gunning for the upper middle class customers by using high quality interior.

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Sound levels
One of the most important aspects of a restaurant for me. I stand firmly by conviction that all restaurants should have a 12 years age minimum requirement, but that’s obviously not going to happen to a place like this that is as attractive to little girls as honey is to bees. The sound levels were quite good, even for an airport! Only a few short annoying screams from a table.
Menu
Quality, quality. Easy to understand menu, good variety of food and desserts, good description of the dishes. Ironically, there are a lot of similarities between the HK menu and the Hooters menu, despite the places probably being each others polar opposites. They both know what they are and play it up very well as a strength. The language used in the menu is warm, playful and slightly humorous. Good copy writing.

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Pricing
Let’s face it. The HK orchid garden is expensive. They set the bar high with the nice interior, and apparently they set the prices higher. 9 dollars for an ice tea – not counting the service charge and tax! Main dishes about 20 dollars. I can imagine that many parents find it distasteful, considering that their kid perhaps really really wants to eat there and the parents will have to turn them down due to financial reasons. This is not a food court fast food joint. It’s more like a rolls Royce cafe. I think it’s even more expensive than the New York Palace Cafe in Budapest Hungary (highly worth a visit, BTW). I was very curious to find out if HK could deliver after setting this impression high.
Service
I was helped buy a friendly waiter who I had a lot of difficulty understanding. I had to walk myself over to cake counter to see what kind of selection they had because it was just impossible to make out what he said, even after asking him twice to repeat himself. I went back to my table to have him take my order but he forgot about me for about 10 minutes while carrying out other work. I sat there trying to make eye contact with the other staff but none of them came to my table.
He finally saw me and quickly came, and apologized for letting me wait. I ordered a carrot cake and frozen yogurt. The waiter informed me that it would take about 10 minutes since it was a busy night. The restaurant was less than half full and it didn’t look busy at all. Having worked in the bar and restaurant industry myself for over 16 years, I wondered for myself why it would take 10 minutes to get a piece of cake and fro-yo? I hadn’t ordered any warm food, and could see the cake counter with my own eyes. I approximated that it would take me about 10 seconds to go and get it if I was asked to get it myself.
After about 10 min, my cake was delivered by a food runner. She also gave me a glass of warm water. I don’t know why really, none of the other restaurants in Singapore had done that. She also told me that the fro-yo was unavailable, and wondered if I wanted some vanilla ice cream instead? I asked to see the menu again before making up my mind. It would have been much better to inform me about the fro-yo before serving the cake since that could have made me change my order. In this case though, I decided to just skip having anything else. And even if I wanted to have had ice cream instead, I didn’t get the chance to order it. She never came back to to my table to check, and neither did my first waiter. Needless to say, I didn’t tip them.
Food
So, did HK deliver food wise? I’d say yes! I know my carrot cake, and this one ranks high up there among the best ones I’ve had. It was dense, moist, and creamy. Jackpot! The back of the piece was packed with nuts and it was garnished with strawberries (not completely ripe though). It could possible have done better with just a tad more frosting, and for 11.50$ it was on the verge of scandalously small. But definitely delicious.

It would have been interesting to try the food as well, but honestly – I couldn’t afford it.
Conclusion
Well worth a visit, if you have a thick wallet and can stomach the mediocre service. I base that conclusion on the assumption that the other food in the menu is as good as my cake was.

Getting a tailor-made Asian style business suit

After extensive research, I settled for the award winning Mohan’s custom tailors, who have a shop in the Far East Plaza complex. Mohans claim to be the oldest and most experienced bespoke tailor in Singapore.

I’ve tried two online tailors, I’ve had off the rack suits altered at tailors before, but until recently I had never had a suit made by a tailor completely from scratch.

tailor

Being here in the tropical paradise of Singapore, I thought it would be a good opportunity to get my first Asian style business suit, and have a tailor make it for me completely from scratch. As in most Asian countries, cheap and skilled tailors are in no shortage here. Just walk in to the mall called Far East Plaza and you’ll probably find at least 50 tailors in that location who are all displaying dazzling suits, coats and tuxedos in the front of their shops.

Choosing a tailor

After extensive research, I settled for the award winning Mohan’s custom tailors, who have a shop in the Far East Plaza complex. Mohans claim to be the oldest and most experienced bespoke tailor in Singapore. They have a Tripadvisor certificate of excellence, and over 40 google reviews with an average rating of 4.6 out of 5. One of the headline reviews that caught my eye stated “When getting a suit in Singapore, ALWAYS go for Mohan’s”. According to their website, they have been in business for 45+ years and have close to 100 000 satisfied customers.

mohans

I was concerned about pricing, since I’m still a student with a limited budget. Most of the reviews also stated that Mohan would get the job done at a great price, which was important to me. In most Asian market-style shops you can (and often are expected to) haggle, and luckily, I’m quite good at it.

Going through the process, step by step

At my first visit to the shop, I was attended by a courteous employee named Elan, and I told him what I was looking for. The Asian style business suit differs from the western on a few points, the most noticeable being the suit lapels.

Western to the left, Asian to the right
The regular western business suit to the left, have two lapels that fold out to expose the tie and standard collar business shirt. To the right, we see the Asian style business suit. It is buttoned all the way up, with no lapels. It also has a rounded collar with no button – to expose the button on the mandarin style collar of the shirt often worn to this style of suit.

Another difference is in the slits at the bottom of the blazer. Western suits normally have either one slit in the middle of the back, or a slit on each side. The Asian style doesn’t have slits, and the bottom opening of the blazer is cut at almost 90 degree angle, compared to the western style of rounded corners. I asked Elan a lot about the different style options and he competently answered all of my questions. One interesting thing he pointed out is that Asian suits can be made to cover the button – which is considered a bit more conservative and formal and would be better for business meetings. Exposing the buttons is considered more “sporty” and leisure.

After some negotiation, we settled on a price that was a bit less than half the initial asked price. He also agreed to throw in a mandarin collar business shirt, which is the style of shirt that goes best with this suit design. Elan took my measurements, and we booked a time for the first fitting, which was about a week later.

The first fitting rolled around and I got to try the pants, shirt, and the base for the jacket. It all fit well, with only a few minor adjustments required. We booked a time for the second fitting, where the customer most often takes the suit home. The second fitting is sometimes used to make revisions or fine tune small things before it’s too late. My second fitting went very well! I didn’t see the need to change anything, and I was very happy with the work. Elan helped me with the tax refund papers, and provided me with a hanger and cover to store my suit in. Here are a few pictures of the finished suit.

Getting a Korean haircut

I’ve walked by a Korean barbershop here at the NTU campus, and as my hair has grown, so has my curiosity to try the place. Could it beat my best hair experience ever – getting the perfect hair cut from an old, paper thin lady in a Bangkok back alley, without ever exchanging a single word? Read on to find out.
Kcuts slogan is “10 minutes Korean style”. I discovered that they have streamlined the whole procedure of cutting hair into an effective, time saving machine – a McDonald’s approach to hair, if you will. Kcuts has establishments in Seoul and Singapore, and it’s the first hairdresser I’ve visited that has crown moldings with blue neonish lights in the ceiling.
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You first walk in and feed a ticket machine 10 $. You are then placed in a queue and when the number of your ticket is in turn – you’re up.
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The cutting is performed by a nimble, fast and efficient Asian woman wearing a face breathing protector ting, which is common to see in Asia, both on the streets and in many jobs such as restaurants. I didn’t ask where she was from but wouldn’t be surprised if she was Korean 😉
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When I took a seat, she asked me:
– Fade?
I said yes.
What followed was some efficient work where she used scissors as well as multiple types of electric hair trimmers and different length settings.
Before:
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The result? I’m very happily surprised! The fade she made was really good. Definitely among the top 10 hair cut experiences I’ve had! I’ll go back for sure to maintain it, since it was so cheap and fast! I think she actually did spend more than 10 minutes on me, probably closer to 20. I was a new customer and she seemed eager to do a good job. So the final question is, how Korean was my haircut? I’m not sure, I don’t know the current style of Korean guys hair, but I’d say it was a nice, short, military style fade. I’m happy!
After:
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Royal DJ Academy: My honest review

So now that it’s been about four weeks since I got my DJ diploma and finished the course and the big question potential students are asking: Was it worth it? This, and every other possible question that comes to my mind will be answered in this honest review.

Price

Let’s start with one of the most important sections. I payed about 1200 Euro for the course, and included in that price was a two-way airplane ticket from Sweden to Greece, pick up at the airport, 3 weeks accommodation in hotel, all the course material, USB, headphones and lessons. So you basically only need to bring clothes and money for your food and drinks. And your laptop. I don’t know if the course is open to students from other countries than the Scandinavian ones, but it should be (in my business-opinion).

This is not a bad price at all. To be honest, its possibly even cheaper than what you would pay for a 2-3 week all inclusive holiday! That’s how I looked at it – a holiday to learn something new and fun. What’s more is that our teachers often paid our food and drinks anyway even though it wasn’t included in the course price! We often went to clubs with them and they got us in for free with access to VIP areas. Several times they invited us out for parties and the bottles on ice brought to our table was paid for by the DJ Academy. That’s not bad at all!

Accommodation

We stayed at a hotel close to the Rhodes bar street called New York hotel. It’s not the 7 star Burj Al arab but it’s acceptable. Surprisingly comfortable beds, and it has air condition and WiFi. The only bad part about the hotel is that it’s VERY noisy. The doors are paper thin, and whenever there is any noise in the hallway it’s like it’s echoing into your room. Worth to mention is that the hotel is a staff accommodation for a few of the bars in the bar street. So expect a lot of slamming doors, loud voices, parties and commotion.  I brought earplugs and I used them every night.

Course

So what did we actually do? And what did we learn? The class I was in had three students and 2 main teachers. We mixed theory and practice every day and our teachers took turns to instruct us. One day we could be meeting at a café to work on preparing music in our laptops with one teacher, and the next day we could meet with the other teacher in one of the clubs to practice mixing. We received a brochure with music history and other useful guidelines to adhere to as a DJ.

I feel that we were very well taken care of. The teachers we had were not only helpful and truly caring about teaching us, but they were experienced DJ’s themselves and had jaw-dropping skills. We were given a USB with a lot of music on it, and that’s what we practiced with. Will you be allowed to bring your own music and play your own music? Yes and no. As long as it fits the situation that’s OK. It can even be an advantage if you know the structure of your songs well. But I advise student to focus mostly on the music provided in order to learn the fastest. You will be learning on 2 stations. The first one is the clubs main system, a mixer with a CDJ-2000 and a CDJ-2000NEXUS. It’s a bit worn down but fully functional.

The second station is a brand new XDJ-RX system. I liked very much that we learned to play on different types of systems.

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Is this course for potential DJ’s of all kinds of styles and music?

I’d say yes. With the theory and practice you learn during your 3 weeks you will have the basic tools, skills and knowledge to by any kind of DJ you want.

The course is set up so that you have small tests every week, and the final test will be a DJ battle at a pool party in front of 600 people. Don’t worry! They won’t throw you to the sharks straight away. You will gradually ease into playing in front of people. Our first test after week 1 was to play 10 songs each at a pre-party gathering. All the guests were outside the club in the street and the DJ booth was inside so they couldn’t even see you.

The downsides about the course is that in the last week we received conflicting information on what to prepare for and how long our test would be. It felt like courses in the future could have a better planned final week. We were also instructed to play in the clubs alongside the main DJ during our final week, but all of us were expecting more play time.

Lastly, the club where we had most of the daily practice is quite shabby. The tables are sticky and there is a lot of people running around there and it’s quite hard to focus some times. Also, the two systems are being used in the same club simultaneously. In the beginning it was very hard to focus on using your ears because you had another student practicing on the other system in the same room. Sensory overload. The best solution for faster learning in future classes would be to have two separate sound-proofed rooms. But somehow we still learned!

Overall value and final conclusion

Would I recommend the course? Yes and yes and YES!! This is without hesitation one of the best experiences of my life. Not only the experience was great, but also the honor of being taught this skill by my teachers who I now consider my good friends for life! Will you be a DJ after this course? That’s entirely up to you. You will be equipped with the all the basic skills and knowledge you need to start and continue your DJ career. The opportunities are there if you want them, and I suggest that you keep practicing and learning after the course.

Your teachers will also help you with this. They told us that if we wanted, we could visit them and warm up for them when they gig. In all honesty, I personally value the course at double or even TRIPLE the amount I actually paid – considering all the additional stuff, the connections, the friendships, memories, photos, videos.. If you have any interest in music at all, even if you don’t have any plans of becoming a DJ. You might even be a producer who want’s to gain better knowledge of how his product is used: Just do it – you won’t regret it, that’s a promise.

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Tips for potential students

Things you should know about and tips for learning faster: Bring earplugs. The music in the clubs here is LOUD. Way louder than back home. Often you will be at clubs 4-5 hours every night watching the main DJ’s techniques and learning. And during the day you will be preparing music on your laptop with your headphones, or practicing some mixing technique. It’s a constant 3-week assault on your ears, and you need to take care of your hearing. After all, your ears are your most important tool.

I also advise potential students to buy a DJ controller before the course. Practice with it at home and bring it to the course! It will kick-start your learning if you know some basic skills already. And it will make you much more comfortable for the tests if you can practice your routines in the hotel room after class. What controller would I recommend? That’s a whole other topic for itself, but strictly from a beginner’s perspective, I’d have to say a Pioneer DDJ-RB. 90% of the standard equipment in the clubs are made by Pioneer and that’s what you will be learning on. That doesn’t mean the other brands are bad – but it will be much easier to stick to one brand as a beginner.

Pioneer has a few models of different price range, and I personally have the DDJ-RR. My advice is that a complete beginner start with the most basic model DDJ-RB (which happens to be VERY cheap), or the next more advanced RR. If you don’t care about money, go for the 3000 $ flagship model DDJ-RZX. Drooool!

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Going to see Chippendales!

It turns out that the well known men’s entertainment group Chippendales is coming to my city to give two shows! It’s something I’ve always wanted to see, so of course I was quick to nab 5 front row tickets. I’ll be going with my 4 female friends that own a beauty salon (where I hold a resident DJ spot).

The show is a part of the Chippendales tour which is named “Best night ever”. I’m really looking forward to the event, and I’ll likely be the only man in the audience ha ha. The entertainment is definitely marketed toward women but I’m relatively sure they will let me in. After all, it doesn’t explicitly say “no men allowed”, it just says that you have to be over 18 and that it’s prohibited to take pictures or film.

I asked my best friend if he wanted to go, to which he replied “Why would I want to? Seems a bit gay for a guy to go to an event like that and watch half naked male dancers. If I were you, I wouldn’t tell anybody.” Luckily, I had a lot of compelling reasons in my response. Firstly, it’s great entertainment. Secondly, there is probably no good argument against the opportunity to attend an event CHALK FULL of women (and likely NO other guys there) – especially if you are a single, straight guy.. And besides, I’ll be rolling up with classy clothes in the company of four hot chicks 🙂 But the strongest reason for me to attend is to check out the performance. What scene clothes do they have? Their dance moves? The light setup? How do they do the music? Do they use a smoke machine? These will all be great clues for me to work on in bettering my own show. And when I see those guys in great shape doing the performance, it will be a nice motivator to keep working out and making the right choices in the kitchen. When I put it like that, my friend was practically begging me to go along ha ha.

I’ve already got an idea about what outfit to wear. Since I’ll be accompanied by my four hot friends, I won’t deny that it will feel a bit pimpy. So that will be my general theme. I’m planning to boast a deep blue felt fedora hat, blue bow tie, and blue suspenders.

I might also bring my gold snake head cane and even purchase a leopard skin coat that I recently saw in H&M. I’m going to build off of my outfit that I had for my 32nd birthday, as seen in the picture below.

The hardest item to research was the deep blue fedora hat, but it was also the most fun item. I’m personally a hat fan, and there are a ton of good places to look. The difficulty was in finding a hat with the right blue color. A lot of nice hats were blue, but too dark – I wanted something unique that stood out and had a great design as well as build quality. The place I found turned out to be a gold mine: Agnoulita hats. These babies were hand made with the finest materials, using  85 year old traditions. The shop is run by a Greek gentleman Mr. Pappa who is the third generation of owners to carry the proud craftmanship of hat making into this day and age. There I found almost exactly what I was looking for, to a reasonable price as well. Check out the deep blue wide brimmed fedora I ordered:

They have so many nice hats that I want to buy, especially the green color ones are nice. Mr. Pappa can definitely count on having gained a loyal new customer for many years! However, the leopard coat wasn’t an option. I went to H&M to try it on, and it was so small that I couldn’t even get it on. My hopes were once again placed on the vast internet marketplace ebay! I’ve bought tons of stuff there over the years, and I quickly learned that there is no shortage of outrageous faux fur coats there. I did manage to find a Korean wool coat in a deep blue color with a pimpy black fur collar, and I think it will go better with my outfit than leopard print. Just gotta wait for my stuff to arrive and then I’ll post a picture of my outfit 🙂

 

 

Ska tävla för Team BMR i men’s physique på fitnessgalan i maj i globen

I maj smäller det! 9-11 maj i globen i stockholm kommer fitnessgalan att äga rum. Förutom en stor mässa kommer det även hållas tävlingar i klasserna bikini fitness, men`s physique, classic physique, bodybuilding och fitness model. Jag kommer genomföra min livs första tävling, och det kommer ske i klassen men’s physique. Har fått sponsorskap av BMR Nutrition, och i helgen har jag varit i stockholm för att träffa de andra atleterna i teamet, samt våran coach Ako Rahim.
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Vi gick igenom en del övningar som kan förebygga skada, vilket är viktigt att tänka på om man ska tävla i athletic fitness som några i teamet ska göra. Coach Ako gjorde också en individuell fettmätning på var och en av oss. Ett par av killarna i team BMR kommer tävla i samma klass som mig, vilket innebär att vi kommer stå på scenen samtidigt och vara konkurrenter. Och konkurrensen är hård.. Några i teamet var i äckligt bra form, och det gör mig ännu mer peppad på att göra bra ifrån mig! Bland annat dessa två vältränade grabbar kommer tävla i mitt team.


Vanligtvis brukar jag lägga upp min egen kost och träning, men det ska bli kul att följa coach Ako’s schema och testa någon annans upplägg. Våran coach tävlar själv i athletic fitness och har VM-guld, EM-silver och SM-guld i bagaget. Förutom att vara personlig tränare så är han även känd som Toro i TV4’s gladiatorerna.
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Det innebär att jag kan kryssa av ett av årets mål:

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Har aldrig provat BMR Nutritions produkter men ska lägga en order snart och se ifall de håller samma höga kvalitet som ryktet säger. Bland de få tillskott jag tar regelbundet är Kasein, omega 3, vitaminer (speciellt vitamin D på vintern), och kreatin ibland.
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Jag tror att jag är äldst i men’s physique teamet, men jag ser det mer som en fördel. De flesta i teamet hade bara gymmat i 4-5 år, medan jag har gymmat i 14 år. Förhoppningsvis kanske det kan innebära bra kroppskontroll, att jag lär mig posera bra och har bra grundmassa.


Jag vet att jag kan bli i grym form och jag måste nu köra plattan o botten och bring my a-game om jag ska vinna skiten, vilket självklart är målet. Nu väntar jag bara på mitt kost & träningsschema så att man kan köra igång på allvar och lägga upp en game plan. Det är dags att trycka i en högre växel och sikta högt! Man vill ju inte göra något halvdant resultat om man ändå ska ställa upp. Sammanfattningsvis är jag MYCKET nöjd med helgen! NU JÄVLAR KÖR VI! May the best man win..

Rescue diver certifikat

I somras tog jag rescue diver certifikat, en sak jag haft på min bucket list i flera år. Jag passade på att göra det i Indonesien, i området runt komodo national park – ett av världens bästa dykvatten. Utbildningen tog 4 dagar och var full av roliga och lärorika moment! Som rescue diver vet du hur du skall hantera en olyckssituation och det ger dig gott självförtroende under vattnet och ovan. Jag stannade kvar ett par dagar extra i staden Labuan Bajo på ön Flores. Fick chansen att se havssköldpaddor, simma nära en stor rocka, besöka ön komodo och se komodovarander (en till check på listan), samt testa drift diving. Det innebär att man dyker i mycket strömt vatten och flyter med strömmen eller använder hooks för att hålla sig kvar mot strömmen för att titta på djur eller annat. Här är lite bilder!