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The Unduk Ngadau pictures came out in the paper a few days ago. We pored over them, trying to make our guesses on who would be the finalists, and also (we’re evil) which ones didn’t stand a chance.

We teased each other – “Tiada yang lebih lawa kah dari kampung kau? Ini saja kah?!”, pointing out representatives from our respective districts and kampungs. Of course, everyone supported their own district.

First time I’ve ever gone to watch a Unduk Ngadau beauty pageant (and probably the last time for a long, long time… university holidays never fall in May), and … surprise! My district of Tamparuli wins the title of Unduk Ngadau 2004! Excellent!

I never knew I’d enjoy watching a beauty pageant so much – usually I think these things are cheap and degrading to women, but I actually had great fun watching. And burst into cheers and clapping when Tamparuli won.

Had to push to get into the hall. Actually, I didn’t even want to go in, but the rest of my family did. So I joined and went in. Pushing to get into the door, some 40+ year old man took the chance to rub against my chest. Gah. I could’ve slapped him. Bad example to the 2-year-old son he was bringing along.

Somehow managed to get a seat in the second row. One of those plush seats supposed to be for VVIPs, but they were empty. It helps to know the right people who know the right people who have the power to grant you seats. Sat behind 2003’s two (two!!) beauty queens.

Someone in the second row started passing around champagne glasses of lihing, and we all took a few sips. (The beauty queens, too? Yes.) I don’t think I can take lihing as a drink. It reminds me too much of drunken chicken … which is cooked with lihing.

At first me and the people sitting next to me were banking on Kota Belud, Tuaran, and Tamparuli winning, in that order.

Kota Belud was really, really pretty … we were banking on her winning, no contest! But the question-answer session didn’t go too well, and she placed 7th out of the 7 finalists.

Tuaran (my ex-classmate’s girlfriend) placed fifth – I don’t know why. She should’ve been in the top three. But that’s OK, because she did win a smaller title a couple of days ago – “Tati Topiodon”, I think. Miss Natural Beauty.

And Tamparuli placed first! When it was just down to her and Klang Valley, a guy in traditional costume next to me said, “OK, if it comes down to maturity, it’s Klang Valley … but everything else goes to Tamparuli. I’m not going to be happy if Tamparuli loses.” She was really good at the question-answer session, and really natural throughout the whole event. And she won!!

So – yeah. Results, Papar got 3rd, Klang Valley 2nd, and Tamparuli 1st. Yay for Sumandak Tamparuli.

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