I LOVE these two!
So...can we call the baby TARA??
Partners in adventure
By : DENNIS CHUA
Ida (left) and Tania.
Well-matched and like-minded Ida Nerina Hussein and Tania Khan tell DENNIS CHUA about The Amazing Race Asia 3.
Ida and Tania are greeted by host Allan Wu at the finishing line in Thailand.
IDA Nerina Hussein’s and Tania Khan’s idea of living life to the fullest is to go on an adventure that tests their limits but which allows them to have a great time as well.
“The last time I did something as challenging as this (The Amazing Race Asia 3, or Tara 3) was at the obstacle courses during my schooldays,” reminisced the 44-year-old Ida.
“Me too, but it was nothing compared to this,” said her sidekick Tania.
Award-winning actress Ida, known for the films Selubung, Layar Lara, Sarah, Sepet, Gubra and most recently Wayang, may soon see her career “hotter than ever”, despite not winning the recently concluded Tara 3.
However, the duo who emerged third, insists that joining Tara 3 was a personal decision and had nothing to do with boosting her acting career.
“Tania and I have been best buddies for about a decade. I wouldn’t have gone on this adventure with anyone else for she’s a reliable travelling companion who loves challenges as much as me,” she said.
Tania, a 36-year-old manager and mother of two children aged 11 and one, said the key to their team spirit was “a common wavelength”.
She said: “We’re both bubbly, dramatic, kind-hearted, and fiercely loyal to our friends and klutzy.”
Ida added: “And we’re often the first to jump into the deep end of any adventure.”
Indeed, they are no strangers to “adventures” of another form.
Ida disclosed that she, Tania and 11 other close pals once unleashed their fury on the management of a luxury resort which “held them hostage” several holidays ago.
Ida recalled the incident saying, “hell hath no fury like 13 women shortchanged. The incident involved us, a burnt rug which was not our doing, the hotel management and the police.”
Tania added, “the hotel management blamed us and even the police got involved. It was so traumatic. We insisted we were innocent but they refused to let us leave and even locked the gates.”
The duo and their pals eventually cleared their names, but not after “causing a scene and creating ‘noise pollution’.”
Ida admitted that she can be the “lioness” that her Sarah co-star Shamsul Azhar (Shamsul Ghau Ghau) described her to be in the romantic comedy.
Underneath her playful exterior is someone who “bears grudges more than she wants to”.
“I pre-warned the other teams not to cross me lest I unleashed my anger on them. Unlike Tania, I’m the kind who screams my head off at the irritating and annoying.
“However, once the anger subsides, I’ll apologise to whoever’s in the way,” she said.
Preparing for Tara 3 meant lots of working out for the duo.
Ida said: “We got real physical at Celebrity Fitness and also did yoga. We had to hide it from our families but they soon found out what we were up to, and my mum freaked out.”
Nevertheless, Ida’s mother, businesswoman, lawyer and ex-politician Datuk Marina Yusoff gave her eldest child her full support, constantly sending her SMSes during the race.
“Determination and fighting spirit are qualities my mum and I share. Tara 3 is all about challenging your limits, not giving up and giving your all in a mission of self-discovery, and this is why she gave her blessings,” she said.
Tania said she found Tara 3 an excellent opportunity to travel around Asia, meet and learn about new people as well as keeping fit and strong.
“We just thought it would be a fun-filled adventure and I’m always game for adventure,” she said.
For both, the most difficult and challenging time was the first leg of the race which took them around Bangkok, Thailand. They had to drive an off-road buggy, pound rice into paste and made two rice balls using a traditional Thai method.
They also had to consume a large bowl of Thai “delicacies” — fried bugs, frogs and scorpions, and cleaned a 22-seater bus.
“Luckily, we conquered the first leg without much fuss and it was psychologically liberating,” said Tania.
“If we could make it past the first leg, we could make it past all the other legs. That was our fighting spirit,” said Ida.
Did the duo encounter moments in which they had heated arguments?
“There were times when we annoyed each other, but we are only human, and thus we were quick to forgive and forget,” said Ida.
She added that her main weaknesses were a fear of cockroaches and weak ankles which are “not good for running”.
“Mine are indecisiveness and claustrophobia,” said Tania.
On their strong points, Tania commends Ida for her great general knowledge while Ida commends Tania for being “pretty good at finding short cuts to all kinds of things”.
Even though Ida and Tania failed to take home the top prize of US$100,000 (RM360,000), they are happy to have done their best to put Malaysia on the map by finishing third, and displaying near-flawless teamwork and positivity on the camera.
Ida and Tania each won a Nokia N96 handphone for the fourth leg and US$2,500 for the 10th.
“Malaysian women have always come out tops, second or third place in Tara,” Ida said.
“And it’s not the same in every Tara season. Things get tougher by the year,” Tania said.
Ida said Tara 3 also gave them a chance to see the world from a new perspective.
“We’ve shared some great trips together and the race would be the best as it was our chance to go backpacking together,” she said.
Tania, who discovered that she was three months pregnant recently, said if they were to experience another adventure, it would be a non-competitive yet educational and entertaining travelogue. http://www.nst.com.my/Current_News/NST/Friday/Features/20081127171647/Article/indexF_html