Facebook mates cut loose in KL
BE VERY afraid, Malaysia - hundreds of excited Northern Rivers residents have been let loose in your country.
Lismore's Julie-Anne Foster, and 251 of her best Facebook friends, flew out from Sydney to Kuala Lumpur yesterday for a whirlwind, three-day free holiday courtesy of AirAsia.
As reported by the Northern Star in June, the 42-year-old was the winner of a $270,000 competition staged by the airline to promote its new Sydney to Kuala Lumpur route.
Entry was via a Facebook app, with entrants asked to fill up to 302 virtual plane seats with their Facebook friends.
Julie-Anne's "friends" included husband Darren, her three children, her mum, three brothers and one sister and the entire Evans Head hockey club, of which she is a proud member.
Most of the excited party hail from the Northern Rivers, with some having to apply for their first passport because they have never travelled overseas before.
Little did Northern Star journalist Sam Elley realise that reporting on Julie-Anne's hockey club would result in her being invited along as one of a 15-strong media contingent.
"Lots of shopping; a bit of drinking; plenty of celebrating," was Sam's plan for her three-day junket, er, we mean work trip.
And, if our editor is reading, Sam is also taking copious notes for a series of incisive and exhaustively researched articles.
"Everyone is really buzzed - very excited," Sam said from Sydney airport.
Meanwhile, Julie-Anne was the centre of a Paris Hilton-like media scrum.
Who said messing about on Facebook would never get you anywhere?