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Oft misunderstood soul. Shy, reserved, likes to stay in the background, but inevitably mistaken as not shy, extrovert etc. Originally meant to be a culinary blog, but in due course discovered man does not live on cake alone..hence the waffle.

Monday, March 26, 2007

The 3 Divas

Although I enjoy the music of Kris Dayanti and Ruth Sahanaya, (don't their names just cry out for exotic), I ordinarily probably would not have gone out of my way to buy tickets to watch the show, and jostle with my fellow Malaysians in the heat of the Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil. But however, since a friend, over some wine and champagne at a friend's dinner party, said he could possibly get some comp tickets, I leapt at the opportunity. Of course, what I did NOT expect was the three letters at the bottom right had corner of the ticket stub.

I have to say they were really fantastic. Such powerful voices, despite sometimes being drowned by the overpowering band and orchestra, which were also great, under the maestro of Erwin Gutawa. Our local "divas" were represented by Noryn Aziz, Dayang Nurfaezah, and Nurul....never heard of them. They could quite easily pass off as African or African Americans though, looks wise.

One particularly nice moment was when they paid tribute to OUR own music legend, Sheila Majid....and well, Siti Nurhaliza. Sheila looked glowingly pregnant. Siti, to her credit, is rather attractive in a young innocent way. No comments about that Datuk K seated next to her. Also present was the old Tun....

What a busy busy week it's been. Book launch, Malaysian Philharmonic, 3 Divas concert....

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Hob Nobbing With the Literati

Friend of mine, or more precisely, former wife of a friend of mine, although she is also my friend on her own right, Dina Zaman, launched her book last night, titled I AM MUSLIM. A collection of interviews, stories, experiences etc of a self explanatory title. It was held at the annexe of Central Market which I think is an art gallery in its day job, coz there were many canvasses there on the wall.

I bumped into an acquaintance whom I hadn't seen in years, and he gave me a mock sneer, (or was it mock) and asked, "what's a plebian like you doing here?". Anyway, it was the usual thing, speeches, presentations, and the unveiling of the book. It was also featured in NST yesterday.

Being late, we were stuck behind, and could only hear, not see.

I'm not sure what this is. Just held the camera up high and snapped.

The unveiling of the book.

The author autographing copies of the book.

After leaving the launch, me and wife were ravenous, so we trotted down towards Petaling Street, and had hokkien mee and pork soup (seems a bit of a ahem, paradox, having just come from a book launch titled I AM MUSLIM). Wife spotted some furry rodents lurking around in the background. After that, we headed to Petaling Street to pick up an Ultraman watch for baby boy. (as in kid no 3).

I love Petaling Street. It's so pulsating, and full of life. When Central Market had long gone to sleep, Petaling Street was still hustling (in more than one sense of the word) and bustling. With camera in hand, and wearing "decent" clothes for the launch, I must have looked like a tourist.

Somehow it reminds me of a scene from My Fair Lady. The market scene.

Another thing that caught my eye, when we went for the book launch, was THIS:

So much controversy surrounds this exhibition, and I remember when it first showed in Shah Alam, I was actually going to go all the way there to take a look. AFterall, they even have a fossilised mermaid on display, and I've ALWAYS wanted to see a mermaid. So, as we headed back to the car park, I told wifey that I absolutely HAD to satisfy my curiosity. So I paid RM6 for THIS:

That picture on the ticket stub is meant to be the mer-creature. Anyway, I can think of much better ways of spending RM6, in retrospect. eg, buying 7 pears in petaling street, or a fake spiderman watch. What I can't fathom is, there was talk about doing DNA testing on these displays to prove they're real. The toyol looked positively fake. Some miniature ghouls (forgot the name) male and female version, complete with genitalia hair at the correct parts, looked plausibly real....

The mermaid...or merman, surely, SURELY the entire scientific community should be tripping over themselves to verify its status and authenticity.

Wife had more sense, and opted to browse in the stalls outside, and managed to pick up some stuff. Anyway, to cap the very busy evening, ended up in Labodega with Red Planet, and friends for a nightcap.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Pangkor Island Getaway

Barely like 2 weeks after Chinese New Year break, comes the mid term school break. Holidays with the kids is actually no holiday at all for the adults. But since wife's bro was organising us, and managed to get fantastic rates, and there would be his kids to entertain mine, I guess it wasn't a bad idea to head off to Pangkor, ....not it's more famous sibling, Pangkor Laut, but Pangkor Island itself, staying in Pangkor Island Beach Resort.

I dunno WHY Samy Vellu allows highway lane closures for road works during school holidays. A good stretch of the North South Highway was one lane, and we barely cleared a long jam caused by a bad accident before we joined another crawl because of road works. Its exasperating to pay good toll money only to be stuck in jams worse than the trunk roads.

Its been awhile since I've done any driving on the provincial roads. The road to Lumut, after Bidor, is trunk all the way. Actually, when I was working in Sitiawan in days of yore, I favoured the coastal route....mainly because there was no highway yet up to Bidor. (gasp, I'm that old). Driving on the trunk roads made me realise young people of today just arent trained to drive like that anymore. For a good length of time, I was stuck behind a convoy of cars behind a truck, coz none of the drivers dared/knew how to overtake. Nor are lorry drivers very cooperative, unlike days of yore when they would actually assist you in overtaking by signalling the appropriate signal. Anyway, provincial road driving definitely keeps you awake. That road always reminds me of that memorable trip years ago, with Lawyer from bangkok, and a whole group of friends. Ah, the friends, the laughter....

Due to the delays, we missed the 1.45 ferry and had to wait for the 3.45 ferry. Actually, I reached Lumut Jetty by 1.35 and COULD have made it but had to wait for the inlaws in the other car.

What can I say about Pangkor? It's rustic alright, very little development, hardly a town, with a very laid back population. Shops, what few there are, close by about 9.30pm, (though I was reminded that is Australia, shops close a lot earlier), and eating places are hopelessly slow. On the 2nd night, our dinner, at this place called Ye Lin(?) or Yin Le or summat, took one hour to reach our tables. It was quite worth the wait as the food was really good, and cheap.

Kids of course had a gala time, by the beach, flying kites, building sand mountains, swimming. I tried to maintain a constant buzz by infusing myself with carlsberg special heart warming to see city kids fly a kite. Of course, darling daughter got her kite stuck in a tree, only seconds after warning her to steer AWAY from the trees. I think kids hear something else whenever parents talk to them.

We also had to lug a cake all the way from mainland, as it was darling boy's 7th birthday. Fortunately, it was one of fatboybakes' hardier cakes....a real man cake, that doesnt require tender loving care, or refrigeration.....

You can see the kite flying in the background. Hornbills are a plenty in the resort.

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