Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Grand Day Out - KLPac Open Day 2011

So I found myself in KL last weekend.

This time my Firefly ticket breaks the previous record of being the cheapest ever for a BKI-KUL return trip. Woot! Being a little bit kiasu pays sometimes :P

Having ditched earlier plans to go daytripping I decided to stay in the city and go around checking out books, running stuff and some windowshopping. I am also pleased to say that I managed to drag myself went for a run at KLCC Park for the first time on Saturday morning, followed by a walk at the Lake Gardens on Sunday morning. Most enjoyable! I think BackHome just cemented its spot as the perfect location for me to stay in KL.

Lake Gardens, 15 minutes away - nice place for a walk/run.

Earlier plans for Sunday morning got ditched, hence I had to find something to do to kill time. Fortunately I saw Reza Salleh's tweet about being at KLPac Open Day, so what could be better than to drop by there and stalk him, right? :)) After breakfast I made my way to Sentul (first time ever).

(Note : Me still cameraless, these limited pics taken with my N95)

Yes - slippers, shorts, singlet.

They hung pictures of all KLPac team members. Performances were happening everywhere throughout the day - outside at The Lawn, The Deck, Lobby, Pentas 2, Indicine, Pentas 1 as well as the four studios. As it was an Open Day, one could access all these places for free and take part in the activities and workshops.

KLPac is a favourite place on Google Earth.

Look who's manning the tee-shirt counter? Faridah Merican no less. Both were so friendly! The tees were selling like hot cakes.

When I arrived, this 'performance' was taking place at the lobby. It was titled Green & White, or maybe it was White & Green. The two girls in white were carrying, cardboard chickens?? Seriously, too arty farty for me to understand.

Young KL Singers were superfantabulous! As their last song they sang the BEST EVER rendition of the 1Malaysia song I've ever heard. I had goosebumps on my arms and tears (!!) in my eyes - yupp, they were that good! I think TV should hire them to perform all our patriotic songs.

This is a vocal quartet who call themselves Caipifruta. Wonderful talents who have made it to international stage - they'll be heading to Prague in April. Oh, I fell in love with their rendition of Sting's Fields of Gold. Goosebumps!!

The Sickbay looks more like a lounge. I would not mind :P

Outside at the deck, I enjoyed this improv comedy from AI:IA group, their acting had the audience in stitches! These two guys were the FUNNIEST of the bunch. They performed again at the Lobby stage later to a packed crowd, definitely a favourite.

At The Lawn, I found who I was looking for :). Meet Reza Salleh, a very talented singer- songwriter I just saw on TV earlier in the week. I had bought Reza's album - REALIZE - the day before, and got him to autograph it. His very pretty sister had a booth at the lawn and he was helping her to man it. So, YEAY! mission accomplished! All the rest of the other fun happenings at KLPac were added bonuses. (To get to know Reza and to listen to his songs online, go to

And, this, ladies and gentlemen, is my first Stracciatella at Lecka Lecka :) Yummylicious.

I had expected that KLPac would be a serious place for the arts - I was so wrong. It is serious FUN. Why, I am already thinking that I should be back next year!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Movie : 127 HOURS

For those who read my tweets, you'd probably know how much I look forward to watching this movie :)

It stars James Franco as Aron Ralston, the Intel engineer-turned-outdoor adventurer who got his right hand wedged by a dislodged boulder and how he (oh this is not a spoiler, by the way) had to cut it off after five days of being trapped in the canyon. His TRUE STORY, happened back in 2003 in Moab, Utah.

Aron is one crazy guy living off adrenaline. Seriously. A memorable line from his book on why he does what he does :

"..and it seemed that he was making sure I was doing them for the
right reasons - climbing not for bragging rights, or the perceived
admiration of others, but because it made me happy."

Does that resonate with you?

127 Hours Review James Franco

I read Aron's book just before Christmas, and couldn't find the movie then as it was just released in US on Nov 5.

Anyway, now that I've watched it, I can now say that this is a very good movie. Not just because of its pacing, gorgeous desert vistas, great soundtrack, bite-size flashbacks and top notch performance by Franco I thought - I enjoyed it mainly because it managed to portray the physical agony, and the tenacity of the human spirit in refusing to accept death as an option, even when it seems inevitable. (Did that sound right?) I probably can't describe it accurately.

127 Hours Review Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Directed by Danny Boyle (of Slumdog Millionaire fame) and music by AR Rahman (also of the same fame), 127 Hours certainly did not disappoint.

I smell nominations galore during the awards season.

Nice and haunting track from Dido and AR Rahman.

Thumbs up. 4.5 stars from me.

p.s. The amputation scene may make you feel queasy.
p.p.s. Read the book :)
p.p.p.s If I have one complaint, I'd say they didn't manage to make Franco scruffy and dirty enough after five days of entrapment.

[Note : I am learning to 'accept' movie versions, usually if I've read the book I won't watch the movie. Maybe that's because I do not want to be disappointed and that I prefer to remember the story as told by the author, not the screenplay writer or director. Then I realised that they're really two different things, one is an interpretation of the other and it's part of the creative process for a different audience. So, yes, I accept that. Thank you :) Liberation!]

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Faces and People : Syria and Jordan

Going through my albums I realised I haven't shared these pictures of the people.

I think most of the Syrians are of fairer complexion than the Jordanians. Or maybe just the ones I encountered or saw.

At Cairo Restaurant, Amman.

"Captain Jack Sparrow", Petra.

Guard at Al Khazneh, Petra.

Donkey owner and me, The Monastery, Petra.

Syrian boy, Damascus.

His sister, Syrian girl, Damascus.

Their friend, pulling a funny face and insisting I take a picture of him.

Three amigos, Damascus. Near Umayyad Mosque.

Juice vendor, Aleppo. The HUGE mug of freshly made mixed fruit juice cost only 50 SYP.

Juice vendor, near Christian Quarter, Old City Damascus.

A friend of the three amigos, inside Umayyad Mosque, Damascus.

Outside one of the churches in Aleppo.

Lost-looking boy at the park in the Christian Quarter, Damascus.

Tablecloth vendor, Aleppo Souq.

Orthodox priest, walking on the Straight Street, Damascus.

Bakery, near Martyr's Square, Damascus.

Traffic policeman, Damascus. Or maybe he was just a guard?

Traffic police, Amman. Love the hat!

Shepherd, somewhere in the desert between Damascus and Palmyra.

Shop where I bought sweets near the Old City.

Othmen, at Schereradze, Souq Al Hamediyya. We bought stuff from his shop.

Lastly, a picture of two thugs bouncers at the entrance of one of the hotels we looked at before deciding where to stay in Damascus. Suffice to say we did not check in here :)

Syria is more conservative than Jordan, though there is no issue with attire like what is usually mentioned in the guidebooks. Short sleeved tees are acceptable, though shorts and sleeveless/ tank tops are probably too much.

After a few days it was easy to identify the non-locals (from Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey) as they are not dressed as conservatively as the locals, especially the women.

As you can see, most of them would gladly pose for you - just remember to ask first :)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Go Ahead, Follow Your Joy!

The best way to love life and yourself :)

Eat the damn chocolate cake!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Eat Pasta Run Fasta!

Today's motivation to run comes from this :

Eat pasta, run faster!
Double knot laces.
When fatigue arrives, be proud. The race is tough, you are tougher.
Everyone feels pain the last 6 miles, suck it up!

Day 4/116.