Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Finally, the paint is on!

My SoHo has been set up for quite a while now. But it's not until today that we finally had the walls painted!

Of course the whole thing is not quite completed. We still have to do up the window blinds and most likely take away the grills of the doors so that what is left is just plain glass door that open up to the garden outside. :) I also have a beautiful red oil painting to put up in place of the poster on the olive wall.

But in the meantime, I'm pretty happy with the warm olive green and silver mist shade. It surely makes working more cosy and pleasurable.. ;)

Spot the dog!
The wall at the entrance has also been painted.. spot the dog!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Festival of Incidents

What a trip!

It was a truly unforgettable first `Rainforest World Music Festival' for me - well, not for all the right reasons unfortunately. And some of the incidents would probably be stuck in my mind..

Maybe because I've heard such raves about it and had conjured some kind of expectation.. Or maybe I'm not a true lover of world/ethnic music after all.. But what really put a damper on it was our choice of accommodation..

Living in the long house was a terrible experience for me. So I ended up forgoing the second and third night stay (which was paid) and checked into Tune Hotel in Kuching instead.

To post the whole account of the three days would probably end up like a loooong article that no one will read.. So I shall just share some highlights here:

The Dampers:
  • The shuttle from Kuching to Sarawak Cultural Village (where the RWMF was held) was pretty badly organised - the staff could not speak English and worse, gave different instructions everyday making things so complicated and frustrating! Sometimes we were told to book beforehand while other time just buy tickets at the bus.
  • Since my friend and I are virgins at Kuching, we did a boo-boo ended up taking a cab from a hotel to another that is just opposite side of the road!! And the sly cab driver charged us RM8 for that ride!
  • It started pouring just before the shows began on the first night - we ended up watching more than half of it on the screen at a sheltered place. The ground in front of the stage was so muddy and hadn't dried up by the 3rd day!
  • This would take the icing of the cake - the deplorable condition of the Iban longhouse! - we're charged RM120 a night for a double room - and what we got were
  1. really basic (read: primitive) room with just two beds - a hard pillow and thin dirty-looking blanket, a cupboard and a wall fan that could not even rotate..
  2. a wet, dirty-looking toilet downstairs to be shared by four rooms. Cold-water shower, tiny basin and a WC. what's worse was there was NO water during `peak periods'! The first night, most of us bathed by scooping water from a a big pail - while the second night there was no water from 9pm to 3am - but by then I was gone.
  • There was an opening that overlooked the common area and a large group of people were chatting and laughing away till about 4am! Sleepless first night for me..
  • Staying in three different rooms for the three nights! Well, at least the second and third nights were in the same hotel though different rooms.
  • Not used to oily food, I suffered stomach ache on the first night - causing me to miss the finale which is one of the best bands!
  • My friends' room next door was `broken into'. Thankfully they didn't lose anything - we still unsure if it was a drunkard guest from outside or the longhouse who claimed to see that who was the culprit. They lodged a report and since I was the witness - who saw the worker coming out of their room - I went with them and also missed a good band playing.
  • There were more incidents but better not rant on...

The Delights

  • The Cultural Village was pretty - with a lake, mountain and forest, and the two concert stages had tall trees of rainforest as back drops. In the night with lighting, it looked romantic and surreal in a way.
  • The atmosphere was quite vibrant - it had a multi-national, multi-racial crowd, there were craft bazaars and various activities and festivities going on. Managed to buy something for mom and my nephews and niece, and even had henna done too!
  • Got some time to explore Kuching but just around the Waterfront touristy area and ate some local food (but suffered stomach problem :(

The photos by themselves are pretty interesting and `exotic' though..

Outside our Iban longhouse
The pathetic toiletMy room for the 2nd and 3rd night at Tune Hotel

Finally, if the music had been awesome, I think that would have cheered us up a bit.

Unfortunately most of the music, especially by Malaysian and Asian bands, were so monotonous - perhaps something you see in a cultural show! But there were some pretty good ones too - like the French, the NewZealand and Hungary were some of my favourites. The Tanzania group's bongo dance was a riot though music there was hardly any.

Overall I think I only enjoyed less than 30 per cent of all performances.. the final night was the best of all and our Malaysian band from KL - Akasha - was great and most enjoyable! :)

nb. wanted to upload more concert pix but Blogger fails me!! maybe later..

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Longhouse, rainforest and world music

I'll be in the Sarawak Rainforest for the next three days!! :)

After hearing so much about the annual Rainforest World Music Festival, finally I'll be experiencing it first-hand! Being the kiasu Malaysians we're , we planned this almost a year ago and I secured the air-tickets, accommodation and tickets all well in advance.. So, I'll be flying off tomorrow morning and four of us will be staying in a long house! It's part of the Theme Stay in Sarawak Cultural Village - right in amidst the forest.

So it'll be my first time staying in a long house, in the rainforest, and attending an world music festival! Cool music with great atmoshere.. but to be honest, I don't really know what to expect but I know it would be fun, and an experience of a life time!!

Got to go and pack now.. oh yes, i will remember the insect repellent :p