Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Kuching - part 1: Friday, 20 Aug 2004

Finished rehearsals pretty late... came back, slept, and woke up 6, 6:30am to pack.. picked up my drummer Charles, and headed to KLIA with my parents.

About 9 am, KLIA:
After checking in and having breakfast, we entered the terminal and met up with the rest of the musicians from the other bands. It was interesting, I seldom get to convene and hang out with other musicians in tours like this. And being with cats like these, there's always an infinite supply of laughter and exchange of conversation and ideas. Like running races, the dynamics shared between each other is just remarkable. To add to the spice, we're talking about really, REALLY, "gila" musicians, man. And suffice to say, a lot of good musicians I know, memang a bit gila wan... anyway, flight took off at 10:50am

Around 12:30pm, Kuching:
Arrived at Kuching Int'l Airport after an uneventful flight (thank god..esp under current world's circumstances). After checking out from the immigration checkpoint, we were greeted and welcomed by the promoters of the jazz fest, complete with a nice promo banner, proceeded with a photo shoot. Got on the bus and rode to our hotel, Somerset Gateway Apartments. Checked in, and the rooms were great, two rooms, one room with two single beds and the other room a double bed! Found out shortly that it's a service apartment, under Ascott group... not bad... no wonder.

Got used to the room pretty fast.. heheheh. I was bunking with Eddie (trumpeter) and Charles. Relaxed for about 1/2 hr, then went to their function room for a reception between the artistes, and DBKU. Normal meet-greet-briefing affairs. Went to the room to sleep...and man, did I sleep deep. This is recovering from two rehearsals the day before, the second one ending around 1 something in the morning!

Woke up around 6pm, the organizer GM took us for dinner. Seafood. Me, being vegetarian, obviously see myself having a tough time. So I took the liberty of telling the organizer GM, earlier, that I was a vegetarian. And he managed to arrange it for me. Talk about efficient... and a real cool cat, too! I'm having a ball of a time here. Dinnertime, nothing but food, more food, even more food, conversation about food, music, and of course, tremendous amount of laughter.

Me, Charles, and Eddie then went to walk around the Waterfront (and we couldn't resist it... FRIED ICE CREAM!!! RM2.20 each!), checked out the night scenery, including some canopy trees that you would seldom see around West M'sia. At the same time, I was already charting a possible running route to run in the morning. Haze seemed to get worse then receded, you could just smell it. Seems that the haze condition in East M'sia is far worse than West.

Went back to the hotel, watched the Olympics a bit, talked a bit, then slept.

footnote: Man... Chris Hoyt's victory over Arnaud Tournant from the Cycling 1km Time Trials event was awesome, man!! 1:00.711, over World Record holder Arnaud's 1:00.896. Woo hoo... sure didn't expect that one...

Next up: Kuching part 2! (stay tuned!)

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