Saturday, November 05, 2005

Singapore...and more!


I just got back from Singapore yesterday evening, from my Southbridge gig. If you don't know already, I'm playing with the David Gomes Trio at Jazz @ Southbridge (JSB) on Thursday nights for the month of November.

David is the resident pianist/bandleader at JSB every alternate month, and he's backed by house rhythm section Eddie Jensen on electric bass and Tan Boon Gee on the drums. I'll be playing on Thursdays this whole month except on the 17th, where guitarist Eugene Pao from Hong Kong takes the weekend there. Other than that, Wednesdays feature Singaporean guitarist Andrew Lim (really nice cat and jazz guitarist!), Fridays and Saturdays feature Junji Delfino on vocals.

Wednesday 2nd:


I hitched a ride with David and Junji on their van, as the decided to drive down instead, to beat the festival rush. We left at 4am and got there around 10am, and to our delight, it was still clear from traffic! Then, we had a late breakfast in a nice little coffeeshop, kopitiam-style, and we crashed at our respective accomodations. I stayed at my aunt's place in Bedok.

Jam session...

I woke up a short while in the late afternoon, only to sleep again after about 20 minutes. I didn't know I was that tired. Woke up again, finally, at almost 6.30pm, soaked my reeds and practiced a short while. Then I headed out to JSB to check out David, Andrew and the rest of the band. I also got to jam with them, or rather, finish both the second and third set with them. It was quite a pleasure listening to Andrew play AND jamming with him as well. A very Wes Montgomery, Grant Green kind of style, it's the kind of guitarist that I enjoy listening to... tasteful, and melodic, and not overindulgent when it comes to improvising.

Arab Street...

After the gig, I joined some of the young cats, like Andrew, Boon Gee, and a few other friends from Singapore, and went to Arab Street to have supper. We went to this Middle Eastern restaurant, and I ate something called foul, some kind of beans usually used for chili (the Western-style chili not the Asian spicy-hot type). It's made into gravy, and he also added fried egg on top of the foul (I think it was cooked on top of the foul), and served with arab bread. Oh my god, it was such a delight! I've never had anything like that here in KL. I'm gonna make it a point to drop by again next week! Anyway, after 2-hours of talking and bantering, we headed home to crash.

Thursday 3rd:

Bus tickets..

I woke up late morning, and I headed out to town to get my bus tickets from Golden Mile Complex, Beach Road. I was a little apprehensive about getting tickets in light of the festival rush, but I managed to get 1pm tickets for Friday. I then had some spare time and headed down to Borders to check out some books and CDs, but didn't intend to buy anything... no budget! Headed home to rest before the gig.

First night at JSB..

I got up about 7-ish, got ready and had dinner before heading to JSB. Although not my first time playing there, I was still rather nervous, as it's my first official night at the club.

We started off playing Footprints, several other jazz standards, such as Body and Soul, and some vocal tunes from David for the first set. During the break, my sifu Greg Lyons and wife, June, came to the bar! Now that was double-y nerve-wrecking! My sifu going to see me play. Anyway, the second set started with Invitation, and David invited JSB-owner Eddie Chan to play a couple of tunes on vibes. We jammed on Just Friends and Chick Corea's 500 Miles High. Then, David invited Greg (gulp!) to play on stage. We jammed on Miles Davis' Four, and I proceeded to let Greg have the stage to finish off the set with Here's That Rainy Day and It Could Happen To You. Wow.. lucky night! In the third set, after a couple of tunes, David invited Singaporean pianist Wei Siang to jam on a couple of tunes. We played Bye Bye Blackbird and finished off with a blistering fast (my fault.. for play-counting it off real fast) version of Cherokee.

Supper and more..

As usual, it was suppertime. David, Junji, Boon Gee and myself headed to this nifty place called Mustapha's somewhere near Arab Street. It's really a shopping complex, and Boon Gee describes it as the whole Orchard Road in one building! After a quick supper, we checked out Mustafa's and it seemed like they almost have EVERYTHING.. from blood-pressure monitors to sports equipment, and everything in between! And the prices weren't too bad too, not necessarily much cheaper, but some things are.

Did I mention they open 24 hours?!?!

I managed to buy some stuff there, and use up a third of my night's pay! Hehehe.. but mostly stuff for my family. You can't get Gardenia's flavored grain bread (Fruit and Nut Loaf, or even California Raisin) back here in KL. So I had to get a few to freeze-keep and we'll have stuff to eat for breakfast and sometimes in between meals!

Headed home in a taxi, while it was raining cats and dogs.. a nice night to sleep tight!

Friday 4th:

Warning: The following passages will contain explicit language. If you're easily offended by it, please do not continue reading. It's rated PG-15 (L).

I woke up late morning again, and just enough time to pack my things and head down to the bus station. I managed to find a vegetarian stall in the Golden Mile foodcourt opposite the bus station that served really nice mee rebus on Fridays! Wow, talk about a nice meal!

Boarded the bus, and had an uneventful ride back to KL.

I reached KL, and I arranged a ride with my bud, KT and rendezvous with him at Kelana Jaya Putra station. So I took a Star LRT train and headed to Masjid Jamek stop to grab the Putra line to Kelana Jaya. And like usual, it takes ages for the train to come and it such a pain to transit in between service lines. Just a little note, that I was carrying my horn on my back, another backpack, and a heavy bread-filled skycap luggage! And some of the escalators weren't working! Biatch..

Again, the mass rail transit system in Singapore is so effective and efficient, you won't have problems getting around town. And the trains and the stations are so user-friendly, you don't have to scratch your head finding the transit stops.

I got onto the Masjid Jamek train, and I couldn't believe it was so packed with people. I noticed that it was packed with people who weren't local as well.. lots of foreign people, who I presumed were either from Indonesia, Thai, Burmese or some others. Instead of politely getting into the carriages, they happily BARGED themselves in the train pushing all others in the process.

Because I was carrying so much stuff, and jammed packed like sardines in a can, I didn't pay full attention to that nugging feeling in my ZIPPED pocket. When the train stopped at Central Market, some of the crowd in the train dispersed and exited there. I only realised then, when there was a sudden lightness in my right side of my pants, that I had been pickpocketed!! Some motherf*cker took my wallet!! I couldn't really do anything at that point, as the thief may have went out at that last stop, and I decided to exit out at KL Sentral station. I called KT and told him what happened, and he came over to KL Sentral to pick me up. I also made the necessary calls to cancel the credit cards I had on my wallet and told my parents (who were in Port Dickson). I also reported with the KL Sentral authorities.

Police..?? What for...??

KT and HS came over to Sentral, and we proceeded to find out which police station I have to go to, to report this. I asked the cop who was outside at the station, and he took me to the pondok polis (police hut/branch) at KL Sentral. They then forwarded me to the Jalan Brickfields station, and made the report. I was only told then I found out that to report a stolen wallet (crime-based reports) I have to go the Jalan Tun H.S Lee station at Jalan Stadium! The officer actually called the KL Sentral police hut branch and told them off, for "forwarding" this report to the wrong station. Oh yeah, they had the cheek to charge me rm2 for issuing a missing driving license report!

WHAT THE FUCK?????????

I just got my fucking wallet stolen, and they wanted me to pay rm2? Where the fuck am I supposed to get rm2?? From my asshole ah? Abso-fuckin-lutely stupid idiots! That's MALAYSIANS for you, ladies and gentlemen!

NOTE: Thanks KT and HS for helping me out on the short term money problem!

Oh yeah, then I was forwarded to the Jln Tun HS Lee station to hand in the report. I got there, only to find out that I didn't have to! But those lazy fucking idiots at Jalan Brickfields were to fucking lazy to report it themselves! The officer at the Tun HS Lee station had to apologize to me for having to go all the way there.

What the fuck is wrong with this system??? If you wanna report a crime, you have to go to this station. If you wanna report a car accident or road-based reports, you have to go to that station? Absolutely fucking stupid idiots of Malaysian government! Might has well just get rid of the police in the whole?

Calm of the storm...

I apologize for the blatant anger in this one. If you met me in person yesterday when this shit happened, I was a whole lot more calmer and composed than I sound. I didn't see a point of getting all raged up. The deed is done, and there's nothing much I can do about it. I'm only using this blog as a conduit to vent out them frustrations in me, which I will not do it out physically.

The rest is all just bad karma. And I'm willing to take it in as just part of life experience, and as retribution for my bad deeds in the past lives or so.

To the thief who stole my wallet:

If you die today or in the next couple of days, or ever....

...I hope you die out of a car accident, or you get shot, or you get mugged, or you die from diabetes, hepatitis, herpes, syphillis, STD or AIDS, get fucked in the ass by some ass-lover from the lockup who makes you his bitch, and whatever method you like!

But I forgive you. I consider this as retribution for the wrong I did to you in my previous incarnation.

If you ever return or leave my wallet somewhere and take the cash, please leave my essentials behind.

Oh yeah, this will be the last time I'm ever taking public transport in Kuala Lumpur. I'll say it once and I'll say it again... the public transportation system in KL is ABSO-FUCKIN-LUTELY HOPELESS!!!! I thank God in its infinity for my car. I'll even spend the extra cash for a taxi.

FUCK YOU PUTRA LRT and STAR LRT! I hope you bankrupt and let the goverment take over fully! Then again, the government wouldn't even do a good job doing it as well! Forget it, you all are doomed muthafuckas!!


After making all that police reports, we had some dinner at PJ, and KT sent HS and me home. I went out for a 30k bike ride at 11.30pm at Putrajaya to sweat out some of this deep aggression.

It's like a totally different reality here in KL. Especially just coming out of Singapore, it feels like I'm in a totally different dimension from the last one I was at. Maybe I should have stayed a couple of days more..


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