Today was one of those typical, wonderful days when we absolutely love living in Malaysia. First of all, it was warm and sunny, of course, but that’s not really why we love it here. We love that, in Malaysia, although it’s all the way out at the end of the earth, you can always find little treats that you would never expect. There’s a little bit of a lot of things, if you know what I mean.
First of all, we started our afternoon off right by enjoying a delicious lunch at the California Pizza Kitchen. There’s nothing like enjoying a soup and sandwich combo in the heart of downtown KL. We are constantly surprised at the number of western food chain restaurants that are thriving here in KL. And we are more suprised by the long lines of locals waiting to get in and enjoy pizza, burgers, salads, and pasta. Today was no exception.
After lunch, we attended a fantastic Mozart concert performed by the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra in KLCC (the Petronal Towers). It was a little bit of struggle for us to get in because we were not dressed appropriately (i.e. Alex was wearing a T-shirt and sneakers). We didn’t know that there was a dress code, and since everything is so casual here, we didn’t even think to dress up for an afternoon concert. We had a little bit of a kerfuffle with the ticket lady but in the end they loaned Alex a blazer and some stylin’ shoes that were way too small (of course). Check out the: brown pants, blue T-shirt, black blazer and black square-toe shoes (and the proud, satisfied look on his face as he settles into his chair inside the concert hall).
Sorry the picture is a little blurry – the lady in the background is just getting ready to tell me that photographs are not allowed and that I have to delete all the pictures of the interior from my camera. Ha! Good luck with that…
As you can see, the symphony hall here is just beautiful! It’s quite small, so you feel almost like you’re in someone’s home, instead of a large impersonal auditorium. There are definitely no bad seats. We were in the 6th row, which was a bit close, but at least I was able to make actual eye contact with almost every one of the performers at some point today. And the sound was perfect! They performed one of my favorites: Don Giovanni, which always makes me think of Amadeus. It was a very comfortable setting, the conductor even told us some little stories, including who was recently married to whom on the stage. The musicians were even hanging out in the lobby during intermission so I’ll have to start planning some sort of witty comment for next time.
After the concert we strolled around the much-too-crowded Suria KLCC. As I am often wont to do, I went to the grocery store. I like checking out what different grocery stores have in stock. It’s a habit I picked up from Germany because you never know what you will find. And, once again, I was pleasantly surprised. First of all, I found Nilla Wafers. Now, in the US, I never really ate them, but for some reason, I have been dreaming of Nilla Wafers for ages now. No real reason, mostly just because I can’t get them. But, the most interesting find was actually one for our friend Patty. She is Jewish, and since Malaysia does not allow any Israeli products into the country, she often craves some items she can’t find here – especially Matzo. She ended up going to Singapore last year to find Matzo for our Passover dinner. But, lo and behold, what did I find in Cold Storage? A nice, fresh box of Matzo. Who would have thought? We figure they must not realize that what it is, since these Matzo were made in the UK….
With one lucky discovery, comes another. Alex has been pining after a certain Thomas Pynchon book for a few weeks. Lamenting about how that’s all he wants for Christmas, etc, etc. As I was waiting in line for the ATM, what does Alex see in the book store next door? Yes, you guessed it! That very same book. What a lucky day!
And, in a nutshell, that’s what I love about Malaysia. Go to a world-class concert in a stunning hall, enjoy a tasty lunch, find a special treat, and finish up your Christmas shopping in one afternoon. Who wouldn’t love that?
Image 2 from: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/c/cc/California_Pizza_Kitchen.png
Image 3 from: http://www.kiat.net/towers/images/dewan.jpg
Image 4 from: http://www.projectrebirth.org/img/ss_petronas-towers.jpg