Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The one about music & malls

I'm back. Had a break from blogging after the whirlwind of activities the last month. It has been a pretty quiet three weekes by any standards, so I'll save you the yawns by just speeding thru the events.

On Friday 24th Nov, the Catholic Lawyers had a meeting with the Bishop of Penang. We were invited to give our views on the recent events at the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes in Silibin, Ipoh. The Church had decided to allocate a Day of Prayer for forgiveness to be held on the 1st of December 2006. The Bishop was also considering a proportionate response by way of another press statement. After viewing a private home video of the actual events on that fateful day, we delved into the discussion. Suffice to say it proved to be an enlightening session for all.

The next day, we had dinner at Karaikudi Restaurant - the one at Little India in town. It was a change from our usual destination. After a satisfying meal, Ralph, KH, Jinny, Jo and I all headed to Island Plaza for coffee at Starbucks. We were joined by Sue & Yan, Mel & Stacy there. Usual banter and anticipatory talk of the new mall opening.

On Sunday, apart from our usual activities, Jo and I joined Mel and Stacy at the movies - catching "Casino Royale" a James Bond pre-quel of sorts. The new Bond Daniel Craig made his first appearance in the role. Not much to comment. Never been much of a Bond an myself.

The week beginning 27th November proved to be pretty uneventful. The one highlight was obviously the opening of the brand spanking new Queensbay Mall at Bayan Lepas. The mall boasts new tenants such as Jusco (famous for their great supermarket and food section), Borders, Harvey Normans and others.

Jo and I decided that we would want to be one of the many curious ones who would brave the possibility of traffic-jams and people-packed-like-sardines-along-small-walkways to grace the white-tiled, paint filled aroma building which is destined to be THE mall in the state. There were crowds and there was a jam but overall, it wasn't impossible. However, getting into one of the few food places was much harder. Some new places there for food - Laksa Shack, Manhattan Fish Market, Bakerzin, Paddingtons House of Pancake and lots more...

Our lunch at Paddingtons was pretty much a disaster. One look at the extensive menu convinced me that these people have no idea what they were getting themselves into. There was no systematic ordering process and the waiters were not trained (a major pet hate of mine). Jo and I had met Stacy for lunch there and suffice to say Jo's food never came and we had to tell the cashier what we ate! When will people ever learn.

Still, we left Queensbay with a sense of hope. This place has the potential of being the key mall in Penang. It certainly has brought a little bit more of the world to us in little Penang.

The next night Jo and I had tickets to the Penang Island Jazz Festival. This now annual event boasts of fine international acts from all over the world converging on a plot of garden by the Bayview Beach pool. Somehow, we managed to miss the previous festivals but this year we made an effort to attend - and we weren't disappointed. Although it didn't have the sheer magnitude nor the elecricity of other established music festivals (like the Kuching Rainforest Music Festival - which features its 10th anniversary next year 2007), I was quite pleasantly pleased by the ambience and response from the Penangites.

I met an old friend of ours Darryl Goh from the Star who is one of their chief music correspondents, who told me blankly that none of the Penang journalists were keen on covering the event so he had to come up from KL. Sigh.

Despite a late night, I had to get up early Sunday morning for mass at the Immaculate Conception Church in Pulau Tikus. We were having our special mass for the Catholic Lawyers that morning. Immediately after mass, the Catholic Lawyers were presenting a short talk on the issue of the Legal Implications of Conversion to Islam. The talk was given mainly by Agatha Foo with help from a few of us. The response was good with nearly 30 people in the hall. Questions were fielded after the informative session and we hope those who were there were enlightened on the real legal position.

After mass, Jo and I headed for - you guessed it - Queensbay Mall (again). This time I dropped Jo off as she was meeting Sue Khoon, Yan and Wendy for lunch. I took the opportunity to dash to the PC Fair at PISA. Amazingly, the PC Fair was busier than Queensbay! Still, I picked up a couple of great bargains - an new 1gb SD card for RM65 and an external hardisk enclosure for RM35 only.

We picked up Ethan from his grandparents' around 6pm and headed home only to realise that Jo needed to pick up something from Gurney Plaza. As she was a little tired out, I went alone and visited yet another mall.

That night I do remember falling asleep quickly - quite drained from all that walking. As i drifted off into the sub-conscious, my mind told me there was more to come...

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