Sunday, August 23, 2015

A Night to Remember

And now that I have gotten that out of my system! Last night was sensational! I went out with Ian, Addy and Cindy, first to the Helipad to have a drink and watch the sunset over Menara KH (yeah, KL's best kept secret which is why Addy knows about it).

and then to Jalan Alor (who knew it was so happening? Doesn't Alor mean drain?) for dinner. And boy what a huge dinner that was. Oh Chien (I don't know how to spell that but it is basically oysters cooked in eggs and although Cindy and Addy thought it was not up to scratch, the memory of it makes my mouth water now), black pepper fried squid (now, I'm not usually a fan of squid, but this was sooooo good...Ian ordered it to do him credit and it was the best dish of the night, in fact a French couple sitting near us, eyed up the dish and ordered the same thing). We had kangkong garlic (the belacan would have been too spicy for Ian) and char kueh teow and fried carrot was a feast and then some. And as we moved through the dishes ooohing and ahhhhing...I had to stop after a while because I was stuffed to the gills but the others soldiered gamely on...these guys selling selfie sticks kept bothering us.

"Selfie stick, miss? Selfie stick, sir?"

After a while, Ian, who has to be the most patient person on the planet (he was down with my haphazard driving and wrong turns and our figuring things out as we moved along) started to get annoyed:

"Yeah, you disturb me when I'm eating and ask if I want a selfie stick, of course I'm gonna say yes."

He thought their business model was somewhat flawed. Ian is a business professor from a university in Melbourne and we became friends after I interviewed him. And no, he's not from Melbourne, but from Chicago, home of Oprah and Obama's wife. He instructed his brother Eli to take me out when I was in Chicago, which Eli did, on Easter Sunday. Ian told me Eli is the wildest in the family. I didn't see none of that though, cos Eli was on his best behaviour. He also said Eli was the musician in the family and used to go busk down a street corner when he was in the service, just to make some money...and actually managed to acquire a following. After a while he took himself to one of the nearby bars and asked, how much will you pay me to come sing here? And here's the clincher...the bar agreed.

Eli, said Ian, is good at anything he does. It's just that he gets bored quickly. He's trying to get him to come out to Malaysia for a visit. Why? Because the place is nice, the food is nice and the people are wonderful and warm. I think it's because someone like Ian would bring it out in us. He's just so easy to be with. I've known us not to be warm, with people who are cold and contemptuous. They put us off instinctively and nobody has time for them after a while. You're lucky if you have a local friend who lugs you around and insists that everyone else puts up with you. But after a while, if you're really a piece of work, even that sputters out. We're a tolerant people but not that tolerant. Nobody could be that tolerant, anywhere in the world.

Anyway, there we were eating and being harassed by people who wanted to sell us all manner of different wares (selfie sticks, ornamental wooden bowls, laser pointers - no, they don't have to make sense) - when suddenly a band set up right in front of our table and started to belt out numbers. I turned to Ian: "This is all your fault!" He laughed.

Anyway, the first singer, a pint-sized woman with powerful lungs, belted out three numbers...all of which were really well-received, she clearly had talent...and then this guy on a guitar took over. He didn't have much of a voice and he sang two songs - No Woman, No Cry and Dream by the Everly Brothers. It was one song too many. One of the waiters, whom I am convinced is one of the gangsters of the area, glared at the fat guy who had gone around asking for money for the band. Everyone at our table had put in something. Anyway, it took him a while to make the rounds and that was why we were "treated" to an extra song. So there was a staring match.

Gangster: Pack up and leave. You've been singing long enough.

Fat guy: Fuck off.

Gangster: I'm warning you.

New gangster joins in: Did you hear the guy?

Fat guy: I'll leave when I'm good and ready.

Gangster: All you have is your protruding stomach. If we hit you we'll make mincemeat.

Fat guy: Hmmmmm.......

New gangster: Here, have a cigarette (places one between fat guy's lips). And do as he says and fuck off. You're interrupting our business. Five songs! You've collected your money. Now scat.

Fat guy: Shakes him tambourine meaningfully at the end of the song (Dream) in a way that is clearly a signal. Woman singer steps forward to thank the crowd. They pack up and leave.

The exchange between on-site gangsters and band tough guy were all silent. You had to have been there to imagine the dialogue.

Oh I forgot. We also had the smoked chicken wings. Which was pretty good, but we ordered too much.

Soon, even Ian couldn't eat another bite. So we settled the bill and left. To the car? Not quite yet.

There was still a matter of artisan coconut ice cream to eat. I was out. But the other three were game. And Ian, who is lactose intolerant and cannot eat anything with milk (including ice cream) could have this, because it was made out of coconut milk. Yay!

So they each had a scoop on a cone...and then we got to the car...and made our sloooooooow way out in a street that was completely chock a block (it wasn't even slow-moving traffic, it was standing traffic).

And then I drove them back to the hotel where Ian was staying and Addy had parked her car (Cindy had parked at Addy's house) and we called it a night.

Well, three of us did.

Addy was due to meet up with friends for a drinking session after our night out.

I just got a call from Vas to ask if I knew her whereabouts as she had missed an 11am lunch appointment. I suggested that considering how late she was up last night, she would probably be asleep.

Now I have to take the dogs out for a walk (long overdue) and take myself off to the hairdressers (he's been sending me polite text messages for a while now).

Later for you.

1 comment:

Jenn said...

Oops, my bad. Thought I had installed comment moderation for this blog. Apparently not. Either that or it has been hacked into. Either way, I deleted your comment without reading it.