MAP Fest 2010 - Ikko Suzuki's performance

About Ikko Suzuki.

I've found my favorite place!

It is called The Baboon House.

I can't believe it took me over a year to finally go down to see Malacca - the oldest city in Malaysia. Maybe because great majority of trips I made around focused on visiting islands. Some of them twice or even three times... like Perhentian ;) Anyway, the reason I went to Malacca was that there was Art & Performance Festival going on over the weekend. A bit bored of KL nightlife I've decided to check MAP Fest out. There were various performances going on around Paul's Hill. Mainly dancers from different countries - Netherlands, Australia, Japan, Indonesia, etc. It was really nice to just hang out there and watch the artists perform. City centre is quite small so you can walk everywhere. Malacca has been listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site. It has charming Chinatown with narrow streets, number of little shops and restaurants. All buildings there have Peranakan architecture. Typical shophouse usually has the first hall, second hall, one or two courtyards or air wells, ancestral hall, bedrooms, bridal chamber and kitchen. It's absolutely amazing to see all these courtyards full of tropical plants. Like in The Baboon House. My favorite place.

The Baboon House is an art & craft shop with cafe attached. Their gourmet burgers are delicious! And even have dried seaweeds inside. Yummy!

Below pictures from art galleries in Chinatown.

Some of the performances.


SiJundai - Teater Tradisional RANDAI

My friend, Gert, invited me to her show. She's one of the dancers in Randai show called Sijundai. Performance was prepared and performed by students of ASWARA - National Academy of Arts, Culture and Heritage. Based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I really loved it!

Randai is a folk theater tradition of the Minangkabau ethnic group which incorporates music, singing, dance, drama and the silat martial art. It is performed as a theatre-in-the-round to achieve an equality and unity between audience members and the performers. Randai performances are a synthesis of alternating martial arts dances, songs, and acted scenes. Stories are delivered by both the acting and the singing and are mostly based upon Minangkabau legends and folktales. Randai originated early in the 20th century out of fusion of local martial arts, story-telling and other performance traditions. Men originally played both the male and female characters in the story, but since the 1960s women have also participated.
The Minangkabau ethnic group (also known as Minang or Padang) is indigenous to the highlands of West Sumatra, in Indonesia. Their culture is matrilineal, with property and land passing down from mother to daughter, while religious and political affairs are the province of men (although some women also play important roles in these areas). Today 4 million Minangs live in West Sumatra, while about 3 million more are scattered throughout many Indonesian and Malay peninsula cities and towns.

Source: wikipedia :)



Wakeboarding is rad!!!

This weekend for the first time in my life I have tried wakeboarding and I loved it!!! We got a really good deal from GroupsMore. With four friends of mine we went to Mines Resort City. It's in Kuala Lumpur, but obviously we made couple of wrong turns on the way and finished running 45 minutes late! Malaysian time :P Our instructor Gary was really cool and gave a good training. After 3 hours on the lake I felt happier than ever :D But right now all my muscles are sore... There's me on the video above. I managed to wave, but wasn't able to keep balance anymore haha
If you ever have a chance to try wakeboarding then go for it!


we ♥ animals

The longer I stay in Malaysia, the closer I get to the nature. Last weekend I went with my friends to Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary in Pahang. It's only 1,5 hour away from Kuala Lumpur and it's perfect for a one day trip.
Agenda involves visiting aboriginal village, watching a movie that shows how wild elephants are captured and transported to Taman Negara, feeding the elephants, riding on an elephant and bathing with elephants in the river. Being with elephants in the water was the highlight of the trip! It's so much fun to stroke and splash 'small' elephants and then get splashed from their trunk in return :P
Would be cool to have your own elephant in the garden :D but for now two small fish in my living room must do.. Surprisingly they survived two months in the same water and I hope yesterday's change of water didn't kill them.My friend bought a pacman frog - it's tiny, green and unbelievably cute! You see I'm so sensitive to animal beauty nowadays. This Saturday I went to see a pony race :D I like horses too.
I love animals! Just like the Crookers.

south american horned frog


Bukit Gasing

A new tradition has evolved. Every weekend, usually on Sunday, I go hiking with my friends to a nearby located hill called Bukit Gasing. Hiking track is only a 10 minute walk away from my place and somehow I wasn't aware of it for a year! Luckily now I know and every week I can get really tired and sweaty climbing up the hill. It's worth it! There's an Indian Temple at the top and panoramic view is just amazing. There's also a suspension bridge on another track, cause there are many. Obviously I love taking pictures of monkeys the most :D here's some for you!


I can make jewelry!!! :D

Last week I attended a jewelry making class. To be honest I was a bit sceptic about the whole idea, but decided to join, cause my friend is organizing it. And guess what? I loved it! :) I spent three hours at a table full of beads, losing my patience ten times a minute, eventually rescued by my hungry flatmate who helped me to finish my bracelet so that we could finally go for dinner :P it was lot of fun and I guess I'll come back there to master my skills. Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of my piece of art, but at least I have few pics from the event :) Enjoy.


Przerwa na piknik

Larry has finally posted some pictures from our trip to Tioman (in March lol). Well, better late than never. His Picasa album shows that East Coast rules. There's no doubt about it!
Haven't had the time lately to make any new posts. There's been a lot going on.
In brief, I decided to stay in Malaysia for one more year. I will still be working for the same company, AIMS DC Sdn Bhd.
Since March I've done some more traveling. In April I've been to Koh Lipe (Thailand) to celebrate Hani's bday :) Roughly a month ago I went to a jungle near Kuala Lipis to visit our Polish friends who are working on a Malaysian movie - HANYUT. Hanging out on the film set is quite cool. Now I understand you have to have a lot patience to work on a movie. It takes ages!
Last week I came back from Vietnam. This place is so beautiful you wouldn't believe. No wonder Ha Long Bay is one of the UNESCO world heritage sites. Kayaking there is amazing. Ania and I were doing some crazy amateur motorbike riding in rice paddy fields and mountain villages near Sapa, in Lao Cai region. Awesomeness. And of course, Hanoi - where crossing the street is most exciting thing you'll experience there lol oh, and I loved the food!

Book your tickets and visit me in Malaysia!


Friends' visit

Again, I have subscribed to last.fm and can listen to whatever I like. To gently wake myself up I chose my friend's library. I have to admit his music taste is excellent and soon I'll start calling him my music guru. And though he is in Krakow and I'm in Kuala Lumpur, I can still keep myself updated with his new music choices as well as old classics.

Some of my friends from Krakow are even closer now. They're actually visiting me for couple of weeks and the schedule is tight and full of activities. Well... though there is this big plan, we don't get much things done as it's damn hot in the city now and sightseeing turns out to be more tiring than usual.
We went to Central Market. Everyone was screaming and giggling in fish spa. Especially girls!
My friends have seen most of the typical landmarks in the city. We've spent like one hour taking pictures with Petronas Twin Towers ;P

We've managed to do something unusual as well. On Sunday we went to see the Zapin dance show in ASWARA (my friend's uni). It was amazing!!! Great music, colorfully dressed dancers, full house. The whole show got me into sort of trance. One and half hour passed very quickly. Later on we had 'big Italian family' style dinner in Jalan Alor with my friends from Krakow and from KL :)
When my friends went to see Singapore, another Polish friend came to visit. Only for two days. However, he managed to get himself in some trouble with underground casino... so you can imagine there was a thrill, brainstorming how to get out of this situation, watching stars and palm trees and sipping cherry vodka in my swimming pool once we've figured out the solution. He's now in Thailand enjoying rest of his holiday. His visit in Malaysia was short, but unforgettable.

This wknd we're going to enjoy one of the Malaysian islands - Tioman! :)


恭喜發財 - gōng xǐ fā cái!

Happy Chinese New Year! :) Today, in our company, we have celebrated beginning of the year of Tiger. We had lunch and watched the lion dance. Employees came with their families. The kids from the orphanage came as well (our company has adopted an orphanage couple of months back). At first lions were dancing in front of our office building - Menara Aik Hua. Here's a video of lions catching and throwing tangerines. Later on tigers moved inside and went through all our premises. Beginning from the data centre at the ground floor (click to see it), through GT offices at 6th floor, and finishing at top floor (where I work). Tigers were wandering around looking for tangerines on desks. Each time they saw one, they stopped and opened it. For good luck and fortune I guess. Of course, all of that was accompanied with drum, gong and cymbal. The music was so loud that some people covered their ears, but I liked it. Almost like in Zouk club ;)

Tiger at the reception desk ;)


Berkelah Waterfalls

Recently I am traveling a lot. This week was public holiday - Chinese New Year (14th Feb - just like Valentine's Day). So the year of white metal tiger has begun. You can check your Chinese horoscope here lol. 
Ok, public holiday means Monday and Tuesday off! Me and my friends decided to go to the jungle in Taman Negara (national park). However, camping there during public holiday is impossible as many school trips book the campsite 3 months in advance... We had to come up with plan B quickly and that is how the idea of camping at Berkelah Waterfalls was born. 
We took two cars and four tents and drove to Kuantan. On our way we stopped at vintage second hand shop, where Carl bought himself a shirt. Shop was in the middle of a small village, so random. 
Camping by the river was amazing. Swimming in crystal clear water, climbing up the river, watching big waterfall at the top. Views were beautiful! We even saw couple of komodo dragons!!! We spent nights by the fire, chatting and watching the stars (the sky was so clear that you could see all stars and milky way, wow, you never see this in KL). The trip was magical and I loved it :D