Friday, July 07, 2006

World Cup blues

I'm working my way towards a normal life again. Meaning, after this weekend (Monday at 6 a.m.) yours truly and millions of other World Cup devotees will welcome back what we've lost in the past few weeks - sleep. 2-4 hours seem to be what most of us are getting each day. You (my American friends, that is) will have no idea as to how the World Cup has impacted our lives. Managers, Directors and CEOs of companies anticipate high leave-taking weeks as June approaches, while mamak stalls start preparing their new creations for their football watching customers - eg: Roti France, Roti England and Roti Brazil.

As with most international events, the World Cup is no more than an assembly of world class players. Players who have emerged as celebrities over a series of football matches, years of hard work and training and not to mention, the occassional 'talent' factor. However, do not make the mistake of expecting consistently hard core world class matches throughout this event. If you do so, you will be greatly disappointed.

The "greater" teams have been disappointing this year. England, no matter how much they are putting the blame on Christiano Ronaldo for causing Rooney's red card, did not play well (I guess I'd better watch what I say. I may be getting some hate mail from friends later.) Here you have most of the world's top players in a team, but they were each playing an individual game...okay, perhaps Gerrard is an exception. What's up with Lampard and his 21 misses? Anyhow, I am depressed and heart broken that the World Cup has now become the Euro Cup. I cannot believe France beat Brazil in the semis. If you ask around, the matches that were most exciting to watch were those of mid-level teams (eg: Ghana). And who wants to see a team win a match via penalty shoot out? I don't.

I guess I am done with my soccer rant. The past few weeks have been unexpectedly busy and eventful. Charlene and Alice were in town from HK. We enjoyed a great eating weekend.

Indian breakfast (that cone thing is called paper tose); as Alice has yet tried durian, my friends and I decided to give her THE best souvenir from Malaysia

On the work front, I went to Singapore a week and a half ago for an interview at The Esplanade. It went pretty well. Spent the night with Pam so we managed to catch up before her wedding, which is tomorrow.

After a series of unexpected events, the director of the company invited me to a meeting at the Ministry of Arts and Cultural Affairs last Tuesday. Apparently he didn't realize that he had been selected to be part of the newly formed National Arts Council. The whole event was pretty funny actually. Firstly, neither of us was dressed appropriately for a meeting at the Ministry. But circumstances were such that we had to go as we were. Next, once we got in, I realized that I was sitting in the midst of VIPs, including ministers and Dato's and Datins at the meeting. I was the only who was not a part of any real organization and was probably 2 decades too young to even be present. You can probably imagine how awkward it was.

We spent two and a half hours discussing the arts situation in the country, went over the 5 committees that have been formed under this council, talked about the council's missions and future developments, etc. We have been in need of an Arts Council for many moons now, and it looks like the Ministry is finally taking some serious steps. Much emphasis was placed in preserving cultural arts as well as the development of local works and artists. What was interesting was the fact that we weren't just talking about the performing arts. We were looking at a much bigger picture - education, tourism, etc. As much as I felt awkward being there, it was just thrilling to be sitting there listening to the plans which will slowly be taking place. All in all, the answers to the questions I had with regards to the arts development situation in my country were unravelled within those two hours. Funny how things work out at times.

Side note:
Took Dad to Jogoya at Starhill Gallery for a sumptuous Japanese Buffet on Father's Day. This place is HUGE! And they have everything from sushi to roasted bbq duck to chicken masala. It is supposedly a Japanese buffet, but they do offer a variety of western and eastern food as well.
The sashimi is fab! Very fresh. The interior is modern chic, with a tropical flare around the food presentation areas. There are visible cooking and food preparation stations which makes walking around the buffet areas more fun.

Sushi, sashimi; coconuts; soups

Fresh seafood; veg samples

Hot seafood platter; indian dishes

Happy Birthday Christie and Vonessa!