14 July 2010

Etiquette when visiting friends

I recently had a friend who came to my home. We were actually going to visit another friend together, and since she didn't know the way there, she would hop into my car.

When my friend arrived, I was rushing to send my boy to school. So I told my friend to wait for me at home. At that time, my daughter was still having her lunch supervised by my maid. Before my friend arrived, I had closed the doors to our study and guest room downstairs.

Later, at our mutual friend's music centre opening (Allegretto in Panorama Lapangan Perdana), my friend who was at my home earlier, mentioned how handsome my son looked in his kindy graduation picture. Now, this picture is placed in the guest room downstairs, whose door I closed.

Back home, I asked my maid if she knew whether my friend had gone into the guest room. My maid replied, exasperated, that indeed my friend had gone into all the rooms downstairs, including the ones where I had closed the doors.

I was rather upset at my friend's behaviour as she had violated the privacy of my home. A closed door means "no entry", don't you agree? It is very unbecoming to explore, uninvited and unchaperoned, someone else's home, especially by opening doors.

I don't know if I should tell my friend my feelings, or just let it go. Well, I won't be having her in my home anytime soon.

Sun Marpoh Restaurant, Ipoh Garden

Reading other bloggers rave about this place, I am surprised my inlaws never seem to have tried it, despite living in Ipoh for ages and ages and ages.....

I heard about Sun Marpoh from my maid agency back in PJ! The lady at the agency is an Ipohan too. Well, I am glad to report that my family and I are happy with the food at Sun Marpoh.

The second time we dined there, on a Saturday evening around 1830, the place was packed! We managed to secure a table but worried about a long wait (a-la Yin Fai Kee's bad experience). Ha! I was suitably impressed that despite the crowd, our food arrived in 9 minutes flat. (hubby was timing it) So far, the quickest and most efficient kitchens in Ipoh have got to be 1919 and Sun Marpoh!

We love the butter-cream prawns (actually it's lai-liu har - no clue what it's called in English) - Sun Marpoh gives a generous heap of the crispy fried buttery strands - and my kids polished off the sizzling-bean curd in a jiffy. The black pepper venison was delicious too, though the belacan kangkung could be better - but still, it was good.

This restaurant will surely be a family regular from now on.

06 July 2010

Kinta Valley Wind Orchestra - inaugural concert

I did not have high expectations when I went for the Kinta Valley Wind Orchestra (KVWO) inaugural concert on the 4th of July 2010. It was to be held in the Syuen Hotel - not the best place with the best acoustics. I told my husband that I would stay until 930pm max, regardless whether the concert was over or not.

But the night turned out to be extremely enjoyable, with the orchestra members enthusiastic and full of promise, and with tremendous local support as the Syuen ballroom was packed out. So there is room and demand for orchestral music and the arts in Ipoh! We stayed till the end of the concert at well past 10pm.

The 50 member-strong wind orchestra comprised musicians of all ages, mainly novice and amateur players supplemented by the presence and service of professional musicians from the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra who gave of their service freely. Such is their commitment to music.

The KVWO was formed in January 2010 under the auspices of the Kinta Valley Symphonic Society, founded by the generous grant given by Dato' KK Lim. Eugene Pook was brought on board to be the first artistic director and conductor of the orchestra. At the same time, Eugene is also music director of the Perak Society of Performing Arts and advisor to the Youth Circle of Arts Malaysia.

Given the short time with which the musicians had to prepare for the concert, their performance that night was commendable. Conductor Eugene Pook shared with the audience that when he auditioned the musicians, he was heartened that so many turned up for the audition - that was the good news. The bad news, as Eugene put it, "They cannot play! Oh man, I've got a lot of work to do" - to the amusement of the audience. Well the hard work put in by all has certainly paid off. Well done!

I look forward to the growing orchestral and arts scene in Ipoh, never really expecting it to be vibrant here at all. Pleasant surprises to living in Ipoh .....