Sunday, 20 July 2008

Saturday night of fun with Ken (19th July 2008)

Most of my Saturday was spent running around - gym, grocery shopping, got my ticket to a movie tonight, saw my beautician and hair stylist. Crazy, crazy! These days, my life seems to run a million miles a second - sometimes I don't have a recollection of what I did for the day at the end of the day because I did SO MUCH!

Around 5.30pm, I headed to Paramount on Courtenay Place to see a Malaysian film screened in conjunction with the 37th Wellington Film Festival 2008 which runs from 18th July - 3rd August. I had a browse through the list of films and was so surprised to see 2 from Malaysia. It's not everyday that a Malaysian living abroad gets to see what their home country produces. Of course, curious me always looking and trying new things, I decided I would watch both movies and see what Malaysian filmmakers have to offer.

Flowers In The Pocket was a wonderful movie and so real of the typical lives of average-class kids in Malaysia where parents work day and night to keep the family afloat and kids fend for themselves. What really captivated me was how well the 2 young boys in the film acted - it was too real to be a film, as if we have stepped into their real world. A beautiful mix of bittersweet growing pains, culture and language. Speaking of language, I was somewhat skeptical about the film at first because it stated on the website that the film was in 'Czech and German with English subtitles' - Malaysian film in Czech and German??? Weird...I had to see it for myself! Turned out to be the typical 'rojak' aka mix of Malaysian languages - Malay, Malaysian English, Mandarin, Cantonese and Hokkien/Teochew. I emailed the organisers to have this amended - didn't want others put off to see such a heartwarming film just because of the error in print.

You know, walking out of the theatre, I am grateful that my childhood was not like that of the two boys despite living in a somewhat single-parent family for a good 10 years (mum and dad lived in different towns; my brother and I grew up with mum and her family). Definitely recommend you watch this film. I'm looking forward to the next one on Monday!

Caught up with Ken after movie for dinner and this time we settled for Kazu Yakitori & Sake Bar on Courtenay Place just a couple shops away from Paramount (last time we came here, we walked out after a glass of water). Yakitori is the Japanese version of grilled chicken on bamboo skewers over a charcoal grill. It is quite interesting to watch your food being cooked right in front of you and there is an array of grilled meat, seafood or veggie option to choose from. I had a combination set which had 5 skewers of the different types of grilled meat and veggies - nice but not filling if you are planning to satisfy your tummy for $15-23.

Ken and I talked and laughed about all sorts over food and sake. It was really funny that the neighbouring patrons were shocked to hear us speak in English to each other - they thought we were speaking in Japanese the whole time!! Haha! There's only 1 half-Japanese here and it ain't me :)

After dinner, we headed over to Hawthorn Lounge on Tory St for a cocktail. Ken has been raving to me about this great cocktail place for some time now but I never got around going there. A very nicely done bar with a 1920's jazz theme - even Johnny the bartender was dressed up to 'blend' into the ambience!

Cocktails here costs around $14 but what I really loved was that Johnny would concoct you a special drink if he's not busy - give him a list of your favourite ingredients and spirits and be surprised. I should have brought my camera along because he made my Illusion-Mojito concoction flame!! How COOL is that! Ken went for a Bloody Mary. Boring, you think? His cocktail had stuff including chopped onion and wasabi - I had a sip and woah, what a kick it had! For a person like me who's not a fan of Bloody Mary's, this one I like :) I've not seen a bar quite like this where they had nice soothing jazz music playing in the background in a room with dimmed lights, a fireplace where you can toast marshmellows and sink into one of the plush lounge seats. It wasn't too packed (I think the bouncer controls the number of patrons going in and out) so people can still hear one another. Pop by to see Johnny sometime - well worth a visit :)

Around 10pm, we headed over to The Temperance (de-ja-vu - was here last week!!) to meet up with Jessica and friends for her farewell get-together. Jessica, a fellow regular salsa dancer, is going back to Canada. Sob, sob, farewells are just never-ending! We'll miss you, Jessica - have a safe flight home and keep in touch!

This time around, Kalwant, her girlfriends and I went to check out Madame Jojo's Club & Bar room - we didn't go in last week because some of the guys weren't dressed appropriately for the club (don't ask me what 'appropriate dressing' meant because I don't know). It had much better dance music compared to The Atrium Bar & Kitchen where we were at that was playing 80s-90s music. Even had a few Cerocs dancers were doing their 'thing' on the dancefloor!

Oh, what a night I've had! By 12am, I was hungry and ready to head home. Ken and I ended up at my favourite kebab shop, Sahara Cafe on Courtenay Place, to grab a late night supper, more chit-chat and off home after. Yawn, way past my bedtime but it was one hell of a night! And thanks for the great company as usual, Ken! We'll have another night out again soon :)

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