Oct 14, 2010

Asia Tour - October 14, 2010

Elly Winer (viola)

A big hello to all our Tafel-Fans! On Thursday morning (or very late Wednesday evening!) we set off to Asia for another exciting tour. As well as returning to China for the third time, we will play a couple of concerts in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The trip was easily the longest travel day that we've ever experienced: over 27 hours of travel!

We had a four hour layover in Hong Kong, arriving at the airport at 4:30am. The hour of arrival in no way dampened the orchestra's appetite as we all tucked into restorative bowls of congee and ramen in the 24 hour food court. It's hard to fly on an empty stomach.

Next stop, Kuala Lumpur. We were met by the friendly and helpful staff of the Malaysian Symphony Orchestra and soon sped off towards the city, passing deep forests of palm trees and impressive mosques. The heat was approaching 36 C, a welcome break from the cool of our hometown's fall. This is also the furthest south we have ever travelled, only 200 kilometers north of the equator, easily beating our previous record of Caracas, Venezuela.

We checked into the Traders Hotel at 2:30 pm and immediately started the battle to remain awake until the evening. Some musicians headed out to explore the city while others lounged about the rooftop pool. I managed to remain upright on a treadmill for thirty minutes and simulate exercise. The fear of dozing off while on a speeding treadmill is a powerful stimulant.

A few of us met up in the lobby at dinnertime and set out to explore the Jalan Alor, a street famous for the number of restaurants lining the sidewalks with countless tables. First stop: a Malaysian satay vendor for a sampling of chicken, pork and seafood skewers accompanied with bowls of spicy dipping sauces. After an inspection of the restaurants lining the street, we settled on a charming BBQ stall and had a full meal of various local specialties. The Chili Cockles and the Fried Skatefish were the two hits of the meal. (I think you see where the focus of these blogs will be!). Beer consumption aside, sleeping was not a problem that night.

The guys enjoying some cuisine
Marco Cera, John Abberger and Dominic Teresi enjoy satay in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Petronas Twin Towers
View of the Petronas Twin Towers from the hotel rooftop in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The concert hall
Tafelmusik will perform in is at the base of the towers. 


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