11th May 2007 (Friday) - We (Jam & I) arrived in Miri@ 10am. Took a cab to our hotel - Park Hotel. We were rather sceptical about the hotel as it seemed rather old. But when we got in, it was everything we hoped for. It had all the basic amenities, all shops were nearby (within walking distances), banks were around the corner and even our pick-up point for the Shuttle Service to the Jazz Festival was nearby. So, upon arrival and checking in, we took a walk around town. Bought some Coke and bites, got back to the hotel for a drink. Oh yeah, by the way, CHIVAS followed us as well. So, we kept 'her' company. Hehehe!
Anyway, as the Jazz Festival started, we had to move between the Pavilion (Indoor Arena) and the 2nd Stage (On the beach). We had the priviledge to meet some of the best jazz musicians in the world. We managed to get their autographs and even take a few pictures with them. It was absolutely amazing. Right from the David Gomez Jazz Sextet, the KCP4 (now, this was unique and very good - imagine a combination of Classical Indian music with a flav of Contemporary Jazz). So very good, that's all I have to say. I was waiting for my favourite of it all, Lluis Coloma - the Boogie Woogie genius from Spain. I was in awe. As I play the piano, this was my main attraction. He was burning the keys on the piano. And when I say burning, he was literally doing that. People were dancing and enjoying the boogie woogie that he was giving. While it was going on, I had to run out of the Pavilion to the souvenir booth to get his CD. Thankfully, it was the last copy. I ran back in to get it signed by the maestro. Such an amazing musician, but so very humble. He obliged for autographs from anyone who went up to him. Now, after Lluis Coloma, came the Dirty Dozen Brass Band from New Orleans. They were fantastic. They played songs like 'When The Saints Go Marching In'. So everyone was singing, dancing and clapping their hearts out.
We thought the night would end young - as we were on our way out of the hotel, I saw my old time friend from Ipoh, Jay. What a suprise it was. I had been trying to get in touch with him for so long. Anyway, we met up and the rest was history. He took us to so many places in Miri. Started our at Cheerie Berries a local Miri pub located in the heart of Miri, where all the famous pubs and bars are located. Then for some food and we headed back to our hotel.
12th May 2007 (Sat) - Had a good nights' rest and upon waking up at about 12 noon, Jay called me. He wanted to take me to his house and to drive around the coastal roads of Miri. So, we went to his house. It was beautiful. The guys (Capt. Harry and First Officer Charlie - both pilots with Air FAX, the local airline in Borneo and Jay) stay together in this huge bungalow, located at Luak Bay. This bungalow is situated about 300m from the sea. So as we open the balcony doors, you can see the views of the sunrise and the sunsets. Amazing sight. Anyway, we left early as we had to get ready for the 2nd night of the Jazz Festival. Headed back to the hotel, got ready, charged a bit of the CHIVAS and left for Parkcity Hotel. Upon arriving, this time, we had all the guys over. They had a certain connection at the hotel so, they brought in about 4 bottles of Jack Daniels. So, the night was a night of bourbon.
Just before we got the bourbon started, we had a round of beers. On the picture, from left to right: Eugene (from Lithuania), Charlie, Harry, Jam and Jay
The 2nd night was even better. We had lots to eat and drink. But I was not missing out on the JAZZ. Music was awesome. As I said earlier, the bands that came were very very good. Their performances were flawless. On the 2nd night we had the oppurtunity to watch the George WashingMachine Quartet, Habana Sax and again the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. Their performances were absolutely amazing - and yet, very humble - hanged out with us and with everyone at the Festival. This was a tiring night as we were singing and dancing 'like mad'. So, after the night had ended at the Parkcity, we headed to the 'Mini-Bangsar' of Miri. Chilled there for a few hours, drank some more, played a lot of pool and headed back to the hotel to rest.
13th May 2007 (Sun) - After 2 nights of good music, we thought today we would give it a rest. So, we rested for a while longer at our hotel. But not for too long, Jay called us for a drink. So, we headed out for a while. Ate one of the best satays I have ever eaten. Drank at the beach. Now, picture this - sitting by the beach, beautiful sunset, sea breeze blowing, with a glass of Jack Daniels. If that is not good enough, I don't know what is, hehehehe!
After that, we headed back to the house, chilled with the other guys, drank a bit more and headed for some food. But we had to come back early as Harry and Charlie were flying the next morning. They had an early flight. So, we came back and slept.
14th May 2007 (Mon) - I've never felt this pissed off ever. I was about to leave Miri. Miri was absolutely awesome. Met a lot of good friends, enjoyed the music thoroughly, good and cheap food, cheap beers - oh yeah, I almost missed it - On the 1st day, Jam and I went to this chinese shop for some food. So, I thought of having a beer. I asked the waiter, how much is a can of Tiger, she said, "We don't sell by singular cans, if you want, we have 3 cans for RM11". Now, for a guy from KL, 3 cans for RM11 is 'freakin' cheap. So, for those of you beer drinkers, you will enjoy Miri, hehehe! And by the way, it is the same price for any beer - Heineken, Tiger, Carlsberg, Stella Artois, etc. So, if you're going to Miri - Chinese shop la, apa lagi!
Anyway, we woke up early on Mon, got ready, Jay picked us up for lunch. Then, we went back to the hotel, packed our bags and checked out. Upon doing so, we went to his house. Chilled there. Till about 4.30pm, then we left for the airport. @ the airport we met Harry and Charlie who were just back from their flights - we had a drink with them and they left, poor guys were so tired from their hours and hours of flying. Anyway, our flight was scheduled to depart early. We were in the plane by 6.45pm (supposed to be 7.00pm) and we reached KL by 8.50pm. It was a smooth flight. We took the SkyBus from the LCCT to KL Sentral and then our PUTRA back home.
Upon reaching home, we were still missing Miri. But we have decided to go again. So, Miri, till then, take care and WE WILL BE BACK!
Here are some of the pictures taken :
Jam and myself - picture taken from the beach of Parkcity Everly Hotel
David Gomes and the Jazz Sextet mesmirising the crowd
David Gomes, myself and Junji Delphino
The sunset on the 2nd day @ Parkcity
Jay and myself at the Tanjung beach
A sight to be reckoned with. Taken at the Tanjung Beach.
Well, that is all for now. I will be posting more pictures soon, so please be patient. Cheers!