Monday, June 22, 2009

First Jamming with the Abu Dhabi Gang

Last Thursday relived my memory of the busy life as a musician juggling between work and studio when I was in KL. But this time I experienced it in Dubai when I tried to finish my work at 6.30pm to be at the studio at 8.30pm. In between I must get back to my apartment to pick up my bass. I decided not to bring and keep my bass in the car since the temperature was hot and that could affect the guitar's wood.

To make matter interesting, I lost my way to the studio. The studio was oddly located inside a warehouse in an industrial area. But I like the studio's setting because it looked like a garage studio. It had the "homey" ambience and "discreet & underground" feeling to it. I memorised the route based on Google Earth map but in reality the routes were messed up with diversions and construction sites. At the end I arrived 1 hour late at the studio. (To Dewangga Sakti gang this all sounds too familiar huh..hehe)

The jam session was arranged by my friend Azli (the drummer). I got to know him in the Iron Maiden concert last February. Azli is actually a familiar face in the circle of performing art back in Kuala Lumpur. He has performed with acoustic bands like Siul Murba, Akar Gita Estetika and Swakarya etc. He is also a member of the Dubai Drums of the World, an 18 pax ensemble which performs every year during the Dubai Jazz Festival. He is the only Malaysian with a set of Gendang Sunda in Dubai ! He has been in Dubai for 4 years now. The other musicians were Zaidi (aka JD the pilot) on guitar, Mie on guitar, Ida (Zaidi's wife) on keyboard, Hanizan and Zaki (both sang that night). All of them hail from Abu Dhabi.

I had really a good time jamming with them. It was a sort of breaking the ice session with new friends but through our instruments. The songs "destroyed" by us that night were:

1) Green Tinted Sixties Mind - Mr Big
2) Hati Emas - M Nasir
3) Gerhana - M Nasir
4) Yellow - Coldplay
5) Clock - Coldplay
6) Californication - RHCP
7) Use Somebody - Kings of Leon
8) Larut - Dewa 19
9) I Will Survive - Cake (this was played impromptu when I was running the bass line to warm up my fingers and suddenly everybody followed...and I said jalan !)
10) Fade to Black - Metallica

It was an exciting introductory jam with new friends. I look forward to know all of them in person. That night we could not chat for long since the jam finished at 12.30am and they all had to rush back to Abu Dhabi. But I can tell they are very talented musicians. They also own several guitars each. I look forward to see their collection.




I felt a little bit awkward heading back home after a jam session without any teh tarik session. Because to me the teh tarik sessions before and after the jam are integral and as important as the jam itself.

But it was a great fun and my first jam in Dubai with totally new friends. I really want to do it again !

yours truly

As good as I am, I am nothing without my band

Steven Tyler

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Making a (feel) good decision

The month of June always inspires me to look back and asses the trail of life which I have left behind. Times fly very fast since I first set my foot in Dubai in October 2008. Now it is going to be another 4 months to complete a 1 year cycle of my life as an expat in this great city.

As my life settles day by day in this new place which I started to call home, there are many decisions which forced me to make up my mind on my commitment to my new life. It is easier to advise a client than to advise myself. Because to me the struggle is not only to ensure that I make a good decision but the decision must come with a feel good factor with it. It is about making a decision and feel happy about it.

One of such decisions is as simple as whether I should buy a car or continue on renting. On 6 June 2009 I attended the most awaited event of my life in Dubai i.e my driving test. I passed the test and now I have a valid UAE driving licence which also entitles me to buy a car here. I can write a lengthy opinion if a client ask me on the advantages and disadvantages of buying or renting a car in Dubai. But when it comes to me making that decision, the hard facts alone are simply not enough for me. I need something to spark the good feeling behind the decision. I dont know what it is, but I must continue looking for that factor.

Anyway, maybe there is no such factor in the first place. Maybe it is just the overwhelming anticipation of going home this July. So let me not run to the car showroom but instead take a lazy relax leisurely stroll whilst listening very hard to the beats of my heart.

The risk of wrong decision is preferable to the terror of indecision


Spanish philosopher
1135 - 1204

Monday, June 1, 2009

Hot.. Hotter.. Hottest News

Trees in Safa Park during summer

For those who came to Dubai in November last year and thought they have come to paradise where the beach is a stone throw away, it is sunny day everyday and the wind is soothing and cold, this month they have to re-think again. For UAE is entering its pre-summer season and already the temperature has been 40 - 50 degrees celcius and the daylight is longer. The weatherman reported that this year the temperature rose very early in the season compared to last year. Welcome to the desert as you love it!

I love the dry heat and my iced tea. As long as it is not humid, I am smiling to the sun. In fact last weekend I met up with 2 friends for evening tea and it was around 4.00pm when the temperature was at 44 degrees celcius. I purposely asked them to sit outside the cafe in the heat and I saw my friend's boyfriend raised his eyebrow to my invitation. We sat outside anyway and I enjoyed the conversation whilst the hot air was blowing to my face. But I could see the boyfriend could no longer sit still and not long after that broke his accommodating politeness and asked us to sit inside as he did not want to soak his shirt with sweat.

However I am not the only person who likes this heat. My salute and admiration goes to the construction workers who work through out the day not under a single shade. These guys are really amazing and indeed a special breed. As much as I like to challenge myself to withstand the heat and sun, I think I can only withstand it for 1-2 hours or so, before I get any serious dehydration syndrom or heatstroke. But I never saw any single worker who run and hide under the shade but they continue to come to their sites and work as usual. However

Recently I have been trying to lose weight by swimming and running everyday. However the harder part was to change my diet. Nowadays I only eat vegetables, fruits and fibers. As you probably know, I cannot live without eating rice and because of that I have overdosed on my rice intake due to my passion for Mandi Laham and briyani since I came to Dubai. I hope with the help of the inconvenient temperature it will hinder me from going out to restaurants for heavy meal. But I am also sensing that by restraining myself from my usual food made me longing and aim for the food more. Lets pray that I will not go crazy with this lack of rice in my body.

Last weekend I attended an Extraordinary General Meeting of a group of Malaysians living in UAE for the formation of Malaysian Association in the United Arab Emirates (MY-UAE). MY-UAE is the first formal club for Malaysians in UAE under the patronage of the Malaysian Embassy and it will be the umbrella club for any other Malaysian clubs in the future. All this while the Malaysians expatriates in UAE have been organising activities under an unofficial club called MY-UAE Pro. Legally the setting up of this club in UAE is quite easy here since UAE do not have laws governing societies and clubs. So it was sufficient by just writing officially to the Ministry of Interior informing them of the formation and existence of this club with no political and commercial interest. They have launched their new MY-UAE website which can be the one-stop portal to interact amongst the Malaysians in UAE specifically and worlwide in general. The annual membership fee is fixed for AED50.00 and members will get to be informed and involved in all activities run by MY-UAE.

The Constitution of the MY-UAE club

The line-up for the Executive Committee of MY-UAE chapter 2009 - 2010 are as follows:

President : Affandy Mohamed Shaari
Vice President : Ahmad Imran Zainul Abidin
Secretary : Yusree Yahaya
Treasurer : Nor Afzanizam Bin Abd Manan
Exco members :
Ahmad Firdaus Mansor
Chan Chooi Lai
Clinton Ooi Chin Keat
Hasnoal Idris
Haza Hilmy Mat Zean
Khairul Affendi
Mushil Mustafa
Nik Fakhrulanwar Nik Abdul Rahman
Putri Khadijah Mohsin
Rozana Rahmat

During the EGM in Malaysian Consulate Office.

So if anybody need help from Malaysians community in UAE, the above peoples are contactable through the MY-UAE website. I can also help, no problem.

One of the activities by MY-UAE is the upcoming Tri-Nation Soccer tournament between Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia to be held on 5th June 2009 at Airport 2 Terminal Field. I hope it is not on the airport landing field itself.

Malaysian soccer players and supporters

The ladies will be having Captain's Ball Tournament

I will not be participating in the soccer tournament because I am not fit at all. Maybe I will join next year. Anyway I came to their training day and met up with the players. Good thing is, during the tournament like this, some entreprenueral Malaysians will open their discreet stall selling nasi lemak, mee rebus, kuih, nasi dagang and many more. That where my interest is !

Chef Haris manning his nasi ayam booth. AED12 per box.

It was hot yesterday, it is hot today and it will be hot tomorrow. I got to go for another glass of iced tea..

A community needs a soul if it is to become a true home for human beings. You, the people must give it this soul.

Pope John Paul II


Related Posts with Thumbnails