Thursday, March 27, 2008

This blog drought ends NOW

I haven't blogged in well over a week, and I'm just not feeling the blogging juices flowing. This dry spell is a bit alarming. It's certainly not for lack of good material, what with the riots in Tibet, the protests against the Beijing Olympics, the Supreme Court's outrageous verdict granting that big fat chicken Neri the right to invoke executive privilege, the Ombudsman's equally outrageous dismissal of the motion to investigate GMA's involvement in the ZTE scandal, Manny Pacquiao's controversial one-point win over Marquez, Hillary Clinton's tall tale about dodging sniper fire in Bosnia... I've even received requests that I write about the whole "Gucci Gang" brouhaha making waves in the blogosphere (and finding out that abominable snob-woman Malu Fernandez wrote this sorely tempted me to compose a rejoinder). But somehow none of those topics are appealing to the blogger in me. I don't know if it's because I'm still recovering from the exhaustion of our Holy Week trip to Kuala Lumpur, or if I'm being afflicted with writer's block, or if I'm suffering from blog fatigue. Whatever the reason, I desperately want to snap out of it soon, so I'm making the conscious effort to write SOMEthing here, no matter how lame. So I'm going to give a brief rundown of my family's trip to KL.

The first time I went to Malaysia was 2 Holy Weeks ago, with Angge, her sister Me-an, and Angge's best friend and our high school batchmate Anna. I came home from that trip bearing the impression that KL was a nice city for shopping, and a scary city for tourists. The former was thanks to all the big malls around, and the fantastic local brands that sell great merchandise at low prices, like Padini, Seed, Soda and my personal favorite, Eclipse, from where I bought the hunter green dress I love wearing to weddings and fancy parties. The latter was thanks to all the dodgy characters walking the streets of KL, the scummy taxi drivers who refuse to use the meter, and the looks these people would give us whenever we walked past or tried to haggle for a lower fare. Based on my first trip, Malaysia didn't live up to the "Truly Asia" ads they kept showing on CNN. So when my mom told us her high school batch's annual Holy Week trip was going to be to KL, I wasn't all that psyched. Not only did that mean revisiting a city I didn't like very much, it also meant inevitably mixing some business with pleasure, since now we have a brand that comes from Malaysia (i.e. Elianto). The only things that got me to muster up enough enthusiasm about the trip were 1) Auntie Nene was coming with us; 2) Abi was coming with us (so she could meet with the Elianto people); 3) Bens was finally going to be able to join us on a trip abroad (after missing our last 2 family vacations); and 4) I could go shoe-shopping. =D

So after my 2nd trip to Malaysia, I still am of the opinion that it's a nice city for shopping, as evidenced by my haul of 5 pairs of fabulous Vincci shoes (average price: only P700 per pair), 2 dresses (1 brown Zara, 1 aqua Eclipse), 2 Esprit tops, 1 stunning white Zara jacket, and 1 beautiful Coach bag. I also still think that it's a scary city for tourists, especially the ones stupid enough to walk around a predominantly Muslim city in a short dress. I at least had the foresight to pack a one-piece swimsuit for our day trip to Sunway Lagoon, but I still got stared at (the kind of disconcerting head-to-toe sweep), so I kept my board shorts on. We also got bad service almost everywhere we went-- shops, restaurants, tourist spots-- including the seemingly menopausal stewardess on our return flight on Malaysian Airlines, who barked at us ("Coffee! Tea! Cola!") like a drill sergeant. Oh, and KL taxi drivers are still slimy bastards... almost as slimy as the local tour director who accompanied our group during our stay.

Funny enough, it was work that brought me into contact with Malaysians whom I did like. Abi and I spent an afternoon at the Elianto office, and the guy who conducted the product briefing was so pleasant that I valiantly struggled (and succeeded) to pay attention and not succumb to drowsiness. The GM, whom I met before when he came to Manila, is also an agreeable fellow, and the owners of the mother company of Elianto are really, really nice, especially the wife, who even hugged me affectionately before we parted ways. And then there was Vanessa, our gorgeous model, who was in town and went out of her way to drop by to see us, with Rovilson in tow (he was in town for the F1 races, or so he claimed). We introduced Van to the GM, and she was gracious and charming and obviously wowed the GM. She made us proud to have picked her to represent our brand, and I think the Malaysian principal approved of her instantly. Rov was delightful too, just as witty and funny as he was on TARA 2, and surprisingly polite and well-mannered, no trace of angas whatsoever. I found it easy to banter with him, and I could tell he's smitten with Van (heck, how can anyone blame him?). And they do make an awfully cute couple.

My encounter with Van and Rov aside, there were also other high points in our trip, such as thrill ride-hopping in Genting Theme Park, going down the zip line at Sunway Lagoon, and nightly girl bonding sessions in Auntie Nene and Hanks' hotel room. And of course there was ceaseless camwhoring everywhere we went (see over 200 of our photos here). All in all our KL trip was memorable, for both good and bad reasons, and though it may not be the best vacation destination in the world, Malaysia has enough going for it to keep me coming back for more.... shoes, mostly.


At Thursday, March 27, 2008, Anonymous JB cool said...

This is a very informative and well-written article! The research about the Civil Code is very enlightening. I’m sure not everyone is aware that there exists such an edict in the Philippines. This is a great angle on the Gucci Gang controversy, and it sheds light on why so many are quick to jump the hate train. Their ostentatious display is very sickening, and they seem to flaunt it to the average Juan’s face. Read and enjoy...

At Thursday, March 27, 2008, Blogger Ailee Through the Looking Glass said...

Thanks so much for that link! Very interesting piece indeed. Will pass it on to my lawyer friends. :)

At Friday, March 28, 2008, Blogger Sean said...

I don't think it's a question of writer's block. I think it's a case of having too many things to write about: I figure that when you have too many things occupying your mind at the moment, it's difficult to pick just one for your focus -- simply because it's not easy to set the other topics aside.

But hey, at least you have some new shoes. :)

At Friday, March 28, 2008, Blogger Ailee Through the Looking Glass said...

That could also be the reason. I doubt I'll get around to writing about all--if any-- of them though. Maybe I'll get my groove back next week. :)

But yeah, I have new shoes. *does a little happy dance* =D


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