Monday, April 9, 2018

Lazy Days in Malaysia

9 April 2018
There isn't much exciting to report.  Our days have a vague schedule - three days a week we go to the hospital for physical therapy.  Richard works with the therapist, and I do some of my knee physio or walk.  (Once I used the stationary bike - it has a wheel connected to the pedals, but the wheel is clear plastic and full of water.  So when you turn the pedals, the water provides resistance but also bubbles.  The froth and foam of the bubbles increases with the speed at which you turn the pedals - so it's fun to really race on the bike and watch the water wheel turn all white and foamy.)

And, as you can see, I'm still painting batiks when I can.  Plus I found out that the elevated train that goes to the museum leaves from near our hotel, so that's an easy day trip for me.  We both have our favorite little places for meals, and have time to chat with the staff and find out what is going on in Malaysia.

We attended another concert at the Petronas Towers/KLCC concert hall.  The Malaysia Philharmonic Orchestra often features guest conductors and soloists, so the performance we attended was conducted by an Australian maestro, and the guest soloist was a famous Malaysian pianist.  The pieces played were Beethoven's Overture to Coriolan, Op. 62, and the Piano Concerto No. 2 in B flat, Op. 19; and Mozart's Overture to Don Giovanni, and his Symphony No. 38 in D major.  The two Mozart pieces debuted in Prague, so the title for the evening was "Mozart in Prague."  It was a lovely evening, and we enjoyed the music from our usual seats in the first level balcony.  

I'm not sure if I mentioned it before, but the center of the balcony section is closed of for permanent use by the King of Malaysia, or possibly the President.  We've never seen any of the royalty or politicians attending a performance, but the walls are solid so we wouldn't see them anyway.  I'm guessing, however, that we'd see a variety of bodyguards or the Malaysian Secret Service equivalent, and we haven't seen them either.  (There is often an elderly man at Richard's physical therapy clinic, who is accompanied by something like four or six bodyguards.  We don't know if he's a current or former politico, or part of the royalty, or merely an extremely wealthy person.  But it's interesting to see the bodyguards checking out everyone either doing their PT or just hanging around.)

The big news in Malaysia at the moment is the upcoming election.  It's a little confusing from a US viewpoint - there isn't a set election date, such as the first Tuesday in November.  Rather, the elected politicians have a certain term in office, and then Parliament is adjourned at the end of that term so that everyone can run their political campaign and run for office.  We really don't know who is running the country while the campaigning is going on.  It's sort of like having the US President, Vice President, and both houses of Congress adjourn all at once and then have a month to campaign prior to the election.  As I said, it's a little confusing for us.

I think the election is set for the end of April, but we're not too clear on that.

But there are political speeches on the radio and television (as one taxi driver called it, "the politics game").  Lots of flags around for the blue party.  And, we'll see what happens.  Most of the people we talk to are not happy with the current party in power, but no one knows what the result of the election might be.

As always, we're not sure where we're headed next.  We'll wait and see what sounds good at the beginning of May, when our visa expires.

And that's the excitement in Malaysia!

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