Saturday, October 12, 2013

Movie Marathon in KL - The Long Road to Oz Part 2

Mornings in KL are mild, and this one’s no different. In the early hours of daylight, KL doesn't have the hum of the already restless Manila crowd. I chose to wallow under the comfort of my sheets until 8:30, but buffet breakfast at the Beltif (included in my Agoda booking) was to halt at 10. 

Having that in mind, I was already at the restaurant at 9 AM feasting on nasi lemak, beans, sausage, fried egg, bihon (thin noodle dish), a piece of bread with pineapple jam spread over, and grape juice. Though not exactly fit for a king, it wasn't for pauper either. 

Breakfast, for me, is an essential meal because that’s where I gather enough energy to spend the rest of my daytime activity with. Besides, these inclusive breakfast buffets save me lunch money. Meanwhile, weather outside was bed weather. Should I take a walk? Nah. 

Went up my room and took my post-prandial nap, just waiting for check-out time.

By mid-day, I've packed my bag and braved the downpour towards Alor Street where, at the far end, stood Hotel Nova, with its 14 floors of inviting accommodations. I was assigned room 606 which, to my surprise, had walls painted with a demure purple. Have you ever been inside a purple room before? I haven’t, and this was fit for 80’s singer Prince (“Purple Rain”, anyone?)

The interiors of Hotel Nova were tastefully conceptualized with paintings of a sleeping child hanging on the wall. The light fixtures had  “Zzzzzz….” written suggestively. With enough space to accommodate another extra bed, I was pleased with my room. It was homey and conducive for a relaxing stay. What I liked most was this ledge-cum-bench strategically placed beside the wide glass windows. It was the perfect place to watch people by, allowing myself the luxury of cogitating while drying myself after getting drenched by the afternoon rain.

My very purple room at 606.

Later that afternoon, I found myself on a leisurely stroll towards Bukit Bintang with no specific plan in mind until I realized that Pavilion’s Golden Screen Cinema was hosting a European Film Festival. I've no places to go. I've long dismissed my touristy demeanor in KL; the city already feels like second home, overtaking Bangkok.

That evening, I survived another movie marathon: Netherland’s “The Perfect Match” follows a lonely artist and retired teacher’s (Jan DeCleir) search for romance through an online website and the arrival of a new maid Alena (Maria Popistasu), a beautiful but disastrous house help. Romania’s “Exchange” (Schimb Valutar) is about Emil, a family man who decides to sell his house and car so he could finance an Australian visa application in Bulgaria. Trouble is, he lost all his money from a scam artist and couldn't afford to come home to his family.  Finally, in France’s “A Distant Neighborhood”, a middle-aged gentleman revisits his childhood town which he hasn't set foot in years. His homecoming turns mystical when he finds himself transformed into his 14 year old self. What would you change if you could live your life again?

Watching foreign films is an experience that parallels with my travels because they take me to strange lands and open my mind to cultures far removed from my existence. “Exchange” was particularly interesting because this was shown at the Cine Europa Filmfest in Manila in 2011, but I wasn't able to catch it.  Like most Romanian flicks, it mirrors the state of a struggling nation; social realism on celluloid, if you will. Watching a foreign film in a foreign land is like finding a glove that snugly fits your hands on a slow and chilly night.

On the eve of a long flight, I was finally ready to fly again.

This is the Eye in the Sky!

Movie Marathon at the Pavilion's European Film Festival

Some shops lining Bukit Bintang (above and below)

I saw this lit archway at the far end of Bukit Bintang which should be perfect for Miss Megan Young, the newly crowned Miss World (below). 

Miss Megan Young, Philippines' pride is Miss World 2013

Lot 10 is one of KL's high end malls right in the heart of Bukit Bintang.

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