The following post was written by Prince Charles Alexander, associate professor of music production and engineering.
Hello everyone. I left for Malaysia at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, August 15 to speak at the International College of Music (ICOM). It’s located in the city of Kuala Lumpur and is run by a Berklee alumna, Irene Savaree. For those of you that don’t know, Malaysia is 12 hours ahead of you so I’m actually blogging from your future. I love it. Anyway, we left at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday and went to Chicago. There was a typhoon in the Pacific so our connecting flight was delayed from 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Since we arrived at about 2-ish, we went into Chi-town for lunch and had the best steak I’ve tasted in a long while. It must be that corn-fed Midwestern beef. Mmmm, just thinking about it is making me want to get back to Chicago. Which leads me to another point. I feel like I’m on an episode of Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations because I’ve eaten in Chicago, Hong Kong, and Kuala Lumpur on this trip.
When we got to Hong Kong our connecting flight had already left so we got vouchers for an overnight stay in a hotel that was pretty stylish. When I woke I went straight to the airport ahead of my traveling partners and co-presenters Jeanine Cowen, vice president for curriculum and program innovation; Cecil Adderley, chair of music education, and Susan Lindsay, associate director for instructional design. They told me that I missed a very tasty breakfast but honestly, I don’t need the pounds so that was okay with me. We boarded the plane in Hong Kong and made it to Kuala Lumpur four hours later, at about 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 17. That’s 40 hours of travel time to you. But, I must say, the flight was not grueling. I guess it’s all in the state of mind. We knew we were in for a long hall so we just went with the flow.
At 7:00 p.m. we ate dinner with the CEO of ICOM, Irene Saveree, and were also introduced to her brother Ravi. Ravi also works at ICOM and has a quick comedic wit that showed itself early and often. He is a blast to be around and you can tell that he and his sister are a tight knit family. Speaking of family, we met Ravi’s five children the next day; they range in ages from 19 to 2½. Watch out Berklee, you might see the older children soon. We met them after a day of sightseeing that took us to the new federal administrative center of Putrajaya, the Batu Caves (complete with the tallest statue of Hindu deity in the Malaysia and some bad*** monkeys that patrol the 272 steps to enter the caves). No trip is complete without shopping so I bought my wife and children (2-year- old twins) some gifts at the Royal Selangor pewter company. They make all sorts of cool things with pewter and are in the Guinness Book of Records for having the world’s largest pewter tankard. Yea, that’s right, a beer mug that’s 6’ 6” tall. The party’s in Malaysia!! Our events started on Monday and along the way we took pictures of the Petronas Twin Towers (our hotel is within walking distance) and ate more food than I want to eat, but, it’s all good. I’ll update you on our Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday scheduled events in the next blog. Until then, mempunyai hari yang baik, which means have a good day.