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mardi 29 septembre 2009

Thinking about Mahler on a Bright Sunny Day in Paris

Sitting on the steps of Opera Garnier, this afternoon, reading the excellent Biography of Gabo, and feeling elated and hopeful, I thought of Gustav Mahler, the austro hungarian jew who suffered in the antisemitic capital of vienna in the last part of the 19th and early part of the 20th century. I am sure he must have visited Opera Garnier?
Why think about Mahler, after a delicious lunch with the most agreeable companion..filet of colin in cury sauce, poireaux and ratatouille. perrier and a little bit of sweet afterwards?
During this last trip to Malaysia, my fourth in one year, I had a chance to renew my acquaintance with Mr Ho, a rare Malaysian in that he is truly a thinker and intellectual in a millieu so crass and capitalistic. He gave me a list of his preferred 100 movies of all time, and it was good to go through them since he knows much more about Asian Movies (not the Bollywood Glitters).. Chinese from HK, PRC and Taiwan; Korea and of course Japan as well as Thailand and Malaysia. One day I hope to watch them all, with his help. In return I told him about Mon Oncle d'amerique from France and of course in the west you can easily make up a list of 100 as well..
What is more amazing about Mr Ho, who is married to his delightful companion Kit, is that at the age of 24 he was the President of Malaysian Mahler Society and was instrumental in bringing some important soloists to Malaysia. Congratulations and well done..
That he suffers intellectually in the financial world he works in, is so obvious. He is not surrounded by friends who can translate the harsh reality of malaysia into a magical world, like we do in Cuba or Colombia or Brasil..but there are outposts of hope in that outpost of lack of magic.. in this visit i had the chance to share meals with two couples, four individudals on their right, expatriates from India, but working in Malaysia, who can bring sparkle of intellect into those dark skies... There is potential in KL for a thinking person, but one really has to look for it.. like looking for diamonds in a sand dune..
This is what i thought, as i sat reading Gabo's biography on the steps of Opera Garnier this afternoon..
pain au chocolat at Pomme de Pain, a chain cafe which serves inexpensive snacks and quick lunches, this one near Gare San Lazare; lunch as described above and cafe at Nespresso near Opera Garnier, where a slew of slim attendants wait on you as if you are buying jewelry but you are there to buy Nespress ( what else?) coffee machines and more usually, the cartridges..visually pleasant while sipping a cafe of your choice with a morsel of chocolat....