The Physics of Ice Skating

Another item from TMBL was to go ice skating. I had wanted to go ice skating ever since a good friend suggested we do that for Christmas 2012. We didn't because it was a holiday and we had no funds and we wanted to sleep in and we wanted to just eat and eat and we had a whole lot of other reasons, too. But upon writing down TMBL, I thought to myself, "Why not tsoknut?" I've only ice skated once - way back in 2007. It would be fun pretending to be an Olympic figure skater again.

We went there on my birthday. And we went a second time on 12 June, my country's independence day.

There is one thing I've learned and have proven to be true during those two ice skating sessions. One: I'm no Olympic figure skater. Okay, just joking. But really, I'm not. But seriously, here's what I've learned:

Whenever you think you're in for an icy wipe out, lean forward, not back. When you lean forward, you'll just keep moving forward, but when you lean backward, you'll land on your bum. The physics is true. I stuck with this trick and not once did I fall - face down or otherwise.

I think the same is true with life. If you think you're going to fall, just lean forward. I mean, keep moving on. If you land splat on your face, it will hurt, but chances are you'll just slide, slide, slide a couple of inches further from where you were previously. That's a whole lot better than remaining stuck in the same spot forever, right?

Let's follow the physics of ice skating and lean forward instead of flailing back.


And oh. As a post script, today marks my sixth year in Malaysia. Entering year seven. Hurray!

MUD: Musical Review

One item from The Malaysian Bucket List (let me call it, TMBL from this point on) was to watch a musical. A live one, in a theater. We watched an Easter play once in one of the big churches near my house. But the last time I watched a musical-as-in-musical (i.e. one where the actors and actresses do the song and dance numbers for a living) was... never. And so I scoured cyberspace for shows around KL and found MUD in Timeout KL's list of things to do for the week.

At RM60 for a 50-minute show, it's quite pricey, but I bought the ticket anyway. Stingy introvert mode was on - I couldn't belanja anyone at that point and I wasn't too sure if I wanted to invite anyone to watch with me because I didn't know if the show was actually that good. The bottomline is I watched the musical alone. Well, I watched it with three other people in the theater, actually.

An audience of four. A Filipina, a German backpacker, and a Korean couple. Perhaps it was because it was a Saturday afternoon (maybe more people watch the evening shows?) but the truth was the Panggung Bandaraya looked desolate with only a handful of us congregated inside.

The show, however, was anything but desolate. It was still as lively as any performance done in front of a full house. Not only that, there was a personal touch (I won't give any spoilers here) which made me thankful that there were only a few of us there. After their performance, I had an epiphany: It's easy to put on a good show in front of a full house, but it takes another kind of showmanship to pull off the same thing in front of an audience of four. If I were in their shoes, would I have been able to do the same thing?

Back to the show. MUD was actually about the history of Kuala Lumpur (literally from the words muddy river - "kuala" is river and "lumpur" is muddy) told in a lively, dramatic way. It follows the journey of a 1Malaysia band of friends - how they overcame obstacles and how they rose up from all of the mud. It gave me a deeper appreciation of Kuala Lumpur, making the KL experience richer because now I know it isn't simply about snapping photos at the Petronas Twin Towers. For tourists who have an hour and RM60 to spare, it's a show I would recommend if they want to appreciate the city they are touring even more.

I probably sound like I'm being paid to do this (trust me, I'm not), but show times are 3pm and 8:30pm daily at the Panggung Bandaraya (next to Merdeka Square). It's quite short ("bitin" in my language), but time flies when you're having fun.

Hmmm. I wonder. Which musical should I watch next?

The cast.

I'm there!