Thursday, December 29, 2005


I am in planning madness zone, as I decided to make the long-delayed trip to Asia, spending 20 days, 10 days in Japan (which will be bitterly cold) and then 10 days in the tropical paradise that is eastern Malaysia.

I know that I am being self indulgent and such a trip wipes out serious amount of savings, but it has been long 8 years away from Japan, and reading all the news about the economic revival and all the exciting things happening there made me determined to witness these events first hand.

I will be leaving town on January 17th, returning only on Feb. 6th, and my vacation continues until Feb. 14th. Yeah, you might as well go for broke!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

King Kong!

Yes, I know this is the second movie review in a row, I promise that this will not turn to an entertainment blog!

So, I saw King Kong, all 3 hours 15 minutes of it, and it delivers! Except for freakishly large insects scene, I enjoyed every second of it, it was OTT at times, but I went in with the expectation that it is a popcorn action movie, with no redeeming values, and I was not disappointed.

This will bring to an end my brief acreer as a movie critic, I will keep my impressions of Harry Potter to myself!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Seeing broken Flowers

Yesterday I was lucky enough to get a chance to see Broken Flowers, a flim by iconoclast director Jim Jarmusch, playing as part of the Dubai International Film Festival, the experience was absolutely worth staying up past the 23:30 start time of the film!

The film, starring Bill Murray, incorporates Jarmusch usual theme of a journey undertaken at a critical time in the subject life. Murray is such a great actor that he does not need lots of dialogue to express himself, his deadpan stare and expressionless face are absolutely priceless!

I highly recommend the film, it is a great antidote to the usual Hollywood fluff, and it is quite funny to boot!

Also, I want to note that I was really impressed by the organisation of the festival, and the cheap tickets encouraging people to attend world class cinema, well done people, I am sure that in the near future this will be an important festival on the world circuit, especially if they keep this level of organization and good films.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

TGI Friday has a cool view! Posted by Picasa

Snowy trees Posted by Picasa

The View from Below Posted by Picasa

Skiing in Dubai!

Defying geography, upholding gravity, if not good taste! That sums up my repeated visits to Ski Dubai indoor skiing arena.

First on the place, all jokes aside, the place is fantastic, even with the misfortune of being attached to a shopping mall. The environment is as true to skiing environment as can be created indoors. I have been to an indoor skiing slope in Tokyo, and this looked and felt better.

On coldness: The place was a genuine -4 C cold, I felt it in my bones, coming from the pleasant 28 C outside is quite a shock. The snow looks and feels absolutely normal, and I could not discern any difference while skiing on it.

While I practiced skiing for two seasons while in Japan, the last time I did that was in Feb. 1997, quite a long time ago. While I was at best considered intermediate skier, while I dabbled on visits to Europe and the states, I never skied purposely after Japan. In the spirit of starting over, I took 2 skiing group lessons (beginner and Level 1) with a friend of mine. I am glad I did, because my form was horrific, I was always a kamikaze skier, but now you can add bulky to that.

It was fun to have the lessons again, and to be the best in class for a while, what was interesting, is the mix of people taking the lessons, especially interesting was the UAE local women, who looked normal in skiing attire, then transformed into national dress after the lesson, quite a transformation.