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Mendy Smith

Old friends on the other side of The Pond

May 8, 2006 at 6:58 AM

Tonight I was feeling a bit "home sick" for Malaysia where I spent the past 3 years of my life. It started in the grocery store when I found these little hot chili peppers that were used alot in cooking and some Chines BBQ sauce (it became part of my Asian dinner tonight). I was cruzing through my pics from from time there and found one of my team, so I sent it to them. Next thing I knew, I started getting e-mails from every one of them all at one time. So, what the heck I thought! I gave them a call and had a really good time talking to most of them for about 30 minutes. It almost made me feel like I was back in Malaysia for a few minutes. I really miss the place and the people. Those were some of the happiest memories I've ever had.

On to music - the concert is in 2 1/2 weeks. I have alot of practicing to do between now and then. I've moved through the rougher spots of what we are going to be performing and I'm now comfortable playing it very close to concert tempo. Time will tell tomorrow during rehearsal if what I think is indeed reality or just me deluding myself. My new teacher and I are getting along well, although I'm pessimistic with her praise in my playing. She thinks I'm doing wonderfully, but I see flaws in most every note that I play. This is most likely due to one of three things - her expectations from teaching intermediate instead advanced players (in her own admission)- OR - I'm really that good (which I'm not believing) - OR - her way of giving her student confidence (most likely). In any case, it DID make me feel more confident and I found myself playing those sections better than before. Gotta love psychology!

From parmeeta bhogal
Posted on May 8, 2006 at 12:18 PM
Mandy, agree totally with you, Malaysia is a such a great place, although unless you have been there its hard to get other people to be as enthusiastic!! I am going to be there (unexpectedly) for a week in June, and can hardly wait for the trip...
From Pauline Lerner
Posted on May 8, 2006 at 7:03 PM
You must have had fun talking to your old friends from Malaysia. What were you doing there?
From Mendy Smith
Posted on May 9, 2006 at 4:58 AM
Parmeeta - where in Malaysia are you going? You say you're going in June - will you be there in time for Gawai? That was my absolute most favorite local holiday! I even learned how to do the gong rhythms that they use to go into trance and bought one from one of the longhouses out in Sarawak. I can't wait to get into my new home, and it up outside and annoy my neighbors June 1st. (evil grin)

Evil Linda - I was working there for the company I worked for at the time.

From parmeeta bhogal
Posted on May 9, 2006 at 6:49 AM
Just KL, Sentul, in fact- hubby's got a conference there and it was too good an opportunity to miss...actually my mum's from KL & this is a chance to catch up with all my aunts/uncles/cousins plus food. Any festival is good in My, but don't know if they do Gawai in KL. Last time, I was there for Deepavali, and if everyone had the concept of "open house" the world would be a better place!
From Terez Mertes
Posted on May 9, 2006 at 4:43 PM
Ooh, Mendy, I can appreciate the tropical home-sickness. Sometimes the memories and/or the hunger for the place just sweeps over you, doesn't it?
From Mendy Smith
Posted on May 10, 2006 at 2:37 AM
Terez - It may also be a different strain of 'spring fever' :)

Parmeeta - I loved the open house concept! And yes, the world would be a better place if everyone opened their homes to whoever would stop by on a holiday. What a way to meet your neighbors!

From Vicky Kite
Posted on May 11, 2006 at 4:45 PM
Hey Mend! You can always come to Tennessee and visit me :) If you come in June or July you are sure to get the hot and humid weather!
From Doug Westervelt
Posted on May 11, 2006 at 10:59 PM
Hi Mendy, I just ran across your blog and thought I'd introduce myself. I, too, am a violist, and my "primary" teacher (when I take lessons) is Joël Belgique. If I read correctly, you came here from the Santa Cruz area. My hometown is Soquel. I might even have a Tayva connection if she has a violist husband named Mark who subbed with the Vancouver Symphony last weekend. Anyway, as a non-Oregon Symphony, but seems-like-nearly-every-other-group violist in town, I like to know who the new violists are. I'm frequently asked to refer players for pick-up orchestras, gigs, substitute players, etc, so though it sounds like you have a day job (I do too), if you decide to get more involved in the viola community, get in touch. If you like, I can provide you a pair of tickets to the Columbia Symphony's next concert ( That's my primary gig, and they're always looking to add to their sub list. I just registered to this site so I could comment, but I believe there's a way you can email me directly. Joël is a great guy and a fantastic player. You'll like him. Welcome to Portland -Doug
From Mendy Smith
Posted on May 12, 2006 at 3:47 AM
Vick!! OMG! Folks - this is my little sister (ok, she's actually taller than me but younger). Vick - welcome to v-com! I've got to watch what I say now so it doesn't get to mom! This is ackward.... :)

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