Friday, October 27, 2006

You gotta jump up / a-to the beat

Maybe it just me, and maybe I’m being a little unreasonable, but why do so many good, potentially great, restaurants have such terrible, terrible music. I know it’s not universal, and there are places that get it very right, but, dammit, sometimes it feels that way. It’s a particular bugbear of mine, a hobby horse, but one that I sit quietly and suffer…well that’s not true...I groan and mumble to those sitting with me. They, as often as not, give me a look, shuffle their bums a little uncomfortably and then resume talking amongst themselves as I continue to critique each and every track.

I eat out a lot, probably more than I should, but as a defense, both Brigid and myself enjoy our food a lot (as I can tell when I look in the mirror most days...off to the gym again in the pagi), its not expensive once you get to Asia, and we travel a lot, and eating out is part of that.

I like a bit of music whilst I eat, for obvious reasons. To be honest I like a bit of music when I do most things but that’s rather beside the point. We have our favourite places, ones we return to over and over again, and we like to try new places that look interesting, as often as possible. So we are experienced and, I’m afraid, rather critical customers.

But clearly, the skills required to make a restaurant work, that work in a kitchen, that go into the aesthetic design of a restaurant and a menu don’t necessarily imply any great taste in music. My experience would indicate otherwise. Two cases in point here in Bali. The first is a new place run by a young, Dutch I think, guy on Sanur beach, a place that’s been screaming out for a decent place on the beach for god knows how long. And now it has one. The food was good, the vista, sitting on rather pleasant solid wooden bench seats at solid tables rather than the standard plastic beach fare, looking out over the gorgeous Sanur reef on the brand new Japanese built (it was war reparations I’m told) beach, was fantastic.

And all was fine until Norah Jones and Harry Connick were turned up…whilst I’m eating my food, I don’t want to hear shitty MOR over-wrought takes on My Funny Valentine or These Foolish Things. These people do not make sophisticated dining (or any other time) music despite the way they may be marketed. I want faux sophistication I’ll go to somewhere where I expect it…like say, Euro in Auckland, not a pretty little beach restaurant in paradise.

Talking of fake…then there was Ku de Ta yesterday, the fashionista centre for the (self proclaimed) beautiful people of Seminyak. Now, whilst I have problems with this rather shallow aspect of Bali, it’s a beautiful spot and the food has improved in recent months (the breakfasts are fantastic), albeit still rather overpriced, apart from said brekky. But surely I don’t need to hear Wham as I sip my strawberry juice and look down the beach. Wham Bam / I am a man just doesn’t sit well with the rhythm of the cascading surf…

Auckland and Sydney are no better, I’ve had to endure Jimmy Barnes quietly in the background in overpriced Bondi eateries in the past…..and if I hear the bloody Buddha Bar or fucking James fucking Blunt again, I will, I promise, get violent, or at least think violent thoughts.

Look, you spend a small fortune on interiors and a beautiful Bose system, and then you put on Duran Duran’s Greatest Hits (as was the case in Ponsonby recently). One restaurant in Auckland has played the same CD on the twenty or thirty times we’ve been there over the years. Honestly, nobody in your place wants to hear your favourite CD, or for that matter, any store bought CD, that’s not why they come there.

Not getting a professional or at least a talented amateur to design the audio aspect of what you are offering is inexcusable, unprofessional and lazy.

A least I got that off my chest.

On a completely different tack, as a kind of follow up to the post yesterday about the post Corby (she’s writing a book…apparently it’s all the Bali 9’s fault now) braindead great southern landers and the like, it is with some concern that I have to report our very own drug abuse problem.

More of an issue than a problem I should say, as its not featured on any fear and loathing in Sanur bulletins in the Australian press yet. In our garden, between the cobras, squirrels, geckos and other much larger lizards we have many assorted frogs and toads, big and small. .

In the evening its hard not trip over a hopping wee creature and they do, from time to time, create quite racket.

And Chippie, our dachshund has also noted the creatures. In fact she’s discovered rather than torturing the poor things to death as nature would generally have her do, she (and Star, the anging kampong) gets more pleasure out of keeping them alive, hoping and sweating….sweating all that lovely juice which when licked sends our little mutts off to another planet. Yes, our dogs are toad junkies…both, but in particular little Chippie who likes nothing better of an evening than to get nicely toaded, to froth at the mouth, stagger blissfully around the property until she collapses at the end of the bed. The next day is clearly a little rough for the girl who looks a little fragile, the head is not feeling as it should I imagine, but she’s often back into it again when the opportunity (or toad) presents itself...and so on and so on…

And whilst she doesn’t see the need to do a Michelle Leslie (whom I actually felt rather sorry for until she opened her mouth, what an unpleasant soul she turned out to be) and don a head to toe burka, as the photographic evidence to the left indicates (PhotoShopped for modesty), we are a loss, as responsible parents, to know what to do next….although perhaps the photo could be a handy reference for any parent trying to work out if their child is on drugs…

1 comment:

DR said...

The glowing green eyes are a dead give away...mmm toad sweat.