Thinking it would be a small shindig for the locals here, I was unprepared for the crowds of people packed at the venue for what seemed like the social event of the season. Seems like every ang moh for a thousand miles - and their attendant sarong party girls - had been issued an invitation!
Hate to pander to stereotypes but the truth seems to be everywhere here. Big Caucasian fellows with colourful Hawaiian shirts covering their beer bellies accompanied by big-haired permatanned sirens in halter tops and minis. Seriously, do they actually dress to match the cliche?
No sarong party boys to ogle over though, much to our dismay!
Fortunately they came though since I don't think there's anyone more well suited to rocking a party! Left to a typically conservative Asian audience, it would have been terribly dull with the undemonstrative guests standing still in place while the disheartened performers try their best to get them moving, to no avail. As it was, the jazz crooners played to an appreciative crowd milling around a sandy beach under a cool tropical night.
And yes, the sarong party girls can dance.
Even I managed to a bit of a clumsy shimmy.
Though oddly enough, the music turned out to be a bit less swing and a lot more blues. More Janis Joplin than Ella Fitzgerald. Found it odd that the organisers of Borneo Jazz searched the entire world for performers but neglected to invite local jazz songbirds such as Sheila Majid, Sean Ghazi and even Zee Avi.
Smacks a bit of discrimination? Seriously. What's up with that? A little sad that we had a Borneo Jazz Festival right here in Miri but we didn't showcase much of our local talents. No wonder Zee Avi's having a bit of a bitter heart.