Why Runaway Train (1985) is probably my favourite movie ever

Until last night it must have been over ten years since I’d watched _Runaway Train_ and I wasn’t even remembering it right because I thought it was Charles Bronson in it but it’s Jon Voight. And I didn’t remember all the prison scenes at the start either. But what did stay in my mind all that time was the shots of the train blasting through the snow.

Here’s what really works in this film:

1. shots of the train blasting through the snow

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The four locos teamed together, muddy-black in colour. The long shots show the desolate Alaskan winter and the driving snow emphasises the speed of the train. This is what cinematography is all about to me; showing something in pictures that can’t be described in dialogue or words of any kind.

2. The basic elements of the plot

Apparently this was a story and screenplay originally written by Akira Kurasawa. It was later adapted by the people who put together this film but there’s something about the way the main elements of the story hang together that have Kurasawa’s name all over them. I actually don’t know that much about him — I’ve only seen a couple of his B&W 50s(?) samurai films but there’s a simple way of story-telling though visuals he got down that others have been influenced by for decades.

The reason I can tell it’s not pure Kurasawa is the way it jumps from the scenes in the train what Voight kills, and the scenes in the train line control room. It’s like going from a quality drama to _<a href=”https://en.wikipedia.org/?title=Airplane!”>Flying High!</a>_ Who ever was casting or directing, in these bits at least, really dropped the ball.

<a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/sunnybreaks/18947677130″ title=”control-room by Hi!  my name is:, on Flickr”><img src=”https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/299/18947677130_761363918d.jpg” width=”500″ height=”273″ alt=”control-room”></a>

3. Jon Voight.

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He probably did the only good acting in the film. Even then I wonder if the way he did the character might have been influenced by the way Stallone played the character Rocky Balboa. There was a couple of short monologish scenes that he nailed to the point where if this was a more popular movie then people would be parroting them the way they do De Niro in _Taxi Driver_.

<a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/sunnybreaks/19138799831″ title=”clean-that-spot by Hi!  my name is:, on Flickr”><img src=”https://c4.staticflickr.com/4/3881/19138799831_2f1582029a.jpg” width=”500″ height=”273″ alt=”clean-that-spot”></a>

Honourable mentions for cool things are – The actor and character that played the head prison warden. Every crazy, deathwish-seeking escaped convict needs an equally crazy sheriff hell-bent on bringing him down.

In both of these characters I can see an archetypal simplicity that Kurasawa would’ve outlined that made them so easy or successful to play.

And the on-train stunts and cinematography of the stunts. Hyper-real in how they look and the angles at which they were captured at. No CGI. The way heavy-falling snow combined with the speed of the train creates a darkening of the shot. Plus everyone knows how slippery ice is and _everyone can guess_ how slippery it would be when trying to climb onto the nose of an <a href=”https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EMD_F7″>EMD F7</a> at 70 miles an hour.

<a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/sunnybreaks/18947763138″ title=”EMD-F7 by Hi!  my name is:, on Flickr”><img src=”https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/409/18947763138_d7d8ea7e46.jpg” width=”500″ height=”275″ alt=”EMD-F7″></a>

Because of the ’80s schlock of the control room I’d almost say that this was a film ripe for re-doing but I know they’d never get the good parts right. No one in the two thousand teens wants to see a train barrelling through the snow, right? We’ve got too much ADD for that. No one wants to see relationships and motivations unfolding inside a boring, boxy black locomotive’s interior. So I can live with the bits that are a bit quaint because I know that Hollywood today would red rubber-stamp the whole thing ‘QUAINT’ including the live action stunts and the symbolism of an out of control train carrying a rebel on his last flight.


Korean food in Melbourne

Went to a few Korean restaurants in Melbourne recently. It’s fairly hard to come by authentic dishes. Partly because of the embarrassment of riches we have here in Australia when it comes to ingredients. For example, beef is used sparingly in Korea (if it’s on the menu at all) but here it’s cheap so the temptation for restauratuers is to use more but that completely changes the food.

Presentation is also different.

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This place in Richmond is a good example of a kind of korean food but definitely one for a mild australian taste. Also the stools you sit on here were ridiculously uncomfortable. It really is an indicator that these leeches we call real estate agents rule the land when you’ve got a city as sprawled as Melbourne is, yet here I sat is a busy (and therefore presumably successful) restaurant that was tiny and elbow-to-elbow.

In contrast, we went to another place in Clayton called Kang na roo which I am guessing is play on words. This was just like what I’d get in Korea at an everyday restaurant, right down to the plastic bowls and tupperware-style bottle of water. The only difference was the price, in that it’s a good deal more expensive here but then that’s to be expected. Two thumbs up!

<a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/sunnybreaks/15647232904″ title=”Untitled by Hi!  my name is:, on Flickr”><img src=”https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7561/15647232904_dcffcf6d79.jpg” width=”500″ height=”375″ alt=”Untitled”></a>

Dish Cafe in Geelong

I just wanted to give a quick but big thumbs up to <a href=”http://www.dishcatering.net.au/#tab-home”>Dish</a> in the middle of old Geelong town. Personally, I find _very few_ places that I really like to go back to. Most places I go to are over-priced with average food or have reasonable prices but nasty food. The whole Waterfront area of Geelong is a tourist-trap full of terrible eateries these days.

And I can remember back to the late 90s/early 00s, and even earlier when the area around little Malop st, McLarty place, James street was full of interesting shops. All of the walk-by shopper traffic was sucked away by the Westfield monstrosity. Plus I bet rent prices went way higher than was affordable for most shop-owners.

So anyway it’s great to see a new (relatively new?) cafe in that area.

They make almost all of the stuff they have for sale. It’s good quality and very good prices. Dave, the chef, is a really friendly bloke too.  I guess another thing I like too is that when we go in there on a Saturday lunchtime it’s fairly quiet. Good for me, not so good for the business. Although I’d like to think they are much busier on weekdays with the office crowds.

<a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/sunnybreaks/14621000808″ title=”HipstaPrint by Hi!  my name is:, on Flickr”><img src=”https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3883/14621000808_cc21cd2458.jpg” width=”500″ height=”500″ alt=”HipstaPrint”></a>

The Four Of Us Are Dying

I haven’t been watching much old TV but one thing I have been going through from its very start is the original Twilight Zone TV series. It’s pretty damn impressive. The first season was _waaaay_ back in 1959 and a lot of the story lines still stack up well. It’s far back enough that almost none of the actors in it cross over into other tv shows from the mid to late ’60s that I’ve seen. The only exception so far was the episode title <a href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/People_Are_Alike_All_Over”>People Are Alike All Over</a> that has an actress who later went on to also appear in the pilot for the original series or Star Trek. Funnily enough the pilot leaned heavily on the storyline of the Twilight Zone ep.

There’s been several episodes dealing with the Cold War that I would’ve thought would be too touchy to talk about then plus a bunch of plum science-fiction speculative ideas that were really impressive. The fifties really were a highpoint for SF in book form so it must’ve rolled on into other media too.

<a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/sunnybreaks/14208550170″ title=”whatyouneed by Hi!  my name is:, on Flickr”><img src=”https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5495/14208550170_a776750d79_o.png” width=”339″ height=”253″ alt=”whatyouneed”></a>

Maybe it’s partly the silver-screen effect but the women seemed really beautiful then too. Interesting hairstyles or whatever. I dunno. The above image was schlepped from the TZ wikia site and is from the episode titled ‘What You Need’. I could’ve hunted it down myself but that would mean turning on the other computer.

The title of this here blog post is actually the name of one of the episodes which was also used by the band Nine Inch Nails as a song title _48 years_ later. To me that’s a great example of how edgy the Twilight Zone was for a TV show. And as such it was stuffed away in the Friday night 10 to 10:30pm timeslot. Wouldn’t want anyone actually seeing it now would we?

That particular episode contained lashings of noir/Hitchcock style lop-sided frame shots and as it happens is available to view on yootoob.

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In some ways a good comparison is the X-Files except the Twilight Zone probably had a lot less budget and crammed all its goodness into half an hour. In fact it seems like Rod Serling did a lot of the sourcing, adapting and writing for the first season himself. So the next time I hear The Simpsons or something parodying his quirky narration style I’ll have a better appreciation for how ahead of its time the Twilight Zone was.


In hindsight The Black Keys don’t need me promoting their new album. Mainstream media seems to be doing a fine job of that thankyou. After a few listens I’m kind of underwhelmed by it too. I should qualify that by saying that I didn’t really like their album before that either. I mean, it was okay _but not as good as their early stuff._ I know there’s only so many places you can go when you just got a guitar and drums, and that was always the thing about the earlier albums; as good as they were, I could only listen to an album and a half before the structures were all too samey. I was listening to the Turn Blue album while washing the dishes and in that dumb way that iTunes does, it started playing the next thing straight after. The next thing was the El Camino album and I tell ya I didn’t know it. ie there’s no difference in the sound of the two albums.

With Turn Blue, some of the production aspects (that this chap danger mouse contributed) sound tacked on. Also as a wannabee bass player the bass sound they used on several tracks sounds really unenthusiastic. And lyrically it’s heavily influenced by Dan’s relationship break-up with some famous woman. Jilted/love songs will always be popular but a little hard for me to relate to in this part of my life.

But I’ll be constructive. So what could have they done? Five or whatever albums of good, raw guitar & drums -> it’s obvious that they had to broaden their sound somehow. I think I would’ve tried some sort of non crowd-pleasing, long concept album. They’ve earned enough money/fame to do something really nutty so why not go for it? For posterity’s sake I’ll include this pic of Dan _Uber_gene unintentionally (0((()(??????)())))) getting his Hitler on. This could’ve been the look that tipped them in a whole new musical direction.

<a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/sunnybreaks/14208277010″ title=”Dan UBERbach by Hi!  my name is:, on Flickr”><img src=”https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5036/14208277010_184e79052c_o.jpg” width=”608″ height=”465″ alt=”Dan UBERbach”></a>

Last night on Earth

This is the name of a new album by Lee Ronaldo and the Dust. It should probably be subtitled #firstworldproblems. It’s mostly based on Lee’s experiences of being in NYC during _super_storm Sandy. I’m sure a lot of people had their lives or lifestyles messed up by Sandy but I guess the point I’m trying to make is that it’s interesting to compare the effects that natural disasters have on different parts of the world. Rich places: tens of billions of dollars worth of damage and a few people dead, poor places: tens of thousands of people dead and a few hundred thousand dollars worth of damage.

Most of the lyrics are about the weather and being stuck inside, so I can dig that. I actually quite like the album. Enough to have bought it. I only found out about it through that way that ‘friend of a friend’ way that twitter works. I haven’t kept tabs on Sonic Youth since Washing Machine and I was pretty disappointed to hear that Kim and Thurston broke up under messy circumstances and in a way that makes it seem fairly unlikely that Sonic Youth will ever get back together. And so through twitter I saw a life performance vid of Kim’s solo project body/head. I don’t know if they’re stoners – maybe that’s what summer in Germany does to you. And Thurston’s off having an affair — so when I listened to Last Night on Eart I was pleasantly surprised to hear that Lee has basically inherited the Sonic Youth sound. I don’t know what went on with their last however many albums but there was really only one way to go and that was mellower. That’s how this album is and of course it didn’t hurt that Lee also inherited SY’s drummer, Steve Shelley. Kind of like after the Beatles broke up and Ringo ended up living in the guest house at John’s big-arse mansion. And there’s two other guys in there I don’t know who they are.

There are times when the lyrics or singing sound a tad lame, and this is where there is no Thurston or Kim but Ronaldo’s always been a great guitarist and there’s some characteristically sweet chord progressions in there. You can stream the album <a href=”http://www.clashmusic.com/news/exclusive-stream-lee-ranaldos-last-night-on-earth”>here</a>

Dick Smith 38.5″ (98cm) Full HD LED LCD TV: review

This may seem boring but I just wanted to do a quick review of this thing. I already did one on the dick website but I probably should’ve waited until I had a much fuller understanding of it before posting there since once you do one review of a thing you can’t update it or do another.

I was kind of shocked and annoyed to come from one of the electronic gadget nexuses, south korea, to here and find that TVs are cheaper here. We actually brought our old (only 1 year old) TV with us but I was lazy and assumed it wouldn’t work here. So I went and got this *Dick TV* for 350 bucks, which seemed pretty damn cheap. And it’s ok I guess. The only immediately noticeable downside was that the remote control is pretty rubbish. It has to be pointed right at the TV to work and the lag between when you press a button and when it actually does anything is …. large. It has a PVR (personal Video Recorder) built in but let me tell you — it’s absolute rubbish. I think I had a less that 505 success rate with it properly recording what I wanted. And the thing is, you don’t bother recording something unless you actually want to watch it, so when you go to check it and see that it didn’t work — then that’s pretty damn disappointing.

I eventually got around to plugging in the korean (brand named, “Square”) TV and found that the analog channels setting worked. We took a punt on it and got a cheap ($55) digital set top box – and presto – the old TV works. And now that I see them closer together, I can see that the Dick TV’s picture is not all that great.

The set top box, from a company named Bush (It’s Sydney or the Bush, Charlie Brown) is pretty good. On occassion the signal gets really glitchy, and that didn’t happen with the Dick TV, so maybe it’s the longer connection cables – I don’t know, but the channels change faster and the PVR built into it _works_.

I don’t watch that much TV. The kind of programming I find to contain the least amount of idiocy is sport, including football. I never thought I’d be watching footy regularly but it helps when your team is winning regularly, and is on at a convenient time, like Saturday night. Because they only have commercials after goals it works out that there’s less ad breaks than other TV and the ads between quarters can be avoided entirely. A week and a half ago I watched a footy game on Saturday night then the German F1 Grand Prix the next night, and as much as I like motor racing, I have to say that the footy game was much more exciting.

Anyway, in conclusion to myself, while I don’t watch that much TV, that that I do watch I like to enjoy properly so spending a bit extra on getting a decent telly is one of those decisions that pays off in the end.

Tomorrow’s Harvest: Boards Of Canada

<a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/sunnybreaks/9037852344/” title=”Tomorrow’s Harvest by esquimauxpie, on Flickr”><img src=”http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2827/9037852344_c1baea8f9a.jpg” width=”500″ height=”500″ alt=”Tomorrow’s Harvest”></a>

After six or seven years BOC finally released their next full-length album. It’s been a long wait. From memory, the last one, The Campfire Headphase, was one of the first things I purchased over the internet with my (then) newly-minted credit card (really just a debit card but whatever).

<a href=”https://bleep.com/”>Bleep.com</a>, a digital music store, sent me the link to my purchased download last Friday night — much earlier than I was expecting! And so, each day for the last week I’ve been having a listen to the album to get a feel for it. BOC’s stuff is anti-pop. Pop and successful TV jingles succeed because you can hear them once and they dig into the memory. The melodies and chord progressions in Boards of Canada’s music are much subtler and take time to come out. But this means they also have a much greater longevity and relistenability.

Tomorrow’s Harvest I would say is more of the same, in that the sound of it is similar to their stuff in the past. The last most recent, Campfire Headphase, had a fair bit of guitar used in looping ways which made it a bit different but it was still clearly BOC. “More of the same” isn’t a negative judgment at all, because for the last 6 years fans everywhere have been waiting for more of the same. It’s because of this that they become my number 1 favourite musical performer. Amon Tobin used to be it but then he went off in ambient, unmelodic directions.

This new album, if anything reminds me a bit of their 2002 album, Geogaddi because of the ‘bad trip’ overtones. BOC’s music is often generalised as psychedelic trip music but then sometimes it’s not all happy sounding.

And I think that’s what’s happening with Tomorrow’s Harvest. *My take is that it’s a nuclear apocalypse concept album.* The artwork: sunrise in San Francisco, but then it looks a bit like an A-bomb just about to go mushroom too. Then there’s the titles of some of the tracks: Reach For The Dead, Cold Earth, Sick Times, Collapse, New Seeds, Come To Dust. New Seeds is interesting because it’s one that really sounds like the title – it reminds me of science and robots planting things on Mars or something.

The music by itself is just music and doesn’t sound down particularly when compared to other BOC stuff, but there’s no samples of kids’ voices counting numbers or singing rhymes. There’s no samples of the original <a href=”http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/20bedce20c/caught-in-the-act”>Boards of Canada Public Service Announcements</a> — or if there are they’re so distorted that I can’t tell what they’re saying yet.

From what I’ve read in the rare, odd interview they’ve done, they’re the kind of group that only releases 10% of what they produce, and it may well be possible that this music was made years and years ago. Anyway, I’m really liking the album and I just hope it’s not another 7 years til we hear from Michael and Marcus again.

<a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/sunnybreaks/9035839345/” title=”sandisons by esquimauxpie, on Flickr”><img src=”http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2829/9035839345_fe12689f8f_m.jpg” width=”240″ height=”160″ alt=”sandisons”></a>

Ps. (minor congratz to bleep.com on having their shit together better than those idiots at topspin media.)

Pumex international movers: a mini review

I was going to write this ages ago and then I decided I wouldn’t since it’s just a company doing its job. I discovered the process of finding a company to ship all of your household goods from one country to another is not an easy one, so this post is more for people in the future (in korea primarily) who might find themselves in the same situation.

We found Pumex online. They sent a guy around to talk to us about it. He looked at what we wanted to ship and quoted us 1.5 mil KRW. We weren’t taking any furniture just a bunch of stuff like books, clothes, kitchenware, electronics equipment and eight guitars. It ended up being 36 boxes and the end price was 1.7mil — a bit higher than the quote. Other costs included insurance. We had to value the stuff ourselves and then pay something like 1 or 2% of the total amount insured. I think it was 2%, I can’t remember. But I know that we paid another 180k KRW for that. It seemed like a lot, but some of those guitars are worth a bit, and before the move I didn’t have much faith in everything getting to Australia unbroken. Afterall, everyone’s seen video and heard stories of neglectful mover, couriers and deliverers.

However, this was the area that Pumex really excelled. The guy they sent around on the moving day did a really good job at boxing everything up. He custom-made boxes for irregularly shaped items (eg. bass guitar, big telly), foam padding was applied liberally and the double-gauge corrugated cardboard was supa-solid. Nothing at all got broken on the way so in hindsight I guess I could’ve skimped a bit on the insurance, but then I guess insurance is always like that.

Pumex did say they were going to put the eight guitars into a wooden crate before going into the shipping container but I never saw it — it would’ve been hammered together at Busan and taken apart in Melbourne, that is, if they made one at all. Either way, all the guitar necks were fine. Each guitar was put into a separate custom-made cardboard box, then they were put all-together in one big cardboard box. At one stage J-e was standing on one of the empty cube-shaped boxes and it didn’t collapse, so that’s a good example of how rigid the cardboard was.

Another cost we had was Customs & quarantine clearance fee, which would be different for each country you wanted to ship to, but Australia’s (I’m guessing) is kind of high. That was about $150 AUD. To make sure our shipment wasn’t delayed and put through the special treatment at quarantine we were advised to clean the soles of our shoes and be detailed with any food we were sending. We did both, and they did open the shoe box to take a look but didn’t even bother with the food box.

All up it was about one month from when the boxes left us in Seoul to when they were delivered to us in Geelong west.

For us, or for me really, being 8 years in korea and being a collector/hoarder of things this kind of move was the best option. It was better than dealing with a-holes on craigslist, trying to sell things for a fraction of their worth. Sending boxes through the post office would’ve been a huge hassle too. Going with Pumex was kind of expensive but took a lot of the stress out of the task.

And now for the good stuff

It seems silly to go on holiday and only blog about the bad stuff. So here’s the good bits I haven’t mentioned yet.

<a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/sunnybreaks/8463445541/” title=”IMG_1145 by esquimauxpie, on Flickr”><img src=”http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8367/8463445541_8fc8fcede9.jpg” width=”500″ height=”500″ alt=”IMG_1145″></a><br/>_at Tropical Spice Gardens_

Accommodation: In Kuala Lumpur we stayed at the *<a href=”http://classicinn.com.my/”>Classic Inn</a>* for a total of 6 or 7 nights. I definitely recommend it. The staff really make an effort to see that you’re happy. I actually stayed here two years ago too, but then I was in a single room. There was a slight misunderstanding on the first night when we got put in a musty-smelling twin-room with no window (avoid room 105 if possible) but once I kicked up a bit of a fuss (brought on by a distinct lack of sleep) we moved to a better room = ask for room 107; it’s a twin-room but you’re with your with your sweety you can just push the beds together. It’s got a window, is relatively quiet in that it’s down a separate hallway, but the window opens onto the front common area, so if the Inn is full then there will be people out there talking til late. That’s to be expected I guess, after all, it’s not a monastery. Also, the wireless node is on the ground floor so you get the best reception if you’re in the ground floor rooms (the rooms on the top floor don’t get any waves, I believe).

They give a free breakfast of coffee, (very grateful for that) fresh fruit, toast and Malaysian-style pancakes or cold noodles. They do laundry for a very reasonable rate and they’ll store luggage (again price is very reasonable) if you want to head off to other parts of the country. All the other features are on their website. The best thing about the place, I would say, is it’s location. It’s easy to get off to all the touristy places and all of the domestic stuff you might need (supermarket, reliable eateries) is literally just across the road.

*Penang* To be honest we really wanted to go to Langkawi Island but it was all booked up. Penang is a bit more urbanised, or to be more exact, _suburbanised_. There’s a ring road around Georgetown, the capital, that reminded me a bit of Melbourne or Sydney. Things are spread out across the island which mean you’ll be catching a lot of buses or taking taxis or renting a car. We stayed at the Hydro hotel, which, on the whole, was quite good. The room we stayed in was big, had a partial sea view, balcony and was quiet. They have a pool too, which is good because apparently the nearest beach, batu Ferringhi (not <a href=”http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Ferengi”>Ferengi</a>) was too polluted to swim in.

The best place we went to in Penang was <a href=”http://www.tropicalspicegarden.com/”>Tropical Spice Garden</a> which had a whole bunch of spice and herb plants spread around some lovely little pathways. If, like me, plants don’t rock your boat then you might be more interested in the … _monkeys!_

<a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/sunnybreaks/8464434844/” title=”IMG_1113 by esquimauxpie, on Flickr”><img src=”http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8368/8464434844_3509816d6f.jpg” width=”374″ height=”500″ alt=”IMG_1113″></a><br/>_I’d been waiting my whole damn life to see monkeys in the wild. Last week I did._

There’s a bunch of little (I don’t know what kind) monkeys up in the trees and if you’re lucky (like if you go in the morning) you’ll see one or two come down out of the canopy to a lower level to eat flowers. It wasn’t crowded at TSG and it’s a good way to get away from the main road and its traffic noise.

Also while there we had the best meal of the whole two weeks, at their connected restaurant, called Monkey Tree. It’s actually Thai food and due to the spice gardens, they use all their own fresh lemongrass etc.

<a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/sunnybreaks/8464489362/” title=”IMG_1128 by esquimauxpie, on Flickr”><img src=”http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8516/8464489362_1ffecabba9.jpg” width=”500″ height=”500″ alt=”IMG_1128″></a><br/>_Mouthwatering!_

tony fernandes ate my lunch

First thing I have to say is golly it’s nice to be on holiday. It’s been a long 12 months and when I do take the opportunity to visit somewhere different I usually end up having to go by myself, but this time my sweety is with me.

And we tried flying with Air Asia. It’s a different set up they’ve got going. It’s all online booking, and lots of detail to it. You chose where you want to sit, and there’s different areas — like a no kids ‘quiet zone’, “hot seats” ie. the first row of economy/coach class (you know if I owned my own airline, I would call economy class Riff-raff class) and instead of business/1st they have premium. We went for the No kids section and it worked well.

Meals are not standard either. You can order a meal when you’re doing the online thing, and it costs about 7 bucks. There’s a fair few different choices, and in theory it’s a good idea. In reality, the meals we got were really crappy.

<a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/sunnybreaks/8437394416/” title=”Flight etc by esquimauxpie, on Flickr”><img src=”http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8051/8437394416_60fb1a32f5_n.jpg” width=”320″ height=”320″ alt=”Flight etc”></a>

This was my green curry. It was mostly rice. When I say crappy, I mean really cheaply put together, and small. Airline food has never been known as being good but this is a new bottom. J/e’s chicken rice was also regrettable.  All part of the learning-curve I guess. The idea is to eat up good before you get to the airport and then bring wholesome munchies for mid-flight — except their rule is you’re not allowed to bring food or beverages (everyone’s saying F&B these days) on board, but how are they going to know if you bend down, stick your head in your backpack and munch away like a horse on chaff. A horse bag.

There’s no screens anywhere, not even a standard one at the front of the section on the wall showing where the plane is in geographical space. I kind of missed that graphic. But really it’s a clever idea. Those back-of-the-headrest things are looking mighty dated now that everyone’s carrying their own tablet/phablet/smartphone around.

There’s no complimentary newspapers, blanket, pillow, there’s no free drinking water (gulp!), the only coffee available is cheap instant stuff – 5 ringgits please, and when we got to KL A.A. have their own budget terminal where the plane just pulls up on the tarmac and you deplane down a set of steps like when the Beatles invaded America. Air Asia’s gone budget in areas that other airline’s wouldn’t think of changing, and it’s working for them. Apparently it’s the fastest growing airline in an era when airlines are going belly-up left, right and centre.