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Archive for the ‘photohunt’ Category

I’ve been waiting for this PhotoHunt for a few weeks! Just over a month ago we spent a long weekend in Singapore – a city I had long wanted to visit, but never seemed to manage to make it there (even though it’s only a short hour flight from KL and two hours from Bangkok).Something about the island city-state seems so exciting and cosmopolitan – the skyscrapers right next to the ocean – sounds like the perfect city to me! Plus, I had heard that they have an absolutely stunning Christmas display every year, and we were arriving just in time to see everything get set up.As could be expected, Christmas lights in Singapore are over-the-top, glittering and twinkling on every tree, branch, pole, and building on Orchard Road. Although we only arrived at the very begining of the holiday season, we saw more lights on one street than we’ve seen in the last few years!

Towering Above

Singapore Christmas

All A Glow

Now I must admit, though these lights are especially festive, they are not the only interesting lights I have seen lately. Here are a few more, just to round out this week’s entry:In September, I saw the bright lights of Shanghai:

The Bund

In October, I saw the neon lights of Taipei:

The Brightly Lit Streets of Taipei

And how can I forget the endless lights of Bangkok:

View from Above

The German side of me gets frustrated when I see all of Bangkok’s temples and streets aglow with fairy lights every night, but I have to admit, the gently glimmering sights of this pulsating city has to be one of my favorite things about living here:

Temple of Dawn

All lit up

Bridge at Night

And, of course, we have a few bright little lights in our house as well:

Orange

What kind of lights have you seen lately?

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This summer I bought a Nikon D40 in an attempt to improve my photography skills.

Now, I know that people say the talent is not in the camera, but I’ve just been through all the pictures I’ve taken in the last three years, and something about the Nikon has drastically improved my photography. Maybe it’s just the fact that when I hold that camera I feel like I know what I’m doing, and since I can pretend that I look like I know what I’m doing, I seem to have more confidence, which leads to better pictures…

Anyway, one thing I’ve learned is to capture small details that represent the larger whole – instead of having one picture to capture everything that’s happening in one scene, focus on the details. And with that in mind, I give you some small details from the fabulous Jatajuk market here in Bangkok: 

Pile of Color

Buddha

Silk

Puppets

Tribal Pillow Patterns

Solitary Lotus

For those of you that don’t know Jatajuk, it must be the biggest weekend market in the world with over 15,000 stalls and 300,000 visitors on an average weekend day. They have absolutely everything and anything you could imagine – from strange wild animals, to silks, to plants, to clothes, to toilet bowls. It’s amazing. And, clearly it’s going to be a few dozen more trips before I even start to touch some of those other sections – the silks and handicrafts are just too interesting for now!

What small details capture your weekends? 

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One of my favorite things about living in Bangkok is the bustling pace of life on the Chao Praya River. We live close to Nonthaburi Pier, and occasionally take the river taxi down to the city center. I love seeing the temples from the water and the sophisticated skyline approaching in the distance.One of the best ways to get from one side of the river to the other is the ever-present long-tail boat:  

The Long Tail

All along the river, at any given time of day or night, these boats are racing up and down and back and forth, their long-tails churning up the water as they speed by. There’s nothing better than exploring the hidden canals of Bangkok, than by a colorful long-tail boat!

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Gecko, Under

Among the interesting creatures that quietly co-habitate with us here in our condo in Bangkok (just like in Malaysia), is the flexible (and sticky) gecko.

Usually, at night, we can see them climbing up (the outside of) our glass patio doors. As they work their way across the doors, they bend and twist from head to tail, more flexible in their little, sticky toes than Alex and I combined. They’re pretty much unstoppable with their little, flexible bodies – even the comparably huge door jam (pictured above) is no obstacle for them!

Our flexible friends find their way into our apartment via the aircon ducts (we have one that lives inside one of our air conditioners), and I’m guessing some small gaps underneath the doors. They wriggle across our ceiling to go from one part of the house to another, and they love to spend time lounging on our kitchen counters, in the dark, while we’re asleep (which often leads to quite a surprise when we wake up in the morning).

Sadly, our intrepid flatmates have been somewhat decimated as of late, due to their lackadaisical attitude about shimmying away when we turn on the kitchen lights in the morning. About a month ago, Alex had a one-to-one encounter with our most audacious kitchen gecko. Let’s just say that slamming a gecko tail (accidentally, of course) with a cabinet door, results in one less gecko around the house.

Never fear, there are plenty more where that one came from….

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Sea View

Ah, the classic “sea view” photo. This is one of my all time favorites. It was taken during our trip to Boracay in the Philippines this past April. This was the view from our balcony. The trip, of course, was spectacular, and this picture really captures the essence of the island:

  • the classic palm trees blowing in the wind,
  • the classic outrigger canoe in the background,
  • the classic tourist lounging on a float,
  • the classic crystal clear water,
  • the classic thatched roof of our hotel in the corner,
  • the classic fluffy white clouds in the blue sky,

And there’s one other thing I wish you could see, but you can infer it from the color of the water,

  • the classic pure, soft white sand.

Now you know why Boracay is the classic travelers paradise! What’s your idea of a classic vacation?

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Photo Hunt: Smelly

Let’s just be brutally honest here: there’s quite a lot that can be deemed “smelly” here in Bangkok, actually all over southeast Asia. Most of the time, like my friend Sabine, I just try to turn off my sense of smell, but sometimes it truly is unavoidable.

Like after it rains, and the air is so heavy you can’t believe it just rained (isn’t rain supposed to clear the air?), and you step outside of your mostly smell-free condo only to be immersed in the horrific scents wafting up from the much-too-close-to-the-surface gutter.

Or when you’re strolling down a cute little soi (small street) and you stumble across the garbage disposal area for the neighborhood (and by “garbage disposal area” I mean the place where everyone just dumps their trash and waits for the poor souls that have to clean it up).

Or maybe when you’re hanging out down in Chinatown and the mostly cleaned, but definitely deader-than-dead carcasses of whatever they’re serving in the plethora of restaurants is kind of rotting out in the sidewalk after it’s been stripped bare of serviceable parts (and by serviceable I’m talking about feet, snout, innards – anything and everything goes here).

And, of course, who can forget durian season. I mean that’s the smell to beat all smells. Durian, the king of fruits, the smell of smells.

But, today I have something simple for you. An interesting smell that I happened upon during our ferry ride downtown a few weeks ago:

Mystery Drink

This is a drink. It’s kind of a blackish-purple color, with ice cubes kind of steaming around inside, and some sort of leafy vegetable floating among the froth. I have to admit, I was not brave enough to taste it (I have a problem with textures inside my drinks – drinks, aside from orange and grapefruit juice, where I can mysteriously tolerate pulp, should be texture free in my opinion). Thankfully, I have brave friends, and they said it was kind of a spicy-tasty, herby health drink, one that is as common in China as it is here in Thailand. It probably cures all kinds of ailments (including the dreadful cold I’m suffering through now), but unfortunately, the potent smell and lumpy, gelatinous texture is going to keep me away. Far away.

What kinds of smelling things have you noticed lately?

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Photo Hunt: Paper

As a technology teacher, I’m not too fond of paper. Here in the tropics paper molds very quickly, paper gets ripped and dirty, paper gets lost, paper can be hard to share given it’s physical (and not virtual, and therefore infinite) presence, when I use paper I have to actually handwrite (something that I have become increasingly worse at over the years), I could go on and on. I like things that are digital.

Alas, we are not quite at the all-digital world I dream of. So, for now, my only acceptable form of paper is books:

Bookshelf

And we have a lot of books. Already, in just a few weeks here in Bangkok, we have accumulated piles of books (although many of them did come with us from the US this summer). I’m a pretty fast reader and I’ve developed a liking for non-fiction, which is why you’ll see so many business/technology titles in my photo for this week. Unfortunately I tend to buy so many books that I never have time to finish them all. Currently on my list are:

* Everything is Miscellaneous by David Weinberger
* Wikinomics by Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams
* Linked by Albert-Lazlo Barabasi
* Emergence by Steve Johnson
* Convergence Culture by Henry Jenkins
* Small Pieces Loosely Joined by David Weinberger
* Made to Stick by Chip Heath and Dan Heath
* Re-Imagine by Tom Peters
* Millennials Rising by Neil Howe and William Strauss
* Growing up Digital by Don Tapscott
* Not on Our Watch by Don Cheadle and John Prendergast
* The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins
* Incendiary Circumstances by Amitav Ghosh
* Lies My Teacher Told Me by James W. Loewen
* Flow: The Psychology of the Optimal Experience
* Teaching for Understanding with Technology
* Building Online Learning Communities
* Wired Shut: Copyright and the Digital Culture
* The Culture Code
* Generation Digital

What kinds of paper do you have at home?

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