Weekly Photographic Summary: Late June – Early July

Arai Wa! – means “What the hell!” in Thai and as you can se by my vague date specification of this entry “What The Hell? It’s a bout time, buster!” is what you may think, since I have not posted a new entry in weeks. Not that nothing has happened here, the opposite is really true. I have had work out the whazzooo. Work plus training pretty much kept me occupied more than I liked. But I also spent a lot of time playing guitar, since I can relax nicely when I simply can’t train stress off anymore. I have immersed myself into Open G tuning – and boy it’s a revelation. Everything blues based sounds so much better. I can see why Keith Richards went down that road and never looked back. But my musical exploits are not the topic of the day. I want to post a few images from the last few weeks. There is no theme to it, just whatever I came across. The first image is of a modern retro-style motorbike – a Ducati 1000 Sport. The bike reminded me of my neighbor and friend Heinz, who had a big impact in my life. Firstly because he fostered my first steps into becoming an engineer and secondly, because he instilled a passion and love for motorbikes in me when I was about 8. While I have never seen Heinz ride, I think he must have been a hardcore biker – not one with fringes and tattoos, but one with a loud, obnoxious, bad-ass thumper cafe racer Ducati and Honda back in the late 60’s and early 70’s – Black Leathers, Cromwell helmet and a pair of black Sidi boots size 45, that had the outside of the sole nicely chamfered away – why, I asked “That’s what happens when you ride hard and you lean into each turn” he said. So here’s to Heinz, his influence on me and our shared love for motorbikes.

In my opinion a great fusion of early 70’s look with the spoked wheels, steel swing arm, steel trellis frame, the half shell faring and of course the tank mixed and modern technology like 300mm double front disks, the use of titanium to reduce weight (and cool looks) and wider wheels for added grip zooming through turns – wait this is Bangkok…

Next, I have to share two images that I have debated with myself whether I should show them or not. But I feel adventurous today so here goes nothing – you’ll see. The Thais have this knack for great architectural design and small details, that usually bring a smile to my face. The image I had to take because of the repetitiveness, the clean lines and the perceived symmetry:

The second one I took this last weekend – and if nothing else, you can see that I must have been very relaxed; firstly because I saw the scene and  secondly, because I had the guts to take my camera out in the mens room without getting caught, because that would have been a lot to explain…..

Fresh red roses in the mensroom – that is simply thoughtful and very relaxing.

Moving on, since, in my mind’s eye I can see some readers cringing. Last weekend we had a holiday and went to Rayong for some urgently required R&R. Rayong is about 45 minutes east of Pattaya and a lot quieter with a beautiful beach and good wind.

And, yes we had a full moon. When the moon had set and the sun was king the day shift, we had a perfectly empty beach and this beach toy salesman came by on his moped which he had nicely converted to a mobile shop.

Barbara strongly advised me to add the beach boy salesman image in colour, too. So here it is.

Looking at the image at this size, I guess, I need to explain a little more. The guy sold inflatables, like 5ft cellphones, crocodiles, bananas, stuff to blow up and use for flotation to enhance ones fun level in the ocean and of course footballs. Me personally, as long as there are waver, I can body surf until I look like a raisin – no toys required. Of course, I am not saying NO! to a surfboard or a kite with board, either.

And this concludes our little photographic summary. Take care and take her easy.

Markus \m/

Weekly Photographic Summary: Last 3 Weeks In June

Muchachos, here we are again – you read, I have written. It’s been crazy at work (loco as my compadres s.o.t.b. say or DingDong as the Thais say). Hence, I did not get around and certainly did not have the muse to write a post. Heck, even this one is pretty tame, since it’ll be mostly pictures. The one new thing is, that I have fallen in love with Open G tuning on my guitar and that Keith Richards and me are belting out Brown Sugar twice a day, followed by an encore of Rod Stewart’s Hot Legs. Occasionally, when I feel really like a bad ass, I play Johnny Cash’s The Beast In Me. But you need to mean it – can’t pull that one off everyday.

So let’s dive into it then, shall we?

On Saturday we went with a few friends on a Klongtour by boat. The klong is so dirty (polluted) the boats have tarps that the guests can raise to protect against spray. Why protect, because the water apparently houses parasites so bad and evil, that a Westerner will instantly seize to be. However, if one is not a whimpy  Westerner, but a manly Thai man like the dude in the image you take a bath in the Klong and laugh in the face of adversity and likely also in the face of the parasites. The guy dove completely under water to clean some contraption – that’s brass balls manly.

Next we had lunch is a local Pad Thai shop, that admittedly we wouldn’t have entered by ourselves, but we had a Thai friend with us – so no arguing. The place turned out to be very nice and the food excellent. On our way out I saw the little shrine for protection.

Next we walked along Wood Street, where there are all kinds of wood workshops. The best thing besides the great wood smell is the great variety of woods they have – tons of hardwoods that would be prohibitively expensive in the West – Teak, Zebrawood, Bloodwood, all hard stuff. Needless to say the people working there need t eat. We walked through the street just after lunch and the local street food kitches were doing dishes. Even the chopsticks get washed (also our only color image).

You go ahead and think about that for yourself, the discuss in group session.

Next, we walked to the Golden Mount Temple, where I spotted these two monks looking for enlightenment.

As we were walking home, I saw this letter written by a group to Japan. I thought is was sweet and naive, but I also have to admit, that we probably make the life and the world much more difficult that it really has to be.

Fast forward to Sunday. I went for a nice bike ride in Bangkok: 60km in 2h and managed to not get injured, yelled at or otherwise physically or emotionally harmed. Even though I had a close cal at about 40km, when a pack of Soi Dogs (mean ass bastard strays) decided to go for my juicy, juice calves. My survival instinct commanded all systems to flee and the legs accelerated the bike up to 57km/h – no bad. The legs then demanded some relaxation, but we still had 20km to go. Brain and stomach said: “Thanks legs, but suck it, we need food – pronto.” So, off I went. In the late afternoon we went to a Chinese cemetery.

The place is completely quiet and in the middle of Bangkok, close to the Chao Phraya River. Interestingly, they have a running track marked (1500m) for “mourners” to run their sadness off – no kidding.

Due to the climate here vegetation grows like weeds (also vegetation) and especially roots take over anything man-made in a short amount of time.

And finally, you may have been waiting for it your moment of Zen. A Buddha painting in the narrow between two houses that leads to a boat pier.

Take care.

Yours Markus \m/