Hidden Places In Bangkok

A little more from our Klong Toei trip on Saturday. We found a temple in the heart of the neighborhood. And hidden in that temple was a remnant of what the Spanish, the Mexicans and the central and south American countries celebrate as “El Dia De Los Muertos”.

A skeleton praying wearing a set of Ray-Ban Wayfarers – ’nuff said.

I think he should have a brother who plays the guitar. I also feel strangely reminded of ZZ Top when I see this image – as in “Every Girl’s Crazy ‘Bout A Sharp Dressed Man”….

To balance the macabre, I will share a still life detail with boats, dedicated to the master of still lives, my friend Joe, who will be visiting here soon.

And with that little bit of sunshine in your heart (the colours man, it’s the colours that remind you of Summer….and maybe a David Hockney painting) I bid you farewell for today.

Stay sharp

Yours Markus \m/

 

Fluchtpunkte – Vanishing Points

Last one for today. But my bad conscience bugged me. I promised to write 60 entries until December 31st 2012 and you guys promised to get me to 10000 hits. Well, technically you did not promise. But you also did not specifically reject to help me reach my goal. So, keep reading and keep spreading the good word.

Vanishing Points is the title of this entry. To tell the truth, I have only two vanishing point image – a high-rise. But with plenty of contrast.

Obviously, there is not a strong pointy vanishing point visible here, but what actually prompted me to take the image is the reflection of the sky in the facade of the building.
The second image is the same building from a different viewpoint ad there are actually two vanishing points. One is geometric an where you would expect it, while the second vanishing point is created by the dark shadows net the foundation of the building.
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The next image is simply driven by my awe of nature’s reproducible perfection. I work with production systems and measurement systems. Product and measurements quality are often gauged by how reproducible they are. Despite working with lots of smart people, man struggles when it comes to reproducibility of products – not so much when it comes to reproducing man him-/herself, but that is a different story.


I do not know what this plant is called. It grows huge up to 10m / 30ft tall. All the leaves are in one plane and there is a fantastic regularity in the way the leaves grow left and right from the main stem. Regardless which of these plants you look at, the pattern is very reproducible – see what I did? I closed the circle.

I am going to close with something very Thai. Thai love sweet, not just sweets, no SWEET. There can not be too much sugar in a beverage or in a dessert. So, what I found here is a food stall, that specializes in Crepes – in itself an excellent French dessert, especially when served with Nutella and Bananas or with Vanilla ice cream and Calvados (French apple liquor). But my Thai hosts beg to differ and slap on a piece of cheese cake on top – that is a bold move. For more Thai interpretations of the classic crepe see the image below.Alright, this concludes this entry – the third for today, it concludes my Sunday and with that also more or less my weekend. No besides staying sharp, spread the word on this blog, if you like it. Even better, comment if you like it, ask questions, make topic requests and most important of all, keep help me reach my goal of 10000 hits by the end of the year.

Yours Markus \m/

About Town – With Keith And Mick

What does the Thai do on a Sunday afternoon, if the Thai does not want to hang at home? – ShopppppinG! Bangkok has a shitload – innumerable would also be fitting – temples of consumption. So we joined in – whoohoo, the excitement!
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This escalator covers five floors. The whole premise of this mall – Terminal 21 is flight and all that goes along with it: airport, departure gate, arrival gate, foreign destinations, etc. The floors are named after world cities. The floors are architecturally designed after the cities they are named after and so forth, you get the picture. It makes for a good afternoon diversion with a cup of coffee.
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On out way home, we walked past Asok and although this image must has been taken a bajjjillion times,Ii had to exercise the panorama capability of the iPhone just one more time.
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Finally, close to home we have a club, that is operated by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards of Rolling Stones fame. Keith Richards I my idol, because to me he is the mold of a Rock’n’Rolla. Everyone else in the Music business is just striving asymptotically towards the Keith-Richards-State-Of-Being. Don’t get me wrong, Mick Jagger is pretty cool, too and I guess, if in a parallel universe, Keith and me would meet for a cup if coffee and shoot the shit and he’d bring Mick along, I wouldn’t say:”Naw, not Mick, now it’s gonna be a travesty and have to act all image conscious.” No I wouldn’t do that, but it’s be different…you know what I mean. But any way I digress a little bit, but I had to address the elephant in the room. Don’t want it ti be awkward, right. Unless, my in-laws would be there, too. Because they don’t like Mick Jagger – they call him Mike, just to irritate him. Can you believe that? Otherwise they are cool – my in-laws that is.
So here it goes….and most amazing of all, no photographic alterations have been made on this image, the world looks like this around this place.
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Cool right?
So until the next, double your efforts to stay sharp.

Markus \m/

Psychedelic, But Not Too Much

Back from Phuket, the weekend is already more than half over, Bkk movie theatres have nothing even remotely interesting to show….sound like blissful boredom. NO! Wrong!
Yesterday we explored the Klong Toey Area around the Chao Phraya river by bike (more of that in a later entry) and today is “Psychedelic Sunday For Beginners”.
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As I was swimming in our pool, I noticed the reflections of the neighboring buildings were broken up and distorted. This, of course I found rather interesting. So I got in the water, got the camera about 1-2cm above the waterline and started to walk and take pictures.
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You see, when there are no distractions and your mind relaxes you start seeing the world through very different eyes, even without chemical enhancements.

Stay sharp and relax your mind every now and then.

Yours Markus \m/

No Pictures, Absolutely None…

…that’s because you have seen the only two images I have taken on our little 4 day trip to Phuket. It was great. I rode Saturday morning where I saw the place where Buddha shrines are tossed when they are done. Then plenty of swimming, another ride in the afternoon with Barbara, eating, sleeping. Sunday, a nice long ride with my buddies Stuart and Mark and about 20 more riders. At the halfway mark after 55k, we stopped at a bakery for fresh banana bread and drinks – how great is that, that’s the way you ride bike. Then more swimming, eating and sleeping. Monday, swimming, followed by a few timed laps on the track, followed by – you guessed it – another bike ride. Then eating and sleeping. Best of all, thus far all three days even accommodated my absolute luxury – an afternoon nap. One of those where you lie down to read and you just doze off. And when you wake up again, you are just completely refreshed. Tuesday brought a recovering Yoga session and the flight back to the sticky air of Bangkok. Ye, it was a short trip, but man was it worth it. I found myself in a meeting and at one point started to get a little irritated, when all of a sudden I went to my Happy Place and remembered those great 4 days. Legs spinning, wheels rolling, the only sounds I hear the air passing my body and the sound of the chain as I pedal and shift occasionally – where I could just be one with my bike and my environment.

The fact alone, that on this trip I managed to shoot exactly 2 pictures is testament enough for the level of relaxation I have experienced.

 

Until the next….stay sharp.

Serenely smiling

Markus \m/

Road Biking In Phuket

I am writing to you today and the next few days from the road. We are in Phuket to scratch an itch very hard to scratch in BKK – riding my road bike. Just good riding, sweat pouring out of every pore, legs burning (occasionally), warm air blowing over my skin. The sensation and gratification of speed after a climb. I love that interplay between suffering and exhilaration. On today’s ride I found where Buddha shrines end up when they have outlived their usefulness. You see in Thai Buddhism, whenever divine protection is required, one builds a small shrine to the Lord Buddha. Any modern structure in Bangkok has them somewhere tucked away in open air on the building premises. The devotees pay respect every morning with alms, such as bowls of food and drinks already opened. A cynical person might ask if the food alms and the rodent problem are linked….good thing I am not such a person. I also was not aware, that religious items of devotion have a shelf life, because one a wonderful backroad I found this – Buddha Shrine Cemetery.

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So here is my interpretation of what’s going on: Buddhism is more of a philosophy than a dogmatic religion, with Buddha not actually being a god. While in Christianity and Islam and Hinduism, people believe in one god. This god is omni everything, especially omni sapent (all knowing) and omni video (all seeing). And that’s why we don’t see crosses, deities and saints thrown out by the roadside somewhere from these religions – one could incur divine wrath. And at least the old testament Christian god was not very forgiving – lot of smiting, flooding and plagueing and just mean teasing to test peoples devotion. He also liked to send people on ling walks in large groups in rather uninteresting areas, like deserts…..sand, sand, sand dunes, more sand an an occasional burning bush for a pep talk. He mellowed out though after he had a son, then it was all about love.
Moving on, I rode past numerous rubber trees. To clarify for the non-biologists: these trees to now grow condoms, do not try it! It will not work!
The tree bark is cut away in small patches and the sap is collected and processed into Kautschuk – which still makes fir a lousy condom, unless of course you want to be able to go for weeks on end because tou have no sensation and in which case I truly pity the person you are congressing with. So without further ado, the rubber tree plantation.

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And whoosh we have already again reached the end of another entry.

So all that’s left for me to say is to highly recommend to you to stay sharp.

Markus \m/

Flying Through The Traffic

I met some friends at a hotel down by the Chao Phraya. When I left to go home, I had a choice to make:

  1. take public transportation: 30min ride + 10min walk
  2. hail a cab: between 15min – 2hrs depending on traffic.
  3. Walk: I would still be walking and not write this entry at this go-forsaken early hour

The taxi drivers I hailed all refused with “Rottit Maak Maak” – Too much traffic. I was on my way to the BTS station, when the one of the hotel security guards suggested to me I take secret option 4.) take a motorcycle taxi. I take them frequently, but usually only to the end of a soi, since they don’t want to cover longer distances. We negotiated a price and off we went.

Here we are riding down Sathorn, in the still warm Bangkok night air. It was great. I know it’s dangerous. But then just like with anything, the best things in life are often not so good for you. Just think of sugar and fried stuff (hmmm, arrrrgggh dooooo-nuts – channeling my inner Homer here). Hence, I took pictures while riding.

Of course, we were still following the traffic laws, like stopping at a red light at major intersections – I love my life, wouldn’t want to give it up because an over-zealous driver needed to get T-boned by a truck.

Once we were on Rama IV, we opened for the final stretch – see camera shake. Total riding time from the hotel near Saphan Taksin to my place near Asok: 13minutes – that is what I call speedy.


With a great smile and a temporarily satisfied sense of adventure – stay sharp

Yours Markus \m/