Santa’s Pre-Christmas Warm-Up Camp or It’s All Lies

It’s getting less warm in Bangkok. Today for example it felt for a few moments as if the temperature could drop below 30C. How do I know, suddenly I was sweating less and that usually never happens. When I came home, i saw my fears confirmed. Barbara wore a T-shirt instead of sleeveless. And the the unthinkable happened. We had just passed the first 15 minutes or so of the Bourne Identity – He was getting out of the American Embassy in Z├╝rich, Switzerland – when it started to snow….in our living room. Suddenly, the mood became all “Christmassy” and I felt the strongest urge to capture the moment.
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A minute later the door-bell rang and a tanned, big bellied, bearded dude stood at our front door. He introduced himself as Bille Dee Clause a.k.a. Santa Clause. “Dude”, I say,”what gives? Why are you half naked in my building?”
He was in training in the warmer climates of East Africa, working with Zebras, instead of the Reindeer he’s used to. Anyway, long story short, yada yada yada, the Zebras were not as enduring in pulling a flying sleigh and he had to crash land near the trees at lake Queen Sirikit in Bangkok. This makes sense, since the lake is about 700m long – good enough as a runway.
He has been following my blog and figured I was the only one he knew in Bangkok to help him. Barbara and I mixed a bathtub full of Gatorade for the beasts and then dragged the tub out to the parking garage of our condo. Santa led the zebras and the sleigh to the garage and I took this image to remember the moment when Santa came by with Zebras.
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For his farewell, Santa let me jn on a little secret. Apparently, I was super nice this year, so nice e had to add a third list to the two usual naughty and nice lists – super nice. He said he sees a black Leica M9-P in my stocking. My response was:”Great”. While Barbara chuckled saying:”I don’t.”

I am trying to stay sharp.

Yours Markus \m/

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Loy Kratong

Today is Loy Kratong. It’s a great festival in which one sends his wishes on a little float along a river or over a lake. Further up north they are sent up in little rice-paper balloons. Without further ado here we go.
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A man is getting his float ready and transferring his wishes into it.
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The floats
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Queen Sirikit lake has an inexplainable current that magically gathers all floats up in a single spot so that they can be collected conveniently by the trash removal men. But before the magi of Loy Kratong gets tossed, it makes for a great picture opportunity. I wonder though, what will happen to all these tossed and later crushed wishes. What is a bummer. Then again, in Christianity we sing around the Christmas tree and come New Year it’s stripped naked and thrown out.

And on that sobering note, stay sharp!
Markus \m/

Bits And Pieces

Yesterday, I told you about the unexpected rain and as if nature was reading this entry, too, today it’s raining with lightning and thunder. So, as I was sitting on the back of the motorcycle taxi this morning, I thought o the irony if nature really read my blog.
Like, how would she do that. I guess being nature and making all the ultimate (nature) laws, she could just tap in whenever where ever. It would be great to get a comment from her. “Thank you Markus for your admiration of me. Thank you for the images you post in a vain attempt to capture me. Truth be told, the sunsets I have been laying down are pretty awesome. And about the rain, c’mon I only have this one canvas and it needs to be washed. Plus it’s jut great watching all f you scratching your heads when your weather forecast was off again – cracks me up. Keep it up, gotta go now, there plenty more of the universe to rule.
Stay sharp.
Nature”
Now that would be something. She’d have a sense if humor. Ad I’d rather have nature all somber and definitely without humor. Else, I can already see the headlines;” One Day Only – Gravitational Constant Cut In Half. Experience what it would be like if you finally shed the Christmas poundage from the last 20 years. One Day Only!”

Alright enough of that. Barbara and I have started with Christmas decorations.
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An on my way to work I saw something, that I just recently learned – the architectural concept if negative and positive space.
In the next image the negative images forms an arrow. Pointing in the direction I need to walk.
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You may have experienced it, when people demand that everything is highest priority or everything is fastest or everyone is smartest. It’s a futile demand, similar to real, independent mutli-tasking.
In Bangkok this concept applies to the term rush hour. There is none or it’s always. And the image below shows that rush hour and the alternative to being stuck in traffic – the also aways overfilled BTS.
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So stay sharp and watch out for life it’s usually right before your eyes.

Markus \m/

P.S.: it’s coming down to the wire – 495 to go to 10000 hits and 34 days left.

Tuesday Morning Art

Yes, the rainy season is over. No there were no floods in and around Bangkok.
And actually I am waiting for the wind to finally come, but it does not. Instead we have this inversion weather where nothing moves. We also have had a lot of extra rain recently, usually preceded by wind but not blowing reliably and accompanied by lightning – not ideal to be kitesurfing.
But, as I was walking to work in a recent morning drizzle, I saw this reflection of civilization in a puddle.
All our technical achievements we have accumulated over the centuries reduced to a black and white collection of simple geometric, two dimensional areas.
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On the second image I finally got the raindrop in the water, I have been trying to get umpteen times.

Cool, huh?
Alright you know the drill about staying sharp until the next entry.

Markus \m/

Lotus Blossom In Bloom – Gotcha

This morning – Monday morning as we are cruising into work I saw the blossoms. Apparently, lotuses like to bloom in the morning when it’s not too hot. Thus, instead of jumping full blast into work, I took images.
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In this case – the coloured case – i must say the actual blooming blossom is a little underwhelming. The closed blossoms are great an almost always look perfect, so I had high hopes.
But the white ones deliver when in bloom.
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They look even better in black and white.
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There you have it Lotuses bloom – even where I work.

Stay sharp until the next.
Markus \m/

Barbara Was Not Amused

My friend brought me a singing bowl from Nepal – awesome.
Honestly, I was very surprised and super happy when I got a little plastic bag with the bowl wrapped in a Nepali news paper yesterday. The bowl sings beautifully. Its tone extends from a very gentle and tender song to as much crescendo as a six inch bowl can reach. I love it, because it is simple, yet beautiful in tone and craftsmanship.
So needless to say, when I woke up this morning first thing I did – with my eyes barely open – I played the singing bowl.
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It started just with a lonely “clinggggg”, then the soothing continuous sound the wooden lodo ( stick use to make the bowl sing) makes as it rubs against the rim of the bowl and eventually the bowl began to sing. I played it such that the crescendo ebbed and flowed. It was very meditative. As I was playing the Himalayan symphony, I saw our cymbals we brought from Ladakh last year. As one hand kept stirring the singing bowl, the other unpacked the cymbals from their little box – a feat not easily achieved, by the way.
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Imagine now a single tone ebbing and swelling, swelling and ebbing on a sonar base of a calming scratching noise the lodo makes against the bowl, punctuated by the angelic “clingggg” of the cymbals. Mentally I was high up in the Himalaya in a remote monastery inching towards enlightenment. But before I could get there, I remembered a bell – a ghanti – that Barbara brought also from Ladakh last year. Clearly, I could merge traditional buddhist monastery music with the skill of a Boulder-Pearl-Street-Multi-Instrumentalist-Street-Musician. Another clinging sound to further accentuate the piece that enwrapped me more by each lodo revolution on the bowl.
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I was lost in the meditative aspect of making the sounds and was completely unaware that all this took place at somewhat well before 6:00 in the morning, by when I had already been awake for twenty minutes and clearly full of energy. However, Barbara was not amused. Calmly she explained, that certain music belongs to certain times of the day. Neither my “Himalayan Meditative Soothing Sounds” nor the AC/DC Backtracks album I had found on itunes the day before were suitable before 10:00am. Then she proceeded to join Mrs Maroney and the POTUS in making the “We are not amused” face.
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(C) not me, but the press photographer who was present when the POTUS received members of the US Olympic team this week in the White House. Thank You.

Stay enlightenedly sharp
Illuminatedly yours

Markus \m/