Nature Complies…….Finally

“Well, hello there…how’r YOU doin’?” It rained! The sweet, sweet wet from above made it all the way down to the ground. Heck, even all the way down to the ground in Bangkok. And anyone who’s ever been to Bangkok, knows that this is quite an accomplishment by the rain. Let me explain for those who have not been to Bangkok. You see Bangkok – similarly to the first Star Wars Death Star – has a bubble of a force field surrounding it. Unlike the Death Star is it not a mysterious energy field powered by The Force channeled by Darth Vader, but simply pollution. So, for a single innocent raindrop to manage to evade all these solid particles of pollution, to fight the updrafts of exhaust gases and stench is an accomplishment worth mentioning and recognizing. Hats off to the fearless raindrops that fought their way to Bangkok on Friday night – you guys rule.

Then yesterday, due to another spectacular display by Mother Nature’s Sunset Department, we hurried to the roof to to devote all my attention to this spectacle – this means no cars this time.

Rooftop8292015LandThe intersection of Ratchadaphisek and Rama 4, looking towards Chao Phraya River and the K-Bank Headquarter.

Rooftop8292015PortView over the vast expanses of the Tobacco Monopoly towards Sathorn, Lumphini Park and so oh much more.

Rooftop8292015PortColor

Essentially the same view as above, but this time in landscape. Evidently, the colors of the sunset come out better than in black and white. Also lit area in the center of the image thanks to the green colour reveals itself now as a Futsal ground. For the uninitiated, Futsal is what we call in Germany a “Bolzplatz”. You play football on a small field, with your chums. It encourages fast passing and combinations and thus furthers the basics of football such as passing, stopping and moving about without the ball and reading the game.

Now, I can hear my buddy Michael asking with a smirk, if my above statement is true, then why does the Thai national football team never make an appearance in a World Cup. My answer has been confirmed by many Thais I have discussed this phenomenon with. It is because Thais have a hard time working as a team (except for the current Thai Women’s Volleyball team). With the men, it is essentially like this: Thailand scores and you have 21 disappointed players on the field and one guy Extra Happy!! If they can overcome this….let’s call it deficiency, then due to their love for the sport, due to their technical ability and feel for the ball, I think they would be a real contender and play similarly attractive as the Brazilians did in the 1970s.

And with this piece of wisdom shard with you my dear readers I request you stay sharp and be happy for the person scoring a goal on your team.

Cheers Markus m/

P.S.: “Nature Complies…. Finally” because it finally poured and we have got a proper sunset sky.

I Forgot…

…to share a view from my “High Camp” from this morning.

HighCampRoofTop

So there you go. I just came back from my evening ascent with backpack on my back. It is funny, I am climbing up 1160 stairs or about 227meters. This takes me about 16 minutes with the backpack on and after about 5min I was dripping with sweat. After another 10 minutes my shirt was soaked. And there are definitely sexier activities that hiking a staircase up counter-clockwise and down clockwise. But it is all worth it. When I am standing amongst and below the Himalayan giants of the Annapurna range, feeling tiny and insignificant, that’s when each step will pay off. Because I will be able to soak all the extraordinary scenery up and store it in my mind and my heart.

Having said that, do me a personal favor and stay sharp.

Yours Markus \m/

Preparation

Hello my darlings. I am in full preparation for out next Nepal trip. Since blogging from te trail worked out pretty well, I have high hopes to share our impressions from this years trip, too.

Until that starts, here’s a view from the “summit” of my daily morning routine.

  
Shary sharp

Markus \m/

Cowardice And Beauty

On my way home yesterday, I could see that it was going to be a most excellent sunset. There were tons of clouds in the sky, in fact it looked like we could finally get some long expected rain. I grabbed my camera bag and a  toy I got for Christmas – A Porsche 550 Spider “Lil Bastard” Limited Edition. That car, to me, in my humble opinion, is the most beautiful car ever designed. Yes, I know there are some who would argue that the 1957 Corvette claims that title or the Jaguar D or E type or possibly the Ferrari 250 GTO or possibly the Aston Martin DB5 of James Bond fame. And I would respond, very good choices for a #2 spot. The #1 spot however belongs to the Porsche 550. While my real life dream car is a 1973 Porsche 911 2.7 RS (better, yet RSR), the car that I would have when all the stars aligned would be that 550. I set the car up and started shooting with Bangkok and an ominous sky as my soft backdrop.

550Sunset-3qtr-2Everything looked peachy. I switched cameras to shoot black and white, because this is my more preferred way of taking images.

550Sunset-3qtr-1BW Look at the beautiful contrast not just in the image, but in the shape of the car. Something you don’t see today anymore. The car’s shape features concave and convex lines. This is what makes any surface interesting. Today shape is determined by computational fluid dynamics codes and thermodynamic considerations.

Let me illustrate this in plainer terms. When you caress your significant other, would you rather trace changing curves or would you rather trace a perfect sphere? The sphere is clearly less attractive for the hands, same thing for your eyes, too. The mind wants change and contrast, up and down, light and dark, convex and concave, hot an cold.

And if you doubt my hypothesis, look at any car or surface that evokes an emotional reaction and you will agree that they are all non-steady. Any of the #2 cars I mentioned, follow this design philosophy. Still doubting me. How about Ice cream and hot raspberries or for my mid-western friends – the perennial State Fair Favorite: Deep Fried Ice Cream.

550Sunset-3qtr-rear-1BWAs it got darker, the sky became more threatening, too.

550Sunset-SideIt appeared however, as if the sky was less of a dramatic backdrop especially for me, but more of a prelude to cowardice. After this shot my buddy and I heard a thundering bang. Because of the clouds we though this would be the start of the long-awaited and cleansing thunderstorm, so we decided to go back to our apartments. A few minutes later it was clear, that the bang was the explosion of the cowardly placed explosives at Erawan Shrine. We tried to follow a little bit on TV. But honestly the CNN coverage was pathetic – the days of Peter Arnett reporting as the last man standing from Baghdad are long long gone. Also as expected the coverage this morning from US and European news outlets was sensationalist at best. I am afraid, journalism appears to have died quietly. Reporting the news as they happen is apparently not exciting enough anymore or maybe it is just too challenging intellectually for the talking heads to narrate a story with quality and then shut the hell up and let the viewer/reader digest. Instead its a regurgitation of the same 5 second snippet over an over and the same fake inquisitive guessing. SICKENING.

My heart goes out to those killed, maimed and injured in the explosion. My heart goes out to the families who were torn apart. My heart goes out to those who were put on a stretcher, carried to an ambulance only to lose precious time while they were stuck in traffic. Unlike what’s been reported on the 24h news channels, Bangkok has no rush hour, like other Western Metropolises. Rush hour is a permanent state in Bangkok and drivers are not used to make a gap for emergency vehicles, ever. This is the subsequent tragedy that no one mentioned yesterday.

Alright, enough already. Today was a new day and let’s hope that the Thai police displays admirable competence and catches the culprits and their supporters swiftly and correctly.

Cheers and despite all the shit going down all over the world, stay sharp, there is still beauty all around, too.

Markus \m/

Ca-raaaazyyyy

today, one of our shippers delivered a container by accident a week too early.  This meant that for a little while we had an empty container at out loading dock. Oh the things one could do with an empty container. But all I did – because I have to respect the solemnity of my position – was to take a picture and then let image jump between concave (empty container) to convex (pyramid stump).

You need to look at the image like you did with the 3D dot images from the mid to late 1990s. 

Enjoy and stay sharp, becUse if you don’t with all that image jumping, I am afraid some readers might suffer seizures.

Markus \m/

Miscellaneous

No real thread today, so it’ll be a bit of rambling to create a flow and connect the pictures I am going to share.

 
What do you guess this is? I don’t know either, but I can tell you it was a huge lef that looked more like a tree. Saw it in Khao Lak lasr week. I liked the structure more than anything else, that’s why I took the image. Next up is a revelation of a Latte Macchiato I made yesterday.   

Come on, what’s next? Hmm, we had guests from England over the weekend, so we slept in the guestroom and our friends sleptin the  mastersuite – all five of them. This gave me time to look at the Chinese Junk my old enginweting temngage me. Two years ago for my birthday. This team was a great team. I am cery proud of how we handled the flood together in 2011. 

 Finally, I added a new member to my collection of reminders that beauty is only skindeep.  
And that concludes our Little-Bit-Of-This-And-a-Little-Bit-Of-That entry – a journalistic “Bauerng’röstl” if you will.

Stay sharp and remember when all you have a lot o”f too little”, make your own Bauerng’röstl of whatever.

Cheers Markus \m/

Unsupervised

This weekend, we went to Khao Lak, to meet my host brother from England. Some 30 years ago my parents gave me the opportunity to become an exchange student in England in order to improve my English. In the meantime a few things have changes other stayed the same. Ross and me are still behaving like little boys, but he brought his little three boys as reinforcements, in case it would get boring – which was not the case. The resort we met at had a had a huge meandering pool with a fairly small water slide area. Lacking reasonable adult supervision, we pushed the envelope of how to slide down the water slide. I will spare the details other than that we established the following two things.

  1. It is possible to expand the purpose of a paddle board originally designed for toddlers into a skimboard and skim down a water slide while avoiding injury, if the rider only wants it bad enough.
  2. It is possible to load an inflatable mattress (not a floatation device) on an inclined surface with three boys/men – toboggan style – who then proceed down said inclined surface at close to the speed of sound. The water landing starts with a brief skim over the water and ends in a “yard sale”  – without sustaining any injuries!

Lesson Learned: Fear keeps a man alive, but man must learn to control it and not let it get in the way of good fun!

But we also did more sensible things, like hiking into the jungle to visit a few waterfalls.

KhaoLakWaterfall4The first waterfall we saw – actually it is all the same waterfall, this is just the bottom of the cascading waterfall.

KhaoLakWaterfall5This the pool just above. The water was comfortably warm, but still provided a refreshing cool-off opportunity. The boys enjoyed the little fish nibbling on their feet as they waded through the water.

KhaoLakWaterfall1 This is the pool where we all went and frolicked in the waters. KhaoLakWaterfall2Of course some people had to go just one higher to see what was beyond. This is the view from the top of the above waterfall.

KhaoLakWaterfall3While this is the next cascade just above. I did not go beyond, because the pool below was beckoning to cool me off. You see, the rain has finally arrive in Thailand and in the jungle it rained every 5 minutes, which made it very, very humid.

As we walked through the jungle, we also saw all sorts of small animals – most of them too quick to take images of. Except for this chameleon or gecko, which posed nicely.

Gecko2 Gecko1Can you see the little man?

And this concludes our excursion into the tame jungles of Khao Lak.

Stay sharp and make time to spend times with friend.

Cheers Markus \m/