Change Of Heart

They are renovating the pool where we live. It is a pretty big undertaking, that will take many months to complete. Why will it take many months? Don’t ask, don’t get me started, I tell you.

But, we are progressing. Demolition is underway and I can’t help but feel sorry for the workers. The sun is burning down mercilessly, there is not much to provide shade and the empty pool is reflecting the heat and light with much more efficiency that imaginable or physically possible (well, at least that’s what it feels like)

Anyway, I was watching the workers yesterday morning and I saw this one guys sitting poolside with his feet dangling in the semi-demolished work-in-progress. And I couldn’t help but wonder what was going through his head as he sat there idly.

At first I thought, he was bumming hard, thinking “So much work, so little motivation.” Then I thought of an ice-cream commercial with its catchy title-song, any German saw who went to the movies in the 1980’s (“Like Ice In The Sunshine”, Youtube it – it is a good mood commercial). I empathized with his current situation and what an ice-cream could do in that situation – bring a smile to his face and give him a 5-minute vacation. Then again, I did not act on those thoughts, primarily, because the construction site is protected and guarded like a nuclear missile silo and by the time I would have made my way to the guy, the ice-cream would have been a sticky-liquid mess of paper, molten ice-cream and sugar – pointless.

My final thought was one where gratitude and guilt competed for my attention. Gratitude, because I don’t have to perform my work in the open in the sweltering heat – I can choose everyday where I want to spend my time at work – the heat and noise of a production line, the quite and calm of product development, the vibe of creation in the tooling department or the air-conditioned comfort and solitude of an office.

Guilt, because it is by sheer coincidence, that I am in a position to be able to watch this worker. I happened to have been born in a country where opportunity is much more equally distributed and where my parents have been making it their mission to provide me an education and opportunity to find and develop my strength and to fail without the my and my family’s life collapsing into a pile of shattered dreams and aspiration.

I am glad,  waited a day to publish this entry, because it was initially destined to a funny entry about this gentlemen sitting by the pool doing nothing – based on a frozen snapshot in time that is the above photo. Now, it forced me to think a little deeper.

Stay sharp and stay cool – ice-cold.
Cheers Markus

A Little More Nighlife

I was out Friday night, shooting. Then I wondered how can I add four more images i a way that it continues the. The Maxi version. See, in the 80s, everyone who hat a hit in the charts released a so-called maxi single – which was an extended version of the original hit. The undisputed kings of Maxi Single releases were Frankie Goes To Hollywood – heck they released a whole album with maxi versions of three songs and it is called “The Whole 12 Inches” – get it?…tongue in cheek. But this is Willie Nelson and the Night Life song. So, think of this as the Maxi Version of “Night Life”.

Two ladies carrying their goods for the “emergency sales” to the girls in Soi 26.

Street food vendor caught in the perpetual Sukhumvit traffic jam.

Vendor of the original “Luke Skywalker Lightsaber”, with the Obiwan Kenobi seal of approval, taking his supper break.

All the rest of the poor souls in their cars caught in Friday night traffic – this was at around 10:00pm. What a way to waste one’s time.

Stay sharp and use public transportation, bicycles, skateboards or go on foot, if you don’t want to waste your time in traffic.

Markus \m/

 

Night Life (Photos To The Willy Nelson Song)*

I have had this great Willie Nelson song in my head for a while. And it reminded me of the people and the life you see around Bangkok. So I thought to my self:”Self, why not illustrate the lyrics with photos from here.”

“When that evenin’ sun goes down
Yeah you’ll find me hangin’ around
Because the night life, it ain’t no good life
But it’s my life


Oh, all the people just like you and me
Oh, they all dreamin’ about what they all used to be


I wanna tell you the night life, it ain’t no good life people
Yeah, but it’s my life


Yeah, yeah, yeah, listen to the blues
Listen to what they’re sayin’
Oh please listen to the blues
Listen to the blues they playin’

Hey, they tell me in life
Life is just an empty scene
Oh, oh, an avenue people
An old avenue of broken dreams


But I tell you the night life, yes it ain’t no good life
Hey, but it’s my life


Yes, oh-ho-ho, yeah, can’t stop singin’ it
The night life, yes it ain’t no good life
People but it’s my life
Hey, oh-ho-ho yeah
Yeah yeah yeah yeah
The night life ain’t no good life
Oh but it’s my life


Yeah, help me sing it again
One more time
Oh-ho-ho-ho,
You nkow the night life ain’t no good life
Oh, but it’s my life



Stay sharp

Markus \m/

* = my favorite rendition is the one off the VH1 Storytellers album with Johnny  Cash. The entire album is great – two truly great musicians at work and inconcert. 

Teutonic

When I arrived at the Munich airport and we walked to the car, I was struck by this view. It simply reminds me of a super max prison, yet, this is a parkibg garage for the Germans favorite toy – the car.


Then a dew days later, I took a pucture of a construction site agains the perfect blue and white sky.


And finally, my last picture from the Zugspitze, whete we were blessec with gorgeous weather and sight including dramatic and photogenic clouds.


All of which paints a teutonic image of Germany.

Stay sharp and cheers

Markus \m/

Sorting

In the heat of daily life, one can easily confuse the important with the superfluous, unimportant. These confusions lead to frustrations and spoil joy and fun. Fortunately, I have had some time to rebalance and sort out the important from the noise. It is nice to do that, fully knowling that one always has people, events and even places that are nothing but a distrurbance in getting joy out of life. I have pulled together five images from a recent trip to Germany’s higheste mountain, the Zugspitze, that put things into perspective – at least for me.

Looking south, towards Austria and Italy way back on the horizon

Looking south-south-west towards Austria and Switzerland

Looking South-East towards the Inntal

Looking north over the Eibsee at the foot of the mountain and the Alpenvorland towards the horizon.

Overlooking the skiing area

So, how does this put everything into perspective? All the petty things like power, amassing influence and scheming to gain more there of was not there before the mountains and will have vanished long before the maointajns have crumbled.
cheers, stay sharp and happy Easter.

Markus \m/

Misunderstood Thailand

Thailand is by and far known as the land of smiles. But then again, sometimes rhinga are nit quite what they seem.

For example that these elevated highways:

They look peaceful – almost unused. Or these: 

One should think that a civilization that can conceive and realize knotted elevated highways like this ahould be on top of its game. Yet when you viair Bangkok you reliE quickly, that the opposite is the reality – it is a permanent traffic jam, always just one car away from a total traffic collapse.

This is because Thailand is a country that continues to exist in a time traveling present tense. Yhere area areas where it is 1717. And then yhere are areas where it is 1817, others where it is 1917 and then there are areas where it ia absolutely 2017. And the area of dufferent timea are adjacent, sometimes the time gradient is so steep 200 years are bridged over a distance of 100 meters. The picture below is such a steep time gradient zone. One one bank of the river is it 1817 as in houses without A/C and people living a much slower life. Uet ine crosses the river and there is 2017 industry and commerce.


On one of my explorations and attempts to get a better grasp on Thailand, I went to a beautiful restaurant. It called itself ecologically friendly and ecologically conscious. I went to the beautiful restroom with glass floors and this is what I saw.


This is crazy and it a good example of why Thailand can really tear people who care or who have a passion to shreds. The alternative is to do what most locals do – just smile.

Cheers and stay sharp

Markus \m/

Celebrating My (Lacking) Irish Heritage

Aye, today is St. Patrick’s day. In the past this meant, that I found myself in shorts and three layers if T-shirts at a 5k starting line freezing my butt off as I waited for the gun to go off. The top most shirt, I wore was green – the color of the Irish.

Today, I was running, too, with a friend from Minneapolis. In honor of the occasion we greeted each other with “Mc Bryce and O’Markus”. We ran, made plans for tonight and realized that we both don’t have that much Irish heritage to offer and altogether that we are one Irish man short. Because, clearly when you think St. Patrick’s day you think Irish, followed by drinking, followed by brawling. And Jon has Irish heritage and his attitude – although most of the time he is just a “Teddy-Bear” –  is a “These Are Fightin’ Words” attitude. So Jon, tonight Mc Bryce, Barbara O’Flannery and O’Markus will just sit timidly in a pub corner in Bangkok thinking of you and what heroic deeds we’d do, if only you were here to lead us into a proper pub brawl.

Cheers

O’Markus \m/