these are the posts tagged ‘travel’:

bulb’d holga

while i was in beijing, i kept thinking something was wrong with my holga. the sound of the shutter didn’t sound right, it was… different.

yesterday when i got the film back from the shop, i glanced the negative and was relieved to see there was something there, so maybe not all was lost. i got home, ran to the computer and put the cd inside, and what do i discover? a film of shaken, overexposed pictures. hum… could it be? i flip the holga around, and there is the culprit: the switch on the bulb position. oh well… i don’t know how that happened, but at least it isn’t broken!

in the end, i don’t completely dislike the string of caffeinated photographs that came out of this roll. here are a few:
temple of heaven

temple of heaven

bell or drum tower

bell or drum tower

here we go again

x marks the spot

one of the happiest days of the year is the one i get to say my mom “see you tomorrow”, knowing that i will really see her the next day. :)

have a nice christmas everyone, and see you on the other side of the planet!

haw par villa

haw par villa

haw par villa is a sort of a theme park built in 1937 in singapore by aw boon haw and aw boon par, the inventors of tiger balm (an ailment extremely popular in asia, used to cure all sorts of muscular pains). the extravagant park contains hundreds of statues and dioramas, “depicting scenes from Chinese folklore, legends, history, and illustrating various aspects of Confucianism”. an educational experience.

laughing buddha?

it’s a bit rundown, but still quirky, fun, and with lots to explore. as an highlight, it includes a 60-meter cave which depicts the “10 courts of hell”, the gruesomely detailed fate of those who have fallen in disgrace. christian hell is nothing compared to those who don’t listen to the doctrine of confucius, i tell you. and they have it all explained for you, in explicit nightmare-inducing detail.

for instance, “drug traffickers and addicts” are “tied to red hot copper and grilled”, while “money lenders with exorbitant interest rates” are “thrown into a hill of knives”…

you get the picture. or, if you don’t, you can see a ton more pictures on this flickr set!

it would have been nice to have a chinese person to tell us all the stories behind the statues and scenes, but all in all, a highlight of our stay in singapore. for me, it’s always the quirky places that make the best memories!

constant forecast

weather malaysia singapore

should we pack a lightning rod?

“all meats are halal”

more more tea inn

malaysia, as we found out, is a young and beautiful country, well versed in the arts of receiving people. it’s one of those countries that is filled with curious details, that you could probably explore in countless days.

we toured a bit of the countryside in terenggannu, on the bus to and from the airport. wooden colorful houses on stills filled with and exquisitely detailed architecture. colorful dressed women working around. lots of food stands, with all sorts of dried food (and also some smelly fish sausages). men flocking to mosques with their sons on the backseat of their old bikes. people drive on the left side of the road. “all meats are halal” said the sign on the sandwich shop. and then of course, the sea and the sky. an insanely green and blue country.

malaysia is mainly muslim, and you can see the influences everywhere, from the mosques to the veils covering the heads of women. and yet, describing malaysia as muslim is a poor simplification. it’s more of an intense asian melting pot. chinese and indian people are also well represented and it seemed to me that besides malay, everybody could speak either chinese or english, which was brilliant.

there were lots of details which we could not explain (orange nail polish on girls and boys?) and others that our “asian background” made a bit more clear, such as the empty beaches and the snorkeling fully clothed (veil included). asian people don’t fancy getting tanned – the whiter the better around here.

mr. squirrel

in the end, the friendliness sticks out and i feel like we could definitely end up living in kuala lumpur in the next few years. who knows?