Thursday, August 27, 2009

T & K

Of all the places I have been and all the photographs I have taken this is by far my fave. As I have said in other posts I have a fascination with photographing Thai monks, and this photo is the source of that sparked it all.
I got dumped from the train in the middle of the night at some mysterious junction. I had no money so even if I had been able to find a guesthouse I would not have been able to pay for a room. I did the only thing I could, and slept on a bench in the station. When I awoke these two smiling faces were watching over me.
I walked around the town looking for a bank machine with no luck. The town was home to several monasteries and as I walked around I watched monks begging for their food. Hungry and broke I returned to my bench for more sleep before my train arrived. When I awoke again the same monks were smiling at me.
T, the older monk, introduced himself and offered me a share of his alms. T explained that he had gone to a monastry in the south to pick up K and bring him to his monastry. K's mother had recently died and his father was an abusive alcoholic.
As we traveled T emptied the bag that contained his morning alms. He would take a small bite then offer me the rest, when I offered it back he refused.
My first trip to South East Asia was rough, and I returned a wasted shell of my former self, and the change was sudden and dramatic, I went from 170ish lbs to under 120 in about a month. A few short days before my return I must have looked like a wasted and broken ghost. Having just met me he worried for my welfare and repeatedly offered me sanctuary at his monastery on Koh Chang.
This candid shot speaks to me on so many levels. The grain of the photo suggests a rugged simplicity, but more than anything are the subjects. This shot to me encapsulates buddhism, K's mischievous but innocent smile in the face of personal suffering, juxatposed against T's contemplative introspection.

Toronto Tornado Storms 2009

The local media outlets really made the most of this storm. For days amateur video and photos replayed on the news.
I took these photos with my cellphone from my apartment. They look west out over Humber Bay.

The Coming Storm

During The Storm 1

During The Storm 2

Sunset After The Storm

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Bangkok, Thalland

I am starting to build a map of Bangkok and Chiang Mai as well as Hanoi. It is sort of a compilation from different sources, in the case of Bangkok from Time Out, Lonely Planet and a little internet research. The other maps will be detailed in their own posts.
I have been to Bangkok enough times, and am tired enough of the Kao San that unless something is of earth shattering interest or super-ultra new Abby and I will limit our visits to those with a practical purpose.
This map is by no means complete so I welcome input and commentary.

View Bangkok Map For 2009 Trip in a larger map

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Parkdale After The Strike

Toronto's garbage strike is but a distant, malodourous memory. I was going through the photos on my phone and came across this one. It is the first recycling pickup after the strike.
For 3 weeks after the strike walking or riding anywhere on Wednesdays (West Toronto's residential garbage/green bin pickup day) was far worse than the strike itself.

Pas De Flanage!

I snapped this sign in a stairwell at Ottawa's famous Byward Market.
A few days earlier I happened to be talking about the word "flanage" and "flaneur" with my father-in-law, I forget the exact context, other than it is an interesting word.
I also have an odd but practical love of signs. Having worked in film art departments reference photos like this come in quite handy.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

An Existential Crisis

A few weeks ago my bicycle suffered a bit of a catastrophic existential crisis. After 12 years of dutiful, thankless service the hub of my rear wheel decided it was fundamentally tired of being, and rather suddenly, it ceased to be. Given the tensions and stresses on this little piece of titanium, it was a bit of an explosive event.

The people at the bike shop were amazed at the failure, and had never seen a wheel break in such a fashion. I kept the broken wheel as a trophy.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Everybody Likes A Good Accident

I came across this accident the other day at the corner of Annette St. and Pacific Ave.
The Canada Post truck on its side tried to run the red light.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Wat Pra Doi Suthep, Chiang Mai

Thai Spirit House

I've Got The Joy, Joy, Joy Down In My Heart

I loved this pop from Malaysia. Not sure if it is still available, the website is defunct.

Sisters are doing it...

for the master race it seems.

I think it used to be called "The Mitford Boutique".

Don Ho meets Broke Back Mountain.

Asia's gayest cowboy.

Nixon Was So Crooked He Had To Screw His Pants On

Much of Laos is littered with unexploded shells and other detritus from the U.S.A.'s illegal bombing campaigns. Many people in Laos collect this evidence of American war crimes to decorate their yards and such. Given that Laos is the most heavily bomb country in the history of the world (in terms of tonnage dropped) there are lots of fences made from weapons casings.