Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Musical journey (54)

I am now at the end of my first week back in Papua New Guinea on my third rotation and I have just arrived at an even more remote site where I will be stationed for the next three weeks. I have my own room and theoretically I have to share the toilet with my neighbour. How I wish I could share it with a hunky guy but alas I am less a neighbour. Well at least I could call the toilet and shower my own... for now. I flew to the site in a helicopter (my first time ever) and it was not as exciting as I thought it would be (the flight was only 20 minutes). I was originally scheduled to fly in a fixed-wing aircraft but it was faulty and so there was a last minute change in plan (sure doesn't give you a lot of faith in the local aviation industry does it?).

The food here really does taste better compared to the main camp (every one who's been here has told me the same but I did not believe them as I needed a personal taste test). This site here is at sea level and so it is a lot hotter and more humid  than the main camp. Fortunately the air-condition in my room is quieter and more efficient (room-size is half as big as in the main camp). Unfortunately there is no air-conditioning in the gym so it can get quite unbearable in there. There is also a lot of down-for-maintenance and half-assembled gym equipment strewn around and I hope they will be up and running soon. Things have been slow work-wise, which is expected as the team here is pretty new to alarm rationalisation. For all of you who don't yet know, my title here is "Production Lead (Alarm Rationalisation)". This is the first time I have the word "lead" in my title and I will try to milk the hell out of it, if that is even possible.

OK, PNG update over and now on to the reason behind this post which is to share my rendition of one of my favourite Hokkien songs. I have posted this song by the original singer on Facebook before and I have mentioned then that to me Hokkien music is the more lyrical and sentimental version of American country music. Though there are bad examples, Hokkien songs about family and kinship never fail to invoke strong emotions in me. This is why I decided to record my version of this song about an old single father bringing up a young son and telling him to study hard so that society would not look down on him. The father also laments that he might not live long enough to see his son grow up and start a family. As a person missing a father from the age of eight, this song really struck a chord with me and I hope you like my version of it (the original could be found here).

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Bangkok through Facebook (part 3)

Here is the last part of my Facebook picture posts made during my Bangkok vacation in November last year. I thought the weather was going to be cool seeing that it was the end of the year but no it was not. I always get a heat rash whenever I visit Bangkok and this time was no different but this is not going to keep me away from this amazing city. A really colourful, friendly, at times crazy but totally vibrant and unique city—there's no other like it!

Breakfast of champions, necessary for a long day at Babylon. All for 100 baht (AUD$3.50).

The first day's routine now done, it's on to the second day's at the best gay sauna gym I've ever been to. Who says holidays are always easy? — at Babylon Sauna and Spa | สาธร ซ.1.

A well-deserved break after a 3-hour workout. For all you leg fans, this pic is for you. You know who you all are! — at Babylon Sauna and Spa | สาธร ซ.1.

Ah. How I wish this afternoon never ends. Now what shall I do for my last night in Bangkok? — at Babylon Sauna and Spa | สาธร ซ.1.

This is a place meant to be explored with a friend or partner, not alone. The vibe here is great but I am not feeling it by myself... 8( — at Asiatique River Front.

... so here's me wolfing down a late dinner meant for two. That excellent green curry (the ones found in Australia come nowhere close) managed to make me feel a little better. I was charged 3 baht for ice by the way, which gives an indication of how touristy this place is. — at Asiatique River Front.

Wow. I don't remember drug-taking paraphernalia was so brazenly sold in public the last time I came. If this is the current state of things above the surface, imagine the state under.

That intense attention I get by simply walking into this alley! If I were ever depleted in energy, I will just come here to charge up with just the electricity buzzing and streaming in the air towards me. I wonder if I could capture and store this with some sort of an attention capacitor... — at Silom Soi 4.

Finally found my shredder tank top! The arm holes as shown have been folded at the seam for a deeper cut so by right this one is still not ideal. But it's a good starting point!

10.30pm. This is early depending on whether you have exciting plans or you have been stood up by someone you were supposed to be out with. Alas it is the latter for me on my last night in Bangkok. Well at least there is mango sticky rice and reliable BBC to keep me company in this lonesome hotel room tonight. Goodnight Bangkok one last time for now. — at OmYim Lodge.

You know you've overstayed your welcome when a city's weather starts giving you heat rashes. It's the perfect natural weapon of a location against people it wants to get rid of. I've had fun Bangkok and I will definitely visit you again but not by myself. I'm now so not looking forward to an overnight flight in budget economy!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Bangkok through Facebook (part 2)

Let us now continue with my Bangkok series that I have previously posted on Facebook. The next time I visit the Land of Smiles will be with a travelling partner as I found that interesting things I encountered were much less so without a physical person to share the experience with. Sure we all have a lot of virtual people on social media we can spread the fun to but nothing can ever beat face-to-face communication when it comes to these things. Well at least I got to share my joy and excitement on Facebook.

Taking the scenic route to Khao San Road via the Chao Phraya River.

I don't remember Khao San Road being so dead and boring. Perhaps it is too early (though it's a Sunday at noon) or this place has developed into a night spot since I last visited. Suffice to say I won't be coming back again in my next trip.

In 100 years, this photo will be worth something.

Mystery solved. It is corn puff. Still scary looking though. — at Food Island MBK, Bangkok.

Have you ever wondered why drag shows follow the same formula all over the world? Do they have a secret international agreement to behave the same way on stage that I don't know about?

If only this means what I want it to mean.

This is what I am doing this moment. Kinda different from my last shoot eh? — at S1 Hostel.

Before I wash my face off... This is a really tough shoot and I am glad it's over. Quite impressed with the shots myself. Now on to some proper relaxing at Babylon, which just happens to be a stone's throw away from the studio. Haha.

Lots of street food for yet another well-deserved supper after a tough shoot with very little to eat for the whole day. 3rd shoot so far is a no-go as a good location can't be found. Oh well, 2 ain't bad at all.

Perve alert! Managed to snap a set of what I think are very sexy legs. Just the right amount of hair and just the right calf-thickness.

The poshest cafe I have seen so far in Bangkok in this new mall that wasn't here when I last visited, a mall (Siam Sq-1) with the strangest layout. — at Dao Coffee.

Indulging in the two things not available in Australian Maccas. Pork burger and pineapple pie.

Mobile device charging station in McDonald's. Australia can learn so much from in her eyes the third world. — at Mcdonald's Siam Paragon.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Bangkok through Facebook (part 1)

For the benefit of those not in my friends list, I am going to share with you the picture posts I made on Facebook from my Bangkok trip a couple of months ago. It's going to be a three-part series documenting a relaxing trip with two photo shoots worked into it. I used to travel to Bangkok a lot but did less of it when I thought it became unsafe. I heard that things were going to be cheaper to encourage tourism but I didn't find that to be the case. In fact other than the emergence of more Fitness First gyms, I found Bangkok totally unchanged since my last visit a few years ago. Nonetheless, it was an enjoyable and stress-free week-long vacation. Here is part one of this series.

A very successful shoot today! So happy. The adrenaline of so many people watching was pushing me so much that the fact that I have not had anything to eat the whole day didn't matter a single bit! — at Soi Cowboy.

Anyone know what this is? Is it even edible?

A well-deserved dinner. You can't get more authentic pad see ew anywhere.

Rod Fai night market is truly a foodie heaven. And lots of cool vintage stuff and live performances. If you guys are unaware of this place, you should so check it out! — at Rod Fai Market Srinakarin.

Let the claustrophobic pandemonium begin! — at สวนจตุจักร l Chatuchak Market.

Right, nap over. It's time to hit the clubs. Finally wearing this having had no chance to put it on for years.

Oh no. Stuck in the notorious Bangkok traffic in a cab. Well I knew the risks and took the cab anyway. Too tired and still feeling under the (freakishly hot) weather to really care. Besides I have lots of time to burn here.

In the oft claustrophobic Bangkok, a shot like this is refreshing.

This 350 baht prawn is more than a foot long and freaking thick. Godzilla in the making. — at Food Island MBK, Bangkok.

Green curry shrimp fried rice with tom yum kung. This really is the first proper meal I have had so far 4 days into the trip. Need to keep my strength up if I want a fulfilling time later at Chakran. *wink wink*

So much food for only 140 baht (AUD$5). And this is already the trimmed down version! I kept asking them to give me less. Bangkok, you amaze me with the cheapness of your food.

As I rule over my subjects. Now bow before me. — at DJ. station.