Singapore Photoglut: An Expensive Beverage and a Filthy Blood Pond

Singapore Photoglut
As discussed in the previous post, travel has just sort of become a fixed aspect of my life. When presented with any significant period of time off of work (with “significant” meaning “more than three consecutive days”) my fingers naturally bring up flight search aggregators. I mentally tick down the list of visited countries, and those other nations and cities nearby to which I have no trudged. I mentally pack a bag, think of how sunny and monsoony the destinations around me might be, and calculate necessary SPF. I am barely capable of planning what is for dinner each night, but I planning a vacation is as easy as drawing breath.

As such, a week-long break off of school seemed like the perfect time to jet down to sunny Singapore. Singapore: that place I realistically could not have jammed in while travelling either Malaysia nor Indonesia. Singapore: that nice-sounding city state with money and palm trees and a famously expensive and expensively famous eponymous beverage. Singapore: the place I am definitely buying plane tickets for. Away!

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Huangshan Miniglut: Beginning to Believe Peak

Valley over Huangshan

After a weekend hiking the various beauteous ridges of the Huangshan mountain area, I am left a little bereft of words. I saw a number of them available at the park: most of the various points of interest were all named hilariously, like a bunch of Christian inspirational albums masquerading as a mountainous region. Of course, with these words in mind, and my own words sapped out of me by so much sun and hiking, I’m a little dry on things to bring to you. My legs are achey, and so is my face, so here are the pretty pictures, is what I’m saying.

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Myanmar Photoglut Pt II: On Temples and Gastrointestinal Distress

Myanmar II Cover
After the glorious weirdness of Dalla and the delights of Yangon, we took, as all traveller in Burma must, the long road up to Bagan. Being the sometimes ignorant turd that I am, I knew little of the area except that it was full of temples, and possibly a lot of them. In Southeast Asia or India I had some inkling of history, connections to local religious beliefs and a sense of cultures, while Burma existed outside of my cultural awareness bubble. We slid off of the long overnight bus into the wilds of the archaeological zone and were left to fend for ourselves amid the prickly brick pagodas piercing the endless, scalding sky.

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Brief Glimpses of Your Hero, and also Friends of Your Hero

While I am on the road, I thought I would share with you a few snippets from life as of late, both in China in general and in particular in the wild world of teaching Grade One.

My contribution was paper-and-popsicle-stick medal of courage.

My contribution was paper-and-popsicle-stick medal of courage.

Did we talk about Halloween at all? Timed just before Halloween, my school held Book Week, which we all took Very Seriously. As was apparently tradition, our team needed to dress up in a theme, which meant a story with six decent characters that would allow for costuming. Our Wizard of Oz crew looked pretty stunning, mostly through the careful, thoughtful work of other people. A speedy seamstress stitched together my custom lion onesie for the equivalent of 45 Canadian dollars. One of our ESL teachers followed me around outside smearing untold amounts of paint across my face. Another teacher invited me into the studio he set up in his classroom to shoot my get-up in full glory. Continue reading

Malaysia Photoglut: Do You Want to Break Free?

Up to Batu

During the few times where we were not sitting in food courts being entranced by mostly-Mandarin karaoke singing (but for one charming Chinese-Malaysian nymph that sang a bunch of Queen, but we’ll save those stories for another time), we occasionally went sight-seeing. Sight-seeing! Us! Doin’ things in another country! Malaysia is a country of fairly interesting and harmonious triarchal multiculturalism, resulting in wicked-cool temples and mosques and mandirs wedged in all over the place. It also does good things for their cuisine. They are also maybe the nicest people on the entire planet.

But you didn’t come here for my stupid words, or my dum-dum observations of Malaysian culture. Those are for next Tuesday. No, today, you are here for the pictures! Lubricate your eyeballs with vaseline and get ready to look at things!

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Temple Cat and Street Scorpion: Thailand Photoglut

Tuk-tuk

Words. I have literally dozens of them jangling about in my addled monkey brain, trying desperately to make it to word document, then to blog post, then to your waiting eyes to tell you about my vacation. But these words take time to coalesce, to coagulate into something resembling actual human communication and not a series of ecstatic expository yelps ending each with an exclamation point, and no individual words exceeding the two syllable mark. In other words, I am stalling until I can write more. In the intervening time, to provide you with the bloggish sustenance you so clearly need to nourish your chapped, ravenous souls, I provide you with this, a photoglut of Thailand. “But Michael,” you cry, “we came for amateurish writing, not amateurish photography!” Well, today you get the latter until I can extrude the amateurish writing from my noggin in a pleasing, humorous manner. Behold: Thailand.

(All pictures from Bangkok, Surat Thani, Kanchanaburi, Koh Samui, and the travel routes in between.)

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