The problem with doorways is that you may never know what’s on the other side until you go through them. These beautiful, carved wooden doors could hold a gigantic mansion with servants and drivers and nannies. These beautiful, carved wooden doors could hold an abandoned, run-down, shack with squatters. You’ll never know until you step through the door. Oh…you can guess at it, try to look over the wall, but at some point, in order to really understand, you need to go through the door. Or, you can settle with never knowing.
Possibilities are like that. You never know exactly what you get until you walk through the door.
It’s how I ended up in Jakarta, taking photos of beautiful, carved wooden doors. I stepped through.
I’m sick, but beautiful sunrises always cheer me up.
My family and I were away for four days this week. Our school gives us a week off in conjunction with the Indonesian observance of Idul Adha, a day of significance for Muslims. We chose to head to another part of the island of Java, to Yogyakarta. Yogyakarta is in Central Java and it’s famous for its batik, its nearness to Mt. Merapi (the volcano that blows its top every couple of years), and two important historical and religious sites.
Borobudur and Prambanan, Buddhist and Hindu temples, respectively, are both located very nearby the city of Yogyakarta. We stayed in a villa in the shadow of Mt. Sumbing, another volcano, and traveled between the two temple sites before returning home. The villa is decidedly rustic and offered beautiful vistas of surrounding rice fields and farms, as shown above, and is surrounded by masjids (mosques) that open the day with prayer at 4:00 am. There is nothing like waking up to someone praying/singing in Arabic before the sun even rises.
On Tuesday, our last day at the villa, I woke up with the call to prayer and snapped some photos as the sun came up. The light was great and the proximity to Mt. Sumbing meant that the air was actually cool. A beautiful experience, to say the least.
That is what the Pavilion Mall in KL was proclaiming. We were looking for the Havaianas (Brazilian sandals) shop, so we didn’t go in to look at the art, but they wanted us to know it was ART TIME.
Okay. We get it.
I looked up as I walked out of the hall below the Petronas Towers. I saw this, above. A lighting version of a lotus flower, perhaps, but it was fun to shoot.
What do you think? Would this look nice in your living room?
This photo is brought to you by the Kuala Lumpur International Airport…or their ceiling installations anyway. These giant pinwheels light the hallways of the International Flights in the main terminal.
…from KL again. I love this city. There are some weirdnesses, and I’ve really never travelled away from the downtown core, but where I’ve been has been pretty sweet.
So, here’s the Petronas Towers once again.
Not an actual orange (the fruit), but the colour orange. An orange lily, to be more precise.
This was one of the many flowers outside our mall (the mall attached to our school) for the grand opening celebration.
…actually, it’s the same pretty flowers, just from a different angle and with a bit of a different process.
What do you think?
This is an orchid. Friends of ours bought it for us. It is watered once a week and likes diffused sunlight. It may only live for a short time, but it will bring beauty and happiness while it does.
I don’t know…is there a lesson in that?
I think the implication in the challenge was to show photos that showed depth. I find that a large aperture (meaning low f value) gives a feeling of depth by blurring the background and keeping the foreground sharp.
What do you think?
Well, this one is.
The fountains in the front definitely help.
What I’m finding the hardest part of Jakarta life is the towering architecture next to the destitute people. I’ve blogged about this before, but dichotomy is a way of life here. I want to save every one of these people who look like they need help. At the same time, I can’t always tell who needs help.
This lady looked sad. She could be really tired. Maybe exasperated. I don’t know.
Not much to say, except that I’m not going to have time to post later today as I’m flying home to my loving and lovely wife, amazingly talented daughter and awesomely gifted son.
I’ll see you soon family.
Here’s another shot of the Petronas towers – a little ode to symmetry.
Today was an awesome day. I was in awe quite a number of times. My friends Ian and Karl put together an adventurous day of places to visit and things to learn. Here’s a few of the highlights:
1. The Jakarta Port (the area in which boats are moored that move cargo around the islands of Jakarta).
2. Old Batavia/Jakarta Kota Tua (the old city, built largely by the Dutch).
3. Gereja Katedral Jakarta (a Roman Catholic church built over 100 years ago).
4. The Wayang Museum (wayang are the shadow puppets that are an iconic Indonesia art and drama form).
5. The Misjad Istiqlal (a mosque that holds 200000 worshippers).
I was really excited to get to see all of these places. If I had to be honest, the Istiqlal Mosque was the place I was most looking forward to seeing, and I didn’t even know we were going to see it until halfway through the day. A totally amazing surprise. The place is massive.
The photo above doesn’t do it any justice at all, but I hope that it conveys some of the wonder that I felt standing in that huge place of worship. I should probably point out that the words in Arabic that surround the dome are a prayer that Muslims pray daily (according to our guide). Oh, and the dome you see above is 45 meters in diameter (that’s about 150 feet for my American friends).
…but no, we did not go “night-swimming.” I’ve always loved that song by R.E.M. I’ve also always loved the thought of getting down to my knickers and having a go at a pool late at night when no one else is around. Never done it, but there’s always tomorrow.
For those of you who are unfamiliar, night-swimming is a term referring to swimming without clothing – skinny-dipping – at night.
Before I left my former school in Canada, I moved from the third floor to the first floor. I did this for two reasons: 1. All of my student leadership activities were on the first floor, and; 2. I hated running up and down flights of stairs just to get from my classroom to the office to the gym and back again.
Then I moved to Jakarta. My school is in a high-rise building. There are something like seven floors of parking before you even get to my school. Once inside, my school has LG (lower ground), G (ground), and UG (upper ground) floors. Then, floors one through eight. Here’s a little math for you: take 400 students; divide by two elevators; multiply by eleven floors…and you get a great number of stairs that must be negotiated every day. It’s easier, and harder, to run the stairs than it is to wait for an elevator. Plus, it’s a good workout. I guess I can eat a little more at dinner tomorrow.
The photo, above, was taken on the sixth floor looking down to the Ground Floor. I guess that makes it nine floors down that you’re seeing. Weirdly abstract.
On my way home from a haircut (“Saya potong rambut” in Bahasa Indonesian), I snapped this photo of a flower seller reading a book. He seemed deeply engrossed in the book, as there was total chaos going on around him. Bajai and Ojek drivers moving past, cars going by, some white guy snapping photos…and he stayed focused on his book. Here’s hoping that, as we start the school year tomorrow, my students are as dedicated to their reading as this man is.
I went out for a walk tonight to see where Nikki’s Salon is, as I’m getting my hair cut tomorrow. I brought “the beast” (my Pentax K20D) with me and snapped off photos all around the area where I live. This was my first time out walking around after sunset (*the sun sets around 6:30 p.m. here every day – we’re pretty nearly on the equator) and the world doesn’t look too much different from day to night.
There are two very well stocked flower shops on my street – Kemang Selatan I – and both of them are right near my apartment. My wife jokes that I can’t buy her flowers because we don’t have a vase in the house yet. I think it best that I pick up one soon.
My house is up for sale. It’s not selling. It’s got the right price. It’s in the right neighborhood. I live less than a kilometer from Chilliwack River and maybe 10k from Cultus Lake. It’s across from a park, a Twin Rink complex, down the street from a middle school and a ten minute drive to the highway for an easy commute.
Whatever. It’s still not selling. I’m getting the feeling that I’m moving to Indonesia and continuing to own a home in Chilliwack, BC, Canada. That’s not a terrible thing, but I’d rather not have to own it if I don’t have to. I want to be in one place, committed to where I am. If I still own – which means renting it out – this house, my mind will always be a little bit here. And I don’t want that.
If you know someone who wants to buy a house in Chilliwack, let me know.
To try to take my mind off all that, I snapped a couple of photos of the azaleas growing in my front yard. They’re pretty. They’re not taking my mind off all this yet, but I’ll keep thinking of them instead of BC real estate.
I was driving out to a friend’s house tonight to watch the (pitiful) hockey game when I saw this. I think I ticked off my wife as I pulled over and threatened to miss the first puck-drop just to snap this photo.
I think it was worth it. Although, I’m not sure if I’m supposed to focus on the sunset or the Hydro high-wires – WordPress’ photo challenge this week is “Two Subjects“. They’re both at about the 1/3 mark (rule of thirds) in the photo, but they’re competing with each other for your attention. Ah well…still pretty.
Thanks, Ansel, for the inspiration.
Actually, it’s really just grass. The ditches are coming alive again and maybe Spring is really on its way.
I guess I’ll wait and see.