I am somewhere around 188cm tall, and just over 100kg. This makes me huge by Indonesian standards. Everyone is so much smaller than me. I particularly enjoy my experiences shopping here. I’ve asked the salespeople if they have shirts for guys my size, or pants for my size, and I get total honesty. No run-around at all.
“Do you have a shirt my size?”
No checking in the back. No asking around. No looking on other racks. They know that I am an anomaly.
So when I bought my motorcycle and the salesman delivered it with a helmet, I was cautious in my optimism. It turned out that the biggest helmet they had sits quite a way above my head, not so much on it. I had to do some hunting, but the helmet that you see above not only fits, it fits well. It was more expensive than some, less expensive than many. I tried on twenty helmets, and this one did not leave me gasping for air, claustrophobic, or feeling like I was going to tear my own ears off trying to remove it.
I love the laundry service around Jakarta. Just two doors over from this place is the dry cleaner I use, Londre, but this sign had an old school feel to it. Also, for those of you who are into safety, check out the larger version of this – the electrical connections up there…well, I don’t like to look. It seems like a bunch of extension cords all spliced off the main lines.
I love that there are a few things that transcend cultural boundaries. When I was a lot younger, my Dad would grab my arm or reach across to hold me in place if he felt that I might come to some harm. At the time, I’m sure I didn’t appreciate it for what it is. Now that I’m thousands of kilometers away from him and thirty years on from those experiences, I feel the love that was the motivation for his firm grip. I feel it because I do the same with my son and daughter.
Thanks Dad, for reaching out to hold me in place, to keep me from harm.
…means something very different here in Jakarta than it does in Vancouver, BC. I saw these guys moving rebar on Saturday after I finished playing basketball with some other teachers. As I pulled out my camera, they saw me and smiled. The only thought I had was, “Wow! That’s an…interesting…way to move rebar off the top of a truck.”
There is construction going on all around my school, as it is in a high-rise building in a new development, and I’ve seen some very interesting situations. I’ve watched guys cut tile and, rather than wear safety glasses, they line up their grinder and look away as they cut. I’ve watched welders use $3 sunglasses to spot weld railings. The most shocking one? I watched a guy climb up and through some ironwork on the outside of the 13th floor, grab hold of some chain, lift himself up and crawl up to the 14th floor. No harness. No scaffolding. Just some guy, freestyle climbing up the outside of a building, 14 floors above the ground. I watched like one might watch traffic, waiting for an accident to happen, hoping it doesn’t, but thinking it might.
I’m very thankful for the safety rules that we have in North America. I never have been before, but I am now.
When we bought the trampoline last summer, my son was at times curious about it, at times petrified. The most he would do was bounce and only when no one was on with him. This summer he seems to think that he’s Dick Grayson (the original Robin in the Batman comics) of the Flying Graysons. He’s gone from terrified to a holy terror on the trampoline.
As a kid, I never had a trampoline, so watching my own kids is full of terrifying excitement for me. I’m always curious to see what they’ll do next, with my thumbs ever-ready to phone 9-1-1.
Sorry about the scrolling down.
These are stairs that exist in the back hallways at Simon Fraser University. I marked Provincial Exams there today (and yesterday and tomorrow and Tuesday). I marked 660 exams today and over 1000 over the last two days. It’s been fun.
What really has been fun is the Maggie Benson Center. We mark exams in three different rooms in this building and I’ve spent quite a number of days over the last 10 years marking exams here. What that means is that I’ve tried out as many back hallways as possible. Some are not accessible without a security pass, but quite a few allow anyone to wander around. I haven’t taken these stairs, but I think they come out near the student services area.
SFU is a big, concrete mass on the top of Burnaby Mountain, and was designed by Arthur Erickson. I love Erickson’s vision, in that he followed the contour of Burnaby Mountain with his designs. What I’m not sure I love is that it’s all grey. On the top of a mountain. In the Lower Mainland of BC. What that means is that it rains a lot, and even when it’s not, it’s cloudy a lot, and when you’re at the top of a mountain you’re often surrounded by clouds, even when everyone else is not. Let’s just say, it gets a little depressing up there.
But what the school has done is put in these splashes of safety yellow. On stairs. On railings. All over the place. Yellow explosions amongst the sea of grey.
Aah…thanks Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) for the safety net that is three feet hight and totally going to keep me from falling or jumping off the back of your ferry. I feel secure. Really secure.
Pentax K20D; Pentax DA 18-55mm AL II; f8; ISO 100; 1/250 sec.
Is this not the picture of the joy of summer?
We went to a little work BBQ for my wife and the kids got to do a little swimming in the pool. Honestly, I don’t remember the last time I just went at a swimming pool with total abandon like my son is doing above. The arms akimbo, the momentary flight, the lack of concern for personal safety (while wearing a life jacket, mind you) makes me smile. In a time when playgrounds are being made more and more safe and people who, apparently, were never children are making decisions about child safety it’s wondrous to let my son run on the deck of a pool and jump in with total effort.
Pentax K20D; Pentax M SMC 5omm; f1.7; ISO 100; 1/200 sec.
Recently I’ve become enamored of locks and chains. Perhaps it’s the fifteen year old boy living inside my head who still loves firecrackers and matches and the painful comfort of bruises (yes, I poke my bruises, don’t you?) who wants to get past the lock and chain to find out what’s so valuable that it has to be chained in.
The lock and chain below belong to my kids’ school yard. It is meant to keep vehicles, not people, out of the yard in which children play. I get it. Safety. I don’t want to see some errant Mom, frustrated by the lateness of her children, accidentally hitting the gas instead of the brake and careening into a bunch of children playing tree tag. Good lock.
The lock below, on the flipside, is on the same grounds as the lock above, but I’ve never once seen it locked. It is a lock on a dumpster. Presumably it is there to deter Dads from throwing away their McDonald’s garbage before their kids see it, and make the school pay for the disposal (uh, not that I’ve ever done that).
If I were you, I’d expect to see more lock photos in the coming weeks. I seem to be on a bit of a kick here.
Pentax K20D; Tokina 28-70mm