Saturday, December 29, 2007

After about a month in Bangkok, and on our final day (this was about a week ago, before leaving for Koh Chang), I finally found the time to get to the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew.

I made the decision to go at about 5 a.m. when I had finished work that morning so, I read a little, grabbed some early breakfast and headed out to explore. I knew I wouldn't get to see it if I didn't go then, so sleep seemed to be even less of a priority than usual.

Unfortunately, I didn't get to devote as much attention as I would have liked to it as my phone kept ringing and ringing and ringing, but still, it was better than not going at all.

This shot is a perfect example of me thinking in desktops/wallpapers when out shooting. However, I am particularly fond of this one because it wasn't until I made it my wallpaper that I realized that the design was a peacock.

Fortunately, my eye is a little sharper than my brain, so I framed it just as I would have had I realized it was a bird.... and despite my childhood traumas with peacocks, I love this shot.

Need a hand little guy?

One of the two Golden Phra Chedis (or pagodas) at Wat Phra Kaew, constructed during King Rama I's reign.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Since there will be a lull in interesting subject matter for the next few days and I've been stuck on the ship for the previous few days, I thought I would give my monthly Linda check-up with what I wouldn't really consider interesting as so much funny.

So, not only was this one of the most fun productions of my career, but it's also rather entertaining to anyone who knows the girl pictured - jeans, t-shirts, flip-flops and an ipod full of rock'n'roll are a must 98% of the time.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

So aside from being a funny picture (to me), this sign was the start of a great little adventure.

So there we were on the Bangkok Skytrain filming a "day in the life of" segment, which involves following a model for a day. When we cut the scene and had not yet arrived at the destination, Annabelle and I had a seat and started to chat about our next mode of transportation to get us to the casting (with the help of our one and only map).

Right before we arrived at our stop, I spotted this sign out of the corner of my eye and needed to snap a shot. Successfully doing so, I was quite relieved when I realized the skytrain's doors had not closed quite yet... that is, until I dropped my lens cap.

And you guessed it, as I went to pick it up, the doors slammed shut and I was on my way to the next stop - without a crew, without a map, without a phone (it had been given to another production team), and only 100 baht (about $3.00).

And I didn't really care. The prospect of finding the casting in the middle of Bangkok without any of the necessary tools seemed like a good time.

After an hour of "lost in translation" moments and a few motorbike rides, I finally made it back to the team. I mean, I was on a mission.

There's obviously a longer version of this story, but this is a bit of why this picture is absolutely unforgettable.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Meh, not a bad place to hang out.

(Koh Lao Ya, Thailand)

Saturday, December 08, 2007

What would you do if you were invited to the King of Thailand's 80th birthday celebration?

Well, go, obviously.

All kidding aside, this was one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen. Thousands, I mean thousands of people, singing as one nation by the glow of yellow candlelight.

The best part? We had front row seats to this once-in-a-lifetime event. Literally, once in a lifetime. Because Buddha passed away at 80, the King's 80th is treated in a different manner than all past and future birthdays. Not only was it a bigger event, but everything in the vicinity of the Grand Palace was lit with white light. Beautiful.

As a final note for the blog, I would like to say that the devotion to this one man is unreal. You see it on the street everyday, but it just doesn't hit you until you see what I saw on the 5th.

Or until you get thrown in jail or deported for speaking ill of the King, whichever comes first.

All the little dots in the background are the candles lit on the stage.

Since I wasn't getting answers from anyone (including the internet) about the appropriate dress code for the King's birthday, I just wore the one and only dress I have with me, which is black, and borrowed a wrap from one of the models in case bare shoulders were not appropriate. As it turns out, the shoulders were fine, but it was the black that was somewhat inappropriate. As the color of Monday in Buddhism, yellow is very important because the King was born on a Monday. Black, as you may have guessed, is the color of death.

Yeah, I know. I felt like an idiot for about 30 seconds, particularly when standing on stage in front of an entire Thai nation clad in yellow, that is until I started speaking with the woman pictured.

She told me that the King said, "It isn't the color you are wearing, but it's what's in your heart that counts."

Cliche perhaps, but it made this little Westerner feel much better about her ignorant wardrobe selection.

Sawatdee ka, little Miss.

One of the most incredible evenings of my life.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Haha. Thailand's version of um, snowmen...

I don't even know what to say.

I think the one has rolls for buttons.