Five Photos, #1

A little while ago Chyrel suggested I post five photos in sequence. As a rule I’m not normally particularly bothered about such flavours of ‘challenge’ that circulate through the blogging community… however.. she writes a good blog out east in the Phillippines and is enjoyable to engage with.. so just this once I thought I would…. :-)

So, none of the photos I’m going to post are related in any particular sense, rather I thought I would just pick some that have a little story behind them and that haven’t been seen on here before. Makes it more interesting.

Here is #1, story follows…

Eye-watering. The subject is not supposed to feel any pain… I remain to be convinced however.

In 1996 I found myself staying with an Indian Family in Melaka, Malaysia. I was waiting for a boat across to Dumai, Sumatra. At the time Dumai wasn’t a visa-free port of entry into Indonesia.. and I didn’t have a visa. I did however have a shirt and tie I picked up on my way through Singapore with just this kind of border ‘problem’ in mind. I’ve found over the years that officials, especially in Asia, are far more likely to bend the rules or ‘find a way’ to facilitate matters on receipt of a ‘small payment’ if one is smartly dressed. In this case when the boat did run, full of migrant workers, the border police did stop me from entering.. but only very briefly while we worked out an arrangement.. and very soon I was on my way with 90 days in my passport. But I digress, while I was waiting for the boat my host family invited me to join them at a Hindu festival up in hills inland. I had a great time, the people were wonderfully welcoming and I was encouraged to get my camera out, although happily not to take part in the firewalking, piercing and various other eye-watering goings on. I did enjoy the food however. This photo is part of a set, and is my favourite of that set.

2 thoughts on “Five Photos, #1

  • I’m pretty sure I’ve left a comment here somewhere. Posting it again. Thank you for doing this, Mike. Great job with the site, btw! I love the look of your blog, so minimal and clean. Reading ‘find a way’ and ‘small payment’ sounds like Asia to me. Also, the photo reminds me of Wang-Od from Buscalan in Kalinga, a 93 year old tattoo artist who ink people the traditional way. If you get inked, you must not show any signs of pain or anything, otherwise it will bring bad luck to the village and she won’t finish it.

    • hey, there you are! I do quite enjoy the chicanery that goes with moving around Asia off the so-called beaten track… all good fun. Not sure I could have a traditional tat though without flinching….
      Glad you like the new platform.. stay tuned for #2 :-)

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