Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Ladies or gents?

Here's a confusing one:

Is this the men's or women's restroom?

The Chinese says "Men, do not enter" (more literally: "Men: halt!") But the English "Men's stop" implies that this is the station or pit-stop for men! Also, foreigners often can't read Chinese, but many will memorize the characters for "man" and "woman" so as to avoid embarrassment at public restrooms. But of you look for 男 (man) here, you'll still get it wrong!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Seoul, South Korea

Drummers I came across at Insadong, in Seoul, Korea

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Shiding-to-Maokong hike

Just for starters... please check back later.

Old World Forkedfern (Dicranopteris linearis)

Friday, April 29, 2011

Misc. photos from Bangkok

Now some miscellaneous pix from my recent trip to Bangkok.

Royal Cemetery at Wat Ratchabophit

Little India, with the domes of the Sikh temple
Gurdwara Siri Guru Singh Sabha visible

Video: entering Saphan Han Market

Red Shirt rally

Riverboat approaching. This is a part of Bangkok's
public transportation system.

On the river boat

Water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes), floating down the Chao
Phraya river. It's a problematic invasive species.

Wat Ratcha Orasaram, final resting place of King Rama III

Same temple. Note the Chinese influence.

Oleander (Nerium oleander)

Bangkok Protestant Cemetery

Shell of the Channeled Apple Snail (Pomacea canaliculata),
another invasive species.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Misc. photos from Calcutta

Motherhouse, the headquarters of Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity

The Maidan, Calcutta's biggest park

The entrance to South Park Street Cemetery, one of the
most amazing cemeteries I've ever visited

A crow (Corvus splendens) in the cemetery

Milk spurge (Euphorbia neriifolia) that has grown into a tree.
It's intermeshed with Bougainvillea.

Video of the cemetery

Calcutta street scene

Video of the street. I held the camera at waist-level and walked fast, to prevent people from looking at the camera!

Another street scene

The curry restaurant I found

Here's something for my friend Sandhya:

St. Paul's Cathedral

The interior of the cathedral

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Songkran - Thai New Year

It just so happens that I'm in Bangkok for the Songkran festival.

This is a time when people traditionally pay respects to elders, give food to monks, pray at temples, wash Buddha images... but the biggest emphasis is splashing water about! Which is nice considering that April is the hottest time of the year.

One of the big hubs of activity and partying is Khao San Road, where I'm staying.

People carry bowls and bottles of water, and increasingly popularly, squirt guns, particularly the "super soaker" type, and they soak passersby. Gangs of water-gun wielding young 'uns often engage in shootouts with each other! Even a quick trip to the corner 7-11 guarantees a soaking!

People also smear a water/chalk mixture on others' faces.

A lot of fun!

Thursday, April 7, 2011


Now I'm in Bangkok!

I've already visited the Bangkok Protestant Cemetery twice, and I also visited the Royal Cemetery. Besides that, I've been recovering from intestinal... uh... discomfort, but I feel OK now.

I got together with my friend Harry who I got together with in Singapore last August. We talked of many things... of cabbages and kings... had beers and smoked "shisha" (apple and fennel seed flavor). (Yeah, it looks like "hashish" spelled backwards, but trust me, it's not!!)

Here he is.

I'll be here for another week. That includes the Songkran festival.