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Rain is an understatement

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It’s rainy season around here. BIG thunderstorms seem to come from nowhere and then disappear just as quickly with little trace they passed thru. It’s the strangest thing, big, big downpours that last for about 2 hours with dark, dark skies, but 2 hours later, the streets are dry and the sun is a full strength, you would never know it had been raining so heavily.

My little rooster

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Every day  I usually walk home from the office. I pass by this Hindu temple that keeps a chicken and rooster on the grounds. They always give me a little delight when I pass by them, very pretty colors on both them and the temple.

 

New art

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I’m super happy to have gotten this new art piece from an artist here in Singapore. Her name is Deborah McKellar and she’s the artist behind Talking Textiles (http://talkingtextiles.asia/) She’s made a series of amazing blocks and that she then prints onto pillows, tea towels, old tea crates, and canvases. I’m not sure if you will be able to tell in the photo, but each of the patterns (the bowls, the shop house, the bird,ect) are blocks that are coated with a color and then pressed onto the canvas. The result is a contemporary take on old Singapore imagery which I loved. I was introduced thru a friend right before we went to the USA. I had been thinking and thinking about her work, and it just so happened that the same friend introduced Deborah to a co-worker of mine for a potential project. When my co-worker was going to visit the studio during the week,  I decided to play a little hookie for a short visit to go to the studio as well. Lesson learned kids, sometimes it pays to play hookie! The piece I got was going to part of an upcoming show, but I saw it and decided it was time to take the plunge and just buy it, so now it’s mine, all mine! (er, ours if Paul is reading this). Now we just have to find a wall to put it on…..

talking textiles art

USA- Deep Creek

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The last part of our vacation was spent in Deep Creek Md, with Paul’s family. It’s always a treat to see the family in Deep Creek. It’s a great house near the lake, and the week is spent playing games, eating smores, swimming in the lake, playing cornhole, and catching up on much needed sleep in the form of blissful catnaps. :)

We also celebrated Paul’s B-day while there, so it was nice to share that with the family.

Visit to USA

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July found us back in the USA visiting family and friends. It was quite the round about trip. Singapore to Baton Rouge to DC to Deep Creek MD back to Singapore. It may not sound as glamorous as some of our SE Asia trips , but it was a great to be home for a little bit.

First up, the Deep South, to see my family, and if you believe my Facebook postings, 3 days of non stop eating :)

First up, we had a family get-together and my Uncle brought in an amazing fish fry for us all. His fried catfish is amazing, what a great way to start off our vacation.

The following day we headed off to New Orleans for a Bayou tour (look gators! HUGE raccoons) and of course more eating. We tried a new place called Couchon which was amazing.

All in all, a great visit back home, with TONS of great food and good times with the family.

 

Chor Bazaar pt. 2

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So here are the finds from the Bazaar.  I also wanted to show the  lion/horse from the temple next to my office :)

 

Chor Bazaar

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Chor Bazaar

I recently found myself in Mumbai for work. I go there about every 4-5 months. Usually I go Airport > Hotel> Jobsite> Hotel> repeat next day, until it’s off to the airport. As such I know very little of the city. This time, I manage to book to arrive on Sunday to have one day to explore. I had read about a place called Chor Bazaar. A mish-mash collection of streets where you can buy anything and everything. They were not kidding. In particular I wanted to visit the metal street and find a Elephant Bell, to add to the collection. The area is mostly a Muslim area and known for being a little consserative and when I asked the hotel concierge about getting there, he seemed concerned at first. He asked, “Who is going with you?” which I thought was a strange question. When I said just me, he seemed to relax some and say that was fine, he was just concerned if there were any women going because it’s a “conservative area” A shame it has that reputation, I  was lucky to be exempt from concern.

I got a taxi, who spoke no English, and after some Hind-Hindi-Hindi from the head guy at the Hotel driveway, we seemed to be off. Of course, just because something is famous on the internet, does not mean Unlce Taxi driver knows where it is…. I will say we have seen this multiple times, and it always surprises me. But in India, drivers will just pull over, stick their heads out and ask for directions. And strangers will help them! So, my taxi pulled over and did just that. After a few back and forth, we turned left, took a right, went straight and then suddenly he pulled over to the side and said here. Full stop. Cash was paid, I found myself on the street, taxi left and that was that. I’m here. Now what?

Well, with a little walking, I found my way and yes, I had been dropped at the correct location. Now, here I was at Chor Bazar.  Streets lined with shops, pilled with junk, with stray dogs, goats (yes, goats!), kids playing cricket, tuk-tuks, taxis, cars, scooters, and people all sharing the same road going about their business. Here I was indeed. Here I was, dress in shorts, feeling ever so Caucasian/Western, standing in the midst of this chaos with what seemed like every eye on the street upon me. Let me just mention, that it was hot that day, not crazy hot, but hot none the less. Indians don’t wear shorts. If my white skin made me stand out, then the addition of the shots only compounded that problem. It was all I could do not to say OK, I saw it, now take me back to the hotel. But I was on a mission. So I started wandering. A few nervous smiles and some hellos soon revealed that while a curiosity, aside from that, people could care less. People were happy to show me their wares and have me stop in the shops to look at the trinkets. It took about 2 blocks, but once the initial overwhelming chaos moved on, it did not seem as intimating as it had. They had a business, I had money, there are fiends to be made here.

The street I was walking was the metal street, which if you went one block left was then the tire district and one block after that became the market district and so on and so forth. I also found the “architectural salvage, wood carving, and antiquities” area, which I immediately fell in love with. After some wandering, it seemed it was not in the cards for me to find an elephant bell, but I did not walk away empty handed. I did find two lovely wooden carvings. One is a parrot from an area in India called Kerla. The other is a wooden bracket from a building (unsure where) from Tamil Nadu, another region in India. The bracket is a horse and a lion combined. Funny enough, I was walking past the temple near my office in Singapore and looked up and saw the same type of figure! I’ve walked past that temple for 2 years now and never noticed. Small world.

All in all a great trip and I look forward to visiting the area again, who knows what I might find.

 

 

 

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