Tuesday, 31 December 2019

Meandering In Mandalay, Myanmar

The famous Rudyard Kipling poem from 1890 come to life? Hardly. Did they have cell phones and scooters back then? Modern Mandalay is a dusty, no-skyline, gritty town with nary a romantic corner to see. Which may be just as well as the Kipling poem harkens back to a British colonial fantasy best left in the dustbin with Brexit.

The city.

There are still plenty of old buildings randomly found around town, mostly waiting to be augmented or torn down. Buddhist prayer session.

Setting up for a celebration.

Portable gas station. Portable garage.

Beyond the everyday hustle, historic temples await.

Monday, 30 December 2019

Fall In McLean, Virginia

Winter coming on, the leaves are dropping, clouds circling. A quick look at a suburb in the United States.

Friday, 27 December 2019

Public Sculpture in Kota Kinabalu

The town has a handful of prominent sculptures, placed in roundabouts, positioned for maximum Instagram efficiency.

At the seaside promenade, a little emotional suggestion.

The big fish, a Marlin welcoming you into downtown.

Another roundabout, this time reserved for a pair of egrets.

War memorial, placed by the British to honor those people lost during WWI. Australians were added after WWII.

Back to the promenade, a stone dolphin at sunset.

Thursday, 26 December 2019

The Water Village Of Kota Kinabalu

There's a traditional stilt house community holding on against modern development in Kota Kinabalu. The neighborhood is a poor, ramshackle place. Still, traditions die hard and many families have lived there for generations, many ancestors arriving from the Philippines to fish the fertile waters of their new country. Unfortunately, their way of life is disappearing.

Typical house.

A house stilt foundation. At the time this photograph was taken, it's the dry season and the water is low. Longtime resident and his grandchild.

House interior. The ghost of Walker Evans hovers.

Serious kid, silly friends. A local store, selling staples in single portions.

Man of the house.

Modern development is looming and their neighborhood won't be around much longer. Quite the dichotomy of existence.

High fashion, down to the flips.

Tuesday, 24 December 2019

A Little Holiday Cheer From Malaysia

For this festive season, wishing you....


Borobudur temple, Indonesia


Kit Kat Chocolatory, Tokyo, Japan


Sarah flashing a "freestyle" 305 with her hands, giving some props to our former hometown, Miami.
With the Ambassador (second from right) at the US Embassy, Kuala Lumpur

Good things in small packages

At breakfast in Nikko, Japan

And lovely, funky Season's Greetings

Church parking lot, Tawau, Borneo, Malaysia

Flora And Fauna At The Sabah State Museum

The highlight at the Sabah State museum are the classic dioramas of animals and their jungle environments. Bringing wild Borneo to the masses.

Earnest rhino.

Setting the scene. Bloody cobra, scared squirrel.

Crocodile and brave birds. We especially like how the background image comes to 3D life for the high bird branch.

Eager eagle. A bunch of bamboo, mind the outlets.

Adorable white mongoose.

Monday, 23 December 2019

Something For Everyone At The Sabah State Museum

Kota Kinabalu has a nice museum with a variety of cultural artifacts. A peek at nature. Old cars. A train set. Kind of like if the Smithsonian museums were crammed into one building.

The main atrium, dominated by a giant whale skeleton. Good choice!

Local custom of costume. Big Buddha in a small train set.

Rice cultivation demonstration.

TV studio re-creation, equipment just a bit older than when James started in the business. Scary. Speaking of scary, a moody bust of Malaysia's first leader, Tunku Abdul Rahman.

A cave diorama. Borneo is famous for amazing caves, maybe best to seek out the real things.

Friday, 20 December 2019

Fishing For Dinner In A Restaurant Tank

There's something surreal about some of the seafood restaurants in Kota Kinabalu. They've maxed the "choose your catch" option by having walls of seafood tanks. Are you eating or looking for the latest addition for your home aquarium?


Shrimp, crab.


Fizzy clams. More shrimp, looking like an outtake from The Abyss.

Back to the fish, all hell is breaking loose. Surreal aquarium, indeed.