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Saturday, June 26, 2010

Day 10: Go look at Golok

 I know this is really delayed.. but not like it is anxiously anticipated by any body...

But I've finally gotten around to writing my thoughts on Golok, Thailand..
I actually spent 3 nights here even though there isn't a whole lot to do here...

The town itself is about 10-15 minutes walk from immigration (or RM3 by motor)
This is the main road from immigration. on the right is Genting Hotel where there was a bombing about 2 years ago by Islamic extremist.
on the right is the van depo to Yala and Hatyai.
For those who question how safe it is here...
In the few days I was here I felt no sense of danger though I was told that there are still some bombings going on. but this is greatly reduced as the place is constantly monitored by the Thai army and great lengths are taken to reduce the chances of bombings.
As a major transport around Golok is motorbikes, one of the oddities is that they are required to open their boot (under the seat) when the bikes are parked... and I was told that the army are armed with bomb detectors powered by the human body.

If you take a stroll around town there are quite a few sights...
In the middle there is a temple (actually there's two.. but the other is quite small and quiet)
and there is quite an elaborate entry gate
With even a food stalls next to it
and there are quite elaborate plans to upgrade the place
and the reason for it is explained on the outside...
and as with most thai towns I've been to there's a street market
and us being asian cannot get away without food...
be it streetside
or around the corner (even facing the police station)
a whole street dedicated and named after food!
It looks kind of like a pasar malam to me... but only the food portion
This particular stall got my attention
and was particularly intrigued by the whole fried chicks
Not surprisingly.. it tastes like chicken.

Other than that there isn't much to the town... other than the train tracks that end here
and of course if you're looking for it... the drinks and the women
While I was there, one of the places I spent quite a bit of time was this place...

was told that it's called Sawasdee street...
And I met a few beautiful and crazy bunch at one of the bars here...
If you happen to pass by, check out one of the bars towards the end on the left called the Thip (I think?)
They treated me very nice even though I did not drink and even spent time chatting with me 
(in as much broken Mandarin we could)
Most of these places basically serve beer and serve as mini disco's... with female companionship.
and as one of them told me.. "when you think of Golok you think of Ann"... and I do.. :)

Overall, Golok is pretty much a quiet town mainly for entertainment (as are most border towns)...
but as with most border towns there is much beauty that is overlooked...
I hope to return here soon...

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

When All That's left...

is less....

What happens when one feels devoid of direction,
so at loss of purpose,
blinding beating in the dark,
failing in ones faith...
so crushed in ones helplessness,
tossed and turmoiled by life,
so stripped of hope...

that all is left is hopeless

Monday, June 21, 2010

You get what you give

Some say photos capture a bit of the photographer....
Well, if these photos are shitty...
there can only be one reason...
that's cuz that's how I felt...
under the weather would be an understatement

debated for about 3 hours whether to make a trip to Sepang just to nosey a bit..
had no tickets to Japan GT but if it was like last year the mall area would have things to photograph as well..
and if was patient enough, could always walk in once the last race began

After 45 minutes (and a 10 minute walk from a far off parking spot)..
I wondered if coming was the right decision.. as nothing felt right
anyways here's what I came away with...
What caught my attention were this GT babes.. Upin & Ipin... lol
then went to inspect what the crowd was for...
other than at public shows, I've never gotten a chance to shoot her, 
but I think she has nice features
I dunno who this girl is..
but she's cute, dimples, freckles, nose ring, tatt and all
and for some they were starting out young!
and with the right guidance..
she'll turn out just as beautiful..
even to manage the heat
one worth waiting for...
things aren't always as they seem

well that's it... a bit disappointing if I must say so my self... but hey at least I didn't pass out in the middle of the mall or on the way home...

Friday, June 18, 2010

Where Art Thou?


after reading loo max flickr site, I realise one of my frustration out there..
I have yet to capture such life in my photo's even though it was all around me..
and now I wonder... 
"who am I shooting for,...?
other people's pleasure or mine?"
I feel pressure to listen to people's feedback that I've caged up any trace of freedom and feel of my photos...
so instead of still life photos... all I have is light caught on a sensor.

anyway these are a few of my fave photos from my trip that could not fit into a box
I know it's not art... but then again.. 
I like it so u can go s*ck it





Thursday, June 17, 2010

Day 12:HomE

"Maybe surrounded by
A million people I
Still feel all alone
I just wanna go home"

"Let me go home
I’ve had my run
Baby, I’m done
I gotta go home
Let me go home
It will all right
I’ll be home tonight
I’m coming back home"

Home is where the heart is...
But it is odd because I feel I left my heart some where on the road...
I'm torn as I want to be out here but the experiences have been not so tasteful this time around
already considering another trip north... time to learn some Thai...

at the same time I'm glad to be home with the two people who have loved and accepted me through a lot of shit unknown to most of the world...
we may not be a very affectionate family but definitely there is an unspoken love...

so for now I am home til my heart calls me to it out there again

Monday, June 14, 2010

Day 9: Middle of Misery

Had a bad day and Daniel Powter got nothing on me

I wonder if it's because of the books I read...
recently picked up two books about bad things happening to people and why God would allow it and even more than that destined it..... why? so good can come out of it...

The day starts with packing to leave Golok...
As I proceed to pay at the reception... I pay in Ringgit (border towns let u do that) and due to the exchange rate they needed to do a conversion for 1200 baht for two nights... if RM 1 = 9.60 Baht..., It should only be like RM125 or something like that... instead I got charged RM127.... so as I rushed off to see if I can catch the can to my next destination... and pondered on it...
There has to be something against thinking too much... it surely has side effects...
anyway, I pulled out my phone and did a few calculations.. but after I decided to forget it and placed my phone back in my pocket...
Two minutes later I paid for my van ticket to Yala and was seated in the van and realised my phone was missing?... I walked out and searched but of course with no success.. it's also kind of hard to ring your own phone.. without a phone...

Other than me leaving it at the ticket counter.. I can only figure I got pick pocketed but I cannot see why would anyone do that for a phone and not my wallet?...

So in the two hour ride I tried to come to terms to losing Sheep (named after its former master) and what would be a good way to break it to the kind giver...

Anyway arrived in Yala and tried to find the places I came to see.. but without my phone I had no idea the name of the hotels to check out... so I switched on my laptop and after reading my research material again.. realised I was in the wrong town... the places to stay were right but the things I wanted to see was in a town a few kilometres away... and after walking with my backpack around the city for two hours I decided the best decision would be to go back to Golok (why? because I didn't see a stop at my next destination here either)... so another 2 hour ride in a cramp van. So I payed RM24 for a 4 hour ride and a 2 hour exercise...

And of course it rains...

so I take a quick 7 minute walk to my destination... decided to try a different hotel that was told to be ok and cheaper... but of course... I would be disappointed.. why? no hot water!.. that's not so bad as the response I got when I asked the reception..."oh ya encik... air panas rosak"... What?!? hot water.. spoilt!! in a hotel?.. was gonna forget about it but being the stubborn man I am.. I go down again and complain to the desk... and was told if I wanted to check out I would have to pay RM26!... that's already half the price!... so after packing and pacing back and forth for a full half and hour waiting for their manager.. the lady at the counter sent some people up to check if I had used the room and eventually just let me go... GRRRRrrr... like that was so hard to do in the first place... So if any of you are thinking about checking in the Tara Regent Hotel in Golok... think twice..

And to imagine all this happened after sitting down four hours, walked around 2 hours 44 minutes.. imagine if I tried to do more today! What else could go wrong... Well the night is still young!

Anyway, in tribute of Sheep... I will soon look at it predecessors and my history with mobile phones...
Oh BTW, I did realise one good thing out of all this...
I've been so blessed because I've never ever bought a phone before.. it didn't hit me til just now...
Just good family and friend... Blessed indeed.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Day 8: Golok, Pa Phru Toh Daeng Peat Swamp


Hello to my fellow Malaysians from a foreign land...
haha yes I'm only in Thailand but still... It's same yet different here...
Every time I return I discover more things to love about these people
Currently I'm in Golok... will write about it more when I leave
(it's not that I'm scared someone will read and hunt me down but I'm still waiting to photograph some things)
for now you will have to be satisfied with my report about this lady...
yes, if you didn't know people come to Golok to find women... and I am of no exception.
This lady has definitely been around... and she has been taken advantaged of by people of every nation
and yet I love her so...
her name is mother nature :p
yes unlike most guest passing through here I came to be a tourist..
I purposely made a trip to this place called a Pa Phru Toh Daeng Peat Swamp
You try saying it... I had such difficulty explaining to the bike riders the place... he kept asking if I was looking for ah moi... *sigh*
I did not know what to expect.. and rightfully so as when I first arrived I thought it was just swamp.. no building no information!
thankfully I was wrong though 
not so sure about the information portion as most of the signs is in Thai 
and even after they translate it's in broken english.
I arrive about 2+ Thai time... and man was it hot...
but cannot complain as I was leaving it was cloudy and actually rained on the way back...
And the rain felt like small stings too...
About the place I still have no idea what a peat swamp is but I wanted to visit this place after I read that a species that was thought to have been extinct was discovered here..
not that I got to see it... but I can see why it would survive here..
unlike most Malaysian nature preserves.. this really seems to be that...
Nature is everywhere... 
 and even the walkways are built around the trees.

It seems like the whole place is over run with nature...
I say over run because one portion was under maintained so much so that the walkway was rotting...
and being the silly me I didn't acknowledge that the plank across was meant to deter visitors..
I walked on..
(and to think this was suppose to be the conservation of some princess path)
eventually though I came across a obstacle I was not daring enough to traverse...
so I had to turn back...(yea I'm chicken that way)
hopefully the work to repair will be done soon
One thing about Golok is I'm not sure if Sunday is a weekend or a weekday but I suspect they treat it like most of the world treats monday because even the working lady's (at least the better looking ones) seem scarcer
but odder still was there was no one in the offices 
(except for this army bus which I think was having some meeting)
and I had to face many closed doors... 
but somehow it was not all locked.. so I wandered on my own...
discovering much though not a very colourful experience 
(even tho natural.. the flag pole was made of wood!)
with this exception
but it was pseudo educational.. I think I've learnt more about sago that I care to forget..
but good effort on their part especially with the diorama's
but some were underkept...
and some were just freaky (floating half bodies.. with blood?)

but over all this was a good experience.. 
(too bad my picture cannot join these school kids and teachers on the walls)
and it's nice to see sufficient information displayed...
even if it's in Thai
next time you come by this way.. .consider making a visit here.. 
even if some parts look like a marijuana farm
it's a huge place..
 nice walkways
lots of shaded areas
even by the trees
but since there's an army base nearby explains the barb wires
and I wonder if can get a boat ride through since it has 2 piers
and not sure what the spectator stand is for
nor did I see any cattle?
 I didn't manage to finish rounding it even though my trip there and back was a bout 3 hours 
(and cost me 300 baht)

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