Joburg and the Sky of Diamonds

We celebrated Chinese New Year at a street party in Johannesburg. Hoards of people showed up for the fireworks, including the crew I went with. Only difference is, they brought their cameras, and I was too nervous to bring mine. I hadn’t been to town in so long, that I was feeling somewhat paranoid. In hindsight, it was silly of me. Nevertheless, I decided to capture the display on my phone. Now, these pics aren’t exactly as spectacular as my friends’ images (they brought their fancy cameras), but I reckon some of them came out quite nicely.

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Keep it Pleasant

I don’t intend on placing unnecessary pressure on myself with a list of insane resolutions for the new year. So I’m making it easier this time, by acknowledging a few things I find to be agreeable with me.

First things first – meditation

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Secondly, patience and a chilled attitude are required, drawing inspiration from the Praying Mantis, which symbolises the 3 tenets in the speech bubble. I got a real close-up of this guy.

Chilled praying mantis

Meditation is not an easy thing to do  – for those with a noisy mind. I know this. Sometimes I leave the centre feeling odd, out of sorts. But I hope to make it habitual.

Get better at making cupcakes.

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The last time I attempted they were a dismal failure. The icing was of a ‘crumby’ consistency. None of that fancy, swirly, glittery stuff. And the actual cake was DRY. . . Why did I fail? Lack of patience, hence the meditation. I just want to get to the end-product. If millions of others are capable of making successful and pretty batches of cupcakes, then so am I. And I intend to make them extraordinary. Pictures to follow in the new year. (I need to practise in the holidays)!

More photos need to be taken. . .  just look to the sky, literally . . . take photos of THIS.

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As a result, more road trips would be in order – this image was taken outside of town. Just keeping it pleasant.

Thailand – Letting me Be

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We took a flight from Bangkok to Koh Chang (Trat) Airport.

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Yes, this is the shuttle.

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The ferry took us to the island of Koh Chang. It was dusk – the best and most beautiful time of day. It’s when the magic starts to happen, for sure. . .

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I had never been to a beach that included these awesome recliners. It’s a tad touristy, but there’s good reason to be a tourist – you get to chill on the chairs pictured above – no complaints.

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The sunset wasn’t bad either. Actually, the sunsets have varying degrees of stunning.

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This is what I call DUSK. The sun hiding away, slowly. . .

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Then came night. Dinner was on a white sand beach, trippy lights included.

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Steak salad was just one of the meals of choice. The courses included pineapple and shrimp salad, coconut soup, and other such exotic feasts.  As I am not the best at food photography, only one image will have to suffice.

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Back to the airport (sitting area pictured above). After days spent at the beach, as well as enticing markets, we had to head back. I didn’t capture any market moments, but if you like fairly priced products such as owl bags, things with elephants, comfortable and relaxed clothing, Buddha sculptures, etc, then go to a market. Even if it’s just once.

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I don’t use this bag often, but I love the quirkiness of the design.

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I didn’t get many good shots of Koh San Road, but I quite liked the tree lights; we sat underneath these at a ‘roadside cafe’. I don’t think I could explain Koh San Road – I was there for only a few hours. What I can say is that the general area is utter madness – a balanced madness. Good and bad – if that makes sense.

I wanted to focus on all of the favorable aspects of my experience in Thailand, because there is enough bad news out there. To be honest, I am actually quite tired of it. Not every aspect of Thailand was ideal. . . but I chose to share the positive part of my experience this time around. The best thing about Thailand was the permission to ‘be’.

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The soundtrack for this experience:

Nordic Mania

For the past six months or so, I have been thinking about Iceland. I don’t even remember where this Icelandic wanderlust came from. Perhaps I was reading a travel site with beautifully breathtakingly magnificent gorgeous pictures of Iceland. It certainly looks like a photographer’s dream. It’s the kind of place that makes me want to take photos, whilst there.

The flights are generally pretty long, so one would need to go for 3 weeks I would assume. Well, hopefully when I go on leave next year sometime. . . year-endish. . . If I save! These pictures I found on Wikipedia and 123RF have helped to shape my imagination regarding the Icelandic landscape and scenery.

Northern Lights

The Northern Lights. . .

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. . . Hot Springs

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Hues of blue ice bergs at Jökulsárlón

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Icelandic Puffin

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Icelandic Horses

And reportedly there’s some good Indie music.

It would Appear as not so Clear

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I don’t know if I would call this a cove. I do know that it looked so inviting, but it’s restricted to venture further down the cliff of sorts. It doesn’t seem to be dangerous; it appears more dangerous than it seems.

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I like the contrasts of the colours from the top , down. . . that grass is a vivid green.

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Something as simple as the entrance to a tunnel is so intricate. . . this picture doesn’t depict the pattern clearly, because I took the image from a moving vehicle. Another thing to master would be taking photos whilst moving. Or is it taking photos of moving objects? Sports mode seems to do the trick. Clearly, I am a novice regarding that aspect!

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The grass at the front is blurred, as if speeding by. Yet the trees remain as is. I think we could learn a lot from trees.

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The mysterious cloak over the mountain reminds me of Table Mountain.

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These ducks were passively and casually walking and chilling in the road.

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There appear to be a lot of rocks or shells here, it’s not quite clear.

Location: Hualien, Taiwan