India’s amazing flowers

The flowers in Southern India are absolutely amazing. This stunning flower was about the size of my head and reminded me more of coral than something that could exist on land.

Charging elephants

Into the jungle we went. Our jeep bounded over the bumpy dirt road, the driver in search of one of Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary’s wild elephants. We came to a halt a few hundred metres from this female. She didn’t like us at all, and decided to charge. I’ve never driven in reverse so fast in my life.

She chased us far enough to let us know her displeasure at being disturbed, thew some dirt on her head, then faded back into the jungle.

The jungle returned to its foggy quiet as if she had never been there.

Elsewhere, the deer were happily munching on the grass.

Theyyam in Kannur, Kerela

The area of Kerela we were visiting is known for its elaborate form of worship called Theyyam. We got up before sunrise to join the small crowd who had gathered at the temple. 

The performers went through various phases of becoming more and more elaborately decorated. The belief is that the ritual enables them to become the gods, and the audience worshiped them as such.

Butterflies at Changi Airport

Among all the wonders of Singapore’s Changi airport, the butterfly garden might be my favourite way to spend a few minutes while waiting for a flight.

Dumplings!

Oh how I’ve missed great dumplings. Din Tai Fung filled that craving. Twice.

Singapore’s vast ports

I’ve always been fascinated by the scale of international shipping, but had never really understood the scale until getting a sky-high view of some of Singapore’s ports. The piles of containers went as far as I could see.

The resort town of Jebel Sifah

I was looking for a place somewhere between Ras al-Jinz turtle reserve and Muscat where we could spend a few days relaxing. I stumbled across the newly built resort town of Jebel Sifah.

It was a beautiful, newly built town, around a newly dug harbour. It also had a nice little playground.

Turtles!

If you’ve ever seen a National Geographic special on giant sea turtles that come to the beach to lay their eggs, then you can imagine how cool it would be to see in real life. For me, that made it worth a detour while in Oman.

What you can barely see in this picture is a giant turtle filling in her hole after laying her eggs.  Her head is to the left, in the shadows.

Lost in the desert in Oman

We went glamping in the desert in Oman for a night. The next morning, Carmel pointed us to our next destination.

Using better tools than the sense of direction of a toddler, we put our trust in Waze. As we followed a school bus up a dirt road following the edge of a cliff road, we thought that maybe we were being led astray, but wanted to see where it would lead us. As you can see in this panorama, the answer is nowhere, except a stunning view.

Eventually we turned around and found a main road.

Ordering a double double in Oman

In the realm of completely unexpected, I had no idea that Tim Hortons was anywhere else, let alone Oman. At first I was skeptical that this was the real deal. When I turned the corner and saw the sign, I gave it a double-check to make sure I wasn’t walking into Tom Hartons or some absurd imitation. The only way to know for sure was to order a double-double and see what would happen. Turns out, it was the real deal.

Signs that amuse (and scare) me: This elevator is absolutely safe*

There are some things in life that should never have an asterisk and small print. One example is courtesy of Schindler that says, “This elevator is absolutely safe for people to use” with a big asterisk a the end. It’s like when an airline sends me an email offering $29 fares, or anything a car company might advertise. Except this is an elevator in my apartment building! It’s safe *wink* *wink*.

Portrait: Arpeeta

On our third portrait session, we reached the point of having a system for getting the basics figured out, and started experimenting. It meant that we could have some fun trying different things with the subject. Adding props such as a mirror reinforced both the need to have a vision for the end result, but also an eye for the details in the pose and composition.