I got the feeling that Buddha was watching me

As I was strolling through this steamy complex of temples, I came across this one just as some stormy clouds were moving in.  Buddha was sitting up there acting all smarmy like he knew everything in his nirvana air-conditioned glassed cave.  I didn’t want enlightenment or anything so grandiose – just a tall cool glass of lemonade would have been fine.  But no, he just sat there.

I have a feeling Buddha is watching me

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Thailand Summer Storm

I was blessed (do Buddhists “bless”?) in Thailand with good clouds for HDR pictures. In this one, there was one of those afternoon thunderstorms rolling in about 3 PM. However, the weather there is so hopelessly humid, that there is a fine line between regular humidity and torrential downpour.

After about ten minutes walking around Bangkok, I was covered in sweat and grime. Not the good kind of grime either – the Bangkok kind. I’m normally someone that doesn’t like to be covered in sweat, but you just kinda give up after a few minutes and decide to wallow in it. Even through the sweat, or perhaps because of it, a few locals there thought I was David Beckham, since it is well known that all white people look alike.

I also included a few other pictures from my time in Thailand where I got some good (and lucky) clouds coverage. The second one just happened to mirror the shape of Wat Arun beneath.

Thailand Summer Storm
One Night in Bangkok
Cloud Temple

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Afternoon in Bangkok

I don’t know if this picture can convey the stifling heat and the impending afternoon showers, but there was always a fine line between walking around Thailand and soaking in a hot tub. I took this while I was on a leased longboat that was captained by a man that appeared to have little concern for the value of his own life, much less mine.

Afternoon in Bangkok

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Veggies

This is the market not too far from the docks in Bangkok. It wasn’t the cleanest place in the world and could not be confused with the sterile aisles of Whole Foods in Austin, but it was still a charming place to experience new strains of Thai bacteria.

Veggies

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Silent Temple

I was in the middle of roasting deep inside a Buddhist temple, in some sort of sweaty Bikram walking yoga, when I decided to stop and take this shot… It was just too perfectly composed with the clouds and everything for me to ignore. I had to make a dozen attempts because my sweaty fingers could not even push down the shutter button.

Silent Temple

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Afternoon Shadows on Wat Pho

Thailand is a big exporter. They export corn, which the Indians call “maize”. In sum, Thailand is a nation of contrasts.

Wat Pho in the Afternoon Shadows

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Entering the Secret Soviet Nuclear Bunker

I am leaving on a series of planes that will eventually get me to the Russian border in the Ukrainian town of Kharkov. I also plan on spending a weekend day shooting in Chernobyl and visiting a few radiated and abandoned ghost towns. I think the weather will be cold, but I am hoping the 80 RADS keep me warm.

This shot below is not of a CCCP secret testing bunker, but I think it looks like one, at least according to my 1980′s cold war Bond-shaped vision of the Soviet nuclear program. It is actually of the airport in Bangkok, Thailand. If you zoom into the large version, you can see some nice details.

Asia has some amazing airports, but this one in Bangkok is perhaps the nicest. After getting through customs, the selection of shops, restaurants, bakeries, etc., rivals any other high-end airport or upper-crust mall in the world.

There are only a few days left to vote for the Bloggies, so I would appreciate your vote if you have some spare time.

Entering the Secret Soviet Nuclear Bunker

You can click below to go vote – Thanks again!

2007 Bloggies Nomination

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Bathing in Gold

Here is a room which has the collective net worth of Thailand’s neighboring countries. Unfortunately, since Buddhists renounce wealth, this is both priceless and worthless at the same time.

If they were to trade in a few square feet of that gold, they could probably buy some iPod Nanos for the entire monastery. They can get on iTunes and buy some of that Buddhist chanting music, which may be a good escape for them.

I put a few other pictures below of some neighboring temples.

Buddha

Piercing the Sky

Buddha said he wanted to have a word with me

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This is Aru

Aru’s dream is to provide a good life for his children.

Aru is currently selling hand-carved Teak wood sculptures in the floating market about two hours outside of Bangkok. He is alert and alive, gladly tracing the markings on his body, explaining to me what they mean.

This shot of Aru comes from my “Portraits Portfolio“, where I try to take the opportunity to get to know some of these interesting-looking people.
This is Aru

This was taken in the floating market, where things got just a touch crowded towards the middle of the day. It could have been hotter in that boat, but I don’t know how.

Jam at the Floating Market

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Wat Arun at Sunset

Here is just another sunset in Bangkok with a series of longboats streaming by on the river.

Wat Arun at Sunset

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