Tuesday, December 27, 2005

The best things in life are threes...

...Or: Another photo update of 3 shots.

This was an interesting shot taken by shooting severely underexposed. ~4 stops down. But I like the effect. The end of Acland Street and the end of a long day. Also the last time that we would see St Kilda till we return to Melbourne. I like the sign though. Sort of a "come back and see us soon" feel to it...

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Another shot of the night market. Once again, purposely underexposed.

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Lastly, a shot while the plane flew through some storm clouds. Sadly, this was the only shot that turned out half decent. Also reflected the mood of the photographer as we returned from Melly.

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Will try to upload pics as I go along sorting them out. I'll see what gems I can find.

Till then, Ta.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Memories taken...

3 for now.

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Reaping the wind. This was taken on the windy day and I figured that with a low enough shutter speed, I could catch it. Nice try I felt. Next time around, I'll have to try this with a tripod.

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Moon and Stars. This was just as pretty as a picture. Had to try to take it. Once again, would have been better with a tripod.

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This was just awesome. A day at the market yielded this picture. Love the way that the spirals work with the light and shadows.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

That's not a burger...

This is a burger...

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Or more accurately, it's a heart attack onna stick.

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Just to give some perspective to the cardiac arrest special.

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This was after the first slice...no way to eat with the traditional hand to mouth technique.

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About halfway through the burger...

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...and the next slice that caused the burger to topple because the base was too small to hold it up.

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And about 45 minutes after I began it...the final remnants of the burger.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, was a burger, courtesy of Greasy Joe's. It's been about 8 hours later and I'm still full...*burp* Stuffed like a pillow and ready to go vegetarian for a while. But then again, there's always tomorrow.

Friday, December 16, 2005


The shire has always had positive connotations about it for all the ringers out there. But the shire took on a more sinister association last Sunday when it became the battleground of one of the biggest race riots in Australian history.

When I first heard about the Sutherland Shire, I thought back to the Shire referenced by Tolkien, a peaceful town that was under attack by certain bad elements of an ethnic minority. I thought nothing of it except that living in a place called the "something" shire was kind of rustic. Then Sunday happened.

The incident and the subsequent violence drew certain parallels in my mind to Tolkien's shire. How both places were insular and detached from the world around them. The resulting alienation subsequently developed into a form of racism that John "Muppet" Howard denies vehemently (all the while implementing racist governmental agendas) in his now famous statement "I refuse to believe that Australians are racist". Of course Australians are racist, Mr Howard. When you have pockets of people so alienated from the world that they believe that they are native Australians* (being white in a sunburned lands) in the face of all evidence, it cements the fantasy that the country, along with all its beaches, belongs to them. It's how nationalistic pride works, and with it, patriotism.

One wonders if the insular world of the Hobbits would have produced similar results. After all, we know that they eyed foreigners with distrust because of their insular nature. Insularity breeds said distrust and causes a certain us vs them mentality. And if you're an ethnic minority**, you start to resent being put in the "them" pile. Throw all that into a mix and you get Cronulla. The Shire no longer holds a positive connotation in my mind. Rustic? Yes. But it now seems to me that with that rustic-ness is a small mindedness that leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

*Irony came to a climax when the "true blue (read: White) Australians" beat up a man of Lebanese and Aboriginal descent.

**I was thinking that the ethnic minority (the Lebanese) could have taken the moral high ground in this situation and chosen not to retaliate, allowing more Australians to sympathise with their plight and thus garner support for their integration into society. The subsequent attacks on churches and "Aussies" does nothing but fuel the hatred. Sad really...

Tuesday, December 13, 2005


Back to Melbourne after a week of fun in Sydney and the worst weekend violence that I've seen. Some thoughts.

  1. Bloody disgusted was my initial feeling about it.
  2. PM John Howard has said that he refuses to believe that Australians are inherently racist. Shyeah...wake up and smell the blood. The writing was on the wall. See what the morons on the beach on Sunday were chanting.
  3. Patriotism is truly the virtue of the vicious. I liked how the violence was juxtaposed against the mob singing the Australian anthem. (See point 2)
More thoughts on this to be shared but just a note to say that we're safe and were nowhere near the violence.


Sunday, December 04, 2005

You can never go home again.

That's what I thought as I was walking along the streets in dear old Melbourne. There were the tastes of old haunts as we went joint to joint trying old dishes that we used to enjoy as a student. There was Minotaur, a comic bookstore that I frequented when I was living here, and Hobby Japan, where the videotapes with the simple white labels with simple black fonts have been replaced by DVDs. There are trams that spark as they traverse along set lines, newly refurbished and sparkling, with air conditioned carriages and plush seats. But it's no longer the home that I remember.

Like Singapore almost 10 years ago, it has become alien. And with that, alienation. It's true what they say about home and returning. You never really return. And it's not because home changes. But it's because you do. One never crosses the same river twice and even if time stood still, you wouldn't be the same. I think that's what I feel now. I look at the world that I left as a student and I don't really recognise it. The landmarks are there albeit changed in a small way. But it's not the change in the world that I see. It's the lens through which I see. My eyes have changed.

I never realise how big a change it is until I see what I used to see through the changed eyes. And then the brain registers that there is change.

There has been a big change. But despite that, it's been more and more evident to me as the days have progressed that this is more home than home is. Despite the stupidity of the people, the irresponsiblity of the media and the insanity of tram inspectors, I still like it here.

I've been here 5 days and life is good.

Friday, December 02, 2005

A murder of crows...

We killed a drug trafficker today. OK. Not "we" as in the Ondine and I we, but the Singapore "we". We did it. And we don't really feel sorry about it. Makes not much of a difference really. Nguyen was a drug trafficker. He wasn't a drug user. He might not have been a bad guy. He might not have had much of a choice about it. He might have been framed. Whatever.

He was a part of the heroin trade and the warnings were posted almost all over the place. Bring in drugs? We'll hang you. Harsh? Yes. Draconian. Definitely. Effective? Absolutely.

See, despite the fact that I constantly whinge about Singaporean's draconian measures regarding freedom, I can stand by the drug laws in Singapore. It's harsh but then again it deals with a really harsh problem. And while we haven't exactly eradicated the drug problem, we don't have to worry about druggies coming up to you demanding money for a hit. Nor do we need to worry about stepping on used needles on the beach. We won't need to worry about pushers on the street. And that's because we've managed to keep the system out of our country.

Nguyen was part of that system and I think that we've managed to send a very strong message. To Australia and the world. We mean business on the war on drugs. And we're fighting it like the war it is.

Australians of course have been making a whole lot of noise about the execution, calling us barbaric. Perhaps we are. But we're fighting barbarians anyway. Now, that's dangerous talk, especially since it opens up a whole can of worms that I'm not sure that I really want to deal with right now, but I think it needs to be said. There are certain lines that will not, must not be crossed and perpetrators that do need to be punished.

But then again, all that said, I think that we should have at least let his mom hug him once. There's still room for compassion in barbarism.