Monday, October 23, 2017

Poem: "And You Call Me Coloured"

**And you call me coloured**

Written by an African child and nominated by The United Nations as the Best Poem of 2006.

"When I born, I black.
When I grow up, I black.
When I go in sun, I black.
When I scared, I black.
When I sick, I black.
And when I die, I still black.

And you white people.
When you born, you pink.
When you grow up, you white.
When you go in sun, you red.
When you cold, you blue.
When you scared, you yellow.
When you sick, you green
And when you die, you grey…

And you calling me colored."

Off To The Dump Tomorrow At 6AM

Well at 6am tomorrow I am off to the dump again for the first time in about 1 year and 6 months. I am excited to see everyone, hopefully they are all in good health with no deaths (that has not always been the case). Will not take any donations (food etc.) with me tomorrow, I plan a 3-4 hour walk round with my 35mm Tri-x gear only. Later when I get my bearings a bit I will dive in with the 8x10 camera, the film making and the donation stuff. Will probably get some boot orders etc tomorrow. I wonder how many of my old friends will be there and how many new faces there will be. It is thundering outside as I type this, hopefully at the dump the families are protected from the rain. I am sitting in my apartment like a king but they are all out in the elements.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Enough Gear?

So here is my radically streamed down gear for the trip. I have 35mm film, 8x10 film, digital, and film making stuff here now. Sort of overwhelming. Hope I can use most of it to good effect. Now let me try to organize all this stuff!

Too much stuff? Probably!
Harrison changing bag, Gitzo tripod (2 heads, video and 8x10) , 3x35mm bodies with lens (24,35,60)

VIDEO: A View From My Kitchen Window-Many Noises,

I woke up today, my first morning my new apartment to the sound of music and traffic at 840am . The traffic out front of the apartment is quite noisy, I need to get used to that, no choice now, I signed at least a 3 month lease. There was also loud music playing, not sure from where, last night many wild dogs barking. A variety of noises on multiple levels. I need to work with it. There was also the sounds of singing birds and beautiful light coming through my kitchen window.

video
The view from my Mae Sot kitchen window, Oct 23 2017

Dreams Of My Father

My first night in Mae Sot in my new apartment I had a dream about dad. In the dream dad and I were talking, he was getting better, stronger. I spoke to mom about his remarkable recovery, I asked her "Is he getting stronger? better?" Mom said she thought he was. My father looked healthy and happy. Then at the end of the dream, dad tried on a beautiful black suit with a grey tie. He asked me "What I thought of this?" meaning, did I think it was OK for him to wear the suit and tie in his coffin.

Then I woke up.

Am In My Apartment In Mae Sot!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wow what a day, am completely warn out. Here is what happened.

- 645am woke up in my Bangkok Hotel
- Quick shower and dress then took my bags down to the lobby. 1 bag of about 70lbs, 1 bag of about 50lbs and 1 knapsack of about 30lbs, about 150lbs total.
- Got a taxi to take me to Mochit bus station, I had a ticket for a 815am departure on a VIP bus to Mae Sot.
- Arrived at the bus station around 740am, little traffic, taxi fare 83 baht.
- Loaded the bags onto the bus at around 805am, departed at 815 as scheduled.
- Long bus ride of 8 hours 15 minutes, often winding, often slow, sometimes a bit dangerous. We stopped at about the 4 hour 30 minute mark for a washroom break and a bowl of noodles (included in the ticket price, along with a blanket a big seat, water, a cookie and a bun).
- Arrived in Mae Sot with a at 430 pm. Had a headache and a bit of motion sickness from all the winding driving road stuff.
- Telephoned Khun Noy, the man who drives me around in Mae Sot.
- Khun Noy took me to the apartment I had found online. I had communicated 2 days earlier with the manager of the property via LINE messaging. She knew I was coming in advance.
-  Khun Pui (apartment manager) showed me 3 rooms, one on the first floor, one on the 4th and one on the 5th. I liked the 4th and 5th best. The 4th floor room was not clean yet so I took the 5th floor room. The room cost 3500 baht ($133 CAD) a month, plus power and water, it should run about 7000 baht a month ($266 CAD), maybe cheaper.
- I did all the paperwork necessary, paid my refundable 5000 baht damage deposit minus a cleaning fee of 500baht.
- Khun Noy carried up the 50lb bag, I did the knapsack and 70lb one at the same time. Here is a note for future reference, DO NOT carry100lbs of baggage up 5 flights of stairs again Gerry!! I almost died with that effort, my right arm is still sore. Was OK until floor 4, floor 5 did me in.
- I asked Khun Noy if he would drive me to the Lotus store so I could get all my household living supplies then come back in 1 hour after I purchased everything, to drive me back to my apartment, he told me he would.
-  Went to Lotus and bought around $186 CAD worth of supplies. Bedding, pillows, towels, toilet paper, water, food (all kinds), dishes, forks/knives/spoons, a one burner electric stove,  clothes, soap, drinks, batteries, extension cord, etc etc etc.
- Got back to the room with all the supplies just before they locked the front gate (that happens at 7pm). Paid Khun Noy for his driving and help.
- Hauled everything up 5 flights of stairs, it took me 3 trips.
- Started to unpack, broke a glass pot lid (DAMN!), cleaned up the mess. Put away the food, took a shower, cooked some eggs, and corn.
- Set up my computer, the free WIFI here is fast, thank goodness.
- Had a supper of boiled eggs, corn, cold pork, bread, water, bananas. Wrote a long long blog about what I did today!
- 1040pm now.

I still need to make up my bed, hope the bedding fits, and unpack all my bags, camera gear, film making gear. I will take tomorrow off work and make my new  home beautiful. The plan is to go to the dump the day after that tomorrow for the first time. I also might be getting a motorbike from Khun Noy, The going rate in the shops I think is 200 baht a day, I might be able to rent his automatic bike for 100 baht a day.

AM EXHAUSTED!!! Here are some photos from this long and difficult day. I will sleep in tomorrow. Almost read to start photographing and doing my movie. All this planning, all this work and the real work is just beginning!

After a long tiring day my new bed with new sheets awaits me

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Rainy Day In Bangkok

Raining a lot in Bangkok these days.

Rainy Day In Bangkok, October 21, 2017

HF3535 Camera Latest Pictures

While I am in Thailand the build of my HF3535 camera continues in the Czech Republic. Filip the cameras builder had to delay the construction of the two HF3535 cameras he is making (one for me) because he hurt his right hand badly several months back. I will receive my HF3535 camera plus reducing backs, holders etc. on my return to Canada in April-May 2018.

I will need to use added tripod support on the front standard as I will be using will be very very heavy lens. The more compact folding design thou and relative light weight of this huge ULF 35x35 inch camera should make traveling the country at an advanced age more likely, more possible. At least that's my hope! This is all risky business, not sure my crazy "KANATA" wet plate plan will work, but what the f-ck you only live once, why not take some chances. I do not gamble, drink, smoke, do drugs etc. Got to take my chances and spend my doe somehow, making photos in a crazy way fits that bill. Photography gives me the high of highs.

Am quite excited by my HF3535, thanks so much Filip for your hard work.


Ain't She Beautiful! Ain't Photography Grand!!!!
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HF3535 Camera Body In The Czech Republic

Friday, October 20, 2017

Bought My Bus Ticket To Mae Sot

Went down to the bus station tonight and bought my VIP bus ticket for Mae Sot. The ticket cost 580 baht ($22 CAD). For the first time I will be leaving from Bangkok in the morning and be traveling all day. I chose the daytime option because I wanted to avoid waiting around Bangkok all day with 2 heavy bags and one overloaded backpack. I can now wake up early on the 22nd and go straight to the bus station from my hotel . The trip to Mae Sot should be 8 or 9 hours long with a meal part of the way through.

I have also been looking at the flying option to and from Mae Sot via Nok (Bird) Air. A one way ticket seems to run around 1999 baht (76 CAD), but can be a bit higher or lower. My iPad Nok Air app gives me a wide variety of pricing when I do various searches. The big advantage of air travel of course is the time the trip takes. The bus to Mae Sot takes 8 or 9 hours, a plan? 1 hour! You pay about 4 times the price but end up saving 7 or 8 hours. It is probably a lot safer as well, bus travel within Thailand can be quite dangerous.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Possible Mae Sot Room-$283 CAD A Month?

I found  2 rooms in Mae Sot,  cost of the rent would be 4000 baht a month plus "Elec. =8.-THB/unit Water =20.- THB/unit." with a minimum 3 month stay. There is a 6000 baht refundable damage deposit as well. With power and water added to the 4000 baht, the total cost per month might be between 6500 baht and 7500 baht. 7500 baht equals $283 CAD a month.

These photos are from the 2 different rooms, one is on the main floor of the apartment complex the other on the 4th floor with no lift (elevator). The location is quite good, and the rooms as you can see are quite big, 2 rooms plus a bathroom and small balcony. Each room includes a bathroom with hot water shower, TV with cable, free WIFI, air conditioning, small kitchen with sink, fridge, balcony, microwave.

These rooms are rather basic from a  spoiled Canadian persons perspective but the equivalent of living like a king- superstar from the "Families of the Dump" point of view. I might take the 4th floor room with no lift just to push myself physically. It would be quite difficult to climb those stairs loaded down with camera gear at the end of a long days shooting in the dump and elsewhere. I lived in a 7th floor room with no lift back in 1999 for 10 months when I stayed in Bangkok, of course I was 35 back then not 53. Another advantage of the 4th floor room is that it might be a bit more secure and safe. Will go see the rooms and make a choice on the 23rd or 24th.

I am quite happy with the options I should have. The rooms seem clean, relatively cheap, and have good light. I have always valued nice light in the places I stay, it makes everything so much more beautiful and less depressing.

Note* I would buy a portable butane stove to do some cooking on in the apartment kitchen, boil an egg, make noodles etc. With only one apartment in Mae Sot and eating at home sometimes, my trip costs will go way down.