Thursday, November 6, 2008

Thank you Avi!

GLASTONBURY, England, Nov. 3 (UPI) -- A British 19-year-old has officially changed his name to "Captain Fantastic Faster Than Superman Spiderman Batman Wolverine Hulk And The Flash Combined."

The Glastonbury, England, teenager -- originally named George Garratt -- said his new name, which is thought to be the world's longest, has so outraged his grandmother that she is no longer speaking to him, The Telegraph reported Monday.

The teen said he used an online service to officially change his name for a $20 fee.

"I wanted to be unique," Captain Fantastic said of his name choice. "I decided upon a theme of superheroes."


© 2008 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, November 3, 2008

KIDZANIA

Must we really encourage kids to grow up so fast?

http://www.kidzania.co.id/ver2/index.php?artid=70&catid=30&mnid=113

KIDZANIA is a unique place for children between 2 to 16 years old and their parents.
It is a kid-sized replica of a real city, with streets, buildings, retail and different vehicles going around the City.

Here, children play adult roles and they learn how to be a doctor, a pilot, a construction worker, a private detective, an archeologist, an F1 driver and over 100 other PROFESSIONS and OCCUPATIONS.

There is a replica of the most representative buildings in a city such as Hospital, Supermarket, Beauty Salon, Theatre, Industrial sites, and many more.


Sunday, November 2, 2008


SEOUL - NORTH Korea released a photograph Sunday showing leader Kim Jong Il smiling and watching a football match - the latest apparent attempt to calm intense speculation over the health of the country's absolute ruler.

Mr Kim, 66, reportedly suffered a stroke and underwent brain surgery in August. North Korea has denied he is ill and has in recent weeks released news reports, photos and footage portraying the leader as active and able.

On Sunday afternoon, North Korean state television showed an undated still photo of what it said is Mr Kim watching a football match between two army-affiliated teams.

The photo shows Mr Kim sitting with other people and watching something from what appears to be a special viewing stand inside a building. Mr Kim is shown smiling, wearing his trademark sunglasses with a brown jacket and black pants, but scenes of any football match are not visible.

-Singapore Straits Times

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Oh how I love dialog in old movies. I recently watched "On the Waterfront" by Elia Kazan, starring a young Marlon Brando. Below are some favorite quotes:

Brando in a tough guy voice,
"I always feel I'll live a bit longer without ambition"
"My philosophy on life, do it to him before he does it to you"
"You've lost the battle, but you've got the chance to win the war"
"Never is going to be too much for me shorty"

Weird phrases on Asian T Shirts

On this t-shirt..."donde estan mis pantalones?" click to enlarge

When in Tokyo I noticed a surplus of young women wearing disturbing profanities across their chests. Cute girls in pink baby t's wore shirts that in thick black lettering exclaimed "fuck me please" or "You are an asshole sir". These young woman were no more than 14 years old. The same odd profanities on tight t-shirts exists to some extent in Singapore as well. I suppose its the same concept as Brittney Spears adorning a tattoo of a Chinese character that she thought meant "mysterious" but instead meant "strange". Alas, it would be cruel to compare these girls to Brittney Spears. I can't possibly believe that these young women understand what they wear so boldly across their shirts, and yet they wear these symbols with pride and with confidence. Is the English language no matter what it says or represents that cool? To some, I suppose it is.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Dear friendlies,

This experience has been tough. I have carried 100's of pounds of equipment on a daily basis through the jungle, I have been potentially cursed by sculptures, I have thrown up while shooting in 100 degree weather, I have been celibate, I have been eaten up by weird South East Asian Bugs, I have smelled nasty smells that you never even knew existed (sweat, socks, farts and durian fruit?), I have missed home, I have been reprimanded for eating popcorn in a movie theater, and I have witnessed drunken brawls on a nightly basis. My question is...do I keep on going? Do I continue to build character with these experiences in Graduate school in a far off land, or do I take what I have learned and return home? What do you think? Its challenging going through it, but when I see these experiences written down, whoa.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Little India and Geylang








I revisited Geylang this evening. Nate was looking for a prostitute to place in his movie. But, it was too awkward and disturbing. Indian, Vietnamese and Chinese prostitutes filled the dark alleys, men swarmed around them like chickens. Gambling went on in dark corners and smells of hot trash wafted through the air. People ate chicken and rice beside love motels that looked like sterile camp cabins.

Scenes from downstairs




Below my room... I think there is a Buddhist celebration happening downstairs. They bang on gongs for 9 hours every day. I am having difficulty working.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Overheard in Singapore

American girl in her 20's talking to American boy in his 20's:

Girl: "I don't like Singapore; you can't smoke pot, the boys have small dicks and they don't sell corn dogs".

Boy: "No, they have corn dogs here".

Monday, September 1, 2008

Sand Sculpture in Durban, South Africa


I have been waiting to post this photo for quite sometime now. This was taken by my very dear friend Sarah Cassidy on a recent work trip to Durban, South Africa.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Armpit Problems in Southeast Asia


During the screening of "My Magic" by the Singaporean director Eric Khoo, I felt a very sharp pain in my armpit. I hate to say it, but, I kind of felt like I was having a premature heart attack. Post screening I expressed my feeling of discomfort to my friend Jordan. Much to my surprise I realized that he experienced a sharp pain in his pits as well. Several others including professors and industry professionals who overheard our conversation chimed in with similar stories of armpit pain. We put our stories and symptoms together and concluded that we all similarly have inflamed sweat axillary glands due to moisture being trapped in our hair follicles. Gross! The humidity is intense out in these parts, I am selfishly glad that others share in my discomfort.

PS. Go check out Eric Khoo's new film when it gets distributed in the US. The film is about an alcoholic magician that has to take care of his only child. Its very sweet and special.

Friday, August 29, 2008

My apartment is weird




There was a local concert in the park outside of my Walk up. Transvestites sang some odd Chinese Anthem. A big crowd gathered, they may have been the most non-expressive crowd that I have ever witnessed. They clapped for the performers post performance as if they were watching a bad comedian. At one point I, the only white person, was put on the spot. The performers said something to me in Chinese, but I don't really know what, something about a boyfriend and me being cute. Photos attached.

Much love,
Katya

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Kim Tian food




The most exciting thing about my new apartment is that I live directly above tiny hawker food stalls. Right below me is a delicious Muslim/Indian Restaurant, several fresh squeezed juice stalls, and multiple noodle shops. The Chinese Restaurant downstairs has live frogs that will eventually be cooked, I think about freeing one of these sweet little toads every single day. From a distance it looked as though one local stall was selling "Poo buns", I took a closer look and realized they were actually selling "Pao buns". Bummer! My new local restaurants and home is on Kim Tian Road, a short distance away from the Tiong Bahru MRT station. I love my new access to delicious eats for midnight snacks when drowned in work, or after a late night out.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

My new Friend Nate

I have a new friend named Nate. Nate is French. You can tell that he is French because he makes big gestures with his hands to express himself. Nate's father was a baker at the famous French pastry shop "Fauchon". When Nate was 8 years old his Dad was asked to open up his own pastry shop in Tokyo. Japanese people love Paris, but, usually after Japanese people come back from Paris they get really depressed. They get depressed because Paris tends to be really dirty and smelly and the people there aren't very friendly to Japanese tourists. So, Nate and his family moved to Tokyo, where France could come to Japan. Nate's dad recently went through a mid life crisis and stopped baking beautiful cakes. Rather, he decided to start up his own line of lingerie (I imagine his lingerie to look like his beautifully decorated cakes). He tests his bras out on his wife and Nate's older sister.

The biggest joy in the world is sharing good friends with good friends. I look forward to collecting as many as possible.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Pet Burial Grounds in Singapore

Some pet owners go beyond urns and niches: they pay hundreds of dollars for Buddhist monks to chant prayers during urn placement ceremonies or for memorial services. More information on Singaporean pet burial grounds at: http://www.straitstimes.com/Prime%2BNews/Story/STIStory_270015.html

Baby whale mistakes a yacht for its mum


According to the Singapore Straights times...

"In Sydney, an abandoned baby humpback whale has apparently mistaken a moored yacht for its mother.

'The calf has spent the last day or so in Pittwater and we believe it has been nuzzling up to a moored vessel in an attempt to find milk,' Mr Chris McIntosh, local manager for the New South Wales state national parks service, said yesterday.

Experts say the baby whale cannot survive more than a few days without milk provided by its mother.

Rescuers tried to wing the yacht out to sea, in an attempt to lure the calf into deeper waters and away from Pittwater, which is north of Sydney Harbour."

169th World Photography day in Kathmandu!


Nepalese Photojournalists dressed up as cameras during a rally yesterday to mark the 169th world photography day. They forgot their actual cameras at home.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Barack Roll

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=65I0HNvTDH4

copy and paste link

This was brought to my attention by Andy Doro. Barack is such a smooth dancer.

10 Things

Today as I was getting coffee, I envisioned myself on a formal sit down interview with a pressing CNN news journalist. The question: "What do you like most about living in South East Asia?"

My response (not in any particular order and without the numberings)

1. Wearing flat shoes and being of average height.
2. Spicy foods
3. Sweet foods
4. Weird foods with bouncy textures
5. Old people exercising in the morning
6. Complete order/Complete chaos
7. An appreciation for rich colors along with a faded green tea color
8. Tropical flora and fauna
9. Shamans and fortune tellers
10. Tradition

ANIMAL LIBERTIES



Apparently in China its cool to dye your dog different colors. Above are images that I took at a Shanghai pet shop of a rainbow dyed dog and a bushy eyebrow dyed dog (slight resemblance to Grouch Marx, maybe?). I personally think this pet-owner freedom of expression is pretty awesome. My sincerest apologies to all animal activists reading this "blogspot". But, seriously, whoa.

JOJO IN A BOX


JOJO IN A BOX

Monday, August 18, 2008

AIRPORT WAITING




A Celebration of the Morning, Lumphini





My favorite parts of cities are their parks. In parks you gain access to people at peace, without work and in leisure, in others' company or alone. In a park there are no pretentions, they welcome the old, the young, and the crazy.

I've been going to Lumphini park in Bangkok for the past 4 years. Its the most beautiful, and alive place that I've ever frequented. Every morning around 7:00 am elders fill the park and sip tea with comrades, some practice tai chi in yellow jumpsuits, others dance in groups to 70's disco music, some sing karaoke under tropical fauna, and others do yoga with a teacher that shouts out instructions through a megaphone. At times stray 5 foot long iguanas will intercept your walk as they pass by you on their way to the nearest pond. Old men say hi to me, the Farong (foreigner), as I make a lap around them. A man gyrates vigorously and my immediate impulse is to laugh, a look closer at his face and not his moving body and I see a man deep in meditation. I feel bad for laughing. Everyone has their morning quirks, in fact everyone has quirks and that is what makes each person so great.

Two Umbrellas on Telephone Wires


Thai Contemporary Art






The colors and repetitive images just suck me in and then hold me there. Treasures to find in the smallest details.

Just to name a few, above are some pieces by Navin's Sala, Ralf Tooten, and Preyawit Nilachulaka. You can find many of Bangkok's galleries within the Silom Galleria on Surasak Road, a short distance away from Pat Pong.

The Most Amazing Gift




My mother and I were browsing through "loft" (a Japanese chain, chachka shop) in Bangkok, when I came across the possibly most ridiculous gift I have ever seen...miniature animal key chains that you can photoshop your face inside of! Sounds complicated, eh? Well, we had to purchase some for my Pops. Attached you will find images of my mother and I morphed into these little animal people. When a "loft" employee was making my little animal person come to life, he photoshoped my face to half look like a Thai baby! I stopped him. I believe the name of this odd but cute product is called a "Shalark".

If you would like to purchase one, and you can translate this Japanese website, please visit: http://www.shalark.co.jp/

Bangkok's Chinatown/Sign City








Feel free to impart your own translations/ New Yorker captions (but, please, nothing about psychologists).