Every so often, I head down to Khao San Road to take photos, do lunch, and maybe have a foot spa. Last week I decided to make another sojourn to the area and finish the remainder of a roll of film. Pop off a few shots and hopefully I'll get one or two keepers. One needs to be patient to get decent photos, especially since walking the length of Khao San Road only takes ten minutes. Walking slowly means being accosted by one tout after another; taxi and tuk-tuk drivers willing to take you anywhere for free, massage parlors, fake ID cards and phony degrees, you name it, Khao San has it.
Over the course of many years, I have come to know the faces of some of the characters found at Khao San. There is the man who sells scorpions for lunch, the mohawk-haired coconut vendor and, of course, the many Indian Sikhs standing in the middle of the road while waiting for their next victim...errrrrr...customer. As I walk by, they try to sell me a suit (I no longer wear them) or read my palm (I already know my wife's name). Once I begin speaking with them, they stop their sales pitches and allow me on my way.
Instead, I turn it back around on them.
"My friend, you are very photogenic, may I take your picture? I will bring you a print the next time I am here."
That's all it takes. They have forgotten about selling me anything and are more concerned with how they will look in the photo. Then it becomes easy.
All three of these photos were shot with the Minolta Hi-Matic SD. The camera has a 38MM, f/2.7 Rokkor lens and although it is made from plastic, the lens is excellent with halfway decent light. The film used was the Fujicolor Pro 400H, which I prefer to Kodak Portra, however, it's rather expensive at just over 10 bucks a roll. All technical data aside, I hope you enjoy these photos.
Warning - this is a long post. You may want to print it out.
Three months ago, I wrote about some of my future my goals and my timeline to recover from hip surgery. One of my goals was to begin light exercise on May 17. Didn’t happen. Another was to start rigorously exercising a month later. July 17 was the date set to begin traveling around Thailand to begin shooting photos for a proposed photography book. None of these has happened. None. I’m pissed off the healing is taking as long as it is, but I’m over it. I can’t waste time worrying or complaining.
Three months ago I also wrote, “This timeline is tentative because anything can happen. Right now, this is the plan.”
Seven months ago, I wrote how “I am feeling old, brittle, and grouchy. Despite having 240MG codeine in me, I feel like an African buffalo stomped on my hip.”
It has been painful to walk. I limp, I grit my teeth and walk through the pain, and I try to do things I normally would do. In the beginning it seemed easy. Then it became flat out work. At first, I was frustrated, then slightly bummed out. Immediately after surgery, my recovery was excellent. Then I hit the wall and the recovery slowed. For the past year, my hip has prevented me from living how I want to live. I went from regularly traveling around Bangkok and other parts of Thailand to considering a 5-minute trip to The Mall Bangkapi a lengthy sojourn.