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Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Gallimaufry#122

Just a gallimaufry of AI-generated images, photos and thoughts 📸

Among the vivid memories etched in my mind from my travels in Greece are scenes from the dark side of the beautiful country that continually haunt me.

Behind the postcard-perfect facade of the glorious tourist spots we visited lies a disparate contrast, exposing a side of the country that struggles with social issues, economic hardships, and the harsh realities faced by certain communities.

When I first stumbled upon this impactful tableau, I was struck by a wave of conflicting emotions. On one hand, there was an undeniable urge to capture the raw essence of their existence, to immortalize their resilience in the face of adversity. Yet, on the other hand, it felt disrespectful to intrude upon their privacy, to reduce their lived experiences to mere pixels on a screen.

I grappled with the decision of whether to photograph them. Ultimately, I chose to respect their dignity and privacy, but those heartbreaking scenes left an indelible mark on my soul.

But now, through the lens of A1-generated photography, I find myself presented with a unique opportunity to revisit and share those visuals that continue to resonate within me.

REVISITING GREECE TROUGH AI PHOTOGRAPHY

Through the power of AI-generated photography, I pay tribute to those whose stories often go untold, whose struggles are drowned by the cacophony of everyday life. It is my hope that these images serve as a reminder to amplify the voices of those who remain unseen and unheard in the shadows of society.








IKAN BAKAR
Grilled sting ray
Grilled stingray is a popular street food in Southeast Asia, particularly in Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia. The stingray, known for its firm and meaty texture, is marinated in a flavorful mixture typically consisting of spices such as turmeric, ginger, garlic, chili, and lemongrass. Then, it's grilled over an open flame or charcoal, imparting a delightful smokiness to the dish. The intense heat caramelizes the marinade, creating a tantalizing crust on the exterior while keeping the interior tender and juicy.
The banana leaf lends a subtle yet distinctive flavor, adding depth to every bite.
AI-generated image of an Ikan Bakar street vendor. Haha! AI photography is addictive!

FROM THE TRAVEL ARCHIVES

Mount Titlis 2019
STATIC MEMORIES

The mere sight of this vintage radio fills me with nostalgia, conjuring memories of my late father. I can still hear the crackle and hiss of static that filled the room each evening as he turned the knobs, searching for his favorite station playing timeless songs. Amidst the warmth of the radio's glow, songs like "Good Old Summertime" and "The Titanic (When That Great Ship Went Down)" would fill the air, marking moments of pure joy and connection that I'll forever treasure.

Dad's favourite song

This AI-generated depiction perfectly captures a cherished memory precisely as I envisioned it.
Chin Swee Pagoda, Malaysia
I've always imagined a dragon coiling around the pagoda! Sorry, I just couldn't help myself!
It has been 5 years since our beloved guinea pig crossed the rainbow bridge. I think of her often and imagine her frolicking amidst fluffy clouds in the celestial plains. She waits patiently, watching over me with a tender gaze, knowing that one day, we will reunite in a joyous embrace, forever connected by the unbreakable bond we shared.

Last year, we fostered a stray kitty who survived a harrowing car accident. Son #2 rescued the helpless and disoriented feline in the middle of the road one late evening. The brave kitty battled for his life in the ICU of a veterinary hospital for 3 weeks. The accident left Kitty blind and robbed him of his sense of smell. Our home became his sanctuary upon his discharge from the veterinary hospital. Adjusting to life without sight and smell was a daunting task for our furry friend, and his newfound disabilities made him extremely needy and clingy. He refused to move from where he was placed and had to be cuddled all the time, meowing mournfully when left alone.
One evening, as I stood in the kitchen preparing dinner, I felt a gentle nudge against my feet. To my surprise, it was our dear kitty, who had bumped into furniture and obstacles all the way from the living room through sheer determination. Without sight, smell, and with his whiskers obstructed by the cone he was wearing, it must have been quite a feat for him. His cries fell silent as he found me, resting his head on my feet in a moment of profound connection. I wished I had captured that scene on camera, but it would have meant I had to step away to reach my phone, and the spell would have been broken.

Though he has since found a loving forever home, I miss him dearly, and whenever I think of him, I am transported to that tender encounter in the kitchen.

AI-generated image of that profound moment 
Love it or hate it, AI photography allows us to conjure memories and imagination into tangible form, unlocking a realm of creativity previously inconceivable.

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Gallimaufry#121

Just a gallimaufry of photos 📸

Mookata

Thai mookata is a popular style of barbecue in Thailand that combines elements of Korean barbecue and hot pot. The name "mookata" is a combination of two Thai words: "mu" meaning pork, and "kratha" meaning pan. In essence, it involves grilling meat, seafood, and vegetables on a domed grill pan while simultaneously using the moat around the edges of the pan to cook noodles, vegetables, and other ingredients in a flavorful broth.







FROM THE TRAVEL ARCHIVES

Keukenhof 2019

Ramadan Bazaar
Stall selling chicken rice at the Ramadan Bazaar
Essentially, a Ramadan bazaar is a month-long street market specially dedicated to the fasting month, where mostly food and beverages are sold. Muslims (and non-Muslims) get to pick from a smorgasbord of halal foods on their way home from work for breaking their fast just before dusk.

Chinese dragon
FUN FACT
Chinese dragons are intertwined with creation myths and are thought to wield power over natural elements such as weather and bodies of water, while also serving as guardians of the celestial realms. Conversely, Western dragons are commonly depicted as formidable creatures capable of breathing fire, notorious for hoarding treasure and instilling fear in villages.
 
My Corner of the World

Thursday, March 28, 2024

Gallimaufry#120

Just a gallimaufry of photos 📸
Heong Peah 362
Nestled in a humble, dilapidated hut on the outskirts of my hometown, lies the unassuming home of the legendary Heong Peah 362. 

Heong Peah in Hokkien literally translates as fragrant biscuit. Essentially, Heong Peah is a pastry with a flaky crust encasing a sticky, sweet filling made from malt and shallots.

Traditional earthen kilns fired by coconut husks are used to bake the biscuits.

These delectable biscuits have garnered a loyal following, both locally and internationally, for their irresistible aroma, delicate texture, and rich flavor.
It's a common sight in the bustling streets of Ipoh to see friends and relatives who have migrated overseas eagerly clutching bags of Heong Peah before they embark on their journey back home. These beloved pastries hold a special place in the hearts of those who have left their hometowns in search of new horizons.

CAT SPOTTING 👀😺
Dinnersushi
Sushi can definitely hit the spot when you're craving something light yet flavorful. The combination of fresh fish, rice, and vegetables makes it a refreshing choice. Do you have a favorite type of sushi or a go-to sushi roll? Mine is Maguro Sushi (tuna).

FROM THE TRAVEL ARCHIVES

Dijon, Burgundy 2019
A FUNNY TO SHARE

Looks like this jelly found its true calling – as a dental impressionist! Who knew lychees could be so toothsome? 😂
Image source: Shared on Facebook

My Corner of the World

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Gallimaufry#119

Just a gallimaufry of photos 📸
Coconut stand
In Malaysia, coconut stands are a common sight along roadsides and beaches. These simple setups typically offer fresh coconut water, a refreshing beverage extracted from young, green coconuts. They are usually manned by migrant workers who skillfully open the coconuts using machetes to serve customers. Additionally, some stands may also sell other beverages such as sugar cane water and fruits like durians.

Mudskippers


Chinese New Year dinner




Yu Shang
Yu Shang, also known as Yee Sang, is a popular dish in Malaysian and Singaporean cuisine, especially during the Chinese New Year festivities. It's a vibrant and symbolic dish, enjoyed for its auspicious meanings and delicious flavors. The salad typically consists of various shredded vegetables, strips of raw fish (often salmon), crunchy toppings like peanuts and sesame seeds, and a sweet and tangy dressing. When eaten together, it symbolizes prosperity, good luck, and abundance for the coming year.
One of the most exciting aspects of enjoying Yu Shang is the tossing ritual known as "lo hei" in Cantonese or "lao sheng" in Mandarin. This communal tradition involves everyone at the table using their chopsticks to toss the ingredients together while shouting auspicious phrases. The higher the toss, the greater the prosperity and luck it is believed to bring. It's a lively and joyous affair, symbolizing unity, good fortune, and the sharing of blessings among family and friends. The tossing action also represents the scattering of good luck in all directions. It's a meaningful and interactive way to start a meal, fostering a sense of togetherness and optimism for the year ahead.

NOSTLAGIA

Remember this?
I can still recall the whirring sound of a cassette player and the way it delicately spun a tape. Back then, we curated mixtapes, meticulously selecting each song to create a personalized soundtrack that spoke volumes about who we were and what we felt. Sometimes, the tape would snag and be pulled out of the cassette by the roller, a moment of suspense when luck determined the outcome. If fortunate, a quick fix with a pencil would spool it back into place. Other times, the tape would be mangled, requiring delicate care to cut out the ruined part and then splice it back together with cellophane tape. Oh, the relief when your cherished song resumed playing smoothly, even if it meant some parts were missing!

FROM THE TRAVEL ARCHIVES

SANTORINI 2023

All over Santorini, it is impossible to miss the ubiquitous sight of girls in vividly colored dresses, their long trains billowing in the wind as they strike captivating poses. Some stand precariously on ledges and domed rooftops, navigating the heights for that perfect, gravity-defying photo. Against the backdrop of Santorini's iconic blue domes and pristine whitewashed architecture, the Santorini flying dress phenomenon has become a coveted item on many Instagrammers' bucket lists.

During the high season, THE FLYING DRESS PHOTO conducts an average of eight flying-dress photo shoots per day, with rates starting at USD $605 per hour.

Sharing some of my favourite flying dress shots from the SANTORINIDRESS Instagram feed.


My Corner of the World