That chap in the yellow frame there is a tapir. Tapir, a nocturnal hoofed mammal with a stout body, sturdy limbs, and a short flexible proboscis, is native to the forests of tropical America and Malaysia. Tapir is officially classified as endangered or vulnerable species. Sign like this can only be found up in the Titiwangsa Range, on East West Highway connecting the state of Kelantan and small town of Grik, Perak in Peninsular Malaysia. The highway itself, being the highest highway in Malaysia, is expose to marauding wild animals like tapirs, elephants, deers and even wild boars. I found other unique signs with elephant and deer in the frames. However, this one I liked best.
*up high on Gerik-Jeli East West Highway, Malaysia.
in the darkest of night, I stood amongst the bronze shoes of those who had fallen, for the freedom they cannot choose, nor gained, fall dead in the cold River Danube.
I also thought of many others who fought tremendously for the price of their freedom and sovereignty, while I was still standing amongst countless shoes, ashamed of the freedom I have and I taste, that I did not gain or choose.
– faa, 23 Nov 2012: Shoes Memorial along the River Danube, Budapest
*it was quite dark when I was finally there, at the bank of River Danube. Nobody was around as the temperature dipped to 10°C. The silence was too prominent with the glittering Chainsbridge not far away from me and the distance rumbled of traffic behind me. I was all alone by myself with only the shoes as companions. The Memorial was built in a memory of once-real shoes scattered on the same place many years ago. The shoes belonged to Jews who were executed cold bloodedly with close range shots from the Arrow Cross Militiamen back in 1944-45 when Jews were persecuted for just being Jews.
War is the greatest plague that can afflict humanity, it destroys religion, it destroys states, it destroys families. Any scourge is preferable to it. -Martin Luther
War always bring the worst and the best quality in human. Perhaps the honest moment of humanity can be found during war, where those faithful died in honour and those who are weak succumb to temptation of betrayal.
*Kanchanaburi War Cemetary in Kanchanaburi, Thailand.
We were completely lost amongst Prague’s hundreds narrow streets in Old Town when I spotted him hanging on to a pole like that. I went beserk for thinking he is a man in need of help. Fortunately for me and him, he is only a bronze statue, not a real suicidal middle age man hanging for dear life. Thank God!
*the adventure of a hanging man in Prague Old Town
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
-In Flanders Field, Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae
*Brussels commemorated their World War I warriors back in March this year, when I was literally sandwiched between the good looking bag pipes band gang and the maddening crowd. One of the most fiercest battlefield fought by the soldiers back then was in Flanders Field. Flanders Field situated in Ypres, Belgium witnessed five fierce battles, all known as Battle of Ypres. The casualties were beyond imagination and only few who survived. Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae was one of the survivor. Thus, he penned ‘In Flanders Field’ in memoriam to all of his fallen comrades. During the commemoration, I managed to glimpse quite a few warriors who must have been young, fierce and fought bravely in Flanders Field to defend their nation. The gentleman in this picture is one of them. I take my hat off to them, the warriors of World War I.
Love makes the world go round? Not at all. Whiskey makes it go round twice as fast. -Compton MacKenzie
I say, whiskey with snakes and scorpions and probably dragons-makes world go round non stop. Do you agree with me?
*these special concoctions of whiskey by Laotian was Laos’ Don Sao secret brew. The smell was pungent and it looked suspicious. I believe, the smell can raise the dead. Have I tried? Nah! I’m not deadly enough.. 😉
Makkah al Mukarramah or widely known in the West as Mecca is the holiest place for Muslim and home to Kaabah; the pillar of direction of Muslim prayers. Makkah is also a pilgrimage site for Hajj, which is obligatory for all able Muslim (depending on terms as guided in the holy book of Al Quran). Therefore, it is a spiritual experience to be in the heart of Islam most beloved city. The weather was scorching hot when I was there. The population was constantly increased but the pilgrims remained focused on their main objective in being here, to worship God and to repent for all of their sins. I was able to document through pictures, the insides of Makkah from my own view. This was on the second floor of Masjidil Haram or Masjid al Haram; the largest mosque in the world surrounding Kaabah. The sky looked so blue and people on the balcony were waiting for a call to prayer by the muezzin. Once the call to prayer vibrating through the late afternoon winds, I grab my camera and shoot this. I can never explain the serene and calming effect I had at this moment, right before my fingers hit the shoot button. I hope, my photo does it for me.
“Verily, unto God do we belong and, verily, unto Him we shall return”. -al Baqarah