Random Pix – A New Asia

Walking near the Sutro baths during a recent visit to San Francisco, we came upon this sequin adorned young lady performing an entire regimen of poses for her husband.  My sweetheart offered to take their picture.  They thanked her for doing so and snuggled up close for the shot.  When asked where they were from they answered, “Vietnam.”  My curiosity was piqued and I quickly snapped a photo for myself.  It was my first interaction with Vietnamese tourists here in the U.S., and to me represents how much the world has changed in the last 40 years.

My first exposure to the country and people of Vietnam was during my childhood, watching the evening news with my father after dinner.  In those days, Vietnam was a war-torn, agrarian country whose population was predominantly peasant farmers. For most, the economy and social structure were not conducive of travel outside their immediate area, with even fewer venturing outside the country.  And while that is not entirely inconsistent with the country today, Vietnam is one of several Asian economies emerging into the developing world.  Southeast Asia is a beautiful, fascinating and rapidly changing corner of the world.  And I expect as its economies continue to grow, so will the prevalence of its people as tourists abroad.

~ Castaway

Return to Castaway Planet

Photo-walking San Francisco’s northern edge

 

Sailboat near Marina

Looking far across the bay, beyond the reach of my equipment and what any similarly equipped, self-respecting photographer would attempt to capture, I was doing my best to find a focus point on the Point Bonita Lighthouse.  A cute old man walked in front of me a second time, his attention fixed on a small radio clutched in the palm of his right hand.  An audio cord and ear buds hung loosely beneath his ears, the sound reminding me of transistor radios from long ago.  The old man wasn’t making particularly great time, but was steady and smooth, with the discipline I suppose any athlete could appreciate.  As he passed I was close enough to barely make out the tinny audio of a 49er game.  The 9ers’ were at home, and down a few points.

Continue reading Photo-walking San Francisco’s northern edge

All Hallows’, All Saints’, and the tale of jack-o-lanterns and boogey men

DSC_3898

“I don’t celebrate Halloween.” 

Haunted face

It’s a comment I’ve heard a few people make, and one that confuses me considering the origins of the holiday.  Celebrate, observe, participate, avoidance.  Word choice has a way of inflecting meaning and tone, often with intention.  I’ve always been fascinated by how people think, their motives, and the underpinnings of opinion, including those I disagree with – and perhaps even more-so when I disagree……  It is my humble opinion that anything which challenges us to think, to justify our beliefs, to dig just a little deeper into the psychi of those around us, is always a worthwhile pursuit.

Growing up in a household which typically avoided strong religious overtones, I enjoyed participating in Halloween without ever knowing the meaning or purpose of the holiday.  I simply enjoyed creating a cool costume – or what I thought was cool, anyway – and being with friends and cousins, roaming the darkened streets trying to maximize my take of the candy bounty.  It was simple being a kid.

Continue reading All Hallows’, All Saints’, and the tale of jack-o-lanterns and boogey men

My New Orleans ~ The City that Care Forgot – part un

A few nights ago I was with friends watching the World Series, enjoying a particularly smooth cigar.  I’m not an aficionado by any measure, but the occasional stick now and then suits me just fine.  Like so many of my other pastimes, this came to me by suggestion and curiosity.  It’s a very relaxing endeavor and, unlike drinking a smooth brown ale, which I also partake in every now and again, puffing on a rich aromatic cigar doesn’t require that I get a ride home afterwards, or sleep on a strange sofa.

Continue reading My New Orleans ~ The City that Care Forgot – part un