Weekly Photo Challenge: Unexpected

“Sorry, Strauss. Not Today.”

I followed what the map showed me to find the famous Johann Strauss memorial in Vienna, to cross the street and find the park. However, the red figure was flashing longer than usual. Instead of whining and groaning, pedestrians were excited with something. They had their mobile and pocket cameras ready in their hands. What was going on?

Rows of antique cars began marching on street. Participants smiled, waved and raised a victory sign to their spectators to express joy and pride behind the wheel. I couldn’t afford missing the moment. I spontaneously took my old camera and captured every single moving vehicle in front of me. I was glad I got a great spot though the lightning wasn’t the best. But I didn’t care. The pictures satisfied me no matter what. Those cars were such a beauty that one will recreate in a million years.

After the show was over, I felt tired of walking. Moreover, Johann Strauss was still far from my sight. So I decided to return to the main shopping street and get something to eat.

Sorry Strauss, I’d like to waltz with you, but not today.

Forget about a perfect plan for a while. Let imperfection infiltrate your travelling moments. Expect the unexpected, then you will discover the art of travelling.


Weekly Photo Challenge: The Sign Says, “Honesty is the Best Policy”

I’ve been wandering around the globe and found out one thing that we, citizens of the world, often miss nowadays: honesty. So, what has honesty got to do with traveling? A lot, especially when it is sacrificed many times for tons of reasons. Look around us: souvenir vendors bullying buyers, showing an expired or a fake student card to get a discounted ticket to the museum, taking a subway without paying the fare, modifying a taxi meter to cheat passengers, pick-pocketing tourists’ wallets, and oh dear, gimme more examples. I know you can do it.

“Honesty is the best policy”. An old saying that will never be obsolete. Signs we see around us speak for themselves how much we’ve been dreaming of scam-free cities.

Honesty Market, Reykjavic

Fruits in the wooden basket are for sale, not samples. But no employees outside keeping an eye for the fruits either. Honesty of the buyers is being tested.

Charlie Brown Cafe, Singapore

Check your bill. Claim a refund if there’s any service charge included.

Mirota Store, Jogjakarta

“COPET DILARANG MASUK” (no pickpockets allowed). Nothing more to explain. Though real pickpockets pretend not to understand what it means or just don’t give a shit.

Still at Mirota, when the big signboard at the back is zoomed in…..

“WATCH YOUR MOBILE PHONE AND WALLET. It’s fun to be a pickpocket, huh? Get goodies for free? Sorry, man! GET REAL, WAKE UP!” Call your priest, if not the police, to make a confession.

Penang Cab
image credit: http://www.penang-traveltips.com/taking-the-taxi.htm

“This taxi uses meter. Bargaining’s not allowed. Get the receipt.” Though I didn’t take this picture, I experienced how it applies in real life in Penang. Very few or none of those taxis actually use meter, including the ones with the sign on the door. The sign says, “I’m lying to you!”


Weekly Photo Challenge: In The Background

fishing in Kutuh Village offshore, Bali

Taken from Timbis Hill, Bali, about 800 metres above sea level, deep blue sea withdraws the attention from the initial subject: Kutuh Village people fishing in a seaweed plantation site. The offshore holds one of the biggest seaweed exporters in Bali to China, giving more prosperity of its inhabitants. It’s up to the eyes of the beholders how to interpret the message or from which angle they view the  image: the sea, the “dots” (people) in the coastline, the green-brown thing (seaweed) situated before the sea, or the calm wave.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Forward

Praha, Czech Rep

Crossing a busy street from the narrow alley I passed in Praha to Prague Castle on the other side reminds me of the possible obstacles to achieve your goals and dreams. You never know what happen to the street you’re going to cross in front of you. That’s why there’s a traffic light and a place to pray to keep you safe to reach your destination. In order to succeed, working hard on your own is just not enough. You need other people to help you and God to give you blessings.

The traffic light and its red button below represent other people’s help (who create the traffic light). The statue of Jesus represents God’s blessings, even though it’s too abstract to show blessings in a physical form. Crowded street and the other side, which is unseen until you climb the stairs, represents winding and rocky road you may find on the way to success. There’s no escalator or elevator to success, only stairs. Success is the process, not a destination or a quick scheme program.

Never give up on your dreams, even if you reach the peak of trouble. Remember to move forward and take action to achieve them. When you’re successful, don’t forget to thank people who help you and God who gives you strength and blessings – so don’t stop praying.