13 January 2006

Top Sunsets in My life ...

No funnies here .. I made a promise to someone sometime back while I was in Thailand that I'd write a blog about things that give me peace and calm. So, here I am fulfilling it.

Doing my work is an excellent way of building stress within the system. Late nights, impossible deadlines, stakeholders with divergent agendas and the personal quest for perfection all makes quite a bit of tension build up. I blew up once in her presence at work, and she later pulled me aside.

"Stress no good ka .... noisy for me ka ... and bad for khun too ka."

"Err ... well, it's all part of work. That's my style. I sometimes push things very hard."

"Understand ka. But you need to learn how to control ka. I also feel stress sometimes, but I learn to deal with it ka ..."

We had a long, good look at her stress control methods. Now, I'm not going to start laughing for 5 minutes everyday before I work, or meditate in yoga poses, I told her at the end of the conversation. But I do write to let steam off. And I like to take things easy and travel.

So I promised her I would write a blog about the sunsets I've encountered on my travels, sunset being her favourite time of the day (and mine too ...).

I've been reminded lately by her she's still not seen it yet, so here, my blog of the top sunsets in my life. Pictures are included where available.

  • Bangkok, Thailand - On my last day in Bangkok, I was sitting out on the balcony facing the setting sun, which fades behind the Dusit palace. And Khun Dee was there with me, and we spoke, mano-a-mano, about everything. The cigar was great, the Chardonnay excellent, but the company, simply unbeatable. Dee is a friend who simply respected, accepted and embraced me, as I am, and I suspect I did the same to him to, which is why we were friends first and colleagues second. Sometimes, it's hard to finger on it, but there are some friends who simply are.
The view from my apartment's balcony in Bangkok, often a setting for conversations with K Dee over cigar or beer. Make no mistakes, we have our arguments, but like good friends, we meet up after work, have a drink and all's ok.
  • Tanah Lot, Bali - Me and Taiko arrived early at the famous Tanah Lot temple in Bali, about 2 hours before sunset. We set up our camera and waited patiently as the most beautiful and intensely glowing sun put on a show worth a billion words. I have around 600 pictures of the sunset sequence and I still look it up from time to time.
Stunning. That's probably the only word equal to the view. I wish cameras can capture a person's emotion at the moment the picture was taken. I'm honest when I say I want to be born in Bali in my next life.
  • Airlie Beach, Australia - My years in Australia as a student really marked the end of my childhood. I may have been a teenager then, but I lived a pampered existance, despite our family's poor background. Dad and I sat down before I went to Australia, we calculated the fund required, and he sold the house and gave it all to me. I was told to behave and manage the money properly. I came back with balance in hand, a degree, and two years ago, when I saw this picture of the sunset at Airlie Beach, I made up my mind to buy a bigger house and have my parents move in with me, although my personal wish was to buy a condo and live simple and alone. I love you dad. Paying extra for a bigger house is nothing. Having you stay with me is everything.
  • Pulau Rawa, Johor, Malaysia - I took time off after my last breakup, and went to this charming island all alone. The sunset was stunning, but equally, a Singaporean couple who shared the table with me during the weekend seafood barbeque were great too. Right then, I realised I'm ok. I'll make it after all.
Rawa is a small, simple island with fringing corals. Twice I have been here, twice I have not been disappointed. My heart feels at peace in the laps of its pure, white sand. This is the only scanned photo of Rawa I still have, back in those days, digital cameras were not so affordable.
  • Malibu, California - The rugged coasts off Malibu was worth every bit of the long traffic crawl I put up with from LA. It was the first time I had a trip just to watch the sun setting - and that's when I fell in love with sunsets. But the little car accident on our way back to LA did deflate our morale .
  • Legian, Bali - On the last day of my trip to Bali, the skies put on a fitting farewell - the clouds finally came and gave the sunset character. Not for the first time, I felt I haven't spent enough times there.
Bali was a holiday that was heaven sent for me. After nearly 1 year managing a project in Thailand, I really needed a break. How's this for peace and quiet? Legian is hardly quiet, since it's on the far end of Kuta. But pick your spot and you'll still have some peace.
  • Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia - My first holiday after a long, tiring and emotionally draining project in Singapore, which ended in success. KK was my second stop after beautiful, peaceful Kuching. Like I normally do, I travel alone, and for some reason, the peace I got while having dinner at a restaurant along the KK waterline was immense. If I do have batteries that require recharging, that little moment in time, while I was finishing my lobster and gazing at the setting sun, was all that was required.
  • Wat Arun, Bangkok - Nawin duped me into believing I would still find all the Songkran festivities on the 3rd day, so I walked from Ratchathewi to Khao San with cameras in hand, hoping to snap some pictures of the world famous party. As it turned out, Songkran was over, only white powder coating the road bore testimony to the party that was. I was dejected, and walked past Wat Phra Keow and stumbled across this immensely good spot opposite Wat Arun. This must have been the most peaceful 30 minutes of my entire 2005.
The majestic Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn) is really best viewed at dusk, really. I sat across the river at a deserted food court, and propped by camera on a table. In between photo shoot, I soaked in the atmosphere - the breeze, the smell of the river (not always pleasant) and the gentle waves lapping it's eroded shores.

There krub, my top sunsets. Can't get 10 into the list to make it top 10. I have witnessed many stunning sunsets, but I have chosen these for their significance and/or timing. Thank you for your little conversation with me after I lost my cool then - the next time I want to blow my head off and get into an argument with my project team, maybe I'll make an appointment with the next available sunset ;-)

Now, your turn - I'll be checking on your blog !!


ShaolinTiger said...

I got a skies gallery too, need to add more though I missed out a load lately!

You can check it here Beautiful Skies.

moz monster said...

I carry a camera everywhere I go, but it's been raining loads lately in the evening, so I too have not much luck lately.

Nice little gallery you've got there.

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