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smb

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Everything posted by smb

  1. smb

    Killy

    'Looks good! And it's great to see you back in action!
  2. smb

    It's good to be home in Manila!

    I love the Philippines. Filipinos are, without a doubt, some of the friendliest, most fun-loving, outgoing and easygoing people in the world. And that is quite an awesome combination! I call Manila 'home' - and PAL (Philippine Airlines) also happens to be my favourite airline. I also quite like Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA)... It's nothing special in terms of modernity or facilities but checking in, Security, Immigration, Customs and all of the usual rigmarole generally work pretty smoothly. You can even get a smile out of an Immigration Officer - sometimes! Now that is saying something!! And you always get a nice welcoming chorus somewhere in the arrivals area at Christmas time. But... (Moaning Poms!!) How long will it be before Watsons realise that they do need to stock up on antacid tablets before Christmas and the New Year? (Not in the middle of January.) IE, When the demand is bound to be higher and supply chains are always severely disrupted? Or, how long before suppliers in general start to realise that essential supply chains do need to be maintained over the Christmas and New Year period? ...Or that it is actually quite a good idea to have more than two or three taxis working NAIA, the main international airport, on New Year's Day? (Not just let them all take the day off because they have hangovers from celebrating on New Year's Eve?) Funny as hell, that! When I cleared Customs at NAIA (MNL) the other day and saw the state of the queue for the official airport taxis, I managed to bluff my way past the guard who was insisting on preventing people from going upstairs to the Departures area - (where you can generally hop into an incoming, non-airport taxi that has just dropped off a departing passenger) - even though the queue for taxis at Arrivals was probably about five or six hours long... Basically, I used the momentum of my heavy suitcase to get myself onto the escalator up to the Departures level. Then, once I was safely on the escalator and moving steadily upwards, I made a big show of looking for my onward domestic ticket... By the time the guard realised what I was up to, I was already halfway up and it was too late! There was no angry exchange and there were no hard feelings. I just lamely explained to the Guard that the queue for regular taxis was ever so slightly on the unbearably long side - and we both smiled as we said goodbye!! The Philippines! I just love this place! ❤️
  3. smb

    Night View of Malate

    From the album: Manila, Philippines

    The photo was taken from a high rise condominium in Adriatico Street, Ermita, Manila - looking out towards Malate with the Manila Yacht Club and the Mall of Asia in the background.
  4. smb

    Manila, Philippines

    Just a few photographs of street scenes, people, street-life, buildings, rooftops, on-going construction and other views in and around the City of Manila, Philippines
  5. From the album: Manila, Philippines

    The queue for taxis at the Arrivals area of Terminal 2, Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Manila, on New Year's Day, 2019 The photo only shows a very small part of the queue, which doubles back on itself. Based purely on past experience and the absolute paucity of taxis at the time, I would estimate the queue to have been about five or six hours long, at the time of this photo. (Around 23:00hrs.)
  6. smb

    Christmas Chorus at NAIA T-2

    From the album: Manila, Philippines

    The photo was actually taken on New Year's Day, 2019. They always have a chorus somewhere in the arrivals area at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Manila (MNL) around the festive season. And very nice it is too when you have just got off the plane!
  7. smb

    Noisy Neighbours

    If you don't want to hear your neighbours above, below, left, right, behind or opposite you - then don't have neighbours above, below, left, right, behind or opposite you! That's easy!! 😁 So go and live on top of a mountain - or on a desert island or something? 😂 I'm not kidding... Last night - (or in the early hours of this morning, to be fair...) Sitting on my balcony, still jetlagged at around 01:30 Hrs. Lights on, of course! Quietly minding my own business and studying one of my books... I dared to cough?!! (Well, it wasn't really anything more than just clearing my throat. To the best of my knowledge, I don't have TB?) Oh, and I am not sure but it is not entirely impossible, by the way, that I might have committed the ultimate crime of the century, by accidentally dragging my chair? Just a tiny little bit? If I did - Sorry! It wasn't intentional. I am usually pretty quiet at that time of night. And I wasn't drunk. I didn't even have a single beer in the fridge. And if I did, in fact, scrape the chair around at all, I wasn't even aware that I had done so. OK? No. I'm pretty sure it was clearing my throat that was the final straw for my poor old long-suffering neighbours; a full 20, maybe 30 metres away from my balcony. Oh, you should have seen the commotion! On came their lights. The occupants - or at least, some of them - stood at their window gabbling away in Thai. Had they realised that I can get by quite nicely in the local lingo, they could have easily cursed me in their own language! But they didn't. (I wonder what would have happened if I had been a local? Probably, nothing at all...) Anyway; so instead of saying anything to me directly, they just closed their curtains again. Then, out of sight, all I could hear was a very loud: "Hoy!! 😕Well, sorry that I breathed then! ...I just finished the passage that I was working on, in my book; quietly went inside, and put the balcony light out... Now, I can understand one of my other neighbours not liking the smell of my cigars - so I don't smoke them on my own balcony anymore. (It helps that I can't afford the damn things at the moment, anyway...) But now, I am not even allowed to sit outside and get some fresh air after dark? Thailand - the "Land of Smiles!" 😀😀😀
  8. From the album: Night Photography

    High rise buildings on the banks of the Jao Praya River. Two of the buildings on the river bank are the Millenium Hilton Bangkok and The Peninsula Bangkok hotels. (All very expensive properties!!) Photo taken from the Saphan Taksin Bridge. I didn't have my tripod with me but, after many attempts, I actually managed to get this shot without any camera shake. 'Pure luck in the end - but quite an achievement with all the heavy trucks thundering by and shaking the bridge every few seconds! (I had a well-earned beer or six, after taking this one!!) 😂🤣😁
  9. You can download the (free) original 2.1mb image file of this photo, in the artfreaks.com Downloads module at:
  10. Version 1.0.0

    7 downloads

    High rise buildings on the banks of the Jao Praya river - (or Chao Phraya, if you prefer!) Photo taken from the Saphan Taksin Bridge. I didn't have my tripod with me but, after many attempts, I actually managed to get this shot without any camera shake. 'Pure luck in the end - but quite an achievement with all the heavy trucks thundering by and shaking the bridge every few seconds! (I had a well-earned beer or six, after taking this one!!)
  11. From the album: Night Photography

    Photo taken from the Saphan Taksin Bridge - without the use of a tripod. I tried resting the camera on a parapet of the bridge but with a half second exposure time, I would have been better off bringing my tripod along. (Even then, with a slow old camera and heavy lorries thundering by shaking the bridge every few seconds, this one would always have been a bit of a challenge!!)
  12. From the album: Night Photography

    A bit blurred... I done my best to move the camera with the boat as it moved down river! Photo taken from the Saphan Taksin Bridge
  13. From the album: Night Photography

    A rather fancy-looking tourist boat on the Jao Praya River in Bangkok. Photo taken from the Saphan Taksin Bridge
  14. smb

    Night Photography

    Night photography, including Lights and colors reflected in water.
  15. The original 1.6mb version of this image file can be downloaded for free in the artfreaks.com Downloads module of the site, at:
  16. From the album: Flowers and plant life

    I am not sure if this is what you would call pink - or a purplish pink? Anyway, never mind! This is one of the orchid plants that I bought in a floating market in Bangkok a couple of years ago. It lives quite happily in the driveway to an apartment that I rent. Well taken care of by the two guards, it has just burst out into bloom again for the second time since I gave it to the owner of the apartment.
  17. Version 1.0.0

    12 downloads

    Close up photo of one of the orchids that I bought in a floating market in Bangkok a couple of years ago. Orchids and other lovely flowers line both sides of the driveway to an apartment where I stay whenever I am in Bangkok. This is a free download of the original, full image file, of a reduced file size version of this photo that I posted in the artfreaks.com Gallery
  18. smb

    Purple flower

    The closest flower is a bit blurred... I need to work on my focusing a bit! Never mind... Practice makes perfect, as they say!
  19. smb

    Purple flower

    From the album: Flowers and plant life

    I have no idea what kind of flower this is! Just one of the many lovely flowers at the entrance to an apartment I rent in Bangkok
  20. smb

    Flowers and plant life

    An album of photographs of flowers and other plant life.
  21. From the album: Night Photography

    Just "kicking my heels" (or sitting and swatting mosquitos, as the Thai people would have it!) So I decided to have a play with my old camera and see if I could figure out how to use the thing... บ้านส้มตำ (Barn Somdtam - or Baan Somtum, if you prefer...) in Soi Sukjai near Sukhumvit Soi 42 Phrakanong, Klongtoey, Bangkok at night http://www.baansomtum.com/
  22. Check out the full resolution original image file of this in the Downloads module of the site: Despite getting bitten by mosquitoes and nearly falling over in the mud, I was quite pleased with this!!
  23. From the album: Night Photography

    Pink Tropical Water Lilies (or "Lotus," if you prefer!) These beautiful lilies grow in a ditch beside the road in Soi Sukjai, between Soi 40 and Soi 42 off the Sukhumvit Road in Bangkok. Apparently, they were just thrown in there, years ago, by the owner of the house behind were they grow. Like most tropical water lilies, the flowers only open at night...
  24. Version 1.0.0

    11 downloads

    Close-up of a beautiful pink tropical water lily, growing in a ditch beside the road in a quite residential street in the center of Bangkok, Thailand. (Soi Sukjai, between Sukhumvit Soi 40 and Sukhumvit Soi 42, near to Egamai and Thonglor roads in downtown Bangkok) This is the original, full resolution image file, from which a reduced file of the same photo was derived, when I uploaded it to the artfreaks.com Gallery.
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