14 Jan 2013

Second photo walk: Khlong Saen Saeb, II

I enjoyed my relaxing walk the other day so much, that I decided to repeat location on my second photostroll; being so near, it was comfortable and convenient for me to go there at any time, so after lunch, once the sun was not so merciless anymore, I took my iPod, my small backpack containing my camera, my 2 lenses, and a bottle of cold water, and left my room. To make things a bit different, however, I decided to walk the right bank of the canal this time.

Fake autumn, GH3 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm

There is only a few meters of stinky waters between both banks, but everything on this side looked different, more expansive, broader, not in the physical dimensions, but in the atmosphere that I perceived while walking there: the solitude felt distinct, the light, the sounds... Even the weeds that grow with impunity in the abandoned buildings shone with special intensity.

House of nobody, GH3 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm

Saen Saeb was once a clear canal, which used to feed thousands of people who lived on their sides, trusting it as their primary way of transportation, as their resource of water and fish, as their place of entertainment (Bangkok was know as the "Venice of the East" back then). Now, just a few decades later, all that remains is an oily, opaque, reeking stream of dark waters where only the speedboats seem to feel at home.

The new neighbor, GH3 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm

It's amazing to me how life sprouts in the most unhealthy environments: in spite of the ruins and deserted plots, the polluted waters and the rubbish, one could find, also, bursts of life and beauty along the way. It's indeed miraculous that a seed can root, and grow, and survive with the only fuel of these waters. Maybe there is something I don't grasp, or I'm blind to. Or may it be, perhaps, that the attention of pairs of caring hands watering then, day after day, is powerful enough to overcome toxicity and poison?

The garden, GH3 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm

But, again, my outing was a lonely one: afternoon makes no exceptions, and it always locks people inside their houses, wary of the darkening, tropical sun, no matter what month of the year. As I advanced, I only came across a few carefree animals who seemed to enjoy the serenity of the ambient as much as I did.

Sad-eyed, GH3 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm

Wrecker twins, GH3 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm

As much as I wanted to run into someone and seize any chance to capture some portraits of the local people who lives in this area, there were no chances today, and my walk was, from beginning to end, an exercise on lonesomeness. Nobody dared venturing into the sunny walkway, so I marched ahead without any obstacles. But suddenly, when I felt almost hopeless, a slight movement caught my attention: there, inside a small house, eyes wide open, a baby, barely standing on his own feet, was looking at me.

The fence, GH3 + Olympus M. Zuiko 45mm

His grandfather, who had built the fence himself very skillfully, gave me permission to take a picture of his cute grandson with a nod and a smile on his face. Yes, Thai people is, more often than not, kind and gentle, specially the farther you go from the touristic, downtown areas. But the same cannot be said about stray dogs: they are threatening and very territorial, and, after a couple of hours of calm, uneventful stroll, I reached a messy patch of land where a few unfriendly dogs came to meet me, fangs barking at me. So I, prudent and a bit coward, had to give up and step back until I reached the closest bridge, and cross back to the left side.

Links, GH3 + Olympus M. Zuiko 45mm

Only now that the sun was dimming people started populating the tight pavement, but I try to avoid overcrowded places, so I decided it was time to walk back home already (my bottle of water was long gone and I felt thirsty). I stopped for a moment to observe the twilight over the dancing waters, and, after a few minutes, while the echoes of the nearby mosque were fading in the distance, I slowly travelled back to city life. We will meet soon again, Saen Saeb!

Convenient yet unsafe, GH3 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm

Natural lights, GH3 + Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm

Obviously, what welcomed me back to the bustling roads was the chaos of street vendors, settling their stands or already engaged with indecisive customers. However, today I felt tired and didn't want to snap more photos, so I walked past them as fast as I could, on my way back home. But my camera was still hanging from my neck, so it was quite fast for me to raise it one more time, as I turned the last corner before the small, quiet soi that leads to my house, and grab a colorful still to conclude the session in high spirits, and good smell! Have a good evening, everybody!

Scents of faith, GH3 + Olympus M. Zuiko 45mm

No comments:

Post a Comment