Archive for September 2010

Malaysia Done, Riyadh Next

I’m in Hong Kong airport after a successful 10 days of picture taking. Malaysia is totally nice; I’ll show you my 50,000 picture scrapbook soon.

I drove every meter of every road in George Town, Cyberjaya, and Melaka. Well, think we missed like 3 blocks total but that was my fault.

Next up: Riyadh from Oct 25-31.

Driving on the Wrong Side of the Road

Holy crap. Driving on the wrong side of the road is INCREDIBLY STRESSFUL!

I just went out to dinner. We’ve always been having dinner in our hotel at the Putrajaya Shangri-La. It’s good but we have both been getting bored with the menu. I went out but Brent stayed at the hotel.

In Malaysia, the steering wheel is on the right, the shifter on the left, the blinkers on the right, both side mirrors are convex (i.e. “Objects in mirror are closer than they appear”), the rear mirror is to your left, but the ignition is oddly still on the right.

I drove a total of like 3km to the mall and back and I’m so frazzled. I shouldn’t be. I mean, I’ve been sitting in the back seat as navigator for like 1,o00 kilometers of roads, half city miles. My job has been to make sure we drive EVERY meter of EVERY road in all the cities we drive… Cyberjaya, Malaka, Georgetown, and some other cities coming up. Amazingly, I haven’t gotten car sick from reading in the car even though I’ve been reading maps in a moving car continuously for 3 days straight. It took a while to get used to navigating in this drive-on-the-left country; left turns are easier, reading offramps is backwards etc…

Now it’s time to sleep!  (It’s 10pm here, it’s 7am in San Francisco!)

Rain in Putrajaya

I am sitting in a high backed easy chair with arms that curve up and down sensually. Out the window I can only see the tops of palm trees out to 200 meters and the spire of Taman Putra Perdana. The torrential downpour shrouds the rest of the world in a gray mist. An hour ago I could clearly see the dramatic oversized moire cables of the Seri Wawasan Bridge, and the dramatic onion shaped minarets of both the Putra Mosque and the office of the Prime Minister of Malaysia. Any of those landmarks are good for a story on their own. But right now the rain, lightning, and grand opulent rolling thunder take center stage.

It’s quite a show! Every day by 3pm tall black featureless clouds amble in from the north. You can see them an hour away. Today I could sense them approaching while sitting in this very spot. I couldn’t see them from my seat but I knew they were about to make their appearance. The color of the air changed a little, the wind shifted, the distant drumroll of thunder offered ample announcement.

This has been quite a trip. Yesterday the rain caught us while driving. Due to the sensitive nature of our cameras, we can’t have even 1 drop of rain on any of our 8 lenses. We found ourselves at a highway underpass, along with some motorcylists, hiding from the torrents of rain. But it found a way to get me soaked. The first time a car went by, the splash soaked the backs of my legs while I was slipping the lens covers on the rig. I thought I had the rain beat by hiding behind the car when the next vehicles went by. But the truck sent up a wave that soaked us both even behind the car! Now, ducking my head low behind the car, below the windows as each car past I felt better… until a van got the angles just right and soaked me again! I laughed out loud, totally soaked with the clean warm rainwater.
(this photo taken 5 minutes after the rains let up a bit)

My Birthday in Malaysia

Standing on the balcony of my hotel room in Malaysia on my birthday. In the background is the office of the prime minister of Malaysia! (Derek Zoolander say relax!)

Installed Bad Behavior

In the continuing effort to fight comment spam, I installed the Bad Behavior plugin on the blog. If this accidentally stops your legitimate comment, please email me at Lee at Lee dat org.

update 4-11-11: I removed Bad Behavior a while back. See the comments

Off to Malaysia!

I’m going off on a trip to Malaysia tonight til Oct 1st for work! There will be some time for play. Any suggestions for what to see or do?