Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Life in Dubai - Eid's all Good Day 1

Today I spent close to 12 hours hanging our with Heisham and Mr and Mrs Beaver. We all gathered at Heisham's place at around 10.30am and in true Hari Raya fashion, stuffed ourselves silly with Lontong, Serondeng, Beef Rendang, Spicy Prawns (courtesy of Mr/Mrs Beaver) and my Nasi Goreng Kampung. We then watched two movies on Heisham's fabulous BenQ plasma flatscreen before resuming food consumption round 3 (round 2 was the mid movie snacks).
In the evening we then adjourned to our usual coffeeshop haunt downstairs until about 10pm.

And I have just completed my online booking to go home in December for 2 weeks. My trip home will take in Christmas, the unprecedented Sequerah clan meet up in Malacca on the 28th as well as New Year's eve/day.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Life in Dubai - Eid is Good!

Tomorrow the Eid Al Fitr holidays begin. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday have been declared public holidays. So along with the weekend of Friday and Saturday, that gives us FIVE days of no work! My fun begins tonight. And knowing full well how time will eventually fly and all this will be but a pleasant memory, I am going to blog each and every day for the next 5 days so that I can relive them all over again when eid's (pardon the pun) all over. 

Yes, eid's all good (yes..that bad pun again)!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Life in Dubai

I thinking I am eating waaaaaay too much here!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Life in Dubai - Cookery..

Since my planned scuba diving trip got cancelled I decided to give Mama's grilled chicken recipe a go.
I think I overdid it slightly with the black peppers and nutmeg powder but the chiken turned out "ok" enough. Note to self: Go easy on the black pepper and nutmeg the next time.
Once again folks, NO home deliveries!

Life in Dubai - I was really really Bored.

Ok I was really really bored so I decided to goof around and experiment with new concepts for profile photos. I put on my diving hood, wetsuit top, placed the 80mm on the D80 on a tripod and held my rangefinder lenses to my face.

Toy Soldiers

I LOVE Toy soldiers! Its been a love I've had ever since I was a child.
British Napoleonic Soldiers, 15mm AB Figures
15mm Portuguese Napoleonic Soldiers.
All these figures have been lovingly collected and painted by me. Unfortunately I do not seem to be painting as much these days...

Friday, September 26, 2008

Life in Dubai - Caught by the Paparazzi!

2 photographers were going around taking shots during last week's UAESG.com Mid Autumn Festival do at the Consul General's residence. As a result some of our faces got published in yesterday's Khaleej's City Times under "Party Patrol". Although I would hardly call it a party as there was no booze. Yes, your eyes do not deceive you for that is I at the extreme left with the baseball cap on.
If you asked me, I feel the best part of the entire hot and humid evening was when I finally took down the last of the lanterns and I was handed an ice cold bottle of Tiger Beer by CG. The first few gulps was pure joy...

Life in Dubai - Cookery..

Thanks to Dira, I managed to get Mama's (Grandmother) recipe for Nasi Goreng Kampung! Without going into the nitty gritty details, here's how you do it.

Grab some garlic, onions, red chillis and belachan (important).
Cut them up and chuck them into a mortar (Or blender if pounding ain't your thang).
Pound like there's no tomorrow until like so..
After heating cooking oil in a wok, fry the pounded contents until fragrant. Then break in an egg. 

Add in rice (cook the rice first lah) and fry away. Add in a bit of Sweet Soy sauce if this is desirable to you. 
Viola! The final mouth watering product. I assure you my nasi goreng kampung tastes a whole lot better than Noodle Bowl's. SEDAP!
(and no I don't do home deliveries.)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Life in Dubai - The World is Small.

About 2 weeks back I got to know Jane, a fellow Singaporean in Dubai. We were part of the team that contributed to the Mid Autumn Festival get-together at the Consul General's (that's him in the back) residence. Over the last weekend, we made the startling discovery that we were both from the same secondary school and entered secondary 1 at the same time! And we have not even met each other before! On top of that she was classmates with my childhood friends and neighbour! The world is small indeed. :)

Life in Dubai - Belachan!

Sacred sacred belachan. Only one but it's more than what I need. I told Elaine to bring 5 more! At least I can repay Heisham back.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Life in Dubai - Food and Photography

Thai Go eatery
Leica M6, Nokton 35mm f1.2, Ilford Delta 3200.
Weekly eats with Heisham, Beaver (yes, his real name) and his wife, May. Last week we went to this small Thai food eatery. It was as close as it could get to the real thing and boy was it good. Thankfully they do home deliveries as well so I took a menu. Then after dinner we went for ice cream and coffee and ended up feeling absolutely stuffed and satisfied. And it was great knowing we could all wake up late the next day.
These shots were taken on my all time favourite film Ilford Delta 3200 and developed in Ilfosol 3 in my study bathroom. I discovered they sold Ilford developing chemicals at Wafi mall's photography section. Its good knowing I'll have an alternative to using my HC-110 which I can reserve solely for my Kodak rolls.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Life in Dubai

I am beginning to realise that I suffer from a very short attention span. Perhaps that is why I have so many hobbies. When I tire of one I can move on to the next easily and my attention gets rotated. However this can be a real problem in my current job as going through contracts will be a huge monumental task.
I have problems retaining information and I lack concentration. And when I wear a tie it gets worse. I have Gingko Biloba but I keep forgetting to take them.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Life in Dubai - I was bored.

Ok...I was "bored" or just messing around with scanning negatives, working on photoshop and surfin the net. I developed a roll of Ilford 3200 earlier this evening and they had pictures of Zee's Birthday BBQ back in April or May this year. needless to say it brought back fond memories.

Life in Dubai - Missing Someone

Sometimes, I feel like calling it quits here and just returning home. 

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Chris & Fiona's wedding in S'pore

Chris's & Fiona's wedding in Singapore. I was lucky that I had work meetings in Singapore a few days prior to the wedding. This way I got to fly home on company expenses for work and all I had to do was take a couple of days leave and kill a few birds with one stone, attending this wedding being one of them.

Taken on my Leica M6 with Nokton 35mm f1.2 and Ilford 3200. Developed with HC-100 and Ilford Rapid Fixer on Dilution B at 10min 30 secs at 20 deg.


Ok this is one reasonably ok test shot of myself from my first ever self developed roll. The shirt with the Singapore flag help folks from making the mistake of assuming I am Filipino.

Photography - B&W Film Developing!

Viola! My very first attempt at developing my own Black and White negatives! Joy and satisfaction like I've not experienced in a very long time. It was worth the effort of carrying 2 bottles of Kodak HC-110 and Ilford Rapid Fixer each in my check in luggage all the way from Singapore. 

Now I can go ahead and process with confidence my rolls of Ilford 3200 that I took during Chris's wedding in Singapore. It is a great feeling knowing that I do not have to rely on my local neighbourhood photo lab.


Ok..I was bored and decided to experiment with converting some of my Aberdeen shots into B&W on my newly installed Photoshop Elements 6. The colour cast on the colour pictures were awful anyway. Both were taken with my Leica M6 and Nokton 35mm f1.2.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Life in Dubai - New Guitar!

Bought a new acoustic guitar yesterday. A pure acoustic with no pick ups or electronics and with a classic dreadnought shape. It has just the sound that I was looking for. Have been itching the last few months to take the guitar up again. I was not too satisfied with the one I had back home in Singapore although that guitar did bring me some pleasant memories. I would like to think that it is now better off with someone who would use and appreciate it.

However one day I would love to own a Gibson Hummingbird! 

The trip home.

Lifting off into the air on the 28th August at Dubai was the most happiest moment at that point in life. I was finally going home. 

The mountains of east UAE.

When I landed at Changi airport, it felt like stepping out of a dream. Like the last 3 months did not happen. Or it was like coming out of a long deep sleep/coma and then realising that someone is missing. Like a long anticipated feeling of meeting a specific loved one was just not happening. To was great to be back home but at the same time I felt heavy of heart.
Not one to dwell on my moodiness, upon reaching home I got changed and headed off straight to the coffeshop to have chilli crab, fried baby squid and God knows what else and Tiger beer with cousin Colin. The chilli crab was crap but heck, it didn't matter. It was my first night home and I had more than a week ahead of me.
Unfortunately, having gotten used to the peace and quiet of my Dubai apartment, I had great difficulty in getting to bed what with the flat being on the 3rd floor and next to the main road.

One of the other great joys of being home was catching up with family and friends. I would like to think that in my short time at home I had carried out everything I had set out to do. I gave away some of my photography stuff to Colin, met with Elaine and gave her my guitar which was only collecting dust at home. And I finally got a proper Medium Format camera, the Mamiya 645 Pro with an 80mm f2.8 lens.

And I also managed to bring ALL my remaining cameras back with me to Dubai so here they are for review, from left to right: Rolleimagic II TLR, Mamiya 645 Pro, D80 with 18-200 VR (new lens!) Leica M6, Nikon FE2 and lastly the Canon Powershot A620 which was used to take the shot.

My scuba gear, underwater photography set up and some framed artwork should also be arriving here soon, thanks to John Alexander of our warehouse. 
The thing about this trip I've learned that it isn't exactly isn't leave if you're going home. You have such a hectic time running around meeting as much people as you can, running errands, shopping for what you need that you hardly have time to actually slow down and take things easy. 
My only regret was not taking the effort to take more photographs while at home. I have no excuse. I was just plain lazy!

Back In Dubai

Well just as I expected, my trip home was quick and over in a blink of an eye. It is my intention to update this blog with finer details of the last week or so but right now I just have too many things to do which in a way is great as there will never be an idle moment for me (sort of).