Some more pictures from my visa run wanderings around Bangkok last year. I’m not sure I could live there, but I always enjoy spending time in Bangkok; there’s always something new to discover, and now familiar places that are worth revisiting.
One of the features of expat life in Myanmar is the visa run. Every ten weeks (or longer if you’re lucky and your employer has sprung for a longer term visa) you have to leave the country and pick up a new ten-week business visa at the airport on your return. This means that over the last year and a half of living in Yangon, I’ve made a number of short trips to Bangkok. It doesn’t have to be Bangkok of course, but it’s just a short, cheap flight away, and there are a number of things about the Thai capital that appeal after spending time in Yangon, such as 24-hour electricity, excellent food and lack of feral street dogs. That’s not to say that I haven’t enjoyed living in Yangon; but a change of scene is always welcome, and I’ve appreciated these Bangkok interludes, these little slices of time when I can step away from my everyday life and see things a little differently.
Some more pictures from the streets of Yangon, taken in February and March last year. I’ve still not been doing much in terms of new pictures, but I will continue to share pictures from my neglected backlog while I wait for inspiration to strike again.
There are a lot of pagodas in Yangon. A lot. And someone has to do all that skillful carving, shaping, welding and engraving. In the city’s Kyeemyindaing neighbourhhood last March, I came across a cluster of workshops where a lot of these ornate decorations are made.
This time last year, I made a couple of visits to Nyaung Tan jetty, a small but thriving fishing port on Pazundaung Creek, near where I live in Yangon. Huge amounts of fish pass through here every day. Work seems to be divided along gender lines – women sort fish into coloured plastic baskets, while men feed huge blocks of ice into crushing machines.
* * * * *
I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who responded to my last post. Your support means a lot to me. I hope to be posting more regularly again from now on, and may even have some more recent pictures to share before too long.
This is my first post in quite a while. I’ve been neglecting all aspects of photography for some time now. The truth is I’ve become a little disillusioned with the whole process – not just taking pictures, but sorting, processing and sharing them as well. I can’t quite explain why this is. I live in Yangon, a city which is, by any standards, a fantastic place for photography. I should be out taking pictures every spare moment I get, as I was for the first few months that I lived here. But somehow that spark has gone. Recently, on the few occasions I’ve been out with my camera, I’ll see a potential photograph, but something stops me from taking it. I’ll think to myself that I’ve taken that picture before (as I probably have) or I’ll start second-guessing a potential portrait subject, expecting them to refuse, so I don’t even bother approaching them. It’s all negative and defeatist, and I know it is as I’m doing it, but that doesn’t stop me from doing it.
But I miss it. Photography is the only thing I’ve ever really been any good at, and it’s been a big part of my life for the ten years or so that I’ve been living in south-east Asia; so when I find myself so lacking in inspiration, it feels like there’s something missing. Although there are times when I feel like selling my camera and lenses and giving up altogether, there are others when I don’t want to give up so easily.
So in an effort to give myself a much needed kick up the arse, I’ve been looking through the backlog of pictures I built up in the early part of last year. I’ve been pleased to find that they’re not all completely terrible, so I’m going to start publishing some here, and try to get this blog moving again. Maybe that, in turn, will get me out and about shooting again.
This is all getting a bit introspective and self-absorbed (but you should have seen my first draft). Anyway, here are some pictures. They’re all about a year old, and were taken on the streets of downtown Yangon.
I’ve had this post – and a couple of others – on the backburner for a while. I haven’t posted them because, while I’m fairly happy with the pictures, I’ve been stuck for something to write to accompany them. And I still am. But I don’t want this blog to completely fade away, so I’ve decided to stop trying to write something insightful about Yangon, and just throw this post out there and hope that the photographs speak for themselves. So here are some more pictures of Yangon. I hope you like them.
A final – for now – few pictures from Pazundaung market in Yangon. The city is full of markets, big and small, from improvised local street markets to grand old colonial constructions. Pazundaung is somewhere in between these two extremes, a thriving local market on the banks of the heavily polluted Pazundaung Creek.