Tag Archives: photo101

Jalan Alor

Today’s Photography 101 challenge is about streets.  The goal of this task is learn about an “establishing shot: a wide-angle photo that sets up a scene.”  For various reasons, I elected not to take a new picture today so my photo doesn’t exactly fit the wide-angle suggestion.  (But, I did learn about it and it made me learn about some of the features on my camera that I haven’t explored yet.  So I think I have completed the challenge!)

I considered using this photo in the “home” challenge and I am happy to be able to write about it today!  This photo is of Jalan Alor, the famous “food street” in KL.  It’s one of Micah’s and my favorite places in the city in general, and it’s easily my favorite place to go out to eat.  The lanterns above the street are really beautiful.  The street is filled with stalls and restaurants serving delicious food.  The tables are right on the street, so it can be difficult to navigate with cars, mopeds, and people all trying to make their way through.  On the weekends, it is packed!  The servers stand in the street with menus, often times shoving the menu into your face, to try to attract you to their establishment and that can be overwhelming sometimes.  There are also people trying to sell you various souvenirs, accessories, and bootleg movies.  Some of the menus are in English and some aren’t, but there are usually pictures and most of the servers we have met understand enough English that we can get by.  It’s a great place to go with a group of people because you can order lots of different things and share them.  It’s also a great place to go for people watching.  In terms of price, it’s more expensive than the small hawker stalls near our hotel, but there are also many more food and stall choices and I think the food is higher quality, too.  It’s about comparable in price to eating at a traditional restaurant, so it falls under “once in a while” in our budget.  The lanterns, the delicious smells, the hustle and bustle- it’s what we hoped we would find in Kuala Lumpur.

Jalan Alor, the most delicious street in the whole city.

Jalan Alor, the most delicious street in the whole city.

Home is Where the Water Is

After my successful run in the Blogging 101 course, I decided to sign up for Photography 101.  Today’s assignment: post a picture of “home.”

Home is elusive for me at the moment.  If we define home as the place where you were born and/or grew up, I haven’t effectively lived there since 1999.  I go back around once a year, and I still call it “home” in casual conversation sometimes, but it hasn’t really been my home for a long time.  If we define home as the place where you currently live, Kuala Lumpur certainly doesn’t feel like home.  We will only be here for one year, so it only qualifies as home by a technicality.  We will go back to the Dallas area, likely to the same suburb, when we return, but it’s difficult for me to picture that as home, too.  We only lived there for a year before heading to KL, so we rented.  We gave up the lease at the end of the lease term, so we will need to find a new place to live when we return.  It won’t be difficult to do that, but it’s not like we have a place to live with our belongings ready and waiting for us to walk in the door.  It’s hard to call a house you have never lived in home, too.

Home.  I grew up on the ocean.  (Quite literally.  High tide came up in my backyard.)  I feel at home when I am near the water.  I’d rather have a large body of water, preferably salt water, but any water will do.  After college, I can remember two distinct moments when I realized “OK, I can live here” after I moved to a new city, and both occurred near water.  I had a similar moment here in KL about a month ago- also near water.  (Actually, now that I think about it, all three moments also had a hike and bike trail in common.  Interesting.)  I’m happy living here, but I’m always aware of being an outsider and that can take a toll.  While I was walking one morning, I found this pond and the statues.  Immediately I felt at peace.

I had no idea these sculptures were hidden in the middle of the park.  I started calling it "The Secret Whale."

I find myself drawn to water- a pond, a river, a lake, it doesn’t matter.  Finding a pond in a park close to my apartment made me feel more at home in KL.

When I discovered the pond in the middle of a small park near our hotel, I was very happy.  The whale and dolphin statues are a really nice bonus.  I refer to them as the Secret Whale and the Surprise Dolphins, because they are hidden.  You have to be in the park to find them, you can’t see them from the mall area outside the park.  The grocery store where I frequently shop and one of the coffee shops where I frequently work are in the mall at the base of the towers.  I can see the park from the coffee shop, but not the pond or statues.  It makes me happy to know that they are there.