So I picked a random number – 3238, and checked my hard drive for that photo.
My wife walked in while I had this photo open, and said “I recognize that — it’s Chiang Mai!” The Flight of the Gibbon banner was the giveaway, even though it’s an attraction we never took in.
This was in the middle of Loi Krathong. While we were there, we were told the whole festival was Loi Krathong — loi being the paper lantern and krathong being the “boats” made of coconut leaves and trunks, holding flowers and candles.
Wikipedia tells me that’s not entirely accurate, with it actually being the confluence of two festivals — Loi Krathong (the floating basket festival) and Yi Peng (the floating lantern festival).
There’s obviously a bit more to the festivals than these rudimentary descriptions, and we were lucky enough to be hanging out with people from our school who explained the personal and spiritual significance of the festival(s). They both generally had to do with cleansing, and letting go of negativity through symbolic action.
After the description of the festival, we we honoured to make krathongs with our gracious hosts. I’ll post more about that later, as it’s a thing unto itself.
There was more to the August long weekend than I let on here.
Part of the 1,200km of driving was a 10-hour trip within the trip, to visit an aunt and uncle in Saskatchewan for a celebration of their 50th wedding anniversary. As my uncle mentioned in his speech, it’s not very often we see an anniversary of 50 years, but it’s even less often that a parent of one of the celebrants is alive to see it; his mother is still alive and kicking at 107 years old.
According to Statistics Canada she has already lived three-quarters longer than the life expectancy for a woman born in 1908. Statistically most of her peer group wouldn’t even have lived to see my uncle’s fifth wedding anniversary.
Along the way to the party we decided to selfie-document the trip:
Another roadside attraction encountered was the field of sunflowers in all their beauty, and while not as breathtaking, I also took a much more interesting photo of them.
This is with the same camera, #nofilter:
I love it because it inexplicably feels like a grainy Polaroid from the 1970’s. Just as the other sunflower photo, this was taken with my iPhone, within a meter or two of the other location.
To get the same feel with my Pentax, I had to tweak some of the lighting in post-production, but here’s my attempt at retro bad photography:
I actually like it because it has similar (though more vibrant) colour, but it doesn’t have the grainy blur that the pixelation gave the other one.
And to prove I didn’t just travel back in time to get 70’s light everywhere, here’s the before and after of my modified photo:
The chickens are now safely in our freezer. Plenty of feet, liver, and meat to take us into winter.
We also got a handful of gizzards in the mix, which Kelly made up popcorn chicken style (along with popcorn olives and yams). Yum! It was the first time we’d had gizzard, and based on the prep necessary, probably the last. But if you’re looking for a good way to prepare chicken gizzard (or probably anything, really), try battering and deep frying.