you capture – vibrance

One of the things I love most about living outside the Western world is the explosion of colors in life. In almost every other country I’ve seen outside of the U.S. and Europe, people are not afraid of colors. Their clothes explode with colors, their houses get painted all kinds of radical colors, the scenery is literally a palette unrestrained. (This is a marked difference from, say, the suburbs of south Orange County where all the houses in every neighborhood are within the same four shades of beige. I can say that ‘cuz I’m from there.)

One would think the cacophony of colors would be clashing and hideous (and maybe to some it is), but I love it.

And in Thailand? Just check out the flora. Vibrant, verdant, succulent, and green.

Now go find some vibrance in your life! And when you do, link it up at Beth’s so we can all share!



you capture – technology

Life in Thailand is a strange amalgamation of the modern and the ancient. You’ll see the fancy cars and motorbikes cruising the roads just like you’d find on the PCH in California. And then you’ll see motorized rickshaws. And then actual, bike, foot-pedal-powered rickshaws. They’re for tourists, and every time I see them I feel torn: I’d feel awful having someone cart our butts around like that, sweating in the heat, but then hey, he’s gotta’ make a living too, right?

And then, satellites bring us internet, but apparently Thais still haven’t figured out underground tunneling for power lines. There’s never a clear view of anything here for the piles of power lines cutting across and looping over and around everything.

(All of which I had planned to take photos of for you. Thought about it every day I did. But if I’m being honest…every day I got too lazy. Sorry, folks.)

Even in our own home, we find paradoxes.

We have a lovely, quality grinder for our coffee…

…but a power converter, which is available in just about every hardware store in the States, is nowhere to be found in Chiang Mai. And if you ask a coffee shop where you buy your beans if they can grind it for you, you get an espresso grind. Which does not work in a french press. So we use this:

A mortar and pestle. A technology as old as dirt.

We also have Macbooks, an iPhone, iPad, Kindle and modern conveniences…but still nothing quite beats a hammock with a good book.

The one thing that gets me, though, is with all our technology and advances in science, we still can’t find a quality combatant against mosquitos. And so we are stuck with moderately effective mosquito lotion and mostly ineffective mosquito coils.

That’s it, folks. 10,000 years of civilization and all we got to throw at the buggers is smoke and lotion.


Bitten & Scratchy in SE Asia

you capture – L

Hot season is upon us. It’s heading well into the 90′s here, even in the shade. Waiting at traffic light in midday with moto gear on is like a recipe for melting – and not in a good way. I’ve been wearing SPF wherever I go, and still I’m getting darker. Who knows. Maybe if my skin continues to darken, I’ll actually begin to look Thai.

Eh. Who am I kidding? People will still think I’m Indian. {“Dots not feathers.”} Ten points if you recognize the quote.

But while we’re literally languishing like lizards in the heat, (how’s that for L’s and alliteration?) there is one thing in Thailand that makes it bearable – and sometimes divine: fresh squeezed fruit juices. Passion fruit, pineapple, mango, strawberry, litchee, orange, lime…so many different types and all served on ice. Thai people also do something really interesting (and inspired). A lot of the juices are so naturally sweet from the fruit, they don’t even need to add sugar. But what they do often add is salt. It’s a little adjustment for the taste buds, but easy to adapt to. It’s brilliant, though, because in this tropical heat you sweat a ton and if you drink a lot of water, you’ll mess up your water-to-salt balance in your body, which actually can be really dangerous. Adding that tiny hint of salt makes for a WAY more refreshing drink that quenches your thirst immediately and gives you energy. (Kind of like the electrolytes in Gatorade.)

A few nights ago we went shopping in the Sunday Night Market and had our first taste of lime juice (Or maybe limeade is a better term for it. Kind of like lemonade but made with limes and a wee pinch of salt.) And I was hooked. I made T buy a kilo of limes so I could make some for us at home.

And all was right in the world.

Here ya’ are: legs, limes and a little limeade.

When life hands you a lime…

…make pinwheels!

Sorry. Was that a little weird? I just thought the squeezed lime bits looked like pinwheels.

All right. On that note, you can look for and link up with loads more L’s at Beth’s.


you capture – warmth

Last week I had to stretch my imagination to capture cold. This week there is no stretch of the imagination involved at all to capture warmth.

That’s right folks. It’s been hitting 80 degrees by 8 a.m. It gets so hot our dog has started migrating off her bed onto the marginally cooler tile floor.

So hot our whites dried in the sun in under an hour.

I realize, however, that a lot of you have been suffering under the Snowpocalypse of the Century, so I hesitate to complain. But you should know that it is just the very tip of the beginning of the hot season here. It will only get warmer. We might just wilt.

I’ve started wearing SPF lotion just to go outside.

I’m already several shades darker than I was three months ago.

Except my face, which I always put SPF on.

Yes, I’m sure I look funny.

But our lives here are filled with more than just warmth of temperature. We have warm smiles, warm laughs, warm embraces. And since our stuff from the U.S. just got shipped on Monday…

Warm memories…

Hope you’re all full up with lovely kinds of warmth! You can always find more at Beth’s!


you capture – cold

Unlike many You Capture participants, I’m not anywhere near Snowpocalypse 2011. And I figure ice cubes and ice cream would also be well-documented this week.

So, how, in Thailand, where the coldest thing is a supermarket, can I capture cold?

I’m going the route of alternative interpretations.

Cool tones….

A cold shoulder…

cold, adj.: lacking affection or warmth of feeling; unemotional

Ok, so this is a gelaterie. Apparently, I couldn’t stray too far from the ice cream. Who am I kidding? I can never stray too far from ice cream.

(And despite the “cold”, it’s actually one of my favorite photos that I’ve taken since we got here. Don’t ask me why.)

Revel in the cold at Beth’s!


you capture – red

I actually took a lot of pictures of red this week, but I am distinctly and unequivocally not in love with any of them, and after a seven hour day of sitting in Thai-style bureaucratic hell (wherein I saw a lot of red – figuratively speaking), I’m just not in a mood to go traipsing after more red or to toy with the ones I’ve got.

Save for this one. I like this one.

It’s just dripping scarlet, isn’t it?

And this one? I might like…I’m not sure.

But it sure does make me want to play around with a square format more. So I might forgive its faults if it inspires me to take photos with a new eye.

{Sorry I’m such a grump-meister. But I’m typing up the whole story right now, so you shall soon see why! Still. Apologies for being Captain Negative just now and I promise I’ll be back to my usual self shortly!}

In the meantime, you’ll find more (and likely cheerier) red at Beth’s!


UPDATE: The story is now written and posted! The Story of Mr. Pig – Or Why You Should Appreciate the DMV

you capture – circles


Beginning again

Coming back around to the start of things

Repeating, Reliving, Rewriting

Encircling, enfolding, enveloping…



And because I cannot NOT share the out-take from this shoot:

She winked!!

you capture – doorways

Thai people believe that the spirit of the house resides in the threshold. Why the threshold of all places, I’m not sure. However, there may be another way to read this. Perhaps our spirit resides in the threshold of our metaphorical home. In the temple that is our body, in the safe haven that is our soul.

The question is: is the doorway open or closed? Open to possibility, or closed for control?

Open for opportunity?

Or closed for comfort?

Does your spirit sit on the threshold? Tell me, how does your doorway stand?


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