Author Archives: sinpolaris

About sinpolaris

sinpolaris is the psuedonym of a guy who likes to write.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Motion

September 20, 2014 – Indonesia:Day003

Motion is the theme this week from WordPress’s photo challenge and my entry is on fire.

On the night the family and I went to the zoo in Bali, Indonesia, we were also treated to a performance of African dancing.

In addition to people in costume as giraffes and elephants, the troupe also played with fire. Courtesy of the low light and the long time the lens of my camera stayed open, this is what I caught when I snapped of photo of this flammable spectacle in motion.

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Pile of Rocks

March 15, 2015 – Cambodia: Day 002

Okay, we’re back to the crankiness when it comes to my reflections on Angkor, the UNESCO World Heritage Site and place that once stood as the seat of the Khmer Empire for seven centuries.

There is no doubt that this site is impressive.

There is no doubt that this site is massive.

There is no doubt that this site is awe-inspiring.

There is no doubt that this site requires a guide if you ever go (and a dress code also).

There is also no doubt that this site is in ruins.

Trust me, I know it sounds odd to lament the fact that a ruin looks…well, ruined…and that a collection of buildings built over a millenia ago looks like the cleaners haven’t come by in about three hundred years, but it’s true about this Cambodian treasure.

The fact that there were piles of rocks strewn about and that there were piles of rocks stacked up in aesthetic manners, for me, took a bit of shine off this place.

Maybe I’m just an archaeological snob. Maybe I’ve been ruined by our Peruvian experience to Machu Picchu and Ollantayambo where those locations looked like the place had been taken care of. Or at least cared about.

Below are just a sample of images of what I saw to explain what I mean…

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For the rubble that is stacked neatly on the ground, I should point out that each rock has a number on it. Our guide informed us that this is done so that – at some point in the future – the material can be placed back in its original location. Preservationists and other scholarly type folk came through Angkor and dismantled parts of the complex that were in danger of collapsing. The removed material is cataloged and stored (usually on the ground) with the intention of returning the structure to its original grandeur.

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For the rocks lying in a pell-mell manner, I saw no classification.

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I did snap this shot below of someone’s handiwork who decided to take some of the rubble and make their own structure. It’s not part of the original Khmer plan, but it still looked good.

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Angkor is Overrun

March 15, 2015 – Cambodia:Day 002

Over this weekend in mid-March, the family and I – along with my wife’s sister – traveled to Cambodia to visit the impressive and historic site known as Angkor.

Dating back to the 12th century, it was not surprising to our family to see this collection of temples and other buildings completely overrun.

Oh, wait, if you think I am talking about Angkor being swamped by trees, vines, and other vegetation, (such as the image below) you would be incorrect.

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Simply phrased, this Cambodian heritage is overrun by tourists. Have a looksie…

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If you ever have the opportunity, you should visit this impressive historical site. However, just be aware that you will probably be there with thousands of other like-minded folks.

The Post Where My Son Channels Sid Caesar

March 13, 2015 – Day 530

It is one kettle of cod to read about a thing and quite another bin of fish to actually experience it.

When doing research before our trip to downtown Bangkok to visit the complex of buildings collectively known as the Grand Palace, I had read several times (such as here) about how enterprising entrepreneurs (aka scammers) patrol the streets outside the Grand Palace and attempt to convince tourists that the complex is closed, but that they can show you around for a fee.

So, sure enough, after our gaggle of family members approached the walls of the Palace and waited to cross a busy intersection, we were approached by a Thai man who spoke passable English.

“Excuse me, hello,” he started. He had approached me on my right and was trying to grab my attention.

“Hello, hello,” he continued, “Palace is closed today.”

I have not even turned to face him. I am staring straight ahead willing the traffic buzz-full of tuk-tuks, pink taxis, and motorcycles to part like the Red Sea so that I and my family may continue our journey to the Promised Attraction.

“I take you to open part of Palace,” the man says again.

It is here that my middle child (and youngest son) displays his genius. He is standing to my left and he too has been hearing the Thai gentleman attempting to gain our attention.

He turns to me and says loud enough over the din of vehicles so that the Thai man can hear, “Sie verwendet einen Übersetzer, nicht wahr?

Actually, the words my son used were complete gibberish, but his German accent and cadence was so spot-on, that the Thai man vanished back into the crowd to look for another victim…ahem, customer.

As for the title, ladies and gentlemen, here is five-plus minutes of the great Sid Caesar. Seriously, if you can make Carl Reiner laugh this hard (at 3:35), you are in the pantheon of great comedians.

Travel Theme: Mischievous

January 6, 2015 – New Zealand:Day 001

From the website Where’s My Backpack, the weekly photo theme is mischievous.

My entry for this week takes us to Auckland, New Zealand.

While walking around the city on our way to the Sky Tower, our traveling vacationing family came across a bus, advertising the local aquarium, that was shaped a tad differently.

Oh, when the shark bites...

Oh, when the shark bites…

Okay, let’s rev up the Pun-O-Matic and see what it spits out….

a) Here’s a ride that will cost you an arm and a leg.

b) This is a bus where all the passengers are chum-my

c) It’s form of public transportation that takes a bite out of your commute

Please feel free to add you own.