Aaron's in Malaysia

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Friday, August 1, 2008

White on White.

I spy with my eye something...... white. Orang Putih? YES!
There are not too many Caucasians this side of SE Asia, particularly in Terengganu. Most times, it seemed like just Adam and I. So one day we decided to do a potrait series of one another, secretly capturing any other Whities we encountered. This was easier said than done. First, we needed a camera handy. Second, we needed to be together so one of us could take the picture of the other. Third we needed to be in a good position to get the image. Much like UFO's or Sasquatch, our subjects were very elusive and usually on the go. Once or twice it sent us running down the street to be in position for the shot.
In Malay "Orang Putih" translates directly to "Person White." There is also a second term for white people: "Mat Salleh." This is the more polite version also indicating "Foreigner."
Below are the fruits of our labor. Enjoy!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Ko Phi Phi (Southern Thailand, Andaman Sea)

This month I had the pleasure of making another trip into Thailand. My Malaysian visa was about to expire; I had to leave the country and re-enter in order to have it renewed. This time I got to see the south and another stunning island: Ko Phi Phi. Here's a little trivia; this is the island filmed in the movie "The Beach" starring Leo DiCaprio. You can check it out, although I believe it is a cinema bowel movement.
In a coincidental matter of fact, I was contacted by a girl named Rachel through this blog. She had been traveling through SE Asia and was wondering about Malaysia. One thing led to another and we agreed to meet in the south of Thailand, see Ko Phi Phi, and then travel to Malaysia together. She turned out to be a really cool girl and a new friend, I'm very happy we met. It also turns out that her family and my cousins on Staten Island are very close. We also both went to LaGuardia HS just two years apart! Very small world indeed.
Here's some stuff to look at from the trip.

After climbing a billion steps to the top of this cliff, I could see the entire island. This has also been made the evacuation point after the Tsunami pummeled this island in 2004.
One of the amazing beach coves in the morning. The tide would sometimes retreat for hundreds of yards, leaving beached boats and only ankle deep water. Rachel throwing up the standard in Asian picture posing...
This picture makes me laugh. We both look so unhappy to be sitting on such a gorgeous beach. I believe we were very concentrated at the time, trying to capture the reflection in our shades. Maybe a little NY attitude to boot.
In terms of development, Ko Phi Phi is way ahead of most of the islands on the East coast of Malaysia. There were actual streets, restaurants, bars, cafes, book stores and even a 7 Eleven... some would certainly argue that this is a bad thing and ruins precious land conservation. Most times I might also agree, however, basking in some modern convenience and good western food was a nice change of pace.
Best time of day.A PUB!!!!!
Me and Rachel!
A few nights we even dined over Italian! AND- it wasn't bad! I even had my first glass of wine in 5 months... gotta be red of course.
This island also had its fair share of domestic dogs, stray dogs, cats, kittens, birds, even pet monkeys and squirrels. I wish I had my camera handy for some of the latter ones. But, here's a couple I caught.
The tiniest kitten....

This lil fella...

Monday, July 7, 2008

Sketchs & Doodles....

What would an animation director's blog be without sketches and doodles? Here's some quick stuff I've done while living here ..... more to come this week.

Adam passed out on the couch.

Stress doodle at work.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Crazy Bends.

Check out this overzealous bendy straw. I thought this was an awesome mistake until I checked the rest of the juice boxes I bought. Apparently here, two bends are better than one! Malaysian manufacturing is literally one upping the competish.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Salamat Malam, Terengganu.

(Goodnight KT)
A couple quick shots of our fair city just before nightfall.

Friday, June 27, 2008

"Malaysia, eat your heart out. Fo real!"

Here we are with our new (old), Malaysian Motorcycles. We leased these puppies from a couple of our animators. Crusin' around town has been a blast. Not pictured are our helmets, don't worry mom.

Left to right: Adam on "White Lightning," Me on "Ol Sally Blue Eyes."

Monday, June 23, 2008

Dinner of Champions

There is a Chinese dish here pronounced "Bah-coo-teh." Essentially it is stewed pork soup and is incredibly good. There is one place in China Town we often venture to for this delight. Along with the pork, they throw in some mushrooms, lettuce, some spongy stuff, and tripe (pig intestine) Imagine a hot dog minus the filling. Trust me, its great. Malaysians have a version substituting beef (daging) for pork that I've yet to try.

Below is my dinner served in a piping hot clay pot. (Say that 3 times fast). This is a classic Chinese table setting: A side of rice, soy sauce, raw garlic and diced chillies. One mixes the garlic, chillies and soy into a small dish for dipping or drizzling. And yes, that is ice in my beer. I don't remember when I started doing this but it's common here and I love it now. It really helps cut through the day's heat.

This is the outside of the restaurant. Most of these places look like holes in the wall, but serve marvelous food.

The pork is stewed in a big pot with spices and tons of fat, then ladled out onto the cutting board, chopped up and served immediately.