Friday, July 25, 2014

Chicks & Plants!

So I got the chicks I planned on getting. These are called 花鸡(hua ji, "flower chicken"), a cross between the local chickens & broiler chickens. Although they aren't the breed I was after, I have become mesmerized by the patterns on their feathers.

The feathers look like a painting, with nature as the artist. I can't wait to see them fully grown. This chick I'm holding is pretty attached to me and would sleep in the palm of my hand, or follow me around as I work in the garden, probably because I dig up worms which it is more than happy to eat.

The three in the foreground are a lot more skittish and spook easily. When they see me come to the door of their cage, they'd flutter to the door and wait for me to open it, but once they're out that door, I become something to be feared.

If you follow me on Instagram, you'll know this one. Its got white wings and was the weakest - with droopy wings and unstable on its feet - so I gave it a strong name: Skyrah. I'm wishing that it turns out to be a she, otherwise I might have to send it away due to the noise roosters make. That's the only reason I've refrained myself from naming them all.

Chickens are incredibly social animals and would chirp their heads off until they see another living thing nearby. They've made friends with my cat and dog, which is incredible because I was so afraid they'd be gobbled up. But my cat can't be bothered, and my dog only wants to play. But I keep them away from Stormy, because she doesn't know how to be gentle, and the chicks are still quite fragile.

My father and I have been quite active in the garden. I'd like to believe he was inspired by me, but I think he just pities me because I tried to clear a patch of weeds for a week and he did it within an hour.

We planted marigolds from a packet of seeds about 3 days ago and they've sprouted!

The black thing on top of the plant is actually the seed! I have never seen a seed quite so unique, but there is probably many things I haven't seen, being so new to this world of seeds and leaves, dirt and plants.

The okra we planted from the seeds of the random ladies fingers plant that appeared in my garden a couple of weeks ago has sprouted and been replanted!

My dad tossed a handful of seed into a pile and they grew into a bush of okra, so we had to dig em up and separate them before replanting. I almost killed a couple, because I didn't know I had to be delicate with the roots or water them. To be fair, I thought that as long as they have some semblance of a root and not totally broken off at the stem, they'd be fine. And we do live in a humid country where water is in the very air, so I didn't imagine they'd need any more. But my father has a super green thumb, he replanted the dying plants and they revived. I don't know how he did it, but he did. And I am more than impressed, I'm disappointed I didn't inherit his gift.

The other additions are: sweet basil, thyme and lemongrass from a nursery, dill and eggplant from a friend. Only the first two were photographed, because the rest were sitting in pots, scattered all around the garden and I forgot all about them until now.

I planted a mango seed from a fruit during mango season and red salvia from a packet of seeds a couple of days ago, but they have yet to sprout so I'm keeping my fingers crossed and hope they don't die on me!

Also, rambutan is in season! I don't dare to pick its fruit because of the black ants that has made the tree its home. I really want to... But it's just, insects, man! GEEZ. Why can't they be less creepy? >w<

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Rainforest World Music Festival Day 2

Fresh off the bus, and I could already feel the activity buzzing in the air around me. I met Lloyd - a Filipino blogger - whom I promptly lost upon reaching the workshop we were headed to (ironic, considering his blog URL). There is something thrilling about meeting a blogger. I am intrigued by what they have to say because we are such an opinionated breed with a penchant for experiences and adventures (and therefore, full of stories) because we don't want to miss out on life.

It is hard for me because I am greedy and want to capture moments as well as live them.

During the Drum Circle, I steal snaps in between booming away on my drum and scouting for potential photographs.

They all look like they know exactly what they are doing, and then there's me... Looking apprehensive about my rhythm and guilty because I abandon my drums to reach for the camera.

He looked so grumpy, I couldn't resist! It makes me wonder if the adults are laughing because this is the only joy they have left and the children aren't enjoying themselves because they don't need anything but their imagination.

I am out in the open, nothing between me and the sun but a light stickiness of sweat and sunblock. I love its warmth but I hate being tan but in that moment I care only for the beat of the drums and the fun filling my heart. There is a true sense of togetherness and I feel connected to everyone through the music we are creating. But I gave up my seat for whoever wanted to join in and started to hunt for faces.

I like photographing children, but I feel like a creep in their parents eyes. I wouldn't want my children to be photographed by a stranger, I just hope that others don't feel the same. I try to photograph them when their parents are watching - so they know I have pure intentions and nothing to hide.

This makes me think about how a child's innocence is tainted by adults and wish Peter Pan existed and that I went to Neverland when I had the chance. Forget about being a princess, a lost girl would have been far more exciting. But what I'm getting at is, we give their actions meaning. We see two children playing and our adult minds perceive their actions to be suggestive and we stop them. We strip away their mindless play and allow them to think what they did was wrong and they grow up feeling confused and afraid because they don't understand. It makes me sick to think about it and it makes me want to cry because we lose so much when we grow up.

Limkokwing set up a booth and sold bracelets made from seeds. They painted the seeds and strung them together to make a chain of vibrant colors. Fun fact: The seeds are hardy and were used as bullets by the natives.

As the night wore on, people got sillier and began to play. The ball spent most of the rest of the night in the air, as partygoers flung it back up every time it fell. Nothing like a lil bit of intoxication to bring out the child in us.

When the festival ended, we went to Damai Central, saw an impromptu performance and watched people enjoy themselves.

And we ended the night by dancing with the stars.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Rainforest World Music Festival Day One

I got the opportunity to go to Rainfest for the very first time this year, thanks to Sarawak Tourism Board and Sarawak Bloggers. I was filled with wonder as I walked through Cultural Village and marveled at this hidden gem in Kuching. The place was bursting with life and joy, all united by a passion for music. I was there for the promise of new experience and I was not disappointed.

The environment is unlike any other in Kuching, and for that I was enchanted. The lights and setup lent a foreign feeling to a familiar place. The air I breathed was as comfortingly humid as ever but I was transported to a time and place which I never knew existed in my home. In that moment, I felt infuriated for not having been. Much like when I discovered pork leg and cursed my younger self for being a picky and unadventurous eater.

I made it in time to meet the other bloggers for a couple of beers before heading to Blackbeard's Tea Party together.

Ana's friend (I'm sorry I'm terrible with faces & names) took this photo of us! From left: Ana, Garner, Ophelia, Fahri, yours truly, Lindy and Khairool. I cheated and copied the names off Lindy's blog. Alyssa was there too but I didn't realize it was her until the 2nd day - like I said, bad with faces & names - which is amazing cos I kinda just started stalking discovered her.

Anyway, I dived right into the pit to get a couple of shots. It was Christmas day with kittens and puppies on a bed of cotton candy for me. I was wide eyed at the photographic opportunities and the lack of heads in my viewfinder.

I'm not going to lie, I felt like a VIP, strutting around in the pit and snapping away... Trying to look confident in the sea of various lenses which were so much more obnoxious than the one I chose to use. Now I know how guys feel about their equipment and why size is such a delicate topic.

But enough about superficialities, let us return to the mesmerizing night of feel good vibes.

Watching the pirates enjoy themselves on stage made me happy. I suppose it's natural to be moved by another's passion... Especially one that burns white hot.

I was high off the feeling of being so present in the moment, rather than the music. I cannot for the life of me, remember their tunes but I remember how it felt. We were a collective consciousness, yet separate in our individuality. I was enchanted by the enjoyment of others. Shy, yet determined. I have always been reluctant to take candid shots of strangers, despite loving them the most. I tell myself that the moment I want to photograph would be gone by the time I am able to take the shot. But that night I told myself to just do it anyway, maybe I'll get lucky. And I did.

Stay passionate, inspire others and don't ever be afraid of looking to others for inspiration and be motivated by their passion.