Sunday, December 11, 2011

Geylang Singapore

Hello and welcome.

Back in August I went to Geylang, a traditional Chinese part of Singapore to take some photos.

Geylang is famous for its local food and prostitution. Brothels in Singapore are legal as long as they are formally licensed. Soliciting on the street is illegal however.

It is also the home to many clan houses.

August is the time of the hungry ghosts. People
leave offerings to appease the ghosts that pour
out of the gates of hell. This first shot shows a
bar that has left an altar of offerings.

I'll be back in January 2012. Have a wonderful
festive season! Hope you enjoy these photos

The MRT (Mass Rapid Transport) train arriving
at the Paya Lebar Station, which is the nearest to

Inside a clan temple

Buddhists offer food. It is a good
deed that reminds us not to be
selfish and greedy

Even the incense bowl gets breakfast

A much humbler "temple"

This isn't a Christmas tree. I
took the photo in August. I
guess it is a prosperity tree

The dining table

Life is tough on the streets of
Geylang. But a good scratch
helps keep the claws sharp for
future fights

Statues of Apsaras (celestial beings) and the
occasional Buddha

A few more.........

A variety of Buddhas all in the same pose

Tables and chairs.....

A table and chairs used for playing cards

Guess :)

The dressed up lorry belongs to the Boon Yew
Association. It's an Association Management
organisation. Not sure what that means

No prizes for guessing what goes on
behind closed shutters. Cheap eh!
That's just for the room though.....

Khadijah Mosque in Geylang

You can still see vehicles like these in parts of

Attractive shophouse architecture

This is the closest I have ever been to being in
a brothel, honest!

I started with an altar of offerings outside a bar.
This is a much grander affair! The hungry ghosts
will be hungry no more!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Fiera di Casalguidi and North Tuscan Countryside, Italy

Welcome. This is my last posting from my very short trip to Tuscany in September.

Casalguidi is a small town situated a few km south of Pistoia and about 35 km North East of Florence in Northern Tuscany. Every year it has a week-long Fiera (Festival) in September. I was there at this time so took a few photos.

The Tuscan country is famous for its beauty. Many of the classic scenes that you see on calendars and postcards are from the South of Tuscany. While I was in North Tuscany I went on a couple of trips into the hills and of course couldn't resist taking some shots.

The first photo shows a hot dog and "porchetta" (whole roasted pig) stall with the tower of the church behind

A closer view

A very, perhaps uncomfortably close view!

Street in the town, lit up for the

More meat, hanging from the ceiling, and if
that wasn't enough hanging on the walls as well

The Church of St Peter was first built in the
twelfth century. There is documentation about
Casalguidi from the year 1000. In Roman
times it was probably a way station along the
road from Pistoia to Montalbano

The Misericordia is a voluntary organisation
like St John's Ambulance. Lovely building

Daytime and the festivities are
very colourful!

Watch out! The aliens are also celebrating. The
festival is very agricultural with fine examples
of modern farming machinery

Out in the countryside now

Tuscan country house

Cypresses are the hallmark of Tuscan countryside.
They are used as windbreakers

Looking towards the Appennines that divide
Tuscany and Reggio Emilia

Olive groves

Entrance to Chiesa di San Michele Arcangelo in
Buriano near Quarrata

Beautifully framed

Lovely campanile

There used to be an ancient castle here. This
priory Church was built somewhere around
the 14 century but then restructured in its
present form in 1735

Very peaceful. There are hopes to make a
museum here

Olive cultivation began in the
eighth century in Tuscany.
Although its yield is about 10
times less than the olive trees in
southern Italy, it is very popular
because it is less acidic, giving it
a distinctive flavour

The iron-rich red soil is good for making
overall quality wine

These lovely houses are cool in summer. They
have very thick walls and very efficient window
shutters to keep the sunlight at bay

More modern houses nestled between the trees


Green floor mops!

In the hills steps are built to create flat terraces
for cultivation

A medieval campanile stands proud in what's
now a modern village

Many different shades of green as the hills
fold into each other

Great sky

The long and winding road