Thursday, February 16, 2006

Of Work and Tikka Massala

This evening Tim met Andy, Keysi, and I at the office and we walked about 20 minutes to get Indian food on Pasay Road in Makati. We had a lovely meal and got to know Andy a bit better, since our only exposure to him has been through work. He is an incredibly friendly and nice man and he is the senior manager at my work.

Tim and I walked home after that (again - an eternity with heavy bags and work shoes) and we passed by a very interesting section of the city with a bunch of outdoor restaurants and little kiosks selling things. The next time I have time, I want to eat there.

Tim did a lot more interesting things today than I did. Work was good but busy. I'll let Tim post some more of his pics and adventures from the day!

Today on my journeys, I encountered several interesting people and situations and thanked God for that elusive "photographer's luck".

Previously, I've come across several chess boards set up in public places, but never with any players. This morning I finally saw a group of people sittting around the chess boards across the street, so I walked over to investigate and hopefully get a few cool photographs. As I get closer and survey the scene, I slowly realize that this group is made up of half a dozen taller than average, black boot wearing, heavily armed men. Now, there's armed police all over Makati, in every entrance to every store and office building, but these were not looking like the police I see everyday. Nope, the group that I was purposefully walking towards, camera in hand, was none other than the Makati City S.W.A.T. Team.

There was no way to hide the fact that I was deliberatly headed right to this specific group, so I crossed my fingers and went right up to the pair at the table and asked if it was OK if I took a picture of them playing chess. Not a "yes", or a "no", but instead, "You'll have to ask our Commander." They pointed to one of the other men, who was seated on the ground, leaning up against a motorcycle, eyes shut, shotgun lying across his lap. Without even looking at me, he nodded his head and waved his hand. Not wanting to test the patience of this formidable bunch, I snapped off a few quick shots, said "Thank you very much, sir" (Salamat po) and headed in the opposite direction. (You can see that the chess board itself is owned by the S.W.A.T. wonder why I never saw anyone else playing on it.)

After that, I kept running into odd and curious things. Like the street-side locksmith selling rubber stamps and the truck driver who was shaving while in the driver's seat with no water. I hope my photographs can capture some of the flavor of the people here



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