Saturday, December 19, 2015

Totally Random Photos

My father-in-law has been asking for my business cards so that he can hand them out to his friends. I didn't actually have any cards and had to get some printed. Taking inspiration from my photographer cousin whose business cards are a mini portfolio of his work, I ordered cards from MOO with an assortment of 50 different images from my blog.  That got me "flipping" through my old photos and doing a lot of reminiscing over the fun worldwide travels and slow exploration of Penang, Malaysia that I've enjoyed over the last few years.

For this post, I must give credit for the idea to Nancy over at Budget Travelers Sandbox. Her post this week for her Travel Photo Thursday linkup is to randomly open four of her Flickr travel photo albums and share the seventh photo from each album. I'm being a total copycat and doing the same with my Malaysia albums so that I don't overwhelm you with all 50 of the photos from my stack of business cards.

Penang, Malaysia

Laborers' housing for Tanjung 1 condomunium

Well, this doesn't quite kick things off to a glamourous start, and this image is not part of my stack of cards. However, it's a photo that has coincidentally been on my mind a lot lately. It originally appeared in my post Expat Luxury and Expat Slums. This was taken from my kitchen window in Penang down to where the laborers lived while building the high rise condominiums next door. These quickly constructed plywood and corrugated metal shacks were a stark contrast to the luxury housing that they constructed and to my own home as well. They worked from early in the morning until late at night, sometimes until 11 p.m. I know friends who want their kids to travel or do volunteer work with the needy so that they can see how fortunate they are and how other people live. We had our reminder right outside the window on a daily basis. 

Rumor has it that most of the laborers were illegal immigrants. One day, my friend who also lived near this laborers site saw them all running frantically down to the adjacent beach chased by immigration officials. The ones who were caught were beaten and literally dragged off. Others made it into the woods to hide. Hours later, the job site sounded an "all clear" horn so the laborers could emerge from their hiding spot. Whenever work greatly slowed down on the building, we knew that another immigration raid had occurred. 

Khoo Kongsi, George Town

Elaborately carved veranda for the Khoo Kongsi clanhouse

The Khoo Kongsi is the clan house where members of the extended Khoo family who immigrated from China could congregate. It is one of the big tourist attractions in George Town's UNESCO Heritage Site district, and rightly so. It's elaborate, intricate, and gilded with gold in many parts. This photo originally appeared in my post, Khoo Kongsi: The Finest Clanhouse outiside of China.

Little India Spice Shop, George Town

Bins of spices

The spice trade was an important factor in the development of Penang Island after it was "discovered" by the British and became part of their East India Company. Indians were brought over as laborers and are an important part of the island's culture today. I always loved strolling through Little India in George Town smelling the delicious aromas and listening to Bollywood music blasting from the shops. This photo originally appeared in Little India Preps for Deepavali (Diwali). 

School of Hard Knocks at Royal Selangor shop

Hammering out a tin bowl

The tin mining industry was another key economic pillar for Malaysia. Royal Selangor sells gorgeous pewter products like jewelry to tea sets of which tin is a component. Their School of Hard Knocks on the second floor of the Straits Quay Marina Mall starts with a tour of the pewter museum and ends with each person hammering out their own tin bowl. It was LOUD, but the kids really enjoyed it. This photo originally appeared in Future Pewter Craftsman at Royal Selangor

Do you like flipping through old photos?

I've also joined with the following linkups. Check them out for more around-the-world travel inspiration.


  1. I think the Moo cards are great for photos like these and you can get some unique sizes from them. I personally have used Minted (great designs by independent artists) and Vistaprint (inexpensive). I love going back through old photos! Although once you have so many of them, it can be hard to go back through them that often. I wish I was better at organizing them a bit better.

  2. I do and I loved Nancie's idea too. I would like to see some more of your random photos Michele.

  3. That's a good idea - all of my cards are the same.

  4. Michelle, this is cool! I can imagine people being surprised by the colorful photos in your business cards. My cards are a bit outdated. I am thinking about redesigning my site, so, I think the new cards will follow the pattern.

  5. Such a great idea, both for business cards and for a blog post! I love that you included the photo of the labourer's house. Luxury has a price, and it's not always those living in luxury who pay it.

  6. Awesome idea! Just got new business cards, and this is encouraging me to distribute them in a hurry so I can order some with pics!

  7. Thanks for the great idea! Coincidentally we need new business cards and also want to do the 50 photo option from Moo. It's hard to choose which ones to use, though!

    Thanks for linking to #TheWeeklyPostcard. :)

  8. I love looking through old photos, mostly for the memories. Great idea for the business cards, I might just take some inspiration from it.

  9. I ordered the same business cards from Moo, it's such a great quality isn't it? :p

  10. This is an awesome idea for a post! Gives me an idea for a future post :)


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