Searching for Captain Slim

I have been in Slim River town and surrounding areas, on and off, for the past three weeks. I wrongly presumed the town is named after a river that is slim and narrow. It wasn’t, it seems.

The river and town were named after the eponymous Captain Slim from the 19th century. The British explorer allegedly discovered the river by accident when he got lost.

There is not much info online, except the same info repeated everywhere as fact, when there are no citations or references.

How can someone who had a town and river named after him had no records? Maybe I was looking at the wrong places but is still odd.

Many British sailors would have kept detailed logs and diaries, even if the captain didn’t. Could this be a romantic anecdote morphed into an urban legend?

It is also quite strange as Slim River, the river, is shallow and rocky. Today, it is a white water rafting location, upstream. He’ll be lost today too, as the river is not on Google Map.

I decided to drive alongside the river and talk to village elders to see if they can recall anything they might have heard pass down from their ancestors.

If the good captain existed, and if he got off his boat at this juncture, he would have seen this amazing sight (minus the rails and gazebo).

This is the Ulu Slim hot springs I visited the other day. It is magical today as steam shot up high because of the downpour.

Surrounded by rolling hills and rainforests, this is one of the most beautiful natural sights in Malaysia. Slim River, the river, is about 50 meters behind me.

Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 100, f11, 1/160 sec.

Kawaii

Two cute siblings whose parents are traders at a Ramadan bazaar in Slim River. When they saw my camera, they happily flashed the V-sign, inviting me to take a snap. How can I say no? Haha.

Cute as it is, few kids know or care about the origin of the peace or victory (V) sign, its original meaning and colourful history.

For Asian kids, this hand gesture became an automatic and spontaneous reaction to a camera.

Its unexpected revival as part of modern-day Asian pop culture is attributed to the Japanese Cuteness Culture known as kawaii.

Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 100, f2, 1/400 sec.

Egg Yolk Sunset

I saw a lovely setting sun in the mirror while stuck in a horrendous traffic jam today. Decided to shoot through the wing mirror while waiting at the lights.

Deliberate under-exposure kept the bright sun in check. That, plus factors such as micro-vibrations and dust on an already optically-imperfect mirror created some funky effects.

I like the surreal effect in which different shades of red and orange dominate; that of the sun, the street lights and tail lights of cars going in the opposite direction.

Many Cantonese-speaking photographers refer to such a sunset as “kai tan wong” or egg yolk.

Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 100, f4, 1/1250 sec.

Family Business

At the Slim River market, Sabri the grocery shop owner, is doing his accounts. His daughter Mina, 5, is doing her kindergarten homework alongside him.

I wanted to capture a candid of both concentrating on their respective work but the kid does what she does best upon seeing a camera. Automatically pose without prompt. What a sweet smile.

Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 100, f8, 1/100 sec.