The Filo

Pronounced as File-loh, it was short for Filofax, it was a leather bound personal organiser with ring binders where you can add pages as refills. That was the business model. It was like the forerunner of Facebook. Functioning as a diary, everything from birthdays, contacts and business plans were recorded on it.

People were lost like zombies when they misplaced their Filo. Who are they going to call on the showy tiny flip phone that was the Ericsson T28. Who can also remember a brand called OKI?

If you are too young to know, the yuppie was the guy who rolled up his sleeves to below the elbow when they go to a pub for happy hours. The knot of the tie was also loosened in a specific style as a fashion statement.

Their most irritating habit was their penchant to do ‘air golf swings’ at pubs or any open space. A Tag Heuer was their dream possession. Maybe that was why they rolled their sleeves higher, One yuppie told me he saw it on LA Law.

The Filo and the yuppie are now extinct, thankfully.

#nostalgia #filofax #flashback #tbt

Buka Puasa At Capital

Also from last night, a sketch of the old-school coffee shop in Batu Road. The long-time kopitiam serves halal food.

Real-time sketching from the middle of a busy road can be dangerous. I used a sketch filter on the pic instead.

Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 3200, f7.1, 1/200 sec.

The Bhai Bicycle

The vintage Raleigh bicycle used to be known as the Bhai bicycle as it was preferred by local Sikhs who were bigger in physique.

It was also popular with mobile hawkers as it can manage heavy cargo. This one is missing the centre stand, chain box, dynamo, teardrop-shaped headlight and bell.

The likeable thing about Mokhtar is that he is not an aloof or narrowly-focused man, given his fame and success. He engages you in a genuine conversation and can talk about anything under the sun.

The baker asked me which other Slim River attraction I will be visiting next.

Me: I like to hear your recommendations.

Mokthar: I can tell you like places with “character”.

Me: True. That’s why I am here.

Mokhtar: Go to Slim Village then, where there is a strange town square. And don’t forget to visit the nearby hot springs and waterfalls.

Me: I like strange places.

Mokthar: I know. You are strange, too.

He proceeded to give me some very specific and useful directions. With a kaya bun in hand, off I went chasing waterfalls again.

Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 125, f4, 1/320 sec.

The Way It Used To Be

Like a fading 3R print, this scene in Hulu Bernam is reminiscent of days gone by. Kampung houses on stilts and children kicking around outside.

While one can still find many such settings in rural areas, this one has an invisible modern element in the air. This village at the border of Perak is billed as a Kampung Tanpa Wayar (Wireless Village).

Photography Notes: Things to do when you are bored in a small town hotel and have a laptop with you. One of the most noticeable self-destructing effect of old colour prints is the magenta shift due to dye aging, light damage and latent chemical reaction.

To achieve the old picture look, I altered the magenta and green balance and added the finger print with Photoshop CC. Scratches, staining and dirt were added via Snapseed Desktop.

A subtle pixel shift in focus was also required as the modern-day a7R is very sharp. Looking at some of the prints from my Canon T90 film camera (dubbed The Tank by Japanese photojournalists), they appeared reasonably sharp too in spite of the subsequent colour fade.

Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 640, f4, 1/640 sec.