If you think something is clever and sophisticated beware—it is probably self-indulgence.Don Norman The Psychology of Everyday Things
A few thoughts and photos from my trip to Bali with Helen last month.
Our first stay was right on the beach, in the resort of Sanur. It’s a quiet place, particularly compared to Denpasar (the capital) and Ubud, our second destination…
Ubud is further inland, about 40 minutes north of Sanur. It’s known for its arts scene and there were plenty of market stalls selling handcrafted goods. We of course took our chance to do a bit of bartering! (We bought a couple of kites and a small wooden owl!)
We stayed at Uma, a luxury hotel located a short distance from the centre. The whole experience was pretty amazing: the room, the food, and the pool were all top notch!
Hinduism is a huge part of Balinese life, so there are temples (Pura) and offerings everywhere. Many temples are in spectacular locations: on the edge of a cliff, on a lake, or on a rock heading out to sea.
Rice fields make up a big part of the landscape in Bali. We hired a driver who took us on a trip round some windy mountain roads to check out the Jatiluwih rice terraces, the largest in Bali. The terraces were vast, and the views spectacular (unfortunately difficult to capture on camera!).
We went on a few guided tours to various places on the island. One of my favourites was a bike ride down a mountain. It was a great chance to explore some of the mountain villages that we’d previously driven through.
The food in Bali was pretty good. Lots of rice and some really good barbecued fish and meat. Unfortunately, no matter how careful we were with what we ate, we still managed to get a bout of Bali Belly, which was rather uncomfortable for the last few days of the holiday (and plane ride!). Luckily it didn’t really stop us from doing much.
We saw quite a few of these mischievous monkeys, particularly around Uluwatu. They will grab almost anything (mostly sunglasses), even flip flops off your feet! Fortunately we had been forewarned, and left all our loose items in the car.
Here are a few thoughts and photos from my trip to Hong Kong with Helen last month.
Hong Kong’s skyline is incredible, but I didn’t fully appreciate it until I saw a clear and uninterrupted view at night from Tsim Sha Tsui (TST), Kowloon (below). Up until then, I’d been most amazed by the unmissable apartment blocks. Each block is slightly different, decorated by windows, air conditioning units, and washing lines.
We took a tram ride from Central Hong Kong to Shau Kei Wan on the east-side of the island. It was a great way to get a feel for the city, and cheap too (2.30HKD ~ 18p!). The windows can be pushed all the way down, so (if it’s not raining) it’s a handy way to take a few pictures.
At Shau Kei Wan, we were met by a fish and grocery market, where it was common to see live fish flapping about in polystyrene containers, unusual fruits, and various other bits for sale in bowls and boxes, or just laying on a trolley on the street.
To experience some authentic Cantonese food, we ventured to Mak’s Noodle, a small diner not far from where we were staying. The food was very tasty, and when a waiter noticed I was having some difficulty with the noodles, he chopped them up with a pair of scissors (thankfully I wasn’t the only one needing some help!).
The street escalators are one of the coolest parts of the city. Given the hills and humidity, being able to jump on an escalator in the middle of a street was a lifesaver!
For all its skyscrapers and apartment blocks, Hong Kong still has lots of greenery, and there is plenty of it to enjoy on the (steep) walk up Victoria Peak.
I’ve just come back from spending the last couple of weeks in Hong Kong and Bali. One of my favourite experiences was attending a Kecak dance (pronounced keh-chak) at Pura Luhur Uluwatu, Bali. It was performed by around 50-100 people and the music was incredible.
The design process is actually a big spiral you go through. You start exploring ideas only to come back to explore the original idea. To outsiders, it might seem like you’re going through circles, chasing your tail. But each time you go through these circles you get closer and closer to where all these things align. It’s a spiral—a fractal spiral that never ends, and the closer you get to the point where everything aligns, the more you discover, the more you realize you have to zoom in again and keep on building it. This is true for anything that can be designed. Anything can be iterated endlessly to make it better and better.Marcos Weskamp, Head Designer at Flipboard, in an interview with Fast Company
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