Life on the Canals

I like to explore “real life” places when we travel, not just the traditional touristy spots.  I find it much more satisfying in every way…photographically I like the pictures I create much more than just photographing a monument that everyone else has photographed.  To me photographing real life, real people, real experiences and interactions is much more meaningful.  I like interacting with real people…even if I can’t speak their language!  🙂

On this trip, I had a great time exploring the neighbourhoods around the canals.  Homes line the canals, bridges cross them, shops surround them, and life rushes by and through them.  People are busy living their lives.  It is real.  It is beautiful.  I had a great time interacting with the people here as they welcomed me with their smiles and laughter as we tried to (rather unsuccessfully!) communicate.  But even though we were not so good at talking with one another, we still enjoyed each other for the brief time we were together, and they were gracious enough to allow me to photograph them.

Life does not seem like it would be easy here.  As you can see from many of the photographs, it is not affluent, or even clean.  There were times I worried for the children playing near the water.  They say there are different colours of canals here…and the black ones are the worst (black being the colour of the water!).  If you fall in, you can get really sick.  And the smell is not always the most appealing either.  So not the easiest life, but the people were still full of life and joy, in spite of difficult circumstances.  Which is what I love about travelling…how much I can learn from people around the world, who on the surface seem so different from me.  Am I content, no matter my circumstances?  Is my life characterized with joy, even in difficulty?  Tough questions, but I got a glimpse of these characteristics in the people in this place.

And it challenged me.

So these photographs to me are filled with memories, not only of the place, but of the beautiful people I met while I was there.

P.S.  As you’ll be able to tell from many of the photos, I was there during rainy season, which made for lots of fun in shooting, and also just in making memories…I had lots of laughs while running with all the other locals trying to avoid being caught in the deluges! 🙂

P.S.S.  Next post will be some lovely still lifes and close ups I did in the same area…some of my favourite photos from the trip, actually!  So stay tuned…

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