Going to the Light
A 365-day Photo Journal

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Day 68: I'm still a happy Buddah

click on photo for larger version

One of the great rewards of doing this blog has been the discovery of things very close to me that I never knew existed. Since August I have found myself on many occasions taking right turns when normally I would have gone left...or driving straight on an extra mile or two to see what's just ahead. When I finish this project, I may have to end up writing a travel guide for Oklahoma City. I'm finding that my town is filled with plenty of wonder that I previously believed could only be experienced by traveling afar.

Today's photo comes from just such a discovery. One day I had business at I-44 and Western and when I finished, instead of getting back on the highway and proceding home, I decided to go South on Western and see what I found. I have to tell you that a short 15-minute excursion resulted in numerous finds that I'm sure will grace this blog in the coming year. One of these I returned to yesterday to get a closer look. Super Cao Nguyen Market is a Vietnamese mall of sorts located at NW 26th and Western. It includes a "super" store of Asian food and merchandise, as well as, a wing of retail space that has yet to be fully occupied.

One could easily spend a morning just going through the main store of this complex. It is a feast for the senses and I look forward to taking my daughter there for a cross-cultural experience. I love the smell of incense and the mixture of sandlewood and fresh seafood is truly...well different. And the colors and packaging of far east products in aisle after aisle of retail space feels like what I imagine a taste of Hong Kong must evoke.

As I entered the store I began snapping shots like a tourist in a foreign land. But apparently Cao Nguyen wants the store to be experienced first-hand and not through photographs. Almost immediately, I was met by one of Oklahoma City's finest and escorted from the building. No photos allowed. I must say that the police officer was very polite and did not hassle me at all. He was just doing his job and he did it well.

As you can see, I smuggled out some digital files and I was quite pleased that the very first thing I shot was this Buddah. I love Buddah figures. I mean there is something great about a religion that has diefied a happy, fat man.
Camera info: 24-70mm lens at 57mm. 1/60 second at f/3.2. ISO 400.


Kristie said...

You were almost arrested -- talk about suffering for your art!!

Ok, maybe not that extreme, but I'm sure the experience made this photo just a little more meaningful for you. :)

Guy Gadbois said...

My favorite photo from Super Cao that I took a couple of years ago was a package of "pork uteres" in the deli.

Adjective Queen said...

I love the Buddha!

Anonymous said...

Next time let 'em cart you down to the pokey for a night's stay behind bars....that'll get you some new discovery, if not an additional "feast for the senses." (and perhaps a new cult following!)
Jim in a Vietnamese holding tank....visions of Rambo come to mind........


Kristie said...

OK, now I'm writing for advice .... I just got asked to take team/individual pictures for a local 9-yr old football team ... I have done it in the past and enjoy it. But! The guy threw me into a panic at the end of the conversation because we are meeting at the Floyd Center one evening next week and he said, "if the weather isn't cooperating, we can do the photo inside." Um, I don't have the equipment to do a large team photo indoors! My external flash would work ok for the individual shots, but any suggestions on the group picture? Suggestions that are more helpful than "Pray earnestly for sunshine and good weather!" ?!?!? :)

Jay Spear said...

Jim, I love going to Cao Nguyen. That little part of town instantly makes me feel like I am in another place besides Oklahoma City. I always take visitors there to give them a sense of wonder that is OKC.

Have you ever eaten at Lee's Sandwiches ( http://bit.ly/phfcY ) off of Classen just a few blocks north. If not, you and I should meet there for lunch one of these days very soon.