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Tuesday, April 03, 2012


Brand new key

I got the landlord to replace one of the locks to the front door of my flat. I was given only one key and as I share this place I had to get another cut. I asked at one of the hardware stalls at the morning market if anyone there cut keys. 'No, you have to go to Chulia Street or Pulau Tikus. But they might be closed until after Chinese New Year.'

I'd seen the one in Pulau Tikus before, working on the street, but each time I drove down Burma Road now there was no sign of him. I decided to leave it until I returned from my Australian trip.

Back in Penang I managed to get a parking spot opposite his stall. I had a small child with me and had to cross a busy road. He was getting ready to leave on his three-wheeled scooter. I signalled for him to wait and he did.

Got the key cut and we chatted. Jason was wearing a t-shirt that looked like a team shirt for a Myanmar sporting team. I asked if he was Burmese. 'No,' he said. 'We exchange shirts with members from other teams.' Jason was an athlete who swam for the Malaysian team in the Asian paralympics. He says he retired from swimming because in Malaysia success is not based on ability. 'You mean on who you know?' I asked. He nodded agreement.

I told him about the 100 Strangers project and he was happy to participate. Small dilemma for me. I only had my TZ10 pocket camera with me. My G2 was in the car but I didn't want to keep him waiting while I crossed the road twice with this child so I decided to go with the TZ10. Perhaps it's not as good a shot as I would have got otherwise but never-the-less, here is Jason.

This picture is #6 in my 100 strangers project. Find out more about the project and see pictures taken by other photographers at the 100 Strangers Flickr Group page. My 100 Strangers set.

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