Instagram baffles me. Totally and completely. I don’t tend to let it bother me, but I do get mildly interested when things like the #2017bestnine pop up and I can indulge a little bit of my data nerd side. Then I found Rosie’s post on the stories behind her top 9, and I couldn’t resist. Data and anecdotes? What’s not to love?!
Some general observations first: like Rosie, my most liked were pre algorithm shakeup. They can mostly be characterised as tall buildings, trees, and fruit. An eclectic mix, I’ll give you that. It’s also probably quite obvious I don’t have an Instagram Theme, because that continues to baffle me.
Most photos came from our pre-pat trip, as I guess people like following along with travels in real time – but I’m surprised that none of my New Zealand pictures made the cut. Maybe that’s because they were post algorithm change, maybe people just didn’t enjoy the lakes-and-mountains spam quite as much as I did?? I don’t know how but hey ho. Things that also made no difference: whether I used my good camera or just my phone, whether I edited it using VSCO or not, putting my face in it. Apparently nobody likes my face. It’s fine, it’s fine…
So let’s not dwell on that and instead move on to what was going on behind the scenes of my most social media approved moments of the year.
Coming in at number nine is some fruit. Why, I don’t know. I do find the colours of the picture extremely pleasing, and I have to say the plums were even tastier than they looked. This was taken during the canal market tour portion of the excellent cooking class I attended in the slums of Bangkok. It was one of the best things we did in the city and I always recommend it to others travelling there – however the market trip portion was a bit confronting to say the least. For a start it was boiling hot despite being 8am, and I know that’s standard Bangkok but I never got used to it. I’m also not fabulous in the morning. I’m especially not fabulous in the morning when confronted with vast open market halls full of animal carcasses in various states of butchery, beetles, ants, and live animals for sale. Oh and some freshly skinned frogs, hearts partially removed, still twitching. You’re welcome.
It was a relief to make it to the fruit and veg section, let me tell you.
Here at number eight is another reason Instagram baffles me so much. I almost didn’t post this one. I took it on my phone, extra zoomed in, and I wrote it off as super grainy and generally bad quality. An hour or so earlier I had dropped my beloved camera on the hard stone floor of this temple, utterly and irreversibly writing it off. When I took this photo I was still mad at myself for being so clumsy, and that’s probably what the caption refers to. Breathe out; let it go! What’s done is done. Also: The Prodigy.
At seven we begin with the tall buildings. I didn’t really get the fuss about the Petronas Towers until we saw them… but then I understood. They’re just very cool. Malaysia was the last stop on our prepat trip (apart from Accidental Singapore) and by the time we arrived we were pretty tired. But we only had 24 hours in the city so we dragged ourselves up out of bed to catch the hop on hop off bus that left from just outside our hotel. This photo was taken from said bus whilst stopped at a red light.
We were deliriously happy because it was actually a vaguely sensible temperature – like, mid twenties! – compared to the stifling heat we’d just come from in Indonesia. I fell hard for Kuala Lumpur that morning and I still keep going on about how much I want to go back..
I’m pretty sure the stuff I saw with my eyes and not my camera that I reference in the caption was our last full day of travel before we arrived in Sydney to start our brand new expat life. I am pretty sure it involved some delicious food court meals, some last minute stocking up on killer Asian skincare (especially sunscreen), and finding the what I can only describe as the Malaysian equivalent of Old Navy.
Six just reminds me of happy times with friends, plain and simple. Our lovely friends Brian and Lydia took us out for a day in the Thai mountains when we visited them, and we ended up in this amazing cafe that had beautiful gardens, fish ponds, puppies (!!!) and an Instagram friendly swing. Just overall good times and good chats with good people.
The downside: bucket flush loos and no loo roll. Welcome to Thailand! At least there was a Western-style toilet option at all, that’s all I’m saying.
Five is probably my favourite out of all of these 9 pictures. In fact, it’s still my phone lock screen and background (what higher praise can there be these days). This photo represents the love affair with Adelaide I started in 2017 – it all began when I went there for work back in February. I don’t know what it is about the place, but I instantly felt at home there. It’s a bit on the quiet side, and often overlooked, but I am a big fan. I particularly enjoyed the Botanic Gardens, which I made sure to take S back to when we returned together later on in the year. This was taken in their giant greenhouse, which we had completely to ourselves as we walked through.
Sidenote: I took this photo on my phone, with absolutely no thought for composition or anything. I just pointed it up and snapped, and there you go.
Four gives me instant bliss just looking at it. It was taken at sunset in the rooftop pool of the Hotel Indigo in Bangkok, maybe my favourite hotel of all time. Maybe? I find this interesting because there’s no captivating caption, no fancy filter (that pink is all sunset baby) and my feet aren’t even that nice. Did I mention I don’t get Instagram? Behind the scenes of this photo were some serious Instagram pros who were vlogging, snapping eleventy jillion photos and posing up a storm in their teeny bikinis. It made me and my unattractive feet feel quite inferior to be honest. So I sat and read my book (I think it was Cultureshock! Australia; I do not recommend) and remembered I don’t care about being internet famous. Hooray!
What can I say, who doesn’t love a serve of mango and sticky rice?! Three was the parting shot from the cooking class I mentioned earlier. What you can’t see his how sweaty I am – cooking in 30+ degree heat is no joke.
This weekends view…. I’ve used my birthday as a good excuse to spend some of my IHG points on a night in the Intercontinental in my new city. Sydney, you are looking beautiful this morning. And to all the half marathon runners who I saw from my window springing along the Cahill Expressway in a worryingly sprightly fashion this morning, I take my hat off to you. Right, now I’m going to go and eat foam bananas on circular quay.
Oh look! More tall buildings. Number two on the list comes from my brand new home, shiny Sydney. I had to contort myself in the window of our hotel room to get this view – redeeming points for a free room means you get the ones with the worst views. Still, if this is the worst view, I’ll take it. After taking this photo we did indeed go down to Circular Quay to enjoy the autumn sunshine and I ate a whole bag of foam bananas as per the caption, before realising they had gluten in them so spending the rest of the day looking reasonably pregnant. I’m such a rubbish coeliac sometimes.
…and hello Malaysia! So it looks like miserable weather in this picture but it’s actually not. It was cool and crisp this morning and it was nice to get a brief respite from the super hot Lombok sun. Anyway, here are the Petronas towers as viewed from KL tower. We’re in Kuala Lumpur for slightly over 24 hours and determined to see as much as we can!
And top of my best 9 is this picture of a tall building from another tall building. I think this moment was when I realised quite how much I love going up tall buildings. The Petronas Towers are just beautiful from any angle, aren’t they?
Notable fail: trying to take a photo of myself with said towers in the background. Has anyone mastered the art of taking a photo of themselves inside an observation deck, with the view outside also visible? Personally I cannot make it happen.
So I know 2017 is a dim and distant flicker in the rear view mirror now, but are there any stories behind your best 9 that you want to share?