Frugality, electronic devices, and photography too

Today, looking through a calendar of events and festivals Mike and I found at a tourism office today, I saw that the “1MALAYSIA YEAR-END SALE 2013” would take place on November 16th, while we will still be in Malaysia. Granted, I just bought a new bag, shower slippers, and toothbrush the other day at the mall, but there’s not really much that we need to buy, especially as we do have to carry our stuff around for the next 7 months. When talking about what we might purchase on this Malaysian Black Friday though, we figured we could use a new camera, since Mike’s is old, bulky, works sporadically, and he probably forgot the charger for it.

But then, if we were to buy something at all, a smartphone would probably be best. After all, most of them have cameras that are already pretty good. My excuse, when I take pictures with my iPad, is that it’s the best camera I have. By far. And that was before we lost our camera chargers.

So we may break down and buy our first smartphones. Ideally they would be jailbroken so we would be able to use them internationally. Unlike U.S. cellphones, which won’t accept Asian SIM cards.

The advantages, besides the cost the device would incur, of having a smartphone are immense. Mike and I have been a bit radical (frugal) in not buying one sooner. I like my iPad, even when I am not connected to the internet. Besides using it as a camera, I can use it to update my google calendar offline, take notes, view offline maps, and see where I am via GPS. It is, unfortunately, pretty bulky.

So we’re going to look into smartphones, or maybe a large iPod. We’re open to suggestions, especially to non-Apple products, considering they cost half as much.

On another note, I’m taking a lot of pictures, mostly because I am conscious of this blog, and social media in general. I am entering the Hell described in the Tedx Wake Forest Talk You Are What You Tweet (, where you go do things for the sake of documenting them for the internet. I say I’m still in Limbo, where I would do things anyway, but now feel compelled to document them.

Anyway, I now have more respect for the work that professional photographers do. A professional photographer would take a day to tour the spots she later photograph, maybe taking some test shots to test the light and where to stand so as not to be in traffic. Then she would decide what time of day to come back tomorrow to get the best lighting. Then she would hope for cooperative weather. When the weather cooperated she would take the “final” shots. Then she would pick out the useable, “good” photos. Then she would edit the heck out of them.

Luckily, being in Georgetown for at least a week, Mike and I will have the opportunity to wander about hopelessly, and circle back to places days later to take photos in proper lighting. Now that we have a room with a window (link), if not a view, we are trying to develop routines, such as waking up at a proper hour and exercising, blogging, and going through receipts on a daily basis. I will also take the time to actually go through my photos and delete the “bad” or blurry shots, and sort them into albums.

I also sent our laundry out today, for 5 MYR a a kilo. There’s too much backlog to hand wash our current amount of laundry by ourselves. Or rather, it’s too much trouble. Mike and I are still pretty frugal people. Most of the time we’d cook our own food, do our own laundry, and we will continue to take our own pictures (as opposed to buying postcards, unless we’re actually going to use them). However, sometimes you just throw down the towel and pay someone else to do it. Because we’re worth it (i.e. we have the money).