I would like to say something about my nomination for this year’s Singapore Blog Awards (SBA) first.
Travelgraphy was set up less than 2 months ago, with the intention of organising my photos online and documenting my experience travelling around 11 countries over the past 3 years. Chancing upon the SBA registration, I signed myself up for both the “Travel” and “Photography” categories. I thought my still infant blog was more relevant to “Travel”, but to my surprise, I let out a laugh and a big “What?!?” of astonishment when I saw my name under the Best Photography Blog finalists.
When I looked at the other finalists and their awesome photo blogs, I told myself, “my name must be there just to make up the numbers”. Shortly after, I was informed that Travelgraphy was in the lead, I told myself, “the judges must have acquired tastes”. Then halfway through the public voting period, I found my face on the leading board right smacked in the middle of SBA’s main website, looking back at me… I didn’t know what to tell myself at that instant.
I then decided, it was time to get a little serious. *cracks fingers*
Since I wanna do it, I’m gonna do it well, do it right, do it with my 100%.
So, here comes my 60s Fever Theme-Challenge post – “Write about something from/about the 60s that inspires you”.
One of the first few things which popped into my mind was the vintage Volkswagen Beetle that rose into popularity in the United States during the 1960s. Designed by Ferdinand Porsche, and reaching sales of 21 million worldwide, the Beetle is the longest-running and most manufactured car model till date — I’m a Beetle fan and it’s my dream to own one.
OK, now that the topic is chosen, where on earth was I going to find a vintage Beetle in Singapore??
Thanks to the internet and thanks to my wee bit of resourcefulness developed over the years as a student reporter from young, I started approaching the relevant people. First were the president and VP of the SG Heritage Car Club, whom conveniently ignored my sincere email drafted while standing on a pair 3-inch heels at a squeeze-y corner of a rush-hour train. Oh well.
The clock was ticking and I only had 2 weeks to get the post up. I then tried contacting a few car rental owners in town, until I eventually found Janaine from Volkswedding. It was funny, I rang her up while eating Bak Chor Mee in a foodcourt (because I phoned up so many numbers that day that none of them got through, so I wasn’t expecting this one to get through either) and to my pleasant surprise, everything was settled swiftly, including my proposal of getting a sponsored rate from her! ;)
But life is full of hurdles, isn’t it? The car was only available on the 9th morning (yes, this very morning) and the submission deadline for this post is 23:59 (yes, this very night). On top of that, yours truly had to make myself available on, this very afternoon, for a travel photography showcase-cum-sharing session organised by the awesome MGTO and OMY teams. I’m feeling like a journalist once again, rushing deadlines :)
Ok, I will never be done if I don’t stop talking. So let the photos speak for themselves now. （由于时间有限，这一篇博文我就不用双语来表达了，有兴趣的朋友就自己去找谷歌翻译吧。哈哈开玩笑的啦，任何疑问欢迎私信或留言。）
Most of the interior remains intact except for minor tweaks and cleaning. Major overhaul was done to the engine, and this old friend needs to go for “clinical checkups” every half a year to stay agile and healthy.
Volkswagen – means “The People’s Car”
Did you know that the Beetle was commissioned by Hitler? Yes, THAT Hitler. Order was given to Ferdinand Porsche (yes, THAT Porsche) by Hitler to design a low-budget vehicle which the citizens of Germany could easily afford. Decades later, these cute little bugs have evolved so much, while retaining the love that many have had, still have, and will have.
Here’s my new friend, Lola. She’s 45 this year!
Originally a German fair lady in cream dress, Lola has now evolved with time and puts on today a hippy and vibrant jacket in coral. Chic, swanky, with a dash of vintage vibe, this is coolness redefined.
The 60s was also a period where fashion became fashionable.
Bold prints, outrageous colours, mini skirts, sky-high heels, fashion symbols that went perfectly matching with the second wave of feminism that swept the masculine world off its feet.
One of my favourite authors – Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
And my favourite book of his – 100 Years of Solitude, was published in 1967. This is Marquez’s landmark novel which eventually led him to his Nobel Prize in Literature.
One day, I will drive my own vintage Beetle along the Spanish countryside with a picnic basket, a Leica M9, a Rough Collie, and one of Gabo’s books. A perfect Sunday afternoon!
Baby, let’s go for a ride on the modern roads of the 21st century!
I am madly in love with the sleek curves of her body. The way she artistically reflects and bends the surrounding buildings and the blue sunday sky, appears as if that is the way she interprets the foreignness of an era which doesn’t belong to her.
If Lola could feel, and if she could speak, what would be on her mind while sashaying on roads full of modern faces and monstrous-looking skyscrapers?
All things would come to an end, even the mightiest ones that appear to be so uncollapsible. The Volkswagen Type 1 prototype took its final bow on the stage in 2003 due to declining sales. I found it an irony that the last family member of the Type 1 bloodline was named “The King” (inspired by Spanish singer José Alfredo Jiménez’s song “El Rey” ), until I Googled the English translation of its sentimental lyrics:
I am fully aware that I am out
But the day that I die
I know that you will have to cry.
I have no throne or queen
Nor anyone who understands me
But I continue being king.
A stone on the road
Taught me that my destiny
Was to roll and roll.
Afterwards an arriero told me
That one need not make it first
But one must know how to make it.
We can now pay a royal visit to The King in the VW company museum in Wolfsburg, Germany.
Lola belongs to a lovely lady named Janaine, who is also the owner of Volkswedding.sg
Specialising in vintage Beetle rental, they offer an astonishingly beautiful range of vintage Volkswagen cars and mini buses. Take a look at their website and Facebook fan page if you’re looking for ideas on your wedding big day or commercial photo shoots. Alternatively, drop the ever approachable Janaine a text message or phone call at +65 92399632 :)
Some backstage candid fun:
A tip on photographing still objects: it’s all about perspectives!
Shoot from outside, shoot from the front…
Shoot from inside, shoot from the back…
Shoot from behind, shoot from the bottom…
Shoot and be shot.
This is a classical example of the Chinese idiom, “螳螂捕蝉，黄雀在后”. (I know not of the “Oriole” behind me)
Last but not least… I have shown and spoken so much about a car, but you know what, I DO NOT KNOW HOW TO DRIVE. Hahahaha.