Singapore and Monkey Battle Royals

Greetings all! So sorry i have been a bit behind with the posts, as i have been away from any sort of computer. I'm writing from Hong Kong, but that will be for the next entry. So....Singapore was a blast. The flight from Malaysia to Singapore was an ease. Right as we were about to exit the airport doors upon arrival though, we were of course selected for a "random" bag scan, and wouldn't you know it...they won the lottery...and i lost. Apparently you are not permitted to have what they call "flip knives", in Singapore. My favorite "assisted opening" Kershaw knife that i have had for almost ten years, goes everywhere with me, tucked deep in my checked luggage, which has never been an issue in the past. They told us we needed to "come with us" for police questioning...yay. At this point i was ready for a massive fine and or who knows what other prize. We were escorted to a private room in the back of the airport, where two officers started paperwork, while opening and closing the knife countless times, studying it like that of a four year old observing a rollie pollie for the first time in complete juvenile bewilderment. It was a bit comical to be honest with you. After about 30 minutes, they finally told me the knife would have to be confiscated, but with only a warning issued...FWEEEEW! In other words, if i bring anything questionable into Singapore again...they will tackle me and throw me in the slammer with a massive fine...i'm trembling in my boots...ha. I suppose things could have gone much worst...welcome to Singapore. 

We stayed at a wonderful hostel called the River City Inn, which i recommend to anyone traveling in the future. As with everywhere thus far in the trip, we went food crazy, eating everything in site. Such wonderful cheap nom noms. The Singapore Zoo was on our agenda, of which was spoken quite highly, so we headed towards the "wild" animals in hopes of a fun filled day. I have to say...i was not too impressed, UNTIL we came across the "Fragile Forest". It was as if you took a whole forest, and just smushed it into a 16 acre caged free for all. There were parrots, butterflies, massive lizards, small ducks, lemurs, fruit bats, little one-foot dear like creatures...horrifying mind you...ha, fluffy pigeon like birds, blue massive feathered flightless birds that very well could have been bio engineered in a lab, along with many other wacky creatures. The most amusing aspect was not knowing what you were going to bump into. I loved it. Probably more than most...ha. It was my child like curiosity coming out i suppose. In short, the Fragile Forest made the whole trip worth while. I must add, that it feels extremely odd photographing animals in a zoo, to the point where i was almost ashamed to be doing so. I even stopped for a long while. It just feels awfully cheapening. I have so much respect for Nick Brandt and his beautifully poetic wildlife portraiture, so i suppose anyone who views his work might experience similar feelings. Anyways, i digress.

We did a bit more research on sites to see around Singapore, and somehow came across the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve canopy walk. Now...when i read "canopy walk"...i think "Sweet! A long hike up in the trees!" NOPE...i suppose we should have read up a bit more. What we set off to see, was about two miles of hot bleh hiking with massive spiders almost eating us on every turn, then one hundred yards of mediocre view treetop crossing, then another two miles of the same sweat filled Charlotte's forest web feeding frenzy. I suppose i might be exaggerating a it was indeed enjoyable, just not as expected. On a side note...i came the closest thus far, to socking a monkey in the head. I know that sounds so very wrong, and trust me, i would never do so unless absolutely necessary. BUT, there was one particular rascal that just would not let me pass. We came up to a bend and he was just sitting with a mango, enjoying himself. We were about two feet away when he stopped everything and just stared at us with crazed eyes, teeth glaring. At that moment, my fists went into ninja mode...i was ready for a real Wing Chun jungle battle royal. I told myself "you may actually have to strike a monkey today"...bahah! As we came closer, he hissed and raised his two hands..."it's go time" i told myself. Mind you, we were on a three foot wide trail so space was very limiting. Three inches away...i started to ready my strike. Two we goooooo...! I don't know if he was just putting on a show, or if i just moved by him a little too quick, but before i knew it, i had passed the beast and evaded a very PITA worthy moment...until next time furry warrior.

I had the pleasure of attending an Annie Leibovitz exhibit at one of the massive art venues. To anyone who is familiar with her portraiture and photojournalism work, i urge you to look into her landscape imagery. It really is beautiful, filled with soft energy and emotion.

Last on the list of things to do, was meet up with another old family friend. It was such a pleasure grabbing dinner with her and recapping on much of my lost memories, from back in the KL life. We spent four hours eating delicious hamburgers and talking like old friends. The late night restaurant lifestyle is so wonderful over here. To be able to walk around at eleven in the evening, with the ease of knowing you will find some sort of restaurant or ice cream joint still open is amazing. 

I've been very fascinated with all the massive buildings around the area, so forgive the increasing amount of images dedicated to such. Anyways, that is all for now. I'm sure there is much i left out, but i'm exhausted and this computer area has very limited air conditioning. On a very positive note...i'm feeling SO much better. I can't tell you how happy i am to have energy again. More to come soon, as Hong Kong has been a blast so far! Say hello to the beautiful coast if you happen to find yourself up Highway 1! I must say i miss it so. All the best, David


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Past Adventure and Interview

This is a little off topic, but i figured people might be interested in the process that goes on with my work. The guys at were kind enough to take the time to interview me, as well as write up on an adventure we had out to Carrizo Plains, Ca. I give my thoughts on the saturated world of slrs, and why i believe you should or should not shoot film in today's digital flood. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me here. All the best, David

*****Interview Link: Stock: David King Rowe IV*****

Monkeys and Mountainside Scooter Drifting

*****EDIT: Just updated this post again...everything should be fixed now. Sorry for the technical difficulties!

It has been quite the trip thus far. Forgive me if i sound a bit while writing this. I've been sick for almost nine days now with the worst cough of my life...eeep! No sleep leaves my mind a bit cloudy. Anyways, after departing the hotel in KL, Malaysia, we headed to an old friend's house tucked away in a nice little neighborhood. She used to work with my parents back in '94 at the International School of Kuala Lumpur, when we lived here. Scattering her house were countless sets of paws. Some elegant, some tattered with age, she rescues dogs and brings them to a new life of love and care. They were hilarious to say the least.

I had the great pleasure of visiting my old house...and after all these years...nothing was as it seamed in my memory...ha. I'm not sure how to take this all yet, but i didn't even recognize the neighborhood. More to discuss on this topic later, when my mind is in a more engaged state. I had the contact info with names of our old neighbors, so i decided to give it a go and knock on the door. To my greatest suprise, an elderly man with a large smile greeted me at the door. After i explained who i was, and about five minutes of him prying through his mind...he came to and remembered everything. He welcomed us in and made cold drinks.

What's even more amazing, is that the childhood friend i grew up playing with in this very yard, was now my age...and sleeping upstairs. The father ran to the stairs and yelled up to him, and before i knew it, we were all catching up sharing stories, laughing about the random visit. The three of us grabbed dinner and tea later that night at a local little spot...such amazing food. He is quite the musician and plays for a few local bands, as well as one of the most premier bands in Malaysia, with a record label already under his belt.

We are currently on an Island called Langkawi, which to be honest, i'm not sure how i feel about yet. It's very resort like, but filled with many local shops and street vendors. I have never in my life been on any sort of motorized two wheeled vehicle...until now. We rented scooters and have been cruising around the mountain side and beach roads for three days now. It is SOOO fun! A real Tokyo Drift time...ha. Almost biffing it a few times of course in the rain, but i could see myself buying a motorcycle someday...and probably having that be the last mistake i ever make. I'm writing this from a little cyber cafe, which is ridiculously cheap. About 2 dollars an great.

Hoping this cough goes away soon, as it has been miserable, but i'm feeling a bit better today, so hopes are high. I haven't taken but three rolls with my medium format camera so far. Perhaps its the mindset i'm in. I have a feeling when i get to China, that will all change though, as the scenery is vastly different. Forgive the image quality on this post, as the monitor quality i'm working from is that of a toaster from the 50s. Thank you for all your support! Hope all is well with everyone!

All the best, David


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Off to a good start

Well...we made it. I am broadcasting from beautiful Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Two days of flight travel can take a toll on the body and mind, but it's all worth it in the end. This will be the blog I use to keep everyone updated on my travels. From time to time, depending on when I have access to a computer and internet, I will be throwing digital snapshots up here, so everyone can see just how beautiful the world I am experiencing is. 

We started our journey by flying from San Francisco to the Philippines, where we had a three hour layover. Believe it or not, the food on the plane was amazing. Never have I ever had such delicious meals while in the air. Fourteen hours can be a little excessive, to say the least, but all in all the flight went well. We then flew from the Philippines to Kuala Lumpur, which was a little less than four hours. After getting in, we took the metro to the central station in KL. Now this is where it gets a little messed up...ha. We looked at our phones' map gps and noticed that our hotel was only about a mile away, so we decided to walk with our bags to the end destination. Ninety five degrees with a humidity level of a sauna...we proceeded to walk what must have been 4 miles down the streets of the city...haha! It was awful. At one point we had to jump over a metro fence and up onto the platform, where we were greeted by a few very concerned locals. About two hours and five gallons of sweat later, we made it. For the next two nights, we stayed at a five star hotel that was under construction....aka SUPER CHEAP. It was a bit bizarre, almost like a modern ghost town in some twilight movie. The people were nice though and the food was decent, with a wonderful pool view of the cityscape. The rain here is wonderful, with lightning storms and massive clouds frequenting the skyline.

Yesterday we ventured out to Batu Caves, which consists of many limestone temples built into the side of the mountain, with a massive staircase leading up to it from the bottom. The light was gorgeous, stifled and defused by the musky cave air, physicalising it. The best part, as will be for many of our future outings i'm sure, was the funny little monkeys scampering about everywhere. One monkey walked right up to a fellow sitting down, jumped on his lap and snatched the water bottle from his hands. So sneaky!

That is all for now, but much more to come soon! Hope all is well. I can't wait to share more! Feel free to comment on each post, or email me through my site here if you have any questions.

All the best, 



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