Orchard Road is Singapore’s equivalent of Rodeo Drive or Madison Avenue: it’s the country’s premier shopping center. Last week was my third trip to Singapore, and I had been to Orchard Road during the day many times. This trip’s jet lag however brought me out on a walk at 5am. Orchard Road at that hour turned out to be quiet and somewhat eerie.
I recently found old slides from my childhood that I decided to have scanned. They reminded me of my start in photography, and were fun to look back on. The ones I’m showing today are from a roadtrip in 8th grade.
During the summer before high school, the junior high I attended offered an optional roadtrip out west. Put simply, a bunch of crazy 13 year olds loaded into an unairconditioned yellow school bus with the school principle and some teachers, bless their hearts. As the favored photographer of the trip, I still remember Mrs. Richie, the science teacher, giving explicit instructions to stay on the trails and never venture off of them. She would add “but Donnie, if you see something you’d like to photograph, go for it”. Anyway, I found these 2 photos I took of a sod house from the trip. I still remember the exposure oddly enough, 30 seconds at f/11 with a 28mm lens.
Every now and then you meet someone that is eccentric in such a way that upon first meeting them, you find yourself in disbelief of the their very existence. You couldn’t have imagined such a character. How could they possibly be real? This was the case with Marko.
After spending years in Bolivia as a botanist, Marko decided to use his airfare money home to purchase a piece of property in the obscure and remote town of Quime, Bolivia. This decision sealed Marko’s fate and forever tied him to Bolivia. Roughly 30 years have passed and Marko has transformed his plot of land into a luxurious (by Bolivian standards) home with a garden full of various plants. I was surprised to hear that no mail comes to Quime. Marko expressed no discouragment by this, adding that if he ever wanted to buy something like a microscope, he would just take the 6 hr. bus ride into town. With only rare visitors like myself to keep him company, Marko’s typical weeks of isolation have led to a disposition that is both eccentric and nostalgic. I felt as if I was talking with someone from a different time.