My entries vary between being theme based about travelling in general or mimicing a style of writing for a recent adventure. Sometimes I just summarise my feelings or thought about a country. Its a bit eclectic, don't expect Dickens.
Please feel free to read on!

A Favourite Quote
"But real adventures, I reflected, do not happen to people who remain at home: they must be sought abroad."

Oceania » Fiji » Viti Levu July 26th 2020

Have you ever heard a word that when translated you realise that there is no equivalent word in your own language? Well probably; languages steal all the time. We all enjoy a bit of shadenfreude. We all enjoy a bit of déjà vu. In Itaukee there is a word – Karamaca. It boils down to an unquenchable thirst, but when travelling and learning with people factory definitions are not how you receive the meaning of a word. Instead you are given stories with the word dissolved within them. (As an aside, if you prefer things pinned down and precise, then this travel experience will exasperate you). Karamaca is the feeling that you have drunk as much water as you possibly can, your stomach is full and you don’t think you could add even a wafer thin ... read more
Welcome to Ba Town
Clock Tower over Albert Park

Oceania » Fiji » Viti Levu » Nadi June 14th 2020

The world should be sketched out by engineers and scientists but shaded and coloured by artists and linguists. Of course being one of the former means I get frustrated when I see a framework having being made up by creatives leaving my “square headed” brain to overheat. This is never more the case than when learning a language; the rules taught are never actual rules unless your mind can access that esoteric rationale that only polyglots have access to. Being over-analytical I mentally try to explore those synapses linking all the obscure rules to somehow relieve my mind. Imagine that scene from A Beautiful Mind where the protagonist is madly mapping the positions of pigeons. (Here’s to hoping that my uni mates will someday, far in the future, give me their bic pens in ... read more
Potentially an ancient Tibetan Meme
Hands up who wants to Latinise Vietnamese
Arabic Mecca Compass

Middle East » Saudi Arabia » Dammam May 9th 2020

What makes something valuable? This question is long debated by the economists and traders throughout the world. Marx would say my mother’s rhubarb crumble should be valued at the sum of the ingredients plus the effort of the chef. And given that Mum can whip one up in minutes and the rhubarb grew in the garden, Marx and I may disagree on the value. Keynes might argue value is defined by scarcity and demand for the pudding. Truly, everyone knows that my mother is singular in perfecting this treat, whilst demand is from all the family. Thus, Mum could drive a high price yet it is provided freely! You should however “Mind your Ps & Qs” as Val would have said – the cost of a lack of politeness will weigh heavy on your heart. Both ... read more
Twizzle Chimneys
Sunset over Indusrty
Dinner at Home

Africa » Madagascar » Fianarantsoa April 19th 2020

I awake in my small room, and slip out under the mosquito net that cocoons my bed. I know the layout so don't need to light a candle. My pack is ready where I left it last night, I sling it over my shoulder and disappear into the equal darkness outside. The dog is the only one in the compound that wakes, he comes out wagging his tail, I bid him farewell and exit through the corrugated iron door. The road is rocky, a mix of skewed paving slabs and mud, it hasn't been repaved since the French abandoned Fort Carnot, in fact the only remnant that is still intact is the post office sitting next to the barracks overlooking the town. My three companions meet me on the outskirts, we do not share a language, ... read more
The pre-dawn
At the crossing
Roadside Lychees

Europe » Russia » South » Bashkortostan » Ufa April 5th 2020

Icy gusts rush over the great steppe; snow laden, barren, endless. The moon having never risen gives the stars their meagre chance to light the blanched plains. A man is running seemingly from nowhere. His pace slows as he runs out of breath. Panting and now walking, eventually his energy is depleted and he collapses. Within an hour his skin is frozen solid, paused in time at his final solitary moment. Then as the long night wears on, drifts of snow build up, first against him, then over him shrouding his corpse. His footprints are filled. The final flake of snow floats gently downwards and no trace is left. The sun casts a furtive beam of light over the horizon. A technicolour display that no living creature will observe. This is the story of many men ... read more
Entering Chishmy
Blue and Green
Mosque and Church

Oceania » Fiji » Suva March 22nd 2020

Hello Everyone, I thought whilst I have a captivated audience of self isolaters I should write something to keep you jollied up. So I thought I would share a little of the child naming conventions of the world that I have come across as it came up again the other day here in Fiji, a little amuse-boosh for you. And some local photos. The Fijians take a concept of birth-events as the core to child's name. So for example if your uncle bought a car near your birth day then you might be called 'New Car' or if your parents used a computer for the first time you might be named 'Computer'. Or if someone drowned in the river, you might end up being called 'Drowned' - yikes that got dark! So moving swiftly on like ... read more
The Fijian Affinity with the UK
Our Guide with Machete
Typical Fijian Village

Oceania » Fiji » Suva March 8th 2020

Welcome to Paradise, In the queue to customs we are serenaded with a Fijian string band welcoming the flight weary passengers onto the island Viti Levu. But my stay in the resort town of Nadi won't be long as I make haste to the weather-side of the island and the capital, Suva. I will take rooms in there and use them as my basecamp to further explore, map and work over the next years - I hope you will not be too inundated with palm tree photos, I will attempt to give a little diversity, but with 2600 species that shouldn't pose a problem. The tentacles of humidity grasps you, penetrating your clothes (and one's moustache) without mercy. But with the Fijian humidity comes the Fijian hospitality. Instantly welcomed by practically every passer-by and sometimes even ... read more
There's a storm brewing
Sunset in Paradise

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Cambridgeshire » Cambridge January 29th 2018

Forgive me Google for I have sinned, it has been 3 years since my last blog post. I have much to confess... I have been using a VPN to mask my sins so that you shall not see, but I know now you have an all-seeing eye and seek your guidance to set me back on the path to well-groomed, targeted advertising. I have set up false idols and usernames on other less invasive mail clients only for me to see now that they are nothing when compared with your majestic 128-bit encryption, through which you are still able to see my wildest fantasy novel selection on kindle and my greatest flaws and underlay choices. And you lay before me your omnipotent offerings of that only you, in your unerring knowledge, could possibly divine what I ... read more
I, solemly
Angel in Budapest
A Thai Phallacy

Africa » Sudan » North » Atbara January 29th 2015

The Nubian mausoleums within the current borders of Sudan are famous amongst Archaeologists and Pyramidaphiles a like. However seemingly the current Sudan residents don't quite value them in quite the same way. On my first attempt to visit these red teeth rising up through swirling yellow sands, the driver decided that a much more worthy site was the "world famous" mango market. I have to say I do like a good mango, the market however tends to lend itself to buying as opposed to eating (NB: As it was Ramadan, we couldn't eat them even after buying!) and as such I was rather disappointed to have skipped past the pyramids. Once again (re: Nigeria blog) I had to remember my youth and John Cleese's documentary about fruit-based assailants. Luckily I had prepared for such an event, ... read more
Nubian Mango Market
Breaking Fast

Africa » Morocco » Grand Casablanca » Casablanca December 31st 2014

So I've jumped north and here I find myself in a blue skied Morocco. And here I have waited and waited ... and waited. Apart from Rick's bar which has only recently come into being, the Casablanca film references (+1 pt with Laura's family for knowing the director was Hungarian) within Casablanca are few and far between. There is definitely pretty unrestricted Ryanair flights to Lisbon these days and happily the vultures are gone (seeking refuge in the more touristed spots around Fes and Marrakesh no doubt). Casablanca is not really on the tourist circuit but the Atlantic coast city has a rather nice feel to it, a Medina full of locals bartering, a new town with some interesting (often crumbling) mauresque and art deco architecture. Note: I have no clue what art deco and mauresque ... read more
Sundried Hides
Water Sellers

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