Russians in Prague

Tourists cram the streets and the buildings can be so beautiful it almost seems fake. Still, somehow Prague clings to its Eastern Bloc edginess; outside of the main centre the monolithic living quarters are yellow and harsh and ugly, and there’s a slight strangeness between the cracks in the city that remind you that history […]

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Don’t Feed the Chickens

The car was waiting for us as we ambled off the Ferry, still nauseous from the choppy last hour of the journey. Two others were in the car with us, people we didn’t know who’d be sharing a ride. “It’s $10 each.” Sue said to them. She collected their money, and then turned to me. “$10?” […]

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Under the Red Sky in China

Earlier this year I spent a semester studying Chinese at a university in Chengdu, South West China. The key ‘attraction’ of our university was the 操场, “sports ground,” an artificial running track surrounded on all four sides by towering apartment blocks. Myself and handful of other foreigners would often sit on the dusty grandstand in the evening, […]

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Beauty on the Edge of Ukraine

It had been almost a year of travelling Europe after 3 months hopping the Greyhounds around Australia. I thought myself a pretty polished traveller, but although I’d turned 18 on the road, I was still very much a kid. Gradually, as the cities visited piled up and the distance from home and family became greater, things […]

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We Met a Man in Vienna

We met a man in Vienna. It was late and we had a long journey back to Poznan. The train arrived at the station at around half 10 at night, and we lugged our suitcases on board and shuffled along to find our compartment. Waiting for us inside was a handsome though dishevelled gentlemen, in […]

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Woken By the Chinese Military

I woke to the sound of the Chinese military training in the courtyard next door. Shouting “1,2,3,4” in unison, the student soldiers marched and jogged their way up and down in impressive form. Wandering down the stairs I snapped a few surreptitious photos, before realising that the guards didn’t care about me and my iPhone. […]

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The Road to Nashville

I was in New York and was going to Alabama to see Jason Isbell in concert. The plan was to ride the Greyhounds to Nashville and hang out there soaking up the music (and Jack Daniels) for a few days before heading across to Birmingham. I’d spent three months as a kid riding the Greyhounds around […]

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Notes from Somewhere

It’s sunny, finally. The light enters through the lacy curtains and illuminates the small room. There are pot plants sitting morosely in the corner and I’m playing Steve Earle and Townes Van Zandt through my laptop to try and infuse the domestic environment with some of the spirit of the road. The communist style apartment […]

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