A trip up a hill in Pai.
There’s a hill. Just beyond the monstrous and sopping, elephants cock. Take a scooter. Go up it. Continue reading
With the full privilege of a month in a Himalayan hut, I was granted the rare liberty of observing a common fly for a period not too removed of two hours. I’d avoided flies in Rishikesh: they’d usually flown hot, straight from a homeless and vomiting cow’s arse. But here in the flowery mountains, I imagined this one had just danced from a pink rose or at worst had been pestering a butterfly. You may think that flies are just black dots that you brush off, but I firmly advocate closer inspection. A whole world is waiting in the minutiae. My protracted period of muscidae monitoring resulted in the following poem.
It’s the golden hour outside and rush hour in the cattle carriage. Fans spinning hot air frantically, keeping commuters just alive as heads loll and drop at the end of a hard, hot day. I want to look out of the window. Its my favourite light. Soft and flattering to almost any scene but I can only see into the shadows, as I sideways glance through the cage. Cast by the litter strewn lines, they hang over polluted canals; greenish blue with plastic poison. I bury my head in my book. Too much for today. A day of comedy and tragedy. Finding endless amusement in the badly written signs and outrageous infrastructure. Continue reading
As a kid my mum would give me one of those impossibly big old fifty pence pieces to put in the donations basket and pack me off to church with my siblings. Winny, my dear gran, is Roman Catholic. Paying respects to her religious tradition, us five siblings were biblically named in age order; Simon Andrew, Paul Richard, Rachel Mary, Christopher James and Peter Philip. Oh how names can deceive.
Our mother didn’t come to church with us. A housewife with five children, she would wisely take the opportunity to have some time for herself. She would catch up with the two-metre high piles of dirty washing, over-boil some potatoes in the pressure cooker and listen to Fleetwood Mac. And rightly so. She has more important things to do with her Sundays. Continue reading
“These review are all from jealous people.”
We made some lovely new friends in Jaisalmer. As a thirty five year old boy, I’d instinctively refer to this quartet of handsome and bright seventeen and eighteen year olds as boys. However I have no intention to condescend, in fact, the opposite. At their age I was vomiting Blue WKD behind Squares. Here, these men were embarking on a final cultural venture prior to their looming two year stint of compulsory national service for their native Singapore. Hussain, Sanni, Ratch and Nas looked like an entry to South East Asia’s Got Talent in their matching desert outfits and through the laughter we talked; politics, travel, photography, Youtube, history, art and dreams.
Do you remember those CD multi-stackers that were hidden in the boot of posh cars in the late eighties and early nineties? Imagine loading a five-stacker with; N-Sync, Now That’s What I Call Country, Nickelback, Michael Buble and Cher. Now press random play. Collette and I went to a one-percenters bar last night. Proper dregs.
If you’re a die-hard outlaw and in a fictional bike gang called The Road Dog’s, like we are, then this article could save you from the clutches of the Goan Five-O’s. Peace braa. Kriminalz!
Pony-haired, yogic, London plumber, Tom pre-warned us about Goan cops pulling over tourists to extort them for cash. Continue reading
Shoeless, I was in a predicament. The car park was stony, dark and dirty. Our last minute stop at the funniest restaurant in Mapusa meant that I had a large Kingfisher to drain from my bladder. Our over night bus to Mumbai was taking a scheduled break at some bleak café and someone had half-inched my Birkenstocks. Continue reading
“See, you don’t get the same experience of India from a car”. Pete was right. Behind the darkened windows of the a/c taxi, you couldn’t feel the warm wild of the wind. You couldn’t hear the ripping of the road in your ears or smell the cavalcade of cashew, masala, garlic, sulphur, diesel and shit.