Tag Archives: People

Porteño portrait.

There’s only a way to define my desire to describe a community of 13 million people after visiting it for a mere handful of days: preposterous. Still, this is what I’ll attempt here. This is my final tribute to Buenos … Continue reading

Posted in Americas, Argentina | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

On the market.

Non è da signori. This was a veritable leitmotiv of my youth. It’s a phrase hard to render properly into English, non è da signori. I doubt is very much in use these days; from my point of view, I … Continue reading

Posted in Americas, Argentina | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

A fire in Balvanera and other stories: a brief glimpse into Buenos Aires.

Something is burning on Avenida Rivadavia. White smoke is rising in thick plumes from a shop on the south side of the road, cutting the perspective like a curtain hanging from the trees. Flames fan out intermittently and passers-by scatter, … Continue reading

Posted in Americas, Argentina | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Six Photos in Search of a Story.

A picture is worth a thousand words, they say. Never let photos in the way of a good story, I say. Ask anyone who’d read Thubron or Robb, writers of books without as much as a picture, and ask them … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, South Korea | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 33 Comments

The Merry Shopkeepers of Bukchon.

There’s a neighbourhood, in Seoul, called Bukchon. Traditional and small-towny in a city of tens of millions, it’s familiar to Instagrammers worldwide. Bukchon has many charms. There are windy hill roads and villas for which the term leafy has, undoubtedly, been coined. … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, South Korea | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

There and away – Driving through the ‘Stans.

As I sat scribbling this post on my notepad, on the plane back home, it occurred to me that the past two car journeys had been the first ones, in Central Asia, where we hadn’t been serenaded non-stop by some … Continue reading

Posted in Central Asia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Beirut people watching.

Humanity is the best spectacle, in this city where gated communities rub shoulders with bombed-out, charred shells. Pneumatically-enhanced bimbos and babes driving Dodge Camaros on one end of the spectrum and ragged Syrian children tapping on their rolled-up windows for … Continue reading

Posted in Lebanon, Middle East | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Remembrance for scatterbrains.

Landing takes place at night. We descend into the warm Mediterranean air, those of us sat on the left-hand side being treated to a royal view of the entire city of Beirut lying, invitingly, beneath us. Here is Ras Beirut, … Continue reading

Posted in Lebanon, Middle East | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

And then I was invited to tea.

Bukhara the holy, Bukhara the saint, Bukhara the erudite, Bukhara the city where light floods from the ground up and not from the heavens down. Or perhaps the Bukhara, in the words of traveller and linguist Ármin Vámbéry, ”whose whole … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Central Asia, Uzbekistan | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Singapore in technicolour.

Expat life. If there is such a thing, my half-a-week in Singapore, was precisely that. No sybaritic luxury and champagne breakfast; rather, restaurants on the East shore park, coconuts, cab rides even to do one kilometre and the shuffle heat-aircon-heat-aircon-pool … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Singapore | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments