Tag Archives: Travel

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

A story of emigration.

It is estimated that up to 25 million Argentinians have a full or partial Italian heritage. This is approximately 50% of the country’s population. The converse is also true: having an Argentine correlation is, in Italy, as widespread as hosting … Continue reading

Posted in Americas, Argentina | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 21 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

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

The devil’s horsemen.

For the Parthians shot as they fled, being, indeed, more adept at this than anyone except the Scythians, and it is certainly a very clever manoeuvre – to fight and to look after one’s own safety at the same time.   … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Central Asia, Kyrgyzstan | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Confessions of a graphomaniac.

Doctor, dear doctor, help me for I’m a graphomaniac. Yes doctor, I love paper. I adore the smell of the thing, the muffled noise of a pencil running on a smooth sheet. In a nutshell, doctor, I love writing. I … Continue reading

Posted in Odd ones out, Random memories | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Elegy for gentrification. Yes, you read it right.

There are a few words as laden with meanings, almost entirely of negative connotation, as gentrification. Say it and your mind will conjure images of invading toffs, an irresistible volkswanderung of genteel professionals with no fear but for white carbs, descending … Continue reading

Posted in Europe, UK | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 17 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

The land beneath the mountains.

That’s the name of my region. The land at the feet of the mountains. Click on the photo to open the panorama In my region, topography is binary. Clear cut. It’s either flat, or mountainous. No middle ground, no rolling … Continue reading

Posted in Italy, Piemonte | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

A cosy red dot away from it all.

You feel it’s a different place from the very moment the jetway disgorges you into the main concourse at Changi Airport. It’s a quick walk on the world’s plushiest, softest carpet to immigration, past ornate flowerbeds erupting with tropical plants, … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Singapore | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments