Imagine you're being chased. Someone's trying to kill you. They're trying to kill your family too – what's left of it. You're not just running from one person. It's an entire extremist group that controls the region. Or military regime that runs the country. You hear from a friend of a friend there's a way out. … Continue reading People Movers: the politics running the asylum
Habit parading as romance, marketing as tradition... Well, it's (Facebook) official. Engagement season is in full swing. The trickle on the old news feed has become a full-blown deluge. Bejewelled digits thrust to unanimous acclaim and hundreds of likes: 'She/I said YES!' The mid-to-late twenties threshold signals the next step for lots of established couples. … Continue reading Someone Tell Me, Why Is The Ring Still a Thing?
"Do you smoke?" asked the doctor, peering down my gob as I sat stricken with my third throat-based illness in as many months. "Nope." "Oh, okay." He seemed surprised. #tbt Full disclosure: I'm a prude when it comes to smoking. I don't understand it. I smoked briefly when I was 16 and looked very uncool … Continue reading Blowing Smoke: Making Sense of a Dying Habit
Just a heads up that in this one I'm writing about writing. It's only right to tell you upfront. Most people take it as their cue to tune out - and justifiably so. Typically the refuge of the indulgent and inspiration-starved, where self-styled wordsmiths wank on about the torment of their 'craft'. Basically, I don't want … Continue reading Horror Vacui and the Common Decency of Self-Doubt
The steps of Rathaus Neukölln are caked with the gainfully unemployed. I zig-zag between them. Nothing about the sprawling mess of camo pants and 2-litre cola bottles suggests contrition for blocking the entrance. The clock tower above can be seen for a way down Karl-Marx-Straße in both directions. A helpful measure of - as with other … Continue reading Postcards (Vol. 2): Welcome to Berlin, the ongoing identity crisis
I hear the danger before I see it. The hiss of a lit fuse and scampering footsteps of its enablers. I freeze, conscious that to move in any direction might be a mistake. "Watch your step," has been the stern advice all week. "No, seriously. You don't want to get your foot blown off." Such is the joy of New … Continue reading Postcards (Vol.1): Brittle nerves and resolutions
If a holiday goes undocumented on social media, did it really happen? So ingrained is the practice of recording our every move, it seems unthinkable that anyone could travel without it ending up cropped, filtered, and splashed across Instagram and Facebook. I’ll spare you a tired reheating of the social-media-connects-us-but-also-isolates-us discussion from every undergraduate humanities … Continue reading How has Instagram changed our travel habits?
It's been about three hours since I arrived at Oslo Sentralstasjon, Norway. Anchored by cumbersome luggage and a dearth of local knowledge, my boldest venture is to a restaurant 20 metres across the road. There my phone hangs absurdly from the only available power outlet in the ceiling above my booth. I contort my neck … Continue reading Introduction to Couchsurfing
Caution. Alarming lack of dignity ahead… It’s a quiet Sunday night when dinner is interrupted – not for the first time – by my housemate’s phone buzzing on the coffee table. A cursory glance and roll of her eyes tells me it’s him again. Though Google searches lean heavily towards the prevalence of unhinged ex-girlfriends, … Continue reading Ex-Communication: Inside the Mind of the Crazy Ex-Boyfriend