Hoi An \ Vietnam

Seven heads bobbed along with mine in the back of the minibus. There was a rare word spoken among us despite our guide’s attempts to draw out some semblance of conversation, which is to be expected at 4.30 in the morning. All eight of us were too busy looking at the light starting to paint […]

Believe it or not, this was my first ever hospital food. It was as average as I expected.

I’ve been in surgery a couple of times, but I’ve never gone into an operating theatre conscious before. I’ve always wussed out and asked for a general. As is the norm in this country, there was a multitude of staff on board. Nurses everywhere. Heck, I had not one, but two, orthopedic surgeons working on […]

Somewhere in the mountains \ Dibba

We’ve been teetering on the edge of a decision for some time. A brief weekend escape to a fairly run-down motel, renamed as a ‘hotel and resort’, now popular with Russian tour groups inspired it. It’s crazy, because said run-down motel-cum-hotel actually cost more to stay in than a good number of four and five […]

What a bowl of pho looks like

When I planned to walk to my hotel from the train station in Hanoi, it seemed like the most logical option. It was less than a kilometre from where the train pulled in and I’d walked from there twice already in the weeks prior. I only realised the error in my ways as local men […]

A young girl sits to sew by the open market

I wanted to haggle over the rug, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. She started at 800,000 Vietnamese Dong (US$38) and after fifteen minutes in the market, I still paid 700,000 for it. I felt more and more guilty about the whole process, and for my part as a responsible traveller in […]

Lao Chai \ Vietnam

It always starts with a ladleful of oil; every course starts this way, but it’s especially important for buffalo. The buffalo must be thinly sliced so it can cook quickly or it will be too tough. Load it up with ginger, and leave it to sit. Toss lemongrass and garlic into the oil and let […]

A girl chases grasshoppers in the grass to feed to her birds

When I first grabbed her hand, it was more out of reflex than anything else. The space to step in front of me was like slick clay and I could see neither a foothold nor a tree to grab onto. And then there was this hand, right there by my side. I’d barely noticed that […]

Traditional dancers in Cat Cat Village just outside Sa Pa Town

The difference in less than twenty-four hours was utterly astounding. As I walked, all I could hear was the rushing of water in the river beside me heading towards the crashing waterfall, heavy from the rains. I plodded, one foot in front of the other, in no hurry, savouring the sound of the rain hitting […]

Wandering the streets of Hanoi.

I’d felt weary before, when I was in Sihanoukville, Cambodia, and downright exhausted in Ho Chi Minh City, but things picked up from there and the photos kept churning, the smiles broadening and a whole lot of fun was had. However, in Hanoi, a feeling of deep depression took over. Despite my initial concerns about […]

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It’s getting hotter here in Dubai. I’m less likely to go and sit outside on the balcony during the day, and the amount of time we spend inside increases by the week. Flu season is upon us, thanks to everyone herding themselves indoors, and it’s about that time when our teensy-weensy studio apartment starts to […]

Sometimes they’re called green smoothies, and sometimes ‘green monsters.’ Whatever you might call them, or whatever you punch into Google, they seem to be all the rage at the moment. With the recent turn towards veganism and raw eating in the media and dietary trends, they’ve become far more popular as a way to boost […]

Ha Long Bay \ Vietnam

For the duration of my time on Halong Bay, I only drank a can of Coke. Ice cold, full sugar, and I didn’t even finish it. I felt nearly every bubble creep down my throat as I drank, absorbing the sugar but avoiding the very thought of anything else while my kayak partner dripped ice […]

Wouldn't you give up the TV to spend more time with this guy?

We just gave up our television. I mean, not in the physical sense; there is still a 50-inch plasma filling one partitioned wall of our studio apartment. Just in the digital, service provider sense. This morning, we handed in our decoder and said goodbye to recorded TV as we knew it. This isn’t one of […]

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