Tuesday, 14 February 2017

home between places

tell me stories
hidden in plain sight 
they evoke a past
that does not belong
to me

Friday, 10 February 2017

Monday, 6 February 2017

through aragon

we spent the first day of the year on the road, stopping in a town of few houses to eat our packed lunch in an empty park. everything was quiet and overcast. barcelona had been nothing but warm, no more than a couple of hours inland my bones felt raw.

when we did arrive in zaragoza (much later in the day). we hid in a tapas bar while we waited for our airbnb host. there are people who own eateries because they love it, and then there are people who download recipes from the internet and hang up an open sign because they need money. this place was the latter and it made me feel terrible, but for love or survival, gotta respect their hustle.

we saw the old town later at night. wow, i guess it's hard to explain, and i may have been under the influence of freezing temperatures, but things looked big and small at the same time, as though someone has brought a toy town to life size.

there were several establishments with the name goya.

him: goya was born in a village close by
me: goya is a brand of canned foods in america
him: francisco goya
me: black beans, kidney beans, cannellini beans
him: he's a painter
me: adzuki beans, lentils
him: arrêt

we ate baked potatos with olives and called it an evening.

when you stop yourself from doing something you will think about it until it happens: and i woke up wanting churros. however! the churrerria i had seen last night on the way home was very closed at 8 am, but after a bit more wandering, we found a low key gem with people spilling out called 'la fama'. tip: order through the hole-in-the-wall outside. the dipping chocolate is questionable goop but no words are worthy to describe these churros, you know when food just moves you in a very emotional way?

*flicks tear from corner of eye*

Saturday, 4 February 2017


we stayed on the edge of town in the rolling hills, where wild boars would wander onto the footpaths, and everyone in the neighbourhood owned at least one hunting dog. sometimes i wonder if i have ever been to a city more vibrant than barcelona (no). with the exception of driving (cars literally hit both vehicles in front and behind them to park), this place has everything a traveller could want (sorry for overcrowding your resources though barcelona). my two highlights of many (and apologies they are food related):

bar celoneta sangria bar: they serve alcohol free sangrias (thumbs up), but the food drew us back twice, including for a 9 course meal on new year's eve. the neighbourhood (la barceloneta) is crowded with holiday makers possibly all from marseille but give or take a few.

les escales: small cafe in the suburbs where i ate the best bread of my life. they served life changing hummus too. that being said i hadn't ate any fresh hummus for years, and the life change hasn't been big. change yes. big change no.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

catalan country

santa pau

we made the drive here to get guitar strings. knobloch sounds like you're being blessed by an angel, but nobody was home when we knocked on their door. which made sense, nobody answered their phone either when we called hours earlier from barcelona. i felt like an investor who defied common sense to strike a deal, lose, but soon realise the real deal was something else all along. look at the village! we ran up the castle stairs, rolled down the damp hills, and jumped across the moat only getting our knees dirty. i felt nothing but joy and it was beautiful.

Monday, 30 January 2017

a dumpster fire

my heart goes out to those who have been affected by fuckface von clownstick. the world has been burning for a while, but it feels like the fire is out of control when the american government can't even hold it together. those who obey will keep their jobs, wipe their hands of blood at five in the afternoon and go home to their families. those who resist—this is a chapter still being written, which gives me hope, because we can write it in a way no future generation might look back and ask 'how did they let this happen?' only to turn a few more pages utterly astonished, 'again?'

this all sounds too sci-fi for me, and i loathe sci-fi for this exact reason: anything can happen, nothing needs to make sense for 'reality' to make sense. does that make sense?

Monday, 23 January 2017

the coromandel

sun filled days driving around the coast

Monday, 12 September 2016

tourist wasteland

capitalists pitching business ideas in china:
we can't own natural wonders. no one can buy a snow mountain or raging waterfall or the bluest of blue lagoons, but, and hear me out, what if we privatise the access to these locations. what if we buy the land around it and put a fence 3km away from X, and subject everybody to take our transport? the public will enter through our land which cost $$$, then take our bus directly to X which is $$$, if they want to do more activities or move within the vicinity they take our carts generating $$$. forget the locals and native land dwellers, they can pay too. i'm sure they don't pay for much else. wait that's savage, i'm so savage sorry. we can give the locals half price tickets one day a year provided they registered as a local at least one year prior. what do you say fellow business partners? i got five mistresses and 20 government officials trying to extort money from me so i need this project in motion immediately.
*characters and incidents portrayed above are fictitious. no identification with actual persons, places, buildings is intended or should be inferred.

Saturday, 3 September 2016


this is the first time i have seen the great wall of china on a clear day. i remember thinking all the previous times i have been: that the wall was just a set built an hour out of beijing with permanent fog pumped by a machine covering the rest up. things that shocked me upon actually being able to see more than a few bricks:
  • much green, so green, very green
  • these bricks are not original (however if you keep walking as far as your feet will take you the rocks become ancient, and you'll need to hold on to life with every step up or down as the mountains slope on 70 degree angles more often than necessary; literally rock climb)
  • the wall extends and curves and scales every mountain top within sight (achingly magnificent and breathtaking, especially when you're unfit, out of water, and have to get back to your ride)
  • rubbish everywhere (bring a giant trash bag on your climb if you can)
  • water is sold with an 1000% mark up on the wall (which is 10 RMB/1.5 USD for a bottle instead of 1 RMB/0.15 USD)
  • not 100% sure how mark ups work, is that really a 1000% mark up?
there are many sections of the wall across china that can be visited, this section is mutianyu. i wasn't planning to visit the great wall at all (one can only be disappointed so many times by a wonder of the world) but this was so. damn. cool. now i really want to visit all the other sections before our evil earth friend erosion does.

final words:

do not enter via badaling (crowded af)
do not enter via a 'main entrance' (expensive af)
do not forget water (thirsty af)

Thursday, 1 September 2016