I Probably Was An Idiot

Well and so. The first day is in some ways the easiest, and in others one of the hardest. Leaving the comforts of home behind – and I really had been luxuriating among them, during those last few days – has its drawbacks. Goodbye, massive bed. Goodbye sofa. Farewell television and movie time, with a soupçon of whiskey if you’re in the mood. Goodbye, sweet … Continue reading I Probably Was An Idiot

Blood red rock / Statu Frances assassinu

Purple-yellow, richly rising miniature colossus;red isle bursting, bathed in wine and fish. Fish for days,fish for supper. Fir trees arched to horizontal,blown by lurching sea winds, tugged by the rootbut holding fast. Bonaparte’s birthplace, thistles thick as fists,islet torn apart in recent years: assassination;two decades behind bars; a taste of freedom. Fish and wine.Messages sprayed in black on roadside barriers and walls,threats, perhaps, or warnings—rousse … Continue reading Blood red rock / Statu Frances assassinu

The way to Osmeña Peak

The way through and out of Cebu was all billows of exhausts and screaming hot sun. Then it was blistering heat, children and adults enjoying the novelty of a foreigner on a bicycle foolishly working his way across the country during the day’s middle hours, and fresh coconuts eaten by the roadside. I stopped once for carabao milk on the way to Moalboal, and played … Continue reading The way to Osmeña Peak

Call him, or her, Ishmael

Ishmael, or ‘Miss L’, aka ‘Madame Elle’, is an performer from Caloocan hoping one day to make onto the European entertainment circuit, possibly by way of international cruise ships operating in the Indo-Pacific region. Apparently, there is money to be made as an entertainer in hotels in and around Metro Manila, but for obvious historical reasons, Europe represents something of a step up. For the … Continue reading Call him, or her, Ishmael

The First Cut is the Deepest

To get on the Manila–Cebu City ferry from Makati City, first you must negotiate your way through the bustle and grime of some of the city’s busiest thoroughfares en route to Manila’s North Harbour Pier 4. Philippine political and corporate history will call up to you from the asphalt: Ayala Ave owes its name to the country’s largest asset holder, Ayala Corporation, whose namesake is … Continue reading The First Cut is the Deepest

Dogs by Pigeon Valley

Turkey: Dining with the gendarmes in Turkey’s Cappadocia

Şaban, Ali and Ramazan are in their late twenties. They wear dark green trousers and light green shirts, have clean-cut jaw lines and the peculiarly hyper social energy that comes with intense anticipation. They are in charge of counterterrorism and rural policing. On paper this is impressive but in reality it seems to amount to drinking lots and lots of çay, insistently offering bad route advice to cyclists and laughing sententiously. Continue reading Turkey: Dining with the gendarmes in Turkey’s Cappadocia