tip off

June, 2012

Red Ink Run: Mao Money, Mao Problems

They were halfway done resurfacing the road in the town of Linying. I say halfway because although the old road has been dug up and left in big dirt mounds on the side of the road, they haven’t gotten around to putting in any bitumen for a new one yet. It was the kind of […]


Why I love the nanny state

Thanks to living in Vietnam, I love the nanny state more than ever. In fact, I look forward to rushing back into her protective arms and giving her a great big cuddle, writes Tabitha Carvan.


Learning to speak Queens’ English

As a native English speaker I was hardly expecting language difficulties in the US, a nation that’s smeared my mother tongue across the globe like Coca-Cola on a Southern-glazed ham. Yet my wife and I had a heck of a time getting coffee up, eggs easy over and our point across in a recent trip.


Red Ink Run: Sichuan hot pot is the bomb

The nineteen hour overnight train from Guilin to Chongqing had been a multisensory experience. My new collection of horsefly bites, angry red welts, braided around my legs and itched like mad. The squat toilet next door gave off extravagant wafts, which roamed the hard-sleeper carriage hassling its occupants like a drunk. Opened windows, thanks to […]


Red Ink Run: Tulou or not Tulou?

Ask anyone who has seen the 1959 movie Ben Hur which is the best scene and most will instantly reply “the Chariot race”. The sense of speed achieved by the camera, set on the ground, angled up, at close range tracking the horses as they tear around the track is profound. It was this scene that […]