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ON THE ROAD AGAIN |

Red Ink Run: Twenty-three and a half hours in Transnistria

Transistria, a breakaway republic located between Moldova and Ukraine, only allows a 24-hour tourist visa. K Johnson spends his 24 hours wondering how such a eerie country can be so well-off compared to its neighbours.

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ON THE ROAD AGAIN |

Red Ink Run: an uncomfortable adventure in couch surfing

I considered it a glaring omission from an otherwise comprehensive travel CV that I had never been couch surfing.

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ON THE ROAD AGAIN |

Red Ink Run: the last GULAG in Russia

Perm-36 is a relic, the last camp of its kind from the Soviet GULAG system to remain anything other than rubble. Its continued existence is owed to both the failure of authorities to successfully bulldoze it in the dying days of the Soviet regime and efforts by local historians to restore it.

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ON THE ROAD AGAIN |

Red Ink Run: land of the lumpy green sheet

First get a bed sheet; green if you have it but don’t worry if you don’t. Now get ten to twelve shoes of various sizes and arrange them randomly on the floor. Shake out the bed sheet and let it fall, resting over the shoes. Kneel down and lower your head as close to the floor as possible, looking out over the lumpy bedsheet. See that? Welcome to Mongolia.

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ON THE ROAD AGAIN |

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 [...]

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ON THE ROAD AGAIN |

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 [...]

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ON THE ROAD AGAIN |

Red Ink Run: Chinese training impressions

According to Lonely Planet China, the Han Chinese especially love their children. Me, I’m not so hot on them. At least not while one of them is kicking the back of my chair while his mother looks on adoringly and his grandmother pats his head.

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ON THE ROAD AGAIN |

Red Ink Run: scammed in Shanghai

They say the best scams are when you’re not sure you’ve been scammed. But you do have to decide and the options aren’t great: you’re either a sucker or a cynic. Marty and I, after extensive deliberation, decided that anything is better than being a sucker.

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ON THE ROAD AGAIN |

Red Ink Run: ‘Can we cross Azerbaijan and back in 72 hours?’

Travel plans are like children, conceive them when you’re tipsy then leave the details until later. Dutch courage is necessary to hit the points on the map boldly, with enough conviction that the ink stains the paper and there’s no turning back.

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ON THE ROAD AGAIN |

A very capitalist thanksgiving

During my first Thanksgiving in the US, I set aside my usual cynicism about retailers using the holidays to boost revenue.

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