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Jay Martin

Jay Martin is a writer from Perth/Canberra who landed unexpectedly in Warsaw, Poland three years ago. She is currently shopping her Oz-chick-lit manuscript around to potential publishers, while living her subsequent witty Central European travelogue. Find any amount of cool stuff you can do in Central Europe at her home page, or check out her past Crikey columns here.

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Experiencing Vietnam, old school style

Experiencing Vietnam, old school style

January 6, 2012 1 Comment

So you’ve just launched into a travel story. An amazing tale of bravery, derring-do and batik shopping in the face of extreme food poisoning. And you’re just about to reach the climax when someone pipes up: ‘Oh, Baluchistan. I was there before it was trendy.’ Yes, it’s infuriating. No, I can’t help myself. Because (with […]

So long, and thanks for all the sour cream

So long, and thanks for all the sour cream

December 2, 2011 2 Comments

“You’ll get bored,” she’d said to me, with such certainty that I wondered if it might be true. ‘She’ was my boss, and they were her parting words as I walked out of my office, family photos from my desk and farewell card stashed in my bag, three years in a country I couldn’t even […]

Close encounters of the rural Polish kind

Close encounters of the rural Polish kind

September 6, 2011 1 Comment

“We could go to Wylatowo,” I say to Yvette. “What’s there?” she asks. “Alien crop circles, apparently,” I reply. I look at her, doubtful anyone will find this as interesting as I do. Yvette bounces up and down with excitement. I know why I am friends with this person, I think. Not for the first […]

Uncovering long buried things in a Polish cemetery

Uncovering long buried things in a Polish cemetery

August 2, 2011 4 Comments

If you come to visit me in Warsaw, it’s likely I’ll suggest visiting the Jewish cemetery in Bródno. And we’ll get on a tram and head to the entrance, on Sw. Wincentego Street. And there, you may start to wonder if I’ve got the right place. Isn’t that just an old, overgrown forest of silver […]

A matter of (Polish) perspective

A matter of (Polish) perspective

July 14, 2011

“Is the Ark buried in Poland?” asks Phill, who’s visiting us in Warsaw from the ‘Bra (Canberra, for those not from our nation’s capital). I’ve just been running him through the main options for weekend trips away. “The Masurian Lakes would be nice — if the weather holds, which it probably won’t,” I say. “And […]

Find a chome amongst the goom trees in the Sahara

Find a chome amongst the goom trees in the Sahara

June 24, 2011 2 Comments

Sitting in the 4WD bashing our way through the Tunisian desert, I put my essentials in a purse: my phone, credit cards, keys. Which I bury deep in the bottom of my bag. For the next seven days I’ll be trekking through the Sahara with ten Poles. What is ‘essential’, I notice, is rather different here.

Driving myself crazy on the right side of the road

Driving myself crazy on the right side of the road

June 1, 2011 1 Comment

It’s halfway across the intersection — as I’m mid-turn, on the wrong side of the road, on the wrong side of the car, with the gear stick having inconveniently turned into a window winder — that I realise I have no idea what’s going on. So I revert to a trick I’ve perfected in my […]

And the winner is… Azerbaijan!

And the winner is… Azerbaijan!

May 18, 2011 7 Comments

Azerbaijan -- a country that was on no one's mind a mere week ago until a television audience of millions watched it soar to glory in the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest on the weekend. With the ink on its name barely dry on the victor’s podium, Crikey gets the jump with the following definitive list of some of the greatest things about visiting the country.

An Expat Opinion: Visiting the Heart of Darkness

An Expat Opinion: Visiting the Heart of Darkness

April 22, 2011 1 Comment

I confess it was coincidental, but it happened to be the Anzac day weekend that we visited Wolf’s Lair, in Poland’s north.

An Expat Opinion: Should you visit Auschwitz?

An Expat Opinion: Should you visit Auschwitz?

April 11, 2011 7 Comments

People planning to visit us in Poland usually run their draft itinerary past me. And at some point, they almost all pause and sigh. "I suppose I should visit Auschwitz, shouldn't I?" they ask. I always wonder how I should answer.