December, 2012

); " >

Eaten up by the east: embarrassed in Albania

, Dec 05, 2012

9
A former tour guide, Carla Pratt figured it took a lot to rattle her when travelling. But a simple bus trip in Albania was enough to make her question all her travel skills.
); " >

Red Ink Run: Czech yourself before you wreck yourself

, Sep 19, 2012

1
When crossing from Germany into the Czech Republic you notice a marked decrease in the quality of the road’s surface. It's a bumpy journey for all sorts of reasons.
); " >

The problem with siestas

, Apr 16, 2012

Once upon a time in a land far away, two naïve and rather idiotic girls set off to find a fabled land near the border of Spain and Portugal. Rumours of its unsurpassed beauty ran rings around them as they eagerly planned their journey, their excitement growing by the minute. Little did they know that these plans would soon become unravelled due to one small detail -- the siesta.
); " >

The Nanny Diaries: from sunshine to snow, from dream to nightmare

, Feb 23, 2012

3
Crikey intern Freya Cole writes: I had no idea what I was getting myself in to when I applied to be a nanny for six months. I had romanticised the idea in my head, thinking that a nanny would look after polite little children and take them to the local park, where they would meet […]
); " >

The Swiss wedding survival guide

, Feb 08, 2012

Claudia List writes: “Wear jeans, you’ll end up in a field afterward.” Not something I’d usually consider when going to a wedding, but I found this interesting piece of advice on an expat forum when I was wondering what to wear to my very first Swiss wedding. The comment thread continued, with several expats agreeing […]
); " >

Welcome to Albania, where ice on the road gets the bus driver dancing

, Jan 25, 2012

At a certain point I asked someone when the bus to Theth would arrive, at which he laughed heartily, said “minute!” and shrugged. So the two of us have just stood here, watching local life cartwheel by, until, just as we’ve given up hope, everyone around us starts shouting “Theth!” and pointing to an ancient yellow minibus that has magically appeared across the road.
); " >

The City of Mink: walking through Milan

, Jan 17, 2012

1
“What is the fatal charm of Italy?  What do we find there that can be found nowhere else?  I believe it is a certain permission to be human, which other places, other countries, lost long ago.” — Erica Jong Binoy Kampmark writes: The city of mink, lying on ladies who seem to have stepped out of […]
); " >

Madame Bessiere and the gypsies

, Dec 20, 2011

John Newton writes: This story was written in 1982. I was travelling from Rome to Barcelona on the way to Mallorca with my lover at the time (and for some years after) and her daughter.  We arrived in Arles at around ten o’clock in the evening in a sickening Seat Ritmo, having driven all the way […]
); " >

So long, and thanks for all the sour cream

, Dec 02, 2011

2
“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 […]
); " >

The post-modern bogan: not so poor after all

, Nov 09, 2011

17
Chasing cheap beer and loose women around the European continent has a long and noble tradition stretching back to the 17th century, when young, aristocratic, mostly British men set off in search of refinement, classic antiquity and plenty of drunken sex. Not much has changed in 350 years.
); " >

A visit to Joyce’s beloved Trieste, the ‘mongrel city’ of Italy

, Nov 07, 2011

2
Freelance writer Grant Doyle writes: The modern day meaning of ‘mongrel’ is somewhat misplaced: etymologically, ‘mong’ means ‘mixture’ while the Old English ‘gemong’ means to ‘mingle’. The contemporary pejorative association comes with the suffix ‘rel’, and shifts the connotative meaning to ‘mixed race’ or ‘person not of pure blood’. Can there be a ‘mongrel’ city? […]
); " >

Just 50,000 of my closest music loving friends and a small hurricane

, Oct 27, 2011

There is something peculiarly English about the music festival. I think it has something to do with Glastonbury, mud, and Kate Moss. I’ve been to loads of Australian festivals over the years (although perhaps not any more, considering the overblown ticket prices) but a UK outing was high on my list of cultural things to do. […]
); " >

Redundant in London: hi, would you like to network with me?

, Sep 29, 2011

The grim news is that there is going to be another recession (goody, but when exactly did the last one finish?) which means that there will be even fiercer competition for jobs. So it is little wonder that people have started to go to extreme measures to stand out from the crowd like this guy […]
); " >

I travel therefore iPhone: why only idiots travel without a smart phone

, Sep 20, 2011

13
The explosion in smart phones, and the number of people using them, has completely revolutionised how travellers keep in touch in recent years.
); " >

Spring equinox at one of humanity’s oldest structures

, Sep 11, 2011

Ashley Davis writes: The culture that built the temples of Malta disappeared over four millennia ago, around the time the ancient Egyptians began building pyramids in Giza. The Maltese builders had been at it for two thousand years longer, assembling walls from limestone megaliths. All we know of these ancient builders are the ruins that […]
); " >

Amsterdam: not just strippers and ass-less lederhosen

, Sep 09, 2011

2
Amsterdam. The very name stirs sexy and forbidden images from deep within the cerebral cortex of every young traveller. It’s the basement of every 15-year-old boy’s imagination come to life, sans the bolt on the door and the open window to allow ventilation. The Playboy magazines of our youth, or some of the saucier National […]
); " >

Close encounters of the rural Polish kind

, Sep 06, 2011

1
“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 […]
); " >

The bizarre Parisian love for table tennis, Parkour and roller blading

, Sep 04, 2011

2
Emma Koehn writes: I wanted fancy pastries from Paris, but I got table tennis instead. This fact hit home as I sat marooned by luggage in an eastern Parisian playground, waiting for day three of a by-now routine session of ping pong spectatorship. The French might not acknowledge it, but they sure love alternative sports.
); " >

Redundant in London: the concept of self-employment

, Aug 25, 2011

1
“You’ve got to have a different mindset.  You are not unemployed, but self-employed,” my English friend Michael said after I told him about my first ‘Tilting Head Episode’ a couple of years ago. A tilting what? Let me explain. The episode happened when The Englishman’s Ex came over to drop the kids off at his […]
); " >

A bit of peace in former war-zone Normandy

, Aug 21, 2011

3
At their closest point England and France sit a mere 34 kilometres apart, a journey easily travelled by plane, train or hovercraft, if you have one. We opted for an overnight ferry when on a recent trip to Normandy, and it turned out to be a remarkably relaxed way to travel. I’m becoming increasingly anti-air in my old age.