Finis (Travelogue Part 7: Takehara- Kobe)

I was sitting on a ferris wheel reading about John Bercow. Some people would call this rock bottom.

I don’t know what it says about the times, or about me. You could say that the internet has destroyed all our attention spans. You could call it Brexit Derangement Syndrome. Or maybe it’s more specific to me. But sitting there in that little red capsule I’d commissoned on a whim to mark the last night of this phase of my journey, my eyes were drawn to the little flat screen instead of the bright lights of Kobe outside1. Continue reading “Finis (Travelogue Part 7: Takehara- Kobe)”

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Spice and Silence (Travelogue Part 4: Gyeongju- Gangneung- Seoul)

I was there on the Seoul metro, listening to Iron & Wine because it was the least Seoul-metro music I could think of. I was hoping to be overground again, anywhere else. This isn’t an indictment of the Seoul metro system, which is excellent, with its sprawling stations, vast, broad platforms and airport-style conveyer belts to ferry you about wherever. It’s just that I’ve been ill (cough, whimper), and when I’m feeling rough, being trapped in a tin can under the Earth with strangers is about as welcome as brunch with Iain Duncan Smith. In downtown Aleppo. Continue reading “Spice and Silence (Travelogue Part 4: Gyeongju- Gangneung- Seoul)”

Matcha Mousse, Mushroom Kingdoms and Missing Falafel

As winter draws closer in Hiroshima, it’s still pretty warm. T-shirt weather, in fact*. As a result, the Christmas lights spun around the trees outside the shopping mall have an extra sheen of surrealism. I’m not really one of those people who moans about the ever-expanding Christmas season, but those lights feel more out of place than usual, halfway around the world in a historically Buddhist country, in the mild November air, wrapped around trees which have clearly had their leaves removed for aesthetic effect.

Continue reading “Matcha Mousse, Mushroom Kingdoms and Missing Falafel”