Thanks for reading. This blog is an opportunity for me to capture some of the diversity of my writing interests. My muse tend to appear on my shoulder as I board an international flight although not all of my writing is inspired by travel and foreign places. These blogs have been the basis of a novel (Flowers of Baghdad) but there are a few other writing projects in progress besides. Please feel free to leave a comment. Or two.

Riyadh Foyer

The Saudi is a very nocturnal beast, sleeping late and only really getting going in the evening. Helped along by the restaurants being open until 11pm and the coffee shop even later the Saudi men, usually in the national dress, drift into the foyer, settle in to smokes and coffee and get down to business.…

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Cycle Culture ( II )

(Follows from “Heading for Ho Chi Minh City” ( I ) A tone which sets impressions straight away is the tide of motorcycles, although we would call them scooters and the branding type might insist on Vespa (though we saw Yamaha doing extremely well). We were sucked out of the airport at peak hour —…

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Ho Chi Minh City ( I )

October 2004 We bumped out of Singapore through muscled clouds that flashed and dropped rain on the Straits, finally clearing across their boiling tops into bright sunshine and a slight feeling of relief. As we bore north the hazy coastline of Malaysia kept us company on the left until geography and navigation separated us and…

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Dog Girl of Bangkok

I discovered Lumpini Park ten years ago. Countless thousands of Thais and others found it before me but it was a discovery nonetheless. It is a jade green oasis in the middle of a gritty city which offers some respite from the madness of the streets. Back in Lumpini, with my throat catching on the…

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An Arab Lunch

The sand and dust create a haze around the sun but not sufficient to ease the 46 degree heat or the glare that radiates off buildings, and walls, even those whitewashed ones on either side of the lane down which we bounce. Acacias bend in the oven wind and move their shade from one side…

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Riding the Dog

This morning I am doing the American thing – sitting in a hokey little New Jersey Greyhound terminal waiting to catch a bus to New York. But there is a home feel to this adventure, for Frente is being playing on the radio. A small touch of home although if it wasn’t such a unique…

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All the Tea in China

Tiananmen Sqaure is a terrific melting pot. All sorts of people congregate there at all hours. Many are there simply to soak up the site, to say they have “been there” before moving on to other icons around the city. The majority of visitors are Chinese who seem to wear an air of surprise –…

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