Crashing the Cuban Marathon

“Six mojitos please.” It was 1:45am in Havana. Training for the marathon was not running smoothly. Alex, a derivatives trader with a penchant for Crossfit, and I rose at seven the next morning. We’d set an alarm but it wasn’t necessary. The area surrounding our apartment was equipped with what I like to call theContinue reading “Crashing the Cuban Marathon”

Barcelona’s Stolen Goods Market

Every Sunday the underclass of Barcelona briefly rule the backstreets. Robbers, crooks, pickpockets and hustlers congregate, sacks of stolen goods hanging from their shoulders. They begin in Plaza Reial, laying out their groundsheets and arranging the previous week’s proceeds. Laptops, phones, cameras, paintings, football shirts and trainers on the left. To the right, a regrettableContinue reading “Barcelona’s Stolen Goods Market”

Charging into Battle

Sao Paulo is like Prince Harry in Vegas; a good idea that got out of hand. I recommend that anyone with an ego problem visits Rodoviaria Tiete, the principal bus terminal, and any lingering delusions of grandeur will swiftly pale into feelings of insignificance. Around twenty million residents have created the third largest metropolis inContinue reading “Charging into Battle”

Buddhism and Blackmail

“Hi sir, you want ganja?” The red-eyed man poked his scraggly head and cracked palms through the space where the train’s door presumably once stood. Picking up weed in Sri Lanka, it seems, is easier than Jamaica. After a polite refusal, Thaksin introduced himself and stepped past me onto the Colombo to Hikkaduwa express. IContinue reading “Buddhism and Blackmail”

Trapped in the World’s Tallest Building

It was 2013 and I was in Dubai, selling advertising space in private airport lounges to earn enough money to travel again. My colleague Michael and I were transporting furniture to our new office in the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building. As we stumbled into reception carrying a cumbersome desk, we were shunted offContinue reading “Trapped in the World’s Tallest Building”

Motorbikes, Massages and Corruption

“I’m not missing our lotus leaf massage, grab the crowbar,” said Damo. After arriving in Nha Trang on a night train from Da Nang, we lurked outside the station entrance in anticipation of receiving our motorbikes. It had taken us considerably longer than expected to traverse the Hai Van Pass, regularly voted as one ofContinue reading “Motorbikes, Massages and Corruption”

An Errant Bag and a Bottle of Booze

When the taxi stopped at the departure doors of Buenos Aires’ Ezeiza Airport, I felt the increasingly familiar pang of finality. That combination of affection and attachment that precede leaving a country you can’t envisage returning to anytime soon. I was also worried that my bag wouldn’t arrive with me, as I was flying withContinue reading “An Errant Bag and a Bottle of Booze”