Uxbridge bus station exchange: Three women animatedly speaking Polish. A young man has had enough and approaches them: “Speak f*cking English!” he says loudly. The women stop, quietly sizing him up together. Then they turn back to each other and one says to the others, but loud enough for all to hear: “F*cking English.” They … More Random II
The year, I’m guessing, was 1973. And it must have been late in the year because I remember the threat of rain throughout the day; Brasilia’s dry season had come and gone. At the Summer Olympics the year before, the USA men’s basketball team had suffered a controversial and ignominious defeat at the hands of … More When the Commies Came to Play
When the wind blows from the North we can hear the train. Not the thump-a-thump, thump-a-thump we heard as the carriages crossed the viaduct at the end of the street in the Czar Peter neighbourhood of Amsterdam, when the bedroom windows stood futilely open on hot summer nights; nor even the vague and distant rumble … More Travel Notes
Told you so. Soheila Sokhanvari, ‘Moje Sabz’, 2011 – Taxidermy, fiberglass, jesmonite blob, automobile paint. At Saatchi Gallery, London.
“Excuse me!” cried a desperate voice from behind. Paul, lead chaplain for Heathrow’s Terminal 2, and I both turned to see a family – mother, father, adolescent son – hurrying toward us across the concourse, dragging an assortment of hand luggage with them, the woman waving a piece of paper in the air. “We checked … More The Small Thing
Wearing a business suit and putting on a lanyard at the bottom of which dangles a security pass extending to me complete airport access gives me another privilege too, an odd and unexpected social permission: to look at people . The assumption on the part of those who see me is that I must be … More Random
“No sir, that won’t be a problem,” said the heavily accented Dutch voice on the other end of a dim, crackling telephone line. In the 1980’s calling anywhere from Ceuta, one of the two Spanish enclaves on the North African coast, was always problematic, even if it was only to Madrid. “With our centralized computer … More To Madrid, for a stamp.