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Sailing Like An Egyptian (slowly down the Nile)

1980: The year of Rubik's cube, of the eruption of Mt St Helens, of the establishment of CNN, the start of the Iran/Iraq war, the murder of John Lennon...and Richard Pryor set himself on fire while freebasing cocaine. All important events, of course, but...more importantly 1980 was the year we sailed the Nile. I say... Continue Reading →

Albania – Europe’s former recluse

They say that Einstein said that the sign of an idiot was doing the same thing twice (actually I think the word was repeatedly) and expecting a different outcome. This is the thesis of the Idiot Traveller. I am a world expert, while travelling, in repeating mistakes. I command that you stop misquoting me... I... Continue Reading →

The Marrakesh Express – Two Weeks in Morocco Pt 1. Maudlin’ Musicians and Metal Miners

I must have been in my teens when "Marrakesh Express" came out (1969). Those were heady days. Before Hendrix (1970) and Joplin died (1970). The Lizard King was still alive (died 1971). We were still trapped in Hotel California. Barclay James Harvest would play at our school a year or two later, followed by Genesis.... Continue Reading →

There’s a slow train a’coming driving me around the bend.

It is 392 kilometres from Sofia to Belgrade and another 600 kilometres from Belgrade to Vienna. From Vienna you are on the fast rail networks of western Europe but these first two legs of my journey are about 200 years in the past in terms of train technology years. The trip from Sofia to Belgrade... Continue Reading →

The Iron Rule – thou shall not (easily) pass (at least not in Turkey or Bulgaria)

The train which we boarded in Istanbul stops at the Turkey – Bulgaria border - and, refusing to be outdone by the Australian rail system, this train is old and slow and leaves from some part of Istanbul far from civilisation - a 45 minute bus ride from central Istanbul - what Australians would call woop woop.

The train, itself, is some form of exercise in Turkish logic. My carriage is numbered 483 even though the train contains just four carriages. One assumes this is designed to confuse foolish yabangee (foreigners) since, no doubt, Turks understand this logic.

 

Ai am the Wei and the truth and the life -inside Ai Weiwei’s Istanbul exhibition.

"Life is art, art is life, I never separate them." Ai Weiwei (AWW)....and everything is political. If you take the view that I do, which is that even drawing breath is a political act, then Ai Weiwei's exhibition, in Istanbul is a great expression of the philosophy that Art is Life and that everything in... Continue Reading →

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