Author: Pepe

August 2, 2008

Take me back to Thailand. At least there, the buses played Western movies, regardless of how crass (Terminator Three was particularly popular whilst I was there in 2005). In China, different rules apply. Maybe it is because tourism is catered towards a domestic market, or perhaps, that they believe their own movies are of a permissible standard. Indeed, the ones which I have been exposed to are professional productions, replete with suspenseful scores, climatic sequences and astute directing. The problem however is that the Chinese media always appears to be imbued with a strong sense of nationalistic self purpose. Most…

July 25, 2008

What the next hour, or two, shall entail is daunting. Negligence is not an excuse, but a fact. Every day, if only for a matter of seconds, I contemplated updating this blog. But as the content increased, so did my apathy, for fear of how long it would take to complete. So, without further ado, let’s begin. At some point, the pollution cleared, the smog disappeared (visibly that is, as, even during the Olympics, it will still linger in the air) and sun began to twinkle. That is irrelevant however. I must not digress; I must persist in writing only…

June 27, 2008

Innately, I have restrained myself from beginning this new travelling chapter with ‘So it Begins’. This is not beginning, but rather, continuing; whether from last summer or, indeed, my gap year, abandoning Manchester (again) feels more like a resumption of past endeavours than the generation of a new frontier. Thus, let me begin: And so it continues. [MEDIA=1]Click for audio enhancement. The film is rolling. And, like the third take of the same scene, little has changed. The night before I was due to depart, I had yet to pack. Why bother? I had only been home for two days…

September 19, 2007

Oh! The horror! Whilst in Hong Kong I was frequently given stern and foreboding warnings about the degeneration which is prevalent in China. Traffic is relentless and uncompromising I was told; in fact, if a car happened to clip your heel, it would proceed to turn around and run you over for killing somebody is certainly cheaper than and less tedious than paying insurance premiums. If you ask for chicken in your soup people quipped, they will give you dog instead, not out of spite but because dog meat is more feasible than a chicken’s tender loins. People are rude…

August 31, 2007

And now for something completely different. Following our departure from India, Jakey returned to Manchester whereas Pepe remained away from home in a far, distant land. Thus, we becomes me (hello!) and the blog continues from Hong Kong. My experience here has been wholly different to India. This is not solely because of its apparent disparity to India. Whilst yes, road traffic is somewhat civilised, neon lights glitter the streets and the food is sweet rather than spicy, my Hong Kong affair differs in the respect that I have spent the past three weeks working here as opposed to merely…

August 11, 2007

Take a deep breath. Slowly. In and out. In and out. What is it like? Refreshing? Hydrating? Relieving? As if life is flowing in and out of your lungs? Not for us. At least, not yet. By tomorrow India will be confined to our memories; part of a seamless web of distant eclectic moments, events and experiences that never quite appear real. Now however we are still in the country where pollution manifests itself into a corporeal substance of viscous, asphyxiating smoke and where vehicles garner their pride and prestige not through the size of their engines or the sleekness…

July 28, 2007

If you out into the streets today you are sure of a big surprise. These streets, of course, are not conventional contraptions which provide safe and efficient transport to the masses whilst also generating a necessary gateway to their respective towns and cities. No, these are the streets of India. Here humans behave like animals and animals like humans. Once, we saw a public urinal with three urinating against its outer wall. But in India, that is normal. What else is normal? Camels, cows, pigs, dogs, cats, goats, monkeys, rats…and one elephant. No, not in a zoo, but in the…

July 11, 2007

The Delhi dilemma was swiftly resolved as we finally fled from the depraved city the following day after our previous diary entry. It was not that however. At 20:00 on the night we posted our last entry, an employee for the company who we booked our tickets with, entered the apartment we were residing in and demanded us to pack our bags immediately. We were being transferred to another abode. Averse to this prospect, but complicit due to diffidence, we scurried around packing our belongings, bemused and confused, ready to leave within five minutes. Unfortunately that atmosphere in the new…

June 29, 2007

So it begins…again. Delhi, Delhi, Delhi. Why have we written this capacious city’s name three times? Because we have remained here for three days longer than initially intended. Is that due to its salubrious skyline? The senuous aroma of a distant, exotic, foreign city with an array of enticing smells and spices? A sense of kinship with the people who reside here? Oh, no. Of course not. Delhi is swathed with a thick, viscous cloud of pollution. Everything on the road – cars, buses, rikshaws, bicycles and cows – is perpetually rummaging around without any direction or care for the…

July 8, 2006

As opposed to the other diary entries, this final conclusive contemplation shall be succinct and laconic. This is a general all-encompassing thank you to those people we have met, countries we have explored and cultures we have experienced. Travelling over the prior nine months provided an elusive escapism from the mundane monotony of routine and banal familiarity. Most ignorant, superficial preconceptions of those unbestknown to you are absent on the road. The people we have met and befriended have been amongst the most genial, affable and amiable we have ever encountered in our lives. Although many served as deus ex…