Travel Memories

Here’s some short travel memories from my Twitter account… Travel diaries, 1991. In Xian’s mosque I again meet the old man. He’s 82, worked for British in the 1930s. He delights in showing me around. Travel diaries, 1993. Wake up at 3am, sleeper train to Kunming. The steam engine on the next track hisses and breaths like [...]

Smart Phones Killed The Suspense

It’s fairly certain that I’m not the first person to point this out or to even notice this, but there has been a distinct lack of compelling suspense novels written in the second decade of the 21st century. And it’s not just suspense. Crime fiction, adventure novels and near-future science fiction seem all to go [...]

Ioyama In The Clouds

As the bus winds its way up the mountain towards Ebino Kogen, I am starting to question my decision to come here at all. From one moment to the next, we are entering dense fog and all around us the world of the Kirishima National Park dissolves into vague grey shapes. I had probably not [...]

The Teahouse

Memories… is a random series of memories of my trips to Asia in the late 80s and early 90s. Chengdu, Summer of 1993 The cup is handleless, rather tall and slim, with a gorgeous blue glazed dragon curling around a pearl at the bottom. There’s now a small heap of tea leaves lying on the [...]

Under Yellow Tile Roofs

Memories… is a random series of memories of my trips to Asia in the late 80s and early 90s. It was the last day of a long summer of travelling through China. I had now been back in Beijing for a few days, buying souvenirs for the family, enjoying a couple more lazy bike rides [...]

Long Way To China

Before I start maybe a small historical note: Late in 1988 – while I was in the military service in Germany – I had read in a newspaper that it had become possible to book a passsage on the Trans-Siberian Railway as an individual traveller. I knew that I would have some time to waste [...]

Between Two Storms

In early June of 1989 I had made my way through China to Guangzhou in southern China near the mouth of the Pearl River and only a day’s worth of travel from Hong Kong. The weather was humid and hot and it rained daily, a first glimpse of the tropical summer heat that descends on [...]

Memories: Long Distance Buses

Memories… is a random series of memories of my trips to Asia in the late 80s and early 90s. Long-distance buses were probably my least favorite mode of transportation in China. It is safe to assume that if you saw me on a bus in the middle of nowhere, I was officially desperate to get [...]

Talking About A Revolution

On my first backpacking trip to China I witnessed what can only be called a revolution – although an unsuccessful one – and it is certainly among the moments of my life that will forever stay with me. I had only very little information about the situation in China before I went on my trip [...]