“One Euro one, six for six. Very, very tasty, very, very good!” So went the song of the samosa salesman. He was a youngish guy of South-Asian origin, and I wondered why he sang in English rather than Catalan or – heaven forbid around these parts – Spanish. I normally find these hawkers irritating when... Continue Reading →
You know those people you get in hostels who are by themselves and yet seem to be at the centre of everything? This guy seemed like that, firing off jokes to people who walked by or other people sitting around us, chatting amicably to the staff. Despite his age, he seemed to be in his element. He turned back to me and said, “well, are you gonna come and tell me about yourself or what?”
The other day, my friend invited me to talk on Student Radio Maastricht, the radio show he works on. The topic of the evening's discussion would be stories - what they are, how they've evolved, why they matter to us. I thought it was a great topic; I’ve always loved stories. When I was a... Continue Reading →
Call me cynical, but I’m convinced that the people who work on trains and buses derive some sick pleasure from making people wait to board. I don’t know how many times I’ve stood on a platform with thirty other commuters, all of us glaring at a man in a reflective vest clutching a clipboard and... Continue Reading →
Did you know that on the autobahn, the German motorway, there’s technically no speed limit? There is an “advisory” speed limit of 130kph (around 80mph), but it seems that many people are happy to ignore it. Our car wobbles slightly as middle-aged men with Audis and a point to prove fizz past us. Makes me... Continue Reading →
I’m a terrible salesperson. The store manager would tell me that I gave up too easily, that every time the customer says no, that’s really just an invitation to keep asking, keep pushing. He told me to think of it like pulling a bird – his words, not mine. And here I thought ‘no’ meant no. Silly me.
September 2016 I had first come to Barcelona three years earlier as a tourist. I’d waited for two hours to get into La Sagrada Familia, done the obligatory walk up and down Las Ramblas, shuffled through Parc Guell with hordes of other sun-baked camera-wielders, and dropped by Camp Nou, home of FC Barcelona, for a... Continue Reading →
27.10.2018 My girlfriend, Emily, and I are barely two weeks into our six-week journey around Poland when our yearning for new and unique experiences, and the fact we have nowhere else to stay, brings us to a tiny village about one hour south of Wrocław that nobody — not even the locals — seems to have heard of. We... Continue Reading →