Tag Archives for animals

10Sep2012

The Other Side of Istanbul’s Spice Bazaar

Istanbul-Spice-Bazaar-71

One of remarkably few downsides to travelling with my son is, well, markets. I like nothing better than wandering around local markets looking at what’s for sale and buying (typically) whatever new fruit I can find, and veggies should we have a kitchen, plus perhaps some lurid underwear and/or age-inappropriate vest tops. But, for me, […]

13Nov2011

In Search of Snow — on Horseback

Horse trekking Songpan: view over mountains.

One of Z’s signal complaints – his desire for a skyline safely sated by China – over almost two years in the tropics has been the absence of, well, snow. So I did a little research on the prospects of finding snow in China in the few weeks before we return to Europe. The ski […]

08Nov2011

It's Panda Time!

Chengdu Baby Pandas 2

Chengdu is proud of its pandas. Extremely proud. Abstract pandas stand tall in the main square, opposite a gargantuan Chairman Mao and a stone’s throw from Gucci and Louis Vuitton. No self-respecting corner shop would be complete without panda-branded cigarettes, while the toy stalls churn out goodies from kitschy toddler-sized panda capes through to even […]

20Feb2011

Temple Monkeys: The Devil’s Work

cute-little-monkeys

To anyone with an evil sense of humour, hanging out at a temple with monkeys is a guaranteed source of entertainment. Gasp as a tourist buys bananas, hands one in the direction of a baby monkey, and is seamlessly mugged by three or four big males. Bite back advice as a mother thinks it could […]

02Sep2010

Buffalo Soldiers: Living for Death in the Tana Toraja

Funeral buffalo sacrifice, eyes open, throat slashed, dying in a pool of its own blood on the grass. Tana Toraja, Sulawesi, Indonesia.

“Are funerals like this in London?” asks my new Torajan friend. The dead man’s drum-shaped coffin emerges from the matrimonial bedroom where he has “slept”, preserved in formalin, with his family for the last eight months. Now he has left the house, he is finally dead, his soul winging its way towards the afterlife. “Not […]

20Aug2010

Walking Fish & Long-Nosed Monkeys

proboscis-monkeys-1

We were in two minds about whether to stay in Tarakan, Indonesian Borneo, today. But I’m extremely glad we did. Because 300 metres down the road from our hotel is a little mangrove sanctuary. Home to two weird and wonderful creatures. Proboscis monkeys, and walking fish. Ever seen a fish walk?! Us neither. For video, […]

20Aug2010

Walking Fish & Long-Nosed Monkeys

proboscis-monkeys-11

We were in two minds about whether to stay in Tarakan, Indonesian Borneo, today. But I’m extremely glad we did. Because 300 metres down the road from our hotel is a little mangrove sanctuary. Home to two weird and wonderful creatures. Proboscis monkeys, and walking fish. Ever seen a fish walk?! Us neither. For video, […]