Tag Archives for women


Different for Girls

HDR motorbike by Bev Goodwin on Flickr's Creative Commons.

There comes a time in every woman’s life when you realise that travelling just IS different for girls. For me, this little epiphany happened en route to Lombok’s Bau Nyale festival. Because I’m cheap, I took the slow boat. Because I’m an incompetent fucktard who shouldn’t be allowed within miles of a child, I switched […]


On Thin Ice – Talking Child Marriage in Nepal

Ice and water in the glacier lakes at Gokyo, Nepal.

On Thin Ice Everest Base Camp the Lazy Way: Day 18 “Nir,” I open, tentatively. We are on the last-but-one night of our trek, insha’allah, sitting in the cold of the village of Phakding, where we stopped on our first day, so, if I’m going to ask Nir any personal questions, I’m going to ask […]


A Dignified Entrance to the Historic City of Tyre

avenue of flowers in the Al-Bass historical site at Tyre, Lebanon.

“Where does the motorway end?” I say, for the third time. I mean, clearly the motorway HAS ended. I’ve just driven through a checkpoint manned by South Korean soldiers and adorned with signs about the glory of Korea and petrol cans full of concrete decorated with the Lebanese cedar flag to find the road terminating […]


I F*cking Love Beirut

Beirut Flowers on the Razor Wire

As a child of the 70s, who grew up in the 80s, Beirut has all the magical allure of the forbidden that China did. And, rather as on our first day in Kunming, I looked out of our 32nd storey window and thought, “My god! I’m in China!” so too, on landing at the airport, […]


How Safe is Egypt After the Revolution?

How Safe is Egypt After the Revolution

“How safe is Egypt now?” Still a topical question, so I’ve updated this post on 16 20 June 2012. Deletions are marked with a strikethrough and additions are underlined. How Safe Is Egypt? As we approach the end of our time in Egypt, I’m going to address the hoary question of “How safe is Egypt […]


Voices from Post-Revolutionary Egypt 7: The Working Mother


I sits with her daughter, her son and her daughter-in-law in the shade of a Nubian mudbrick dome, looking out over the expanse of Lake Nasser, created after Egypt dammed the upper reaches of the Nile. We are drinking the Egyptian hibiscus called karkade. I is in her late 40s, early 50s, and, after a […]


Voices from Post-Revolutionary Egypt 5: The Businessman


A round, amiable man, J is in his 40s, and runs a business in Dahab, Sinai. He has a small son who lives with his mother overseas: his family background is Coptic Christian, but he last attended church for his son’s christening. J laughs. “Yes!” he says. “I have been to Saudi Arabia. It’s quite […]


Voices from Post-Revolutionary Egypt 2: The Bedouin Girl


S is 15, beautiful, dark-skinned and slender, with a hawkish desert nose and a full upper lip, dressed in a fuchsia and turquoise traditional dress, with beautifully coordinated headscarf. She lives with her parents, some older relatives and a few of her unmarried siblings in a palm-thatched home at an oasis in the Sinai desert, […]


Voices from Post-Revolutionary Egypt 1: The Coder


A sits by the fire in a Dahab restaurant. The youngest of five children, he’s 26, tall, cleanshaven, and plays PlayStation football with the devotion that an older generation of Egyptian men play backgammon. He speaks excellent English and is working on a range of other languages using a voice recognition app on his iPhone […]


First Impressions…


It’s a big bike. A very big bike. A tall, chunky trail bike, so high my feet would barely touch the ground, its heavy-duty engine and muscular innards exposed, parked outside our hotel in the highlands of Flores. “Oh my god,” says Z. “What?” I say. “It’s got EU plates!” It has, indeed. Here we […]