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Posts Tagged ‘Travel writing’

47. SINGAPORE (Isetan Palace, 1st Sunday of the Month @ 610pm)

They’re changing the guards at Isetan Palace, and somehow, Glen Miller is playing with Alice.
Pomp and circumstance with a stirring of showbiz glitz.
Curiouser and curiouser …..
Singapore’s tightly coralled residents ooh! and ahh! to the Westpoint-style gun throwing and foot stamping show,
Singapore’s ‘new tradition’.
Jazz hands and all!

jpm

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45. Wales

My god it’s cold out here.
Seeping, insidious, creeping cold.
Stealing up from the ground underneath my tent, pitched in the lee of Offa’s Dyke –
Idiot I am to have forgotten my camp mat in the middle of winter.
Thermals irrelevant: might as well be naked.
How long till dawn?

 

jpm

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The train, along with the entire country, grinds to a halt.
For three days.
Goat innards, strung out to dry with the washing,
mark the start of Eid
in baking El Jem.
Dusty streets are strangely silent
as families break fast together
beneath the ancient gaze of Rome’s crumbling colosseum.

jpm

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Peering into Vermeer,
I saw the light of a soft human face peering back at me: fresh, real.
Singing with life.
350 years old.
If I reached out and poked her delicate features, would she say ’ouch’?

More likely, the unsmiling guards would poke the ‘ouch’ out of me instead.

jpm

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42. South Africa

At Table Mountain, the cable car floats us serenely above the hunkering Flats of Capetown.
The air is scorched by the sunset, but clear of the fetid undercurrent of bravado and fear
that lurks beneath the city’s civilian clothing.

In the far distance, Robben Island: brittle birthplace of a nation.

 

jpm

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40. France (Paris, New Year’s Eve, 1989)

Champs Elysee, twenty-four: the whole world before me.
Uniting adrenalin of the pulsating crowd:
350,000 intimate strangers surging as one euphoric organism.
Midnight hovers.
A collective breath …..
BONNE ANNÉE!!!!

Then. Rush for the last metro
Trammeled and crushed, footing lost …. panic!!!
then …. relief!
Spewed to the side like yesterday’s resolutions.

jpm

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39. Hong Kong

The pulsating mass that is Victoria Harbour:

Ferries and junks and boating allsorts
heaving and jockeying for position.
A constant throb of diesel amidst the rolling chop.

Littered with worn commuters,
Hurrying to insert themselves into the vertical living of Hong Kong’s sky high towers,
no elbow room to spare.

jpm

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