Posts Tagged ‘Travel’

OK, so this week, you have a choice of two ’50 words’ – sometimes I write more than one, because of course there are many indelible ‘moments’ when travelling, and this week I couldn’t decide what mood I was in, so you have a bit of both – light and dark:

41. New Zealand


So there I am – girly heaven:
wallowing in an outdoor cast iron bath,
hot water swirling,
(bubbles of course)
champagne glass to hand.
Head lolling on the edge of the tub.
Admiring the endless mountainscape of the aptly named ‘Remarkables’.
Nothing but steam and immodesty between me and the view.




On the Franz Josef Glacier, it’s all so unexpected.
The ice is not white,  but an unearthly blue,
and it’s not cold and silent, but alive with unexpectedly human sounds
groaning, creaking, squealing, grinding.

I hold my breath,
step tentatively.
Somehow to still the lumbering giant:
Unstoppable author of landscapes


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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 …..

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


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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.


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37. Japan

There is a quiet in Japan.

Perhaps the quietness is a way of coping
with the truth of living with 127 million neighbours
on a postage stamp of land.

And every now and then, a sudden revolt:
devastating earthquakes,
horrifying tsunamis. 

As if the land itself were protesting its burden.



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36. Thailand (Chiang Mai)

Our noses wrinkle in disgust at the pong of the returning hill-trekkers, reeking with a week’s unwashed grime.  

Happily, we are entirely oblivious to our own odorous stink a week later at journey’s end.

Until I spy the comically familiar expressions of the next group waiting expectantly for our return.



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34. Austria

Clickety Clack

Orderly Austria flashes past.
Suffocatingly precise.

Oh for some fresh air.

I pry a reluctant window open just a fraction.
In an apparently personal affront to the severe man glaring at me from afar.
Who storms thunderously through the carriage to slam it shut in my face.




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33. Hungary (Budapest, 1990)

Rubbery, flubbery, lubbery bellies
Peeking through the clouds of steam in immodest abandon.
It’s Women’s Tuesday in the Rudas Baths,
Nestled at the foot of the castle.

And ruddy-faced, barrel-shaped matrons pass gossip and time in the public baths
as they always have.
An hour’s respite from their daily cares.


(posted from Waiheke Island, New Zealand)

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