South Bank, Sunday Morning

South Bank, Sunday Morning thumbnail
Dusty rays illuminate the narrow trail that runs from Borough Market to the South Bank. Outside The Clink, a council worker sweeps last night’s party debris and drunken memories along the cobblestone surface, past a filthy doorway where two young men lie unconscious. The tide is low, so the river ambles narrow and coy between […]

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A new virus threatens to kill the internet we love thumbnail
  The internet’s caught a lethal virus. In many ways, this new threat is even worse than the recent attacks on online privacy and certain governments’ attempts at censorship and control. This one’s more insidious and won’t get the press coverage it deserves. Like many quiet killers it won’t have noticeable symptoms initially, but left […]

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Kolkata: Anger management in the urban jungle

Kolkata: Anger management in the urban jungle thumbnail
He bit me. The fucker bit me! My lower arm is itchy, red and seriously swollen. Surely this can’t be normal? I knew there was going to be a disaster in this godforsaken jungle. Why did I agree to come? This is not how I expected it to end. What an utterly unglamorous way to […]

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It was all Yellow: Saigon Welcomes the Year of the Snake thumbnail
In London, New Year’s Eve is all about a single night of overpriced and overcrowded bars, drunken idiots and – if you’re lucky – some half-decent fireworks. With the exception of one fantastic night to celebrate the new millennium, I’ve generally avoided New Year’s Eve parties like the plague. So when I realised that my […]

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Inside Ho Chi Minh City’s Reunification Palace thumbnail
I’ve never been an efficient sightseer, mostly because I don’t like being on a schedule when I’m traveling. Bar some essential Tripadvisor tips and basic Google Maps searches, I generally let a place unfold as organically as I can, and I definitely don’t care whether I manage to fit in the top twenty, ten or […]

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Ho Chi Minh: City of Beautiful Madness

Ho Chi Minh: City of Beautiful Madness thumbnail
45,000 Dong – that’s just under a couple of British pounds – will buy you entry to the South Saigon Pools: a secluded oasis in hot suburban district 7. Kids play in the sand-filled shallow water, and in the adult pool a middle-aged Australian is teaching his Vietnamese companion to swim. She paddles with her […]

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Dash for gold: Stratford 5 weeks before London 2012 thumbnail
Today I took a walk around the new Olympic Park's perimeter, starting at Hackney Wick, passing through the flashy new Westfield shopping centre and ending up in Stratford's original high street. The area's seen some major changes, but will the Games realise its promise of economic regeneration?... [Read more]

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1989: Observations on my memory of change

1989: Observations on my memory of change thumbnail
It is 1984. I pick this year because it is where my political memory begins. Every Sunday we say prayers for “people who live behind the iron curtain”. At the heart of our pious plea lies the fear that South Africa will eventually submit to the tyrannical order of Communism ..... [Read more]

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Of dead villians and demigods

Torn poster and graffiti reading Kapitalismus
Today I am jealous of my American friends; of the opportunity they had to “… place their hands on the arc of history and bend it once more to the hope of a better day”. I stayed up all night to watch the events unfold because for me this is the most exciting political event […]

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