Tag Archives: budget

Notes From the End of the World

“I BETTER TAKE MY PHONE,” the redheaded farm boy said. “In case we get stuck out there, to call someone to pull us out.” He had done this before. He searchingly patted the pants he’d hung up in the downstairs shed that smells faintly of sheep and dung and eventually found his small cell phone, […]

The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Traveller

I HUGGED V GOODBYE under the scolding gaze of an unpleasant pear of a woman in Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport. The Pear had advised her, after she had arrived three hours early and been forced to empty her entire bag and comply with a full-body search for two of those hours, that her flight […]

Hospitality in Savannakhet: The Lovely Ladies of Laos

WE WERE BROKE when we stepped off the bus in Savannakhet. Not broke like we didn’t have cash–we had a few hundred bucks for the coming week of travel, but it was in all the wrong currencies. A few thousand Vietnamese dong, a hundred-ish Philippine pesos, 22 American dollars. It was downright sloppy time management. […]

Notes From a Thai Cafe: Watching the Man Who Won’t Have Sex with this Waitress

THE MAN SITTING NEXT TO ME is trying to swindle a bracelet for free. The woman in front of him holds out a few colours, and he chooses black. He is muscular and hasn’t shaved in a few days, with green cargo shorts and a loose, sweaty v-neck. She looks like a rainbow of Thai […]

Taitung, Taiwan: Wherein Nearly Everything Goes Wrong (or: How I Learned to Never Stop Worrying and Love Itineraries)

ACROSS THE STREET from the Taitung County airport, in a rural patch of southeast Taiwan, sits a gift shop-slash-restaurant that is in no way discernibly Taiwanese. On its walls hang aboriginal-style handbags of primary colours, generic landscape paintings, kitschy bamboo scrolls and an inexplicable amount of Snoopy paraphernalia. My notes on the contents of this […]

Qingdao, China: Sleeping Everywhere But in a Motel

WE HADN’T SLEPT longer than an hour when the disinterested, pale-shirted, tired-eyed Chinese airport security guard padded over and shook us awake. I knew immediately that our plan had failed. When you travel like this, very rarely do things go as expected. Flustered by interrupted sleep at 1:30 a.m. and a lack of ability in […]