Oh foes who watch us, the nation whose language is Kurdish is alive It cannot be defeated by makers of weapons of any time Let no one say the Kurds are dead, the Kurds are alive The Kurds are alive and their flag will never fall We are the sons of the red colour of […]

Fear is not an inbuilt instinct but rather something we learn as we get older. Now that I’m an adult I worry about all kinds of shit – trivial shit, heavy existential shit and everything in between. At the age of 26 I find myself plagued by a host of abstract anxieties. But I was […]

Next month Turkish Airlines will convey me via Istanbul to the mountains of Kurdistan in northern Iraq. I’ve got to admit I didn’t see this coming; never anticipated I’d be starting off the year 2013 deep in one of the most politically volatile countries on the planet. You’ll notice that I’ve already exposed my ignorance […]

Sometimes I’ve got to get away. Like now. Stuck in England with the November blues. Unemployed. Living in a squalid cupboard in my parents’ poky bungalow because I can’t afford to rent. I’m literally living out of a suitcase because I have nowhere else to put my stuff. My car is falling apart, with more […]

Here’s a quick lesson in cultural differences: In England November 11th is a day to remember all the lives lost in military combat. A solemn occasion marked by two minutes of silence in which people across the nation pause to reflect on the human cost of war. However, in Chinese popular culture the date is […]

NOTE: This post follows from the previous post: Beijing to Shanxi by Car. But you can also read it as a stand-alone article. ‘We have to leave by eight’ Mr Tang said sternly. For all his talk about anarchy the man has a deep respect for schedules. Everything has to go according to a detailed […]

When you live in Beijing you welcome any chance to get out of it. It’s not that the Chinese capital is an exceptionally bad city. It has its charms. But its expats will know what I’m talking about. The smog, the copious amounts of humans choking the transportation grid, the vast distances involved in getting […]