The Porteño taxi driver surprised me several times. He smiled and whispered affectionately as he moved the small dog across to steer the car. The terrier had been whimpering, seeking attention as we zipped through Buenos Aires traffic. The smell in the car was also surprising. The windows were open because of the heat and the interior was decorated with toilet bowl fresheners. Pine and lavender as I recall, six clipped to doors and seats that I could see.[Read more…] about 1996 Memory
The European Parliament has announced that the 2020 Sakharov Prize is going to the Belarusian opposition Coordination Council, a predominantly female group who are holding out for dignity and democracy. It’s surely a mark of the 26 year reign of the podpolkovnik (supreme commander) Alexander Lukashenko that this is the third time the prize has made its way to the troubled Belarus.[Read more…] about Sakharov Prize
‘I passed through three boring towns’ was the start of a chapter that changed the way I thought about travel writers yet again. It helped that I would visit them after I read the chapter. Both visits were stopovers of a kind. One by commercial jet, the other by ship seeking shelter from two cyclones that seemed to merge just to scare us off.
I had found In Patagonia in a shop in Buenos Aires in late 1995. I was living in a hotel on Avenida de Mayo just a stone’s throw from the Casa Rosada, the Presidential Palace. Carlos Menem had just been re-elected and there were almost weekly protest marches on Thursdays. Once, a firework cannister was directed at me for watching the passing flag, banner and placard waving throngs from my third floor hotel balcony window.[Read more…] about Patagonian and Fuegian Tales