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In the heart of a heatwave

He drove resolutely in the middle of 2 lanes, honked indiscriminately, taking hair-pin turns downhill with a confidence that made me envious of his incredible taxi-gymnastic skills. The cheapest transportation option had always been my priority when I travelled and this was (obstinately) no different, despite the fact that many people grew a pair of cold feet when it came to Southeast-Asian countries and their daunting transportation systems. A fixed price of 190,000 IDR was the eventual amount for a taxi from Ngurah-Rai Airport in Denpasar to Ubud, a marginally better sum than the USD 30 quoted by the hotel. Bali clearly thrives on the large droves of tourists and...

Damaged in Newcastle

I’m talking about my poor brolly at least, that took a fair amount of beating in the blustery winds and heavy rains that accompanied my visit down south to Newcastle – a less than perfect backdrop for the famous 7 bridges across the River Tyne. Newcastle, suspiciously run-down and dreary from the train on a sunny day, looked like an industrial wasteland whose construction was abandoned in the 1800s after the Revolution in the rain and cloudy weather. But a step out from the Central Station and onto Grainger Street where the urban centre begins and the atmosphere as I imagine it would be minus the bad weather, would have...