Running amok

‘Running amok’ is for some reason a purely Malaysian thing. We never saw anything like that in Malaysia. But there was this one time, when we hadn’t been there very long, and we were enjoying one of the amazing markets. There were so many fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh fish, and amazing cooked goodies and we were just mulling through them trying to work out what they all were, and what might be worth a try. There was a shout, outside of the market building, and although we barely even noticed it because it had no meaning to us, it … Continue reading Running amok

Time for School

  Assembly is over, prayers have been said, and I watch the children file into the classroom. Because it is Thursday, the day when everyone expresses national pride by wearing ‘batik’ style clothing the children are all in brightly coloured uniforms. The boys are in long dark trousers with a casual un-tucked batik shirt and no tie. The girls shuffle along in full length brightly coloured skirts with a matching knee-length long-sleeved coloured top, and the inevitable white headscarf fastened tightly under their chins and hanging loosely out over their shoulders and chests. Every child has a tiny hand-sewn patch … Continue reading Time for School

A face on the train

  The little girl was so excited to be travelling with her doting parents on the train to the ancient Chinese city of Xi’an. There was so much to see and experience and she was bouncing around trying to take it all in. The people in the seat in front of her family were different from anyone she had ever seen before. Their hair was not straight and black, their skin was pale and freckled, and their eyes were round. But most of all, they weren’t inscrutable. Many people in this overcrowded country responded to the overwhelming crush of humanity … Continue reading A face on the train


  I am the first to admit that I have always been a bit on the timid side. As a kid I was painfully shy. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy an adrenaline rush when surviving a dangerous situation. So maybe for me that happens more often than for a bold person. When Peter suggested that we go up in a hot air balloon I was scared. I don’t like heights much – at least in an airplane you can pretend you are not really up high at all. It was very expensive, which seemed like a good excuse. … Continue reading Kapadokya