Dunedin, New Zealand

Dunedin ... it's home for me and when I get homesick, I travel its roads and revisit the places of memory. My favourite place in the city was Otago Peninsula, I would drive out on the low road, alongside the harbour and come back over the high road, past the stone walls built by Scottish settlers in the late 19th century ... the approach to the city is stunning from up there. The peninsula road, otherwise known as Portobello Road, winds its way around the edge of Dunedin's Otago harbour. You pass through picturesque little villages like MacAndrew Bay, Broad Bay and Portobello, driving on until you reach Taiaroa Head ... with cliffs that plunge straight down and into the Pacific Ocean.

Nana Chen Interview, Part III

Nana ChenIt took a little waiting for, but it did finally come. And then, inevitably, I missed it! But fret not, patient e-Margonauts, I'll not let you likewise miss it. Here's the skinny... Former e-Marginalia Travel Editor, Nana Chen, was interviewed over at Wayne Yang's blog. If you missed the opportunity to get to know this stellar photographer/writer/painter, then you better start clicking. Here are the links you need: Nana's photos have inspired many, and her interviews with notable travelers consistently capture honest, frank snapshots of the sorts of adventurers that fascinate us so. It's refreshing to have the magnifying glass turned on her for a change! Several memorable passages lingered in my mind after reading Yang's new posting:
"In moving so much, I’ve come to long for things that hold still, that give me a sense of stability. I know this is unrealistic, however. Life is not still and wanting it to be so is such a contradiction... [W]hen I finish something, be it a photograph, painting or story, it is there to return to."

"I’m merely a gatherer of words, sentences and expressions that, on good days, can be retrieved when I need them..."

Tuf Tuf Bookshop, Antwerpen

Tuf Tuf ... a secondhand bookshop on Geuzenstraat in Antwerpen. What stunned me about this store was its stacks of books ... aisles are created by piles of books. In New Zealand this arrangement would be a massive earthquake risk. And as if that wasn't stunning enough ... being greeted by Vargas and Liliane was something else again ... Aslan and Shakra, the Cocker Spaniel crowd, also hang out behind the counter.

10 Greatest Travellers of All Time

Aphra BehnIt seems rather subjective at best to rank history's top travellers, but this Independent article, "10 Greatest Travellers of All Time", grabbed my attention nonetheless. And frankly, even if the goal's a little overambitious, it's grounds for great debate.
"While there is some consensus about the greatest movie ever (Citizen Kane) and best pop record (Bohemian Rhapsody), opinion is divided on the top explorer. In a bid to discover the Orson Welles/Freddie Mercury of the travel world - and provoke a bit of healthy debate - Wanderlust asked a selection of experts to pick the person who they believe has most changed the way we travel. This is the final top 10, counting down to the best traveller of all time."
Here's who they came up with. Anybody you want to add?

Southern Hemisphere Confusions Up North

Easter ... and already my mind has leapt ahead to ANZAC Day with the Kiwis and Australians in Ieper and Messine ... and on again, to May harassing Diede and Francien in the Netherlands, and on into July when we meet friends in Scotland. Coming from the Southern Hemisphere, living in the Northern Hemisphere, perhaps Easter is the only holiday where the weather is similar ... where it seems possible that it is actually Easter, rather than some Northern Hemisphere confusion. Christmas in winter is bizarre beyond words ... cherries and strawberries herald a Kiwi Christmas, blue skies and sunshine, long summer holidays and days at the beach or the river, time at the crib (South Island), bach (North Island), summer house (rest of the world).


The wandering turk is travelling again. He wrote, San Francisco is quickly climbing up the charts to become my favorite city in the US. I love the fact that one can walk pretty much anywhere. I love the fact that public transportation actually gets you to where you need to go. I love all the different cultures, harmoniously intermingling. I love the food... His post made me think about cities I've fallen in love with ... It's clear I get homesick for Istanbul but I fell madly and passionately in love with Rome. I wandered there expecting to be disappointed by a myth fallen on hard times and found something else ... a city that was more than I imagined a city could be ... a mix of ancient and beautiful, sophistication and real people who wanted to chat ... (or show me the kitchen down in the ancient restaurant basement, as was the case with dear Enzo. I declined, not sure about visiting ancient kitchens with waiters who kissed hands).

Things Left Behind

Thing: an object that one need not, cannot, or does not wish to give a specific name to. (things) personal belongings or clothing. 2. an inanimate material object, especially as distinct from a living sentient being. This morning it occured to me that my life has been so much about leaving things behind ... And it should go without saying, I miss people more but today I was thinking of things missed.

Kiwi Speak

I tested Gert on some of these ... much laughter ensued as he failed to guess the meaning of a large majority of these special 'made in New Zealand' words and phrases. You can find out more than you possibly want to know here. A sample ...? Sure. bloke: usually a man, and often used when referring to a stranger as in, "That bloke, Joe Blow, is a really nice guy once you get to know him".

Home: Part II

Nostalgia ... according to the dictionary, is "a bittersweet longing for things, people, or situations of the past. The condition of being homesick." Isabel Allende, My Invented Country. It's a quote that intrigued me because it implies that home can be a person, a time or a thing, as I'd suspected when I had defined the journey as home . Mourid Barghouti wrote, Ein al-Deir is not a place, it is a time.

Nana Chen Interview, Part II

At last I've had the chance to read the second installment of Wayne Yang's Nana Chen Interview over at It's more brief than the first installment (which inevitably makes me hope that a third installment might be in the pipeline), but it gives a nice snapshot of Nana's writing evolution/background.
"I answered an ad reluctantly.
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