Two regions, alike in dignity. And united only in their hatred of one another.

When I moved to the south of England five years ago, I didn’t realise that it would soon become my mission not just to defend my homeland but to repeatedly explain exactly where it is. I hadn’t thought about the fact that the British voting map divides as much by the north-south line as our […]

The Ordinary Bus

I think there’s something weird hardwired in us that although we live in one, actually quite mundane, familiar, safe and comfortable place, the concept of travel (and especially travel to places that are markedly different from our home-place) is this kind of magical, mystical, otherworldly thing. Not when we’re actually undertaking it, of course, but […]

And then three come along at once…

It is the biggest transport cliché of all time, and one that has become applicable to almost every and any facet of modern life. You wait ages for a bus and then three turn up at once. And as a confirmed public transportophile, I must confess that there is a certain amount of truth in […]

L’anglaise et la mer

I grew up on an island. A reasonably sized island, a country, where we eat fish but don’t necessarily live by the coast. (Indeed, even when I was taken to the ‘seaside’ as a child, it was often the Blackpool-Southport area, where the tide goes out so far that you can’t even catch a glimpse […]

Chocolate Chuquiasqeña

5th March 2014, Sucre, Bolivia I know, I know. I know what you’re thinking. What happened to the cake? What happened to Fridays? Well, I don’t really know. I guess La Paz is a wonderful city for street food (keep your eyes peeled for a future post on the many kinds of pastry you come […]

Ten crazy things about Carnaval: Bolivian style!

In the UK, about the craziest we get in the run-up to Lent is a few pancakes with a bit of lemon, sugar, Nutella or, if you’re my mother, salt (weirdy Lithuanian!). And then we get on with moaning about the sudden appearance of Easter bunnies and cream eggs for about six weeks. But not […]

Ten weird things that happened in Chile

So, here’s the thing. I am and always have been a little bit scared of random patriotism. I blame my dad, since when we used to watch sports on TV, he’d make me root for the athlete/ team from the country I’d never heard of, and we’d desperately hope that Britain would drop the baton, […]

Ten things you notice at the supermarket in La Paz

This may not sound like the most promising of blog topics. But trust me, everything over here is a little bit crazy, and so going to buy some food can become a bit of an adventure. Especially when you go with certain ingredients in mind… 10. As soon as you walk in the door (or […]

What they miss out in history at school

This year is 100 years since the outbreak of the First World War. You probably didn’t need me to tell you that, since we’re not exactly allowed to forget. This war and it’s sequel, 25 years later, seem to have been stuck on the history curriculum ever since, as a reminder of how justified British […]