The countries of London

The countries of London are everywhere. Fluid and untraceable, they permeate the city like a layer of oxygen. Without them, the city will suffocate. To the observant, each country reveals its patterns, with time. The perception of each country is forged by a myriad signs. But no one, not even the ones paying attention see them all at once. The important thing though, is to … Continue reading The countries of London

Why creative pursuits matter

Once upon a time in London, my week turned into a series of creative pursuits. I went to a pottery class Listened to a talk by performance artist Marina Abramovic Watched a startup pitching competition I am not an aspiring potter, an artist or an entrepreneur but… I found myself bent over a throwing wheel. Then at the Southbank center, I sat listening to a brazen voice against the anti-sound … Continue reading Why creative pursuits matter

A peek into Russia’s village life

“Petrovna” Larissa says mournfully to my grandmother “Pasha hasn’t covered the hay yet and they promised rain. I don’t know what I’m going to do if the hay goes bad. I’m so anxious. I had a cry about it yesterday.” “What is that lazy mare doing?” gran asks referring to Larissa’s daughter “get her to help.” Larissa doesn’t get offended. She knows my grandmother’s blunt ways too … Continue reading A peek into Russia’s village life

Day One in Berlin: Mitte Borough by Foot

Travelling habits are like eating habits. Some people like to gorge. Others like to take their time, savour the moment slowly. My dad and I are gorgers. On our first day – no, correction – our first afternoon in Berlin (we checked in at about four o’clock) we walked the entire Mitte borough, covering around 10km. Mitte meaning ‘middle’ is the center of Berlin. Before … Continue reading Day One in Berlin: Mitte Borough by Foot

An afternoon at Serebryany Bor

Heat waves in Moscow are ruthless. Air vanishes. Replaced by a burning, windless scorch. The smell of melting rubber on concrete, dry dust thrown up by the wheels of traffic, the absence of air-con in old buses, trains, shops and most homes. Distances stretch. Underground highway crossings, of which there are many, become endless. The metro, stuffy and claustrophobic. In peak hour, it is unbearable to stand or … Continue reading An afternoon at Serebryany Bor

My first week in Moscow

“What do you mean they turn off the hot water for ten days?” I asked blankly. My grandma tried the hot water tap again, just to be sure. Except for an odd gurgling, nothing emerged. “They turn it off in summer for maintenance. To clear the pipes.” “I see.” I said, breathing in and out slowly to avoid having a first-world-problem tantrum. “Bastards” she grumbled, “they usually … Continue reading My first week in Moscow