The Cowboy Capital

The Cowboy Capital

I don’t like horses. Never have. This ill feeling started about 25 years ago, when the local racetrack commandeered our school’s football pitch to store horseboxes. We were banished to the playground to make way. I grew up in Ayr, home of Scotland’s largest horse-racing track, and throughout my years at..
Choking in China

Choking in China

They say you can see the Great Wall of China from space, but that is not true. You can, however, see something else the Chinese have made: the pollution that hangs over their mega-cities – Shanghai, Guangzhou, Beijing, etc – appears as grey smudges on the green and blue marble of..
India: Too Much, Too Soon

India: Too Much, Too Soon

Anoop was making tea when I asked him about Kolkata. Squeezing the bag against the side of his mug, he considered it for a second. “It is…” he paused while he strangled out the last useful dribble, “the poorest, dirtiest city in India.” This was not what I had wanted to..
The Swings of Scotland

The Swings of Scotland

Robert Charles McInroy and I have been playing a game together for half our lives. The setting may change, so may the conditions, but the result is always the same: he wins. This is bad news for me as our standard wager is GBP 1 million; I owe him roughly..
Pure ‘Shaws

Pure ‘Shaws

Aravind Bremanandam was under a Lada, sheltering from a sandstorm, when he had an idea. Stuck in the Sahara during the Budapest to Bamako Rally he decided that such misery, or adventure, might transplant well to his native India. “People want stupid?” he said to himself. “I’ll show them stupid…”..
The Burj is the Word

The Burj is the Word

To arrive at the Dubai Mall in the weeks leading up to Christmas is to arrive at a humungous, perturbed ant nest. Thousands of beings, many agitated, scurry around inspecting, shoving, panicking. Nothing is still. Everything is frantic. You move or you die. The mall, the world’s largest by some measurements, is..

 

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