All posts by Jamie Lafferty
People do a lot of waiting in India. Waiting for work, waiting for a blessing, waiting for things to get better. Often they are waiting for a train. Here are some people waiting on a platform: an elderly man with a waterfall beard cascading from his wizened face onto orange..
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..
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..
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..
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..
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…”..
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..
It’s 1998 in Mrs Stafford’s biology class and I’m feeling pretty good about myself. Our class has been asked to test our lung capacities. The sporty types have higher scores; that Italian kid who can’t find a big enough blazer does not. What? Jodie Nisbet only got 1.9L – boo! She’s..
One morning in the Serengeti a tawny eagle was sitting on an acacia tree. The sun had risen a few hours earlier and the bird had used most of the daylight for gathering twigs to assemble into a nest. The acacia’s wicked thorns were almost as sharp as the eagle’s talons –..
“We are outlaws now.” These are words that precisely no-one wants to hear, not in China, not with its hard labour sentences and fondness for the death penalty. Of all the Asian nations not to be an outlaw in, China is just about top of my list. Yet, according to..