LETHAL TEXT

‘Quite simply, the lethal text is a text that, when read, renders the reader incapable of reading. It destroys the reader’s mind, inducing a crippling insanity. Only those who have read a lethal text know what it says… but they are in no position to share their knowledge.’

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THE REALITY-BASED COMMUNITY

‘We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality.’ These words are from a brief but memorable conversation the journalist Ron Suskind had with Karl Rove, who was the chief political adviser and Machiavellian ‘teacher of tricks’ to the Bush dynasty. He had a way with words, and these particular ones […]

MY LIFE IN BLUE

When Dawan was born, Great Aunt Kung looked at her and said, ‘She is my successor. She has the gift.’ In her mother’s Cambodian culture, there must always be a ghost-keeper in the family. Blessed or cursed with second sight, the ghost keeper’s role was to perform rituals and exorcisms, appease spirits and tell fortunes […]

WHY I LIKE THE RAIN

Photograph by Sam Sherratt   Sometime during the Eocene Era, India collided into Asia, hurling the Himalayas high into the sky, lifting up the Tibetan plateau, and giving birth to an unruly spirit called monsoon.  Fifty million years later, I arrived exhausted in Bangkok, the City of Angels. I was met at the airport by […]

HANGING OUT WITH INSECTS

Jamrock, my Bohemia, is set on a rugged coastal hillside, facing the setting sun, the whole hillside like an amphitheatre for the nightly show. Up on the road, there’s the bar, shaped like a boat, guarded by geese, loud with reggae and roosters and the roar of improbable vehicles. Down a steep path, just about […]

DREAM OF A BEAUTIFUL HOUSE

Apsara was returning from the market, walking to the end of the street where the motorcycle taxis wait, when she heard crying. Deep, heart-broken sobbing, coming from somewhere nearby. Curious, she turned into a side street. She was going in the right direction, though now, strangely, the crying sounded further away. The street had a […]

HANUMAN

I found Jamrock by accident, like everybody does.  I’d stayed in Phuket longer than planned, to keep an eye on Apsara’s kids while she finished up in Bangkok and got ready to move down here. I was living in a simple holiday bungalow and had rented another one for them. It was around the beginning […]