• Travel

    In The Dead of Night

    Maybe it’s because I grew up in London that I’d never seen fireflies before. Maybe they don’t even populate the UK. I have no idea. After all, I’ve barely seen a bright night in my city, the millions of lamps and high levels of pollution taking away its natural wonders, so how on earth would I ever see something as delicate and as quietly beautiful as a firefly? In the past I’d only ever seen them in American films: young boys capturing them and putting them in glass jars to marvel at them or give them as a gift to impress a girl, but never in person, never in real…

  • Moving Abroad,  Travel

    I’m Pregnant!?

    My ojek (motorbike taxi) driver thought I was pregnant the other day. ‘Aww, Miss! You’re carrying a baby?’ he cooed as he pulled up, gesturing to my stomach. I clambered onto the back of the motorbike and locked my helmet in place, debating. ‘Um, yeah.’ ‘I knew it! How many months, Miss?’ Fuck. What number should I give him? Clearly I’m showing so I can’t be less than three, but surely I can’t look as big as seven? ‘Five.’ ‘Congratulations, Miss!’ My newfound pregnancy was news to me. I thought I had just merely had a huge dinner of rice and cap cay and was wearing a more mature, you’ve-got-it-together wrap dress,…

  • Moving Abroad

    Help! I Need Friends!

    I’ve been living in West Java, Indonesia, for over six weeks now, and I’m trying to do the impossible: make friends. Okay, so maybe I’m exaggerating and it’s not impossible as such, but it’s as difficult as I thought it would be. Mainly because: 1) I’m an introvert 2) It takes me a very long time to consider anyone a friend, even if I see them all the time 3) I started working three weeks ago, so now my time is being stretched thin and I have a lot less hours in the day to do anything let alone go out out into central Jakarta and meet people for salsa or book clubs or…

  • Love

    Driven by Passion

    I know it’s not the most romantic of things to say that the meme of those dogs driving a car to Charlie XCX’s Vroom Vroom reminds me of you, but it does. The caption itself is what kills it for me: ‘*school starts at 8.40* me at 9.26,’ cue dogs skidding in the snow from driving too fast. That whole meme is you every, single, morning. Whether your ass is late for work or late in picking me up for a lunch date, without fail you are delayed, driving calmly but with panic running through your blood. You’d state there are exceptions though, and I’d grudgingly have to agree. Exceptions when…

  • Travel

    How (Not) To Ride a Scooter in Thailand

    ‘Those lucky drivers, getting to have your hands on them!’ That was what my beau said when I told him I was frequently taking ojeks (motorbike taxis) to get around my new neighbourhood in Bekasi, Indonesia. I was appalled. ‘Hell no, I’m not touching them! I hold on to the back!’ These days I don’t even do that, because after three weeks I’m now confident enough to merely place my hands on my legs like the locals, sometimes even texting and sending photos to my darling of me in the helmet and mouth mask. I was bored of sticking out like a sore thumb as I held on, people keen…

  • Moving Abroad,  Travel

    OMG! The Roof Fell In! My First Two Weeks in Indonesia

    Five days into my arrival and I was already packing up to leave. Turning to face my two housemates in the dark evening, they merely rolled their eyes before throwing their suitcases into the back of the taxi. They’d already been on this rodeo. I sighed and did the same, hoisting my bag containing my pyjamas and prayer beads atop my shoulder as I slid into the car, ready to go to the new apartment we’d be living in for the next week. I hadn’t even been in our current one for a week. — It had started in the morning, when I’d heard a huge crash followed by shrieks.…

  • Love,  Travel

    Dancing In The Street

    I didn’t understand what all of the commotion was until I got closer. Hundreds of people were on the narrow street, spilling out into the traffic and blocking the vendors selling ‘kebabs! Kebabs!’ and mint tea late into the night. I was just looking for food, peckish after my day of exploring temples of Luxor, and thought I would take a short walk from my hostel to see what I could get. I fancied hummus, or maybe ful medames, served with generous helpings of pickled vegetables and pitta bread. I thought I might pick up a pastry too, as I had the previous day. What I found instead was a…

  • Moving Abroad,  Travel

    Worried About Moving Abroad? Don’t Worry, I Am Too! One Week Countdown

    Why doesn’t anyone speak about how hard it is to move abroad?  I’ve got two weeks to go and I’m panicking. My mind can’t concentrate on any one thing, my shoulders are tense, and when I allow myself to think about it too much, I want to break down. I wrote this last week, when I had the grand idea of writing and publishing about how I feel to 1) straighten out my thoughts surrounding everything, and 2) in the hope it gives comfort to others who may be experiencing the same. Yet I stopped at that paragraph. I couldn’t write anything more, let alone publish it. I was getting…

  • Travel,  Veganism

    Being Vegan in Krakow: The Best Places to Eat

    Krakow was the first city outside of London that I visited as a full-time vegan, e.g. being vegan at home and whilst travelling. I thought it was going to be hard, because when I envision Polish food, it’s all meat, meat, meat, and would you like a side of cheese with that? Perhaps some vodka? Yes to the vodka, but unfortunately no to everything else, even if that ‘everything else’ included the Polish classics of cured beef sandwiches and pork loin rolls. But although I salivated over the sweet cheese pancakes in the bakeries, I didn’t actually feel like I was missing out on much. In fact, I thought I had gained something by being…

  • Moving Abroad

    Goals For My Year Abroad

    I finally bit the bullet and bought a Kindle. And I hate Kindles. I hate Kindles because I love physical books. The feel of them, the smell (the dustier, the better), the fact that one day I would love to have a home library with a port cabinet, so I’m collecting as many novels as possible to facilitate this (I think I was in the region of 150+ the last time I counted, though I could be overestimating). Yet I bought a Kindle because 1) e-books are often cheaper, and 2) e-books are easily transported. In Indonesia, English books are harder to come by and a lot more expensive. I remember being in a bookshop in…