encounters in elsewhere

encounters in elsewhere on Elsewhere by Graham Reid - browse 26 items of content tagged as 'encounters in elsewhere'.

Travels

Some of Graham's travel stories with an emphasis on odd destinations, or a different view of the familiar. Must-see places and some to avoid. and encounters with unusual characters, usually in colourful places in Elsewhere. All stories copyright Graham Reid.

Cultural

Essays and interviews in the world of the arts, architecture, design, journalism, politics and culture. And more, which appeal to the curious spirit of Elsewhere  . . .

Travel Books

Travel Books

Postcards From Elsewhere WINNER: WHITCOULLS TRAVEL BOOK OF THE YEAR 2006 critical comments . . . "His engaging style makes these vicarious journeys seem especially real ... his marvellous ability with words delivers well-written passages that give the reader an enhanced sense of location" - New Zealand Herald "His...

Something

Short stories, satires, thinking-out-loud stuff and nonsense for your enjoyment, amusement . . . or otherwise. Just utterly Elsewhere.

Natchez Trace, Mississippi: The highway like Heaven

Natchez Trace, Mississippi: The highway like Heaven

One of the guidebooks we took on a recent drive across America wasn't particularly helpful when it came to scenery. Then again, the Rock'n'Roll Traveler USA was always going to be more interested in directing you the field in which Buddy Holly's plane crashed, and the Taliesyn Ballroom in Tennessee where the Sex Pistols played the second concert...

McMinnville, Oregon: Howard Hughes' Spruce Goose folly

McMinnville, Oregon: Howard Hughes' Spruce Goose folly

In a flat field outside the small town of McMinnville in northwest Oregon is a building so large that cars visibly slow on the highway so the occupants can take a look at it. Even in America -- the birthplace of bigness -- this enormous squat A-frame with its frontage of glass panels is an outstanding structure. And it houses one of the...

Ullungdo, South Korea: The lure of the lair

Ullungdo, South Korea: The lure of the lair

God knows what I was thinking when I went to Ullungdo. It certainly wasn't for the well-advertised local attractions which are, in no particular order, dried squid, dried seaweed and -- its special delicacy -- pumpkin candy. Ullungdo is a spectacular lump of rock a few hours off the east coast of the bickering Koreas. It rarely makes it...

Breaux Bridge, Louisiana: In Cajun country

Breaux Bridge, Louisiana: In Cajun country

Norbert shuts off the small outboard and pulls the propeller out of the brackish water. He loosens the weeds which have fouled it and tosses them away. We sit in the silent stillness of Lake Martin beneath cypress trees and Tupelo gums, some of which are 300 years old. They have their roots in soil more than a metre below the still surface....

Austin, Texas (2004): Deep in the Arse of Texas

Austin, Texas (2004): Deep in the Arse of Texas

Drive through America's southern states tuned to country music radio stations and you'll hear it; Letters from Home by John Michael Montgomery. It's real catchy, was still in the top 20 of the country charts after six months, and you can guess what it's about. But in case you miss the sentimental message the video is even more literal:...

LA by bus: Carless in car town

LA by bus: Carless in car town

In the city of Los Angeles -- which is 19th-century Spanish for "the land where men walk on four wheels" -- it sometimes seems that only the socially disenfranchised take the bus. That's not entirely true, of course. Every day any number of good honest folk ride the MTA -- but so, too, do veterans of the alcohol wars, strange men who...

America, driving across the country (April-May 2004)

America, driving across the country (April-May 2004)

PART ONE: LONG DAY’S JOURNEY INTO AMERICA My fans are troubling me in America. You expect it in the Monte Vista Hotel in Flagstaff, however. This character-filled landmark within whistle-blow of the Santa Fe rail line and just off Route 66 has hosted any number of famous characters, living and dead. From Zane Grey and Humphrey...

MADRID AND BARCELONA: Putting in the hard yards for art's sake

MADRID AND BARCELONA: Putting in the hard yards for art's sake

We should expect to suffer for our art. God knows I have for mine -- although standing in the rain outside Madrid's famous art gallery the Prado on a bitterly cold day might just have be taking it too far. It was. I quit the queue and headed back to my tiny hotel room for a warm shower, then jumped puddles to the nearby bar where I...

Cameron, Louisiana: The stink of shrimp and petroleum

Cameron, Louisiana: The stink of shrimp and petroleum

In 2005 smalltown Cameron in southwest Louisiana was washed away by Hurricane Rita and I suppose battered to hell again by Hurricane Katrina. It seemed tragic and . . . Well, let me tell you my memory of Cameron, a place we stayed in for one very long night while driving the Gulf Coast before heading up to Breaux Bridge then on to New Orleans....

The Alamo, San Antonio, Texas: Don't Forget to Remember

The Alamo, San Antonio, Texas: Don't Forget to Remember

A hot Monday morning and I'm sitting outside of what remains of the old Alamo in the centre of San Antonio, Texas. From here the Crockett Hotel looms above the old mission, and street cars and taxis rumble across land which was once splattered with the blood of hundreds. Tourists, few of them international if the visitors book can be...

Travel with seniors: practical advice for older travellers

Travel with seniors: practical advice for older travellers

We were in a crowded post office in Venice when I said to my mother-in-law Sue, "You know the first thing you pack when you travel? Patience." We needed it that morning. We were sending home unwanted clothes and a few souvenirs. We'd queued to buy the box, queued again to have it weighed and get the necessary paperwork (in duplicate,...

Northland, New Zealand: After the Flood.

Northland, New Zealand: After the Flood.

For me there are two ideal kinds of lie-down, totally relaxing, long weekends away with a good book. The first and most obvious requires endless tropical warmth and hours of sunshine, and a beach or pool within waddling distance of the deck chair and buffet. The other is . . . Well, it’s sort of what we got when we went to the Golden...

Denniston, West Coast, New Zealand: Damned and damp

Denniston, West Coast, New Zealand: Damned and damp

The weather was perfect: fiercely cold, low mist and a chilling drizzle. This is ideal when you are at Denniston, because only in such miserable conditions can you get some small appreciation of what life must have been like here a century ago. At 600 metres above sea level and with the coast barely visible through the rolling mist, this former...

Sorrento, Italy: Where life takes a holiday

Sorrento, Italy: Where life takes a holiday

Giuseppe the concierge welcomes us with a slight bow and a broad smile, then waves us towards the front desk. I am flattered and surprised that he knows our names, but the reason becomes apparent as we sign in. We are the only two guests in the 50-room Grand Hotel Cocumella which occupies a balcony seat in the pretty town of Sorrento across the...

Southwest Pacific: The Lonely Sea and the Sky

Southwest Pacific: The Lonely Sea and the Sky

The day before our Pacific cruise a brief news item caught my attention: a volcano in Vanuatu was spewing ash and thousands of villagers were being evacuated amidst fears of a major explosion. Maybe our restful cruise to Vanuatu would be more dramatic than anticipated? The following day as we cast off from Auckland few other passengers...

The Australian Outback: The Man Who Knew Too Much

The Australian Outback: The Man Who Knew Too Much

There's a much repeated reason why the men of Outback Australia are so tight-lipped. "Flies. Open your mouth and a fly gets in," says a weather-beaten guy in a faded Akubra at the bar outside Brisbane. He's merely repeating the myth but, by his subsequent silence, confirms the cliche of these men for whom large expanses of dust and...

London, England: With a pinch of snuff

London, England: With a pinch of snuff

Curious what you find in the bottom of your bags -- and maybe keep -- after a trip away. I usually turn up napkins with scribbled addresses and notes, postcards and receipts, fliers from concerts or galleries, and the odd article torn from a local newspaper because it seemed so brilliantly incisive at the time. Mostly I throw such things away...

Outback, Australia: The speed of the sound of loneliness

Outback, Australia: The speed of the sound of loneliness

Eventually curiosity gets the better of me and, on a typically empty stretch of tarseal some 100kms west of Alice Springs, I stop the car and climb a rocky outcrop. For the past half hour I have had the magnificent MacDonnell Range on my right but 10 minutes ago a strange, irregular wall of bricks ran parallel with the road on my left....

FELIPE FERNANDEZ-ARMESTO INTERVIEWED (1999): Cheer up, it will all be over soon

FELIPE FERNANDEZ-ARMESTO INTERVIEWED (1999): Cheer up, it will all be over soon

The phone call is an hour late and catches Felipe Fernandez-Armesto at dinner with his father-in-law. Apologies are cheerfully rebutted by impossibly rounded vowels which roll across the global link direct from Brideshead Revisited. My apology includes how I relied on an international telephone operator to calculate the time difference...

Snapshots of strangeness: a collection of odd anecdotes

Snapshots of strangeness: a collection of odd anecdotes

Walt Disney Regrets Last week I spent a morning in the company of a woman who has a curious obsession: she collects soundtracks to those Walt Disney nature programmes which occasionally still appear on television. Or more correctly, she collects correspondence about those soundtracks. I shall call her Sybil because that is what she calls...

Suva, Fiji: Resolving contradictions?

Suva, Fiji: Resolving contradictions?

Give them credit, they were persistent. When the Reverend Thomas Baker, a Methodist minister, unintentionally insulted a chief on the Fijian island of Viti Levu in 1867, he and six of his Fijian followers were hacked to death and eaten. Baker has the dubious honour of being the only European Methodist to be dispatched in such a...

AMERICA BEFORE COLUMBUS, a doco series by  CRISTINA TREBBI (SBS/Madman)

AMERICA BEFORE COLUMBUS, a doco series by CRISTINA TREBBI (SBS/Madman)

For clarification this interesting two part doco series should more correctly be titled "The Americas Before Columbus" as it's broad sweep looks at civilisations in what we now call South and Central America as much as those in "America". And although it inevitably relies on CGI in places to illustrate lost cities and...

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