Elsewhere by Graham Reid

music - travel - arts

Wide angle reviews, interviews and opinion by writer Graham Reid

Travel Stories

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Essaouira, Morocco: The world according to Muhammed

Essaouira, Morocco: The world according to Muhammed

The words most travelers hear in certain countries, and understandably shy away from, come from street people or those with something to sell who ask, “Where you from?” But in Morocco you need to be wary of waving people away, even street vendors carrying stuff you have spent all your life avoiding, because many locals seem genuinely curious and want a conversation. So... more >>

10 Nov 2013    1

Colonia, Uruguay: So pretty, so mundane

Colonia, Uruguay: So pretty, so mundane

Excluding the journey by boat from Buenos Aires (an hour each way), the time difference with Argentina (another hour) and queuing for tickets then Custom’s clearance (yet another hour), our “day” in Uruguay came down to little more than six hours, some of which involved embarking and disembarking at both ends. However, I feel confident enough to offer an in-depth... more >>

2 Nov 2013

Mumbai, India: A day in Bombay; an in-depth report

Mumbai, India: A day in Bombay; an in-depth report

It's a joke of course, ticking off things to see in a day in Mumbai (which many still call Bombay). Here's a city of around 18 million souls where it can take three hours in stop-start traffic to get across “town”. Just a day? But with an English-speaking driver – as cheap as $20, you tip extra, hotels will find one – you can pick off a number of must-see... more >>

15 Sep 2013    1

Miami Beach, Florida: Riders on the storm

Miami Beach, Florida: Riders on the storm

“This corner here?” says Marty. “These individuals would mostly be dealers or users. Crack mostly. That girl over there, the skinny one? That was her brother, the guy in the red shirt we saw earlier I told you was a dealer. “And this girl here, when she was about 19, her boyfriend used to beat up on her. Now she’s using. What can you say? “Hey,... more >>

1 Sep 2013

Highway 101; West Coast USA: My way or the highway

Highway 101; West Coast USA: My way or the highway

Frankly, it doesn’t come much less glamorous than Crescent City in northern California. Fast food outlets encircle our motel and cooking oil hangs heavy in the night air, so I wander the vacant streets. In a nearby bar two overweight, heavily made-up women are impaled on bar stools like meatballs on toothpicks. One tells me they are waiting for something to turn up, and later it... more >>

25 Aug 2013

Niue, South Pacific: A whole lot of lovely nothing

Niue, South Pacific: A whole lot of lovely nothing

There is a truism about travel: Get up early rather than stay out late. That way you see the people, village or city starting to go about its daily life. In the early morning – rather better than through 2am beer-goggles – you can more closely connect with the world you have dropped in t. The fact is though, there's not a lot that would keep you out late on the wonderfully... more >>

18 Aug 2013

Maharashtra state, India: Riding the rail, Part Two

Maharashtra state, India: Riding the rail, Part Two

It's strange but true: Some of the most important discoveries of historic sites have been remarkably recent, and have often come about by accident. It's hard to believe, for example, that it wasn't until 50 years ago when a couple of road workers near Laura in northern Queensland decided to climb a hill for a bit of a look-around . . . and discovered Aboriginal rock painting dating... more >>

18 Aug 2013    1

Savannah, Georgia: Midday in the Gardens

Savannah, Georgia: Midday in the Gardens

Mary's words float, wisps of cloud in this hot Georgia afternoon. She speaks in a charming, slow drawl, her voice rarely rising with inflection. We walk through Columbia Square in the old heart of Savannah where Spanish moss hangs like whispers from dogwood trees. "Now, we had a gennel-man down he-ya one tahm recently," she says, her words dragging like slow woodsmoke in the... more >>

11 Aug 2013

Holly Springs, Mississippi: A Little Less Conversation

Holly Springs, Mississippi: A Little Less Conversation

Holly Springs in north Mississippi has some interesting historic attractions. Probably. I wouldn't know. I didn't bother looking for them. Holly Springs is a bit out of the way even if you happen to be in the state, but this picturesque town -- which apparently changed hands 62 times during the Civil War -- is a useful midpoint on the Elvis Trail between his birthplace in Tupelo... more >>

I Was the One

28 Jul 2013

Southeast England: Rye, wry and makes you cry

Southeast England: Rye, wry and makes you cry

While in Winchelsea in south east England, I went to pay my respects to Spike Milligan at his grave in St Thomas' churchyard. Unfortunately, Spike was out. More correctly, his famously funny headstone had been taken away – they left Spike down there – because, when his third wife Shelagh Sinclair was buried beside him June 2011, her family wanted her name and dates added to... more >>

7 Jul 2013

Morocco: You want nuts with that?

Morocco: You want nuts with that?

So you will be seeing the goats in the trees, said the man in the marketplace. I laughed because I'd clearly misheard. I thought he'd said, “goats in the trees”. The other man patting a pile of bright yellow spice back into an attractive pyramid stopped and turned to me, “Oh yes, there will be goats up in the trees. You will see them, I guarantee.”“You... more >>

23 Jun 2013

Maharashtra state, India: Riding the rail

Maharashtra state, India: Riding the rail

In the historic, temple-filled and rather wealthy Indian city of Kolhapur a couple of hours north of Goa there's a glimpse of a past which is appealingly distant but also curiously contemporary. The day I arrive at the New Palace – an imposing 150-year old building in the Indo-Gothic style commanding spacious grounds – it is the day of the famously crazy and colourful Holi... more >>

9 Jun 2013

Canterbury, England: Murder and more in the cathedral

Canterbury, England: Murder and more in the cathedral

So the murder was good for business then, Mike?“It was the biggest cash cow the cathedral had known,” laughs Mike Evans, one of the guides at Canterbury Cathedral, the spiritual home of the Anglican Church and where Thomas Becket was murdered in 1170. Evans, who retired from a sales career in London and returned to his childhood home of Canterbury some years ago, mixes... more >>

25 May 2013

Canterbury, England: Some different tales, bear with me

Canterbury, England: Some different tales, bear with me

Although the famous cathedral is rightly considered the physical and emotional centre of Canterbury in England, the historic old town holds other delights and diversions, especially if you are there with children who might not see the point of dead people made of stone and really big stained glass windows. And, after a few hours of peering at strange inscriptions about people we never... more >>

17 Feb 2013

Essaouira, Morocco: Light at the end of the day

Essaouira, Morocco: Light at the end of the day

He was offering cakes, small dry round things which looked pretty unappetizing, but that wasn't what he was really selling. After the tray had been presented and I'd waved it away, with a flash of his hand he opened his palm and whispered urgently, “You want?” There, in a tight dark ball, was a lump of hashish. In earlier times we might have done the deal, but these days .... more >>

6 Jan 2013    1

Kunming, China: The song of the stones

Kunming, China: The song of the stones

At one point Lily, our guide from the Yi people -- a prominent ethnic group in this area of southwest China – stops as we visitors negotiate our way through the surreal formations of the famous Stone Forest near the city of Kunming. As the four of us stand beneath sky-pointing fingers of blue-grey rock, Lily says this area is the traditional home of her Yi people (pronounced... more >>

16 Dec 2012

Dallas, Texas: The shots heard around the world

Dallas, Texas: The shots heard around the world

A simple wrong turn and the pressure of traffic forced us to carry on down the road, looking for an exit. But then, through a set of traffic lights, we were there. "This it," I shouted. "Look. This is it." I drove on as slowly as the urgent traffic would allow but we looked around at the slow dip and curve of the road, so recognisable from that famous piece of... more >>

22 Nov 2012

Stonehenge, England: Everybody must get stoned

Stonehenge, England: Everybody must get stoned

A couple of years ago when Britain's English Heritage was again getting fretful over the increasing number of tourists arriving at Stonehenge on Salisbury Plain, a wag wrote a pithy one-liner to a major daily. If whoever erected those monolithic stones was so smart, he asked, why did they build it near a motorway? Certainly if you wander around the site in Wiltshire of this... more >>

17 Nov 2012    3

Kunming, China: Escape from the haste

Kunming, China: Escape from the haste

Kunming – the capital of Yunnan province in south west China – doesn't do quiet. With a population around 6.5 million (and, improbably, a sister city to New Plymouth since 2003), Kunming delivers confusion, haste, noise and its own peculiar order in the apparent chaos of motorcycles and scooters which flit between buses, tracks, cars and pedestrians. Crowded buses wheeze... more >>

14 Oct 2012

Amsterdam, Holland: Ink on skin

Amsterdam, Holland: Ink on skin

Three days before he was sentenced on firearms charges, I was looking Tame Iti directly in the eye, his stare unblinking. The room was all but empty, just my wife and me, and his was the first face I'd seen when we walked in. Oddly enough, his familiar, assured but also rather gentle gaze seemed welcoming, given we were in the Amsterdam Tattoo Museum on the other side of the world... more >>

14 Sep 2012