At first glance, The Zebra Crossing was just your regular hostel. Fifty beds, small lounge, small kitchen, little courtyard for the smokers. But like all good hostels, it was operated with love. And like all hostels operated with love, it became home. It was Doniel who checked me in. The cheeriest of smiles, caramel skin,

​Read More

You are reading Part 5. Click here to start at Part 1, or view all parts here. I’m not sure which one of us woke up first. Probably Grizzly. It had become tradition for me to lie in bed in the mornings, waiting for the sun to rise high enough to cook my tent until

​Read More

You are reading Part 4. Click here to start at Part 1, or view all parts here. He was sitting with his back to me, so I started with the outlines of his shoulders, then the back of his head, his shabby greying hair, then finally down his torso to his butt. It wasn’t often

​Read More

You are reading Part 3. Click here to start at Part 1, or view all parts here. The crowd was already huge when I arrived. I’d thought I was early. Thousands of people sat in a huge ring, surrounding the Temple of Ixam. It was scheduled to burn just after sunset. ‘Burning’ was talked about

​Read More

You are reading Part 2. Click here to start at Part 1, or view all parts here. The light woke me up. I was wrapped in three layers of clothes, expecting the desert night to be arctic, but I’d slept through the night comfortably. I hid inside my sleeping bag, staring at the peak of

​Read More

When the bus dropped us at Welcome Road, none of us were really sure what to do or where to go. There was no booth, no person, not even a sign. Around us was nothing but desert. That was the irony of Welcome Road – it was hardly welcoming. I looked around. In one direction

​Read More

It’s 10 o’clock when I land. That’s the problem with booking the cheapest flight. It always lands late. “Take bus number 1,” she texts. “Our stop is number 422, in front of El Corte Ingles. You know, that shop you hate.” I haven’t seen her for years. Well, two years. But it feels longer than that.

​Read More

So I needed a jacket. It was so cold in Amsterdam, and for some reason, I was without a jacket. Here’s the problem. In case you haven’t heard, I don’t buy clothes. Especially jackets. It’s because I have so many jackets at home in New Zealand, I’m quite sure I should never need to buy

​Read More