More translations

Graham Stone kindly informs me that in Papua New Guinea pidgin, ‘My hov­er­craft is full of eels’ becomes the epic:

Balus em i no goupim bilong me em i pul­lup long lik­lik pela snek bilong solwarra

(Literally: My aero­plane (balus)  that can’t fly (no go up) is ful­lup of little salt­water snakes.)

Aeroplane main­ten­ance is quite a mouth­ful too. Propellor becomes ‘tingt­ing bilong balus em i go raun­raun’. If dam­aged, this becomes ‘tingt­ing bilong balus em i go raun­raun em i bug­gerup tru’.

All of which is just and excuse to say that we will be adding more to the blog soon, hav­ing just about recovered from the jour­ney home. And the pho­tos will be up on Flickr very soon, with a link pos­ted here of course.

Sound clips

  • Paris Gare du Nord: flip flap­flap­flap of the train indic­ator board — a “lost sound” accord­ing to the BBC sound archive.
  • “Passaporte! Passaporte!” at 2:30am on the Bulgarian border.
  • Cicadas every­where we went in Greece.
  • Through Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary: the bell clang of the wheel tap­pers’ ham­mers going down the train.

How do you reserve 3 beds from Thessaloniki to Bucharesti?

9.00am Greek train book­ing office, Athens:

“No, I can’t give you reser­va­tions on the train  Bucharest.  I have only 3 beds and I must sell them.  But you can buy in Thessaloniki.  The Romanians have more — it’s easy”

1.30pm Larissa train sta­tion, Athens.  Inernational book­ing office opens:

“No train to Bucharest”


“I don’t know!” Continue read­ing


I almost burst into tears when I arrived here — out of sheer delight!  It is a beau­ti­ful, quite and undeveloped island with a few Greek hol­i­day makers (and the French couple with the young child we chat­ted to on the first day).  It feels so much ‚ore relaxed and gentle this way, with just local vis­it­ors, and the com­par­ison with the Scottish islands comes to mind again.  Arriving here felt quite like arriv­ing st Eigg — a few loc­als chat­ting and hanging out at the har­bour cafe, in no hurry to do any­thing other than drink strong Greek cof­fee and watch and nat­ter. Continue read­ing