Freelance travel photographer and writer based in Melbourne, Australia. I create images and words that help tell the stories of our vibrant, diverse world and its people.
Havana St, Havana
Sam strums his guitar. An old battered thing that has seen better days. The sound resonates off the ramshackle walls on the opposite side of the narrow street as he plays a song called El Despertar, a melancholic refrain that seems at odds with the general Cuban outlook. I don’t speak much Spanish but Ricardo explains that it’s about bravery in the face of an uncertain future and now I understand its appeal for the people of Cuba. Sam sings passionately, although slightly out of tune, from deep within, making the accompanying facial expressions. Just as the song is building a little tabby cat appears from behind him, joining in vocals. It takes a second for Sam to notice but when he does he stops mid chorus, picks up the guitar with one hand, the kitten with the other, and with a slight bow of the head steps inside and disappears. “Feeding time”, says Ricardo as if he’s seen this before.
Lessons Over Chai
I’m being handed another cup of chai by a small man with a very large moustache. It’s my 8th one today, or at least I think so. I’ve lost count. I’m not sure I can drink another but it would be insulting to refuse. That’s something that stood out from the minute I landed in India- the generosity and compassion of people.
Meeting the Yellow Eyed Penguin
“Do the penguins know we’re here?” asks the little girl. “Yes, they do,” replies Dan, our tour guide and penguin expert. “But because we’re looking at them through such a small hole in the wall, the penguins can only see very little of us and so they think that we’re smaller than them and not a threat”.
Along the banks of the Chao Phraya river lay parts of Bangkok rarely visited by outsiders. This the Bangkok, the Siam, of yesteryear. A place of narrow alleyways quiet during the heat of day but full of life, noise and barbeque smoke at night. It’s a contradiction to much of the ever modernising city where skyscrapers and shopping malls multiply by the day.