Mink Machine

Entries of year 2008

A day of war

I am currently sitting in a dark room at a hostel in Seoul, South Korea. Trying my best to recover from an exhausting day of warfare study. Or should I call it a study of humankind? Earlier this morning I looked into North Korea with binoculars, seeing their flag shaking defiantly in the wind. So close, so far away.

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Going bananas in Beijing

Yesterday I had a drink at a small place discretely hidden inside on of the old hutons (traditional narrow alleys). The owner was a friendly chap and recommended a club in town called the Banana Club. I was quite skeptical due to the corny name, but he wrote down the address in Chinese letters and we took a cab there.

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Dawn in Ulaan Baatar

I got off the Trans-Siberian express at 7 am after four nights of irregular sleep, placing my dusty shoes on the pavement of the Ulaan Bataar railway station. When tired and hungry, you are an easy target for the shadowy existences walking around here. Luckily it was sunday morning and the Mongols tend to sleep a lot.

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Plane crash on Trans-Siberian

I shared cabin with a Russian couple on a night train from Helsinki to Moscow earlier this week. They told me that a plane had crashed near Perm with 80 dead and some damage done to the Trans-Siberian railway. Since I was about to embark on the Trans-Siberian a few days later and pass the city of Perm, I was curious on how this would effect my journey.

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Google Chrome and you

There’s a new guy in town. Apart from being a good song by VNV Nation, Chrome is a new browser developed by Google. As you might expect, it’s fast, memory efficient and slick. The user interface is simplistic and the viewport is very large. By default, Chrome imports the settings from your default browser. It is completely open-source and since it uses WebKit, sites that work in Safari should work fine in Chrome as well.

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Way Out West post mortem

The time had come to visit the overpriced frenzy of Way Out West. It turned out to be just as I thought it would be. It’s quite comfy to visit a festival at the heart of your home town. At any time you can walk home to your own bed instead of crawling across the mud into a ravaged tent. This fact unfortunately also turns the festival into a very calm and somewhat boring place.

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Featured stories

The lakes of Lombardy

"The town of Como, largest settlement around Lake Como, attracts a lot of people with big wallets. But I preferred to take the funicular up the mountain to the Brunate region, where you get a much better view of the lake."

Conquering Machu Picchu

"A life-long dream came true this morning, as I stood upon the mountain looking down at Machu Picchu. I felt like some strange mix between Indiana Jones and a small boy, gazing down upon the final treasure of the Incas."

The streets of Paris

"One of the advantages of repeated visits to a place is the leisure pace of awe and discovery while drifting slowly down the worn streets of the French capital."

Vineyards of southern France

"Not far from Sauternes is the village of Saint-Émilion, also a famous wine region but what got me hooked was their impressive limestone caves."

Wazzup in Vaduz

"Vaduz Castle is overlooking the town from a hill, a short walk from the center. It’s really a postcard view with the alps in the background, which I’m sure the prince enjoys as he sips his morning coffee while towering above his loyal subjects."

Roaming in Valletta

"I passed the statue of Jean de Valette, the 49th Grand Master who laid the foundation stone to Valletta in 1566, to gaze at the golden interior of St. John’s Co-Cathedral, where he is buried in the crypt."