Mink Machine

Posts of year 2008

Alone in Kyoto

Alone in Kyoto

Some people might call me a movie buff, but today was one of those days when I deserve that. I have walked alone in the streets of Kyoto, visiting temples and shrines at a leisurely pace, just like Scarlett Johansson’s character in Lost In Translation. I even listened to the song “Alone in Kyoto” by Air on my iPod, featured on the movie soundtrack as the music played while she walks around.

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A day of war

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

Going bananas in Beijing

Yesterday I had a drink at a small place discretely hidden inside one 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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Tent heating in Mongolia

Tent heating in Mongolia

I am currently back in Ulaan Baatar after sleeping some nights in a traditional ger tent at the Mongolian plains. After five days on the Trans-Siberian train, that freezing tent felt like pure luxury but right now I’m glad to be back in civilization (sort of) with an internet connection.

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Dawn in Ulaan Baatar

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

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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Red Square of Moscow

Red Square of Moscow

As I walked across the cold cobblestones, I realized that the Red Square had been on my bucket list for decades. The onions of St Basil’s Cathedral and the walls of the Kremlin are well-known sights to most people, and often featured in movies.

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Google Chrome and you

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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Coming of age

Coming of age

This site turns 14 years old this week. That’s pretty old for something in the web world. This was a few months before the browser Netscape was released.

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The black balsam of Riga

The black balsam of Riga

I just got back from a trip to Riga, the capital of Latvia. Apart from delicious Laima chocolate and lots of cobblestones, the city is home to a lethal brew with the somewhat mysterious name Black Balsam (or Melnais Balzams in Latvian).

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Featured stories

The urban maze of Tangier

The urban maze of Tangier

"The old Medina is full of fascinating gates and narrow alleys, where I blend in like Moby Dick at a NIN concert."
Eating my way through Basque country

Eating my way through Basque country

"Not too bad to wash it all down with a local Txakoli, the young white wine typical of the Basque country."
Vineyards of southern France

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."
Exploring Chernobyl

Exploring Chernobyl

"The soundtrack of the day was Radioactivity by Kraftwerk, as we rolled into Chernobyl this morning."
Having champagne in Champagne

Having champagne in Champagne

"We roamed the damp and chilly tunnels and stumbled upon a large barrel delivered by Napoleon himself."
New Years Eve in Sydney

New Years Eve in Sydney

"Opera House is seen in front of the massive fireworks in the harbor area, celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Harbour Bridge."

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