Mink Machine

Entries of year 2009

New Years Eve in Prague

The year is about to end and I’m spending the last days of it in Prague, the beautiful gothic capital of Czech Republic. Since it’s also the last day of the decade, we might as well go out with a bang. And what better way than the herbal bitter Becherovka, a classic Czech brew.

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Fave concerts of 2009

2009 must have been one of the busiest concert years ever. Perhaps in some way due to the decrease in record sales which forces the artists to hit the roads. Regardless of the reason I estimate that I visited about 80 gigs during the year, and here are some of the highlights.

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Choir

From Gothenburg to Tokyo by train

About one year ago, it felt like a good idea at the time to cross a third of the world in 37 days. A 12000 kilometer journey by train, ferry, horse, bus, Shinkansen, tram, subway, taxi, foot and swan boat. Going from Gothenburg to Tokyo by train is one of the longest routes available. It spans across nine time zones and seven countries. The largest part is the Trans-Siberian railway from Moscow to the Pacific, the world’s longest railway with 9238 kilometers.

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Review: Air Babylon

This book by Imogen Edwards-Jones tells the tale of a character who works on a big airline. It actually feels like a collection of anecdotes tied together by something vaguely resembling a storyline. For instance, we get ironic puns about how to get Semtex bombs aboard, details about the irritating boy band who sneaks away with the hosties in first class and how rude people gets tagged at check-in and later served food spiced with laxative.

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Fall of the Berlin Wall

Twenty years ago, the Berlin Wall was opened and Germany was reunited about a year later. I remember reading about it on 9th of November 1989, maybe a bit too young to fully understand the impact of this monumental event.

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Firefox celebrates 5th birthday

I remember a day in 2003 when I first tried Phoenix, a daring offspring of the bloated Mozilla suite. It was a breath of fresh air compared to the horrible IE6. It was later renamed Firebird, then Firefox, and finally version 1.0 was released on November 9 2004. It felt faster than any browser I had previously used and I instantly found myself addicted to using tabs instead of opening new IE windows all the time.

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Review: Nasty Bits

Anthony Bourdain used to be a chef at Les Halles in New York and rose to stardom after his book “Kitchen Confidential” in 2000. Even though this book may have launched him into stardom, it fell below my radar at the time. But I’ve been a fan of Bourdain ever since I picked up Nasty Bits in Singapore.

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Travel book reviews

Apart from moleskins and iPods, a good book is an essential companion for long journeys. And what book could be better than one about travelling? I’ve read a fair bit of travel books in my days. Guides such as Lonely Planet provide great facts for a traveller while you’re on the road and have saved me on numerous occasions, but they are rarely inspiring.

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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."
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."
Memories of Skye

Memories of Skye

"The countryside is charming and some places even have coffee."
Roaming through Banff

Roaming through Banff

"Even though the main town is surrounded by mountains with names such as Sulphur Mountain, it is as far away from Mordor as one could imagine."
The sound of Salzburg

The sound of Salzburg

"It is based on the true story of Maria von Trapp, even though I suspect she didn’t go singing alone in the mountain ranges."
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."

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