Page 1

12 pages of travel features from the island of Mull to the depths of Indonesia, from inter-railing to desert driving a car built from scratch, in our...

Travel Special


'The War Comes Home T h e H o m e 'Office has g i v e n a n Iraqi student at I m p e r i a l C o l l e g e t w e n t y - e i g ht days to l e a v e t h e U n i t e d K i n g d o m . T h e student in q u e s t i o n sent his passport off i n O c t o b e r , for w h a t s h o u l d h a v e b e e n a n a u t o m a t i c r e n e w a l of his a n n u a l v i s a . H e h e a r d n o t h i n g f r o m the H o m e Office for four m o n t h s until last S a t u r d a y w h e n he r e c e i v e d n o t i c e to quit the c o u n t r y . T h e letter f r o m the H o m e Office Immigration and Nationality Department r e a d as follows, '... y o u r stay has b e e n e x t e n d e d to 28 days after t h e date of this

CCU Results T h e results of the C C U e l e c t i o n s are as follows. T h e n e w C i t y a n d G u i l d s President is T i m P r o c t o r ( b y o n l y t w o votes), the v i c e - P r e s i d e n t is L u c i a C l i p s t o n e a n d H o n s e c is N a i l l D a v i e s . A n g e l a C r i e s s o n is the n e w R C S President, R i c h a r d M u r r r a y is the viceP r e s i d e n t a n d S i m o n G i b b o n s is H o n s e c . T h e R S M hustings are not u n t i l the 12th M a r c h . T h e R S M is c u r r e n t l y r i d i n g a h i g h after their s u r p r i s e v i c t o r y i n the Bottle M a t c h , the a n n u a l r u g b y m a t c h w i t h the C a m b o r n e S c h o o l of M i n e s . T h e R S M w o n the football a n d ladies h o c k e y but lost m e n ' s h o c k e y a n d s q u a s h , also against Camborne.

notice. If y o u d o not w i s h to a p p e a l , y o u s h o u l d l e a v e t h e U n i t e d K i n g d o m b y that date.' T h e letter w a s s t a m p e d ' 2 0 t h February'.

a n e x p l a n a t i o n for the a p p a r e n t l y unjustifiable d e p o r t a t i o n a c t i o n . O n behalf of the College a u t h o r i t i e s , he said ' W e w i l l s uppo r t h i m as s t r o n g l y as w e c a n . '

T h e student has m a d e the d e c i s i o n to a p p e a l , a n d has sought l e g a l a d v i c e . T h e C o l l e g e A u t h o r i t i e s h a v e p l e d g e d their full support. M r P e t e r M e e , t h e C o l l e g e Registrar, has w r i t t e n t w o letters o n his behalf, o n e to the s o l i c i t o r , c o - o r d i n a t i n g the a p p e a l , a n d the o t h e r to the i m m i g r a t i o n d e p a r t m e n t at t h e H o m e Office. In the letters, M r M e e d e m a n d e d

T h e student s a i d that t h e w h o l e affair w a s h a v i n g "a s e v e r e effect o n (his) w o r k ' a n d that he w a n t e d 'to stay i n the C o u n t r y l o n g e n o u g h to finish (his) degree'.

President in Court

ICU Elections

W e s t m i n s t e r C o u n c i l has s u m m o n e d U n i o n P r e s i d e n t , P a u l S h a n l e y , to court for the n o n - p a y m e n t of his p o l l - t a x. M r S h a n l e y s a i d he w a s not sure w h a t c o u r s e he w o u l d p u r s u e but w a s p a r t i c u l a r l y u n h a p p y about the ÂŁ26 c o u r t costs he w o u l d i n c u r . H e d i d not feel that he w a s p r e p a r e d to g o to p r i s o n o v e r the matter. M r S h a n l e y a d d e d that h e felt 'gutted' a n d e x c l a i m e d '..long l i v e L a d y Porter!'. L a d y P o r t e r is a s t a u n c h C o n s e r v a t i v e a n d heads W e s t m i n s t e r C o u n c i l .

F e l i x respects the a n o n y m i t y of the student, for reasons of f a m i l y a n d p e r s o n a l security.

C a n d i d a t e s p r e s e n t l y s t a n d i n g for the S a b b a t i c a l posts of I m p e r i a l C o l l e g e U n i o n are as follows: President Zoe Hellinger Spenser L a n e Michael Newman Deputy President J o n a t h a n Griffiths H o n o r a r y Secretary Steve F a r r a n t Felix Editor A d a m Harrington Papers c o m e d o w n at 5 . 3 0 p m today, a n d a n y a d d i t i o n a l candidates must h a v e a p r o p o s e r a n d t w e n t y s e c o n d e r s b y this t i m e . If y o u a r e not satisfied w i t h a n y of the c a n d i d a t e s , y o u m a y v o t e ' N e w E l e c t i o n ' for a n y of the posts. Hustings w i l l b e at 6.00pm o n M o n d a y 4 t h M a r c h in St. M a r y ' s U n i o n B a r a n d 6.30pm o n T h u r s d a y 7th M a r c h i n the JCR. V o t i n g w i l l b e o n the 11th a n d 12th i n all d e p a r t m e n t s .

Goodbye Mr Chips Refectories M a n a g e r , M r R o b e r t N o r t h e y , y e s t e r d a y left t h e e m p l o y m e n t of the C o l l e g e . H i s five y e a r c o n t r a c t h a v i n g e x p i r e d , M r N o r t h e y t e n d e r e d his r e s i g n a t i o n b e f o r e C h r i s t m a s , s a y i n g 'I've e n j o y e d myself v e r y m u c h . '

Monday 25th February - Kuwait Independence Day. Police descend on South Kensington in force, but there is no trouble.

T h e v a c a n c y w i l l be t e m p o r a r i l y filled by Mr Simon Westerman, following w h i c h there w i l l be a p e r m a n e n t a p p o i n t m e n t . W h e n F e l i x t r i e d to c o n t a c t M r N o r t h e y , at 4 . 0 0 p m o n T h u r s d a y , w e w e r e t o l d that he w a s '...at l u n c h ' .


New Editor Cancellation T h e Gulf W a r d e b a t e has b e e n c a n c e l l e d . T h e debate was b e i n g o r g a n i s e d j o i n t l y b y IC A n t i - W a r i n the Gulf ( A W G ) a n d ICU Y o u t h Peace T h r o u g h N A T O Society ( Y P T N ) , o n the left a n d right of the political spectrum respectively.

WeS^Sm

A W G h a d a l r e a d y c o l l e c t e d the one h u n d r e d a n d fifty signatures necessary to call a U n i o n Extraordinary General M e e t i n g . A t t h e suggestion of the IC U n i o n P r e s i d e n t , P a u l S h a n l e y , the A W G d e c i d e d to h o l d U n i o n E x t r a o r d i n a r y G e n e r a l M e e t i n g at the e n d of the debate. A W G c o u l d t h e n propse a m o t i o n to be a d o p t e d as the official I C U l i n e o n the 'Gulf Issue'. Y P T N s a i d that t h e y f o u n d it '... u n a c c e p t a b l e that I C U s h o u l d officially support a n y single v i e w o n the Gulf War...' A d a m T i n w o r t h , F e l i x ' s A r t s E d i t o r , has w o n the e l e c t i o n for e d i t o r of ' C u b ' , the student n e w s p a p e r of Q u e e n M a r y a n d Westfield C o l l e g e ( Q M W ) . A d a m started a P h y s i c s d e g r e e at I m p e r i a l last a c a d e m i c y e a r , but i n t h e w o r d s of his s e n i o r tutor w a s ' . . . h a m p e r e d b y a l a c k of m a t h e m a t i c a l insight'. A f t e r a first t e r m w h i c h A d a m describes as 'disastrous', he d e c i d e d to c h a n g e course a n d col l ege. H e spent the rest of the y e a r w o r k i n g o n

Brasserie 134 C R O M W E L L R O A D (near to Sainsburys) KENSINGTON, SW7 Open 12-12.30pm 6.00-1 l p m daily •kFriendly attentive service in an atmosphere of style and comfort •kFully licensed it Air conditioned •^Private parties of up to 40 catered for +.15% discount for IC students and staff •^Recommended by prominent food critics nationally and internationally

Early reservations advisable

071-370

7617

F e l i x , a n d since the start of this a c a d e m i c y e a r has b e e n s t u d y i n g E n g l i s h at Q M W , whilst continuing w i t h Felix. W h e n a s k e d about his r e a c t i o n to the result, A d a m said 'I'd feel pretty d a m n g o o d if I d i d n ' t h a v e the flu...'. H e plans to m a k e C u b m o r e r e g u l a r a n d increase its q u a l i t y , d r a w i n g o n his e x p e r i e n c e at F e l i x , a n d is i n the process of a r r a n g i n g for C u b to p r i n t e d b y the I C U P r i n t U n i t . A d a m has d o n e a huge a m o u n t of w o r k for F e l i x this y e a r , despite h a v i n g to t r a v e l for a n h o u r a n d a half to get to the office. A n d y B u t c h e r , F e l i x E d i t o r , said of A d a m 'He's a total super h e r o , a n d d e s e r v e s a m e d a l . B e s i d e s , he reads the s a m e c o m i c s as me!' T h e F e l i x staff w i s h A d a m a l l the best for the c o m i n g y e a r .

HAIRDRESSERS 15A H A R R I N G T O N R O A D , SOUTH KENSINGTON 071-823 8968

W e have a fantastic offer for all y o u students, a cut w a s h and b l o w d r y b y o u r top stylist ( w h i c h n o r m a l l y costs a r o u n d £21) F o r o n l y £11 M e n

£12 W o m e n

C h e c k us o u t !

Y P T N have w i t h d r a w n their goodwill f r o m the d e b a t e a n d h a v e c a n c e l l e d the a p p e a r a n c e of C o n s e r v a t i v e M P T e r r y D i c k s w h o w a s due to speak.

Resignation Geoff R e e v e s , H e a d of C o l l e g e s e c ur i t y, r e s i g n e d this w e e k . M r R e e v e s , 64, p l a n n e d to r e t i r e n e x t y e a r , but felt that he w o u l d h a v e too little t i m e left to see t h r o u g h c h a n g e s i n c o l l e g e s e c u r i t y that are c u r r e n t l y b e i n g m o o t e d . M r R e e v e s r e c a l l e d that w h e n he t o o k up his post e l e v e n years a g o , after thirtythree years w i t h the M e t r o p o l i t a n P o l i c e F o r c e , he i n h e r i t e d a n e w l y c h a n g e d s e c u r i t y s y s t e m . M r R e e v e s s a i d that he d i d not w a n t his successor to i n h e r i t 'halfb a k e d c hang e ' .

Apology Last w e e k ' s r e p o r t o n the arrest of m a n i n G a r d e n H a l l o n s u s p i c i o n of a b i c y c l e theft w a s i n a c c u r a t e . W e stated that M r W o n g w a s h a p p y to p u r c h a s e w h a t he suspected w a s a stolen b i k e . M r W o n g c l a i m s that he w a s part of a 'set-up' that he and a n o t h e r student h a d o r g a n i s e d to trap the m a n suspected of other thefts i n Garden Hall. M r W o n g h a d b e e n a p p r o a c h e d b y the m a n w h o w a s t r y i n g to s e ll the b i k e i n question. The hall authorities contacted the p o l i c e w h o i n s t r u c t e d M r W o n g to go h e a d w i t h b u y i n g the b i k e , as this w o u l d i n c r i m i n a t e the suspected thief. T h e m a n w a s d u l y a r r e s t e d but b e c a u s e the p o l i c e w e r e u n a b l e to p r o v e that t h e b i k e w a s stolen the m a n w a s r e l e a s e d w i t h o u t charge.

3


You don't have to go abroad for variety

TRAVEL

Staffa, Mull & Iona

T h e i s l a n d of M u l l lies just off the west coast of S c o t l a n d , a n d f o r m s part of the Inner H e b r i d e s . It is o n e of the largest islands i n the U K , a n d is r e l a t i v e l y u n d i s c o v e r e d b y tourists, w h o u s u a l l y c o m e o n o n e - d a y c o a c h t r i p s . L y i n g to the west of M u l l are a w h o l e series of islands. T w o are m e n t i o n e d in this feature, Iona a n d Staffa. Staffa is a s m a l l i s l a n d off M u l l , a n d is stark a n d u n i n h a b i t e d . Y e t this i s l a n d is famous for t w o things: its r o c k structure, a n d F i n g a l ' s C a v e . T h e r o c k is v o l c a n i c basalt, a n d has f o r m e d into tall v e r t i c a l 'crystals' w i t h a r e g u l a r h e x a g o n a l crosss e c t i o n . T h e s a m e r o c k s t r u c t u r e is f o u n d at G i a n t ' s C a u s e w a y , i n N o r t h e r n Ireland.and, as l e g e n d has it, the t w o places are s a i d to be the e n d s of a c a u s e w a y b u i l t b y the Irish giant, F i n n M a c C o o l . H e d e c i d e d that he w a s g o i n g to fight his Scots c o n t e m p o r a r y , F i n G a l l , a n d to do t h i s , h e h a d to h a v e a m e a n s of getting there. A f t e r d r i v i n g e a c h c o l u m n into p l a c e , he w e n t b a c k to I r e l a n d to rest before he a t t a c k e d . M e a n w h i l e , F i n n G a l l c r o s s e d to I r e l a n d to spy out the l a n d , a n d , so terrified b y the s l e e p i n g giant, fled b a c k to S c o t l a n d d e s t r o y i n g the c a u s e w a y b e h i n d h i m . F i n g a l ' s C a v e is n a m e d after that s a m e giant. It is a large sea c a v e , s t r e t c h i n g b a c k m o r e t h a n 60 m e t r e s into the cliff face. T h e w a l l s a n d roof a r e a l l part of the h e x a g o n a l r o c k f o r m a t i o n , g i v i n g it as light c a t h e d r a l - l i k e l ook. In g o o d w e a t h e r , boats c a n go r i g h t inside the c a v e , but

Travel

n o r m a l l y , access to it r e q u i r e s a c l i m b d o w n the cliff-side. Boats r u n to Staffa f r o m M u l l a n d Iona, a n d the routes u s e d go past m a n y u n i n h a b i t e d islets w h i c h are p o p u l a t e d b y a w h o l e v a r i e t y of birds. Q u i t e often, seals c a n be s p o t t e d , s u n n i n g t h e m s e l v e s a l o n g the s h o r e . A l t h o u g h m a n y p e o p l e d e c i d e to 'do' M u l l a n d Iona o n a single c o a c h c u m ferry trip f r o m O b a n , it is w e l l w o r t h s p e n d i n g s e v e r a l d a y s o n M u l l itself. In the n o r t h part of the i s l a n d is the c a p i t a l , T o b e r m o r y , said to be the m o s t beautiful h a r b o u r i n the w o r l d . T h e i s l a n d is m o u n t a i n o u s , a n d a lot of the l a n d bel ong s to the F o r e s t r y C o m m i s s i o n , a n d is r e n t e d to f a r m e r s . F e n c e s are few, a n d , p r o v i d i n g y o u do no d a m a g e , y o u are a l l o w e d to go n e a r l y e v e r y w h e r e . If y o u w a n t a h i l l - w a l k i n g h o l i d a y , k n o w i n g that few p e o p l e w i l l h a v e b e e n w h e r e y o u c a n go, this is a p l a c e to visit. T h e r e are s e v e r a l large lochs w h i c h c a n be fished, a n d the w h o l e pl ace a b o u n d s w i t h wildlife. T h e r o a d s y s t e m i n M u l l is slightly different to t h e rest of the U K : all but about 12 m i l e s are single t r a c k r o a d (with passing places). D e s p i te this, getting a b o u t o n M u l l is n o t difficult, b e c a u s e if y o u c o m e up b e h i n d a s l o w e r - m o v i n g v e h i c l e , t h e y are e x p e c t e d to m o v e i n t o let y o u past. W i t h e x p e r i e n c e , r o ads o n M u l l c a n often be t r a v e r s e d faster t h a n their single carriageway m a i n l a n d equivalents: y o u are r a r e l y b l o c k e d . Traffic a n d p o p u l a t i o n is light; this is o n e of the few i n h a b i t e d

Editorial

F e d up w i t h e x a m s a n d t h e stress of c o l l e g e life? G o o n h o l i d a y . M u c h c a n be d o n e o n a l i m i t e d budget, a n d if y o u are d e v o i d of ideas, o n e of o u r features should provide y o u with some inspiration. W h e n I c a m e to edit the t r a v e l features, I w a s i m p r e s s e d w i t h the r a n g e a n d v a r i e t y of places students visit, a n d things students do, w h i l s t o n h o l i d a y . N o transport? B u i l d y o u r o w n c a r a n d t a k e it to A f r i c a (but do t a k e b e t t e r m a p s t h a n the pilots of B o r i s , p a g e 11). L i k e trains a n d v a l u e - f o r - m o n e y t r a v e l ? T r y interr a i l i n g , p a g e 19. N o m o n e y ? G o a n d stay w i t h a f r i e n d s o m e w h e r e i n the U K there's p l e n t y to see w i t h o u t h a v i n g to p a y to get out of the c o u n t r y . T h i n k Sherfield's b u r e a u c r a c y is b a d ? T r y the g e n u i n e v e r s i o n i n C h i n a or the Soviet

U n i o n (pages 8 a n d 9). W h e n things go w r o n g ? See the a c c o u n t of s u r g e r y i n the field o n page 10. W a n t to see w h a t E u r o p e w a s l i k e a c e n t u r y ago? V i s i t places l i k e P r a g u e (page 18). W h a t e v e r y o u r h o l i d a y p l a n s , it is w e l l w o r t h g o i n g to see p e o p l e l i k e S T A to b o u n c e ideas a r o u n d , a n d get t h e m costed. If y o u are g o i n g to a n o t h e r part of the w o r l d , it m a y be w o r t h t r y i n g Club. s c h e m e s s u c h as World Travellers T h e r e w i l l b e a t r a v e l s u p p l e m e n t to F e l i x later o n this y e a r , w h e r e w e h o p e to p r i n t all the features that w e h a d to miss out this t i m e ; t h a n k s to e v e r y o n e w h o s u b m i t t e d articles. P h o t o g r a p h s s h o u l d be c o l l e c t e d before t h e y d i s a p p e a r into the a e t h e r . Roland Flowerdew

places i n B r i t a i n w h e r e y o u c a n go out at night a n d not see a single artificial light s o u r c e , e v e n o v e r an e x t e n d e d p e r i o d of time. If y o u are a h i s t o r i c a l B r i t a i n fanatic, t h e n M u l l boasts t w o castles o p e n to the p u b l i c , D u a r t , seat of M a c L e a n , a n d T o r o s a y . H o w e v e r , Iona w i l l p r o b a b l y h a v e m o r e interest for y o u since it w a s the seat of t h e C o l u m b a n c h u r c h , f r o m w h e r e m i s s i o n a r i e s w e r e s e n t to c o n v e r t the p a g a n P i c t s of e a r l y S c o t l a n d . Iona w a s the p l a c e w h e r e C o l u m b a , the Irish p r i n c e a n d a b b o t , c a m e , i n the s i x t h century, and founded an abbey from w h e r e the s p i r i t u a l affairs of S c o t l a n d w e r e g o v e r n e d . T h e a b b e y itself ( w h i c h is not the 6th c e n t u r y original) is too s u b s e r v i e n t to t h e tourist t r a d e , but the rest of the i s l a n d is v i s u a l l y s t u n n i n g (when the s u n shines). It is w o r t h l e a v i n g the a b b e y to the tourists, a n d g o i n g out to e x p l o r e the rest of the i s l a n d . O n e of the r e a s o n s C o l u m b a d e c i d e d to settle o n Iona w a s its b e a u t y , a n d this r e m a i n s , l a r g e l y u n s p o i l e d , e v e n to this day. F e r r i e s r u n to M u l l f r o m O b a n in Strathclyde region, and from Lochaline, H i g h l a n d r e g i o n . O b a n is a b o u t 100 miles f r o m G l a s g o w , a n d a b o u t 500 miles f r o m L o n d o n . Costs a r e , w h a t y o u m a k e of t h e m : b e d & breakfast w i t h e v e n i n g m e a l o n M u l l is w e l l u n d e r ÂŁ20 p e r night. T a k i n g a car o v e r to M u l l is not c h e a p , but it is w o r t h it i n terms of flexibility.

Nend-a-Bike

PETER

THOMAS

BICYCLE REPAIRS SALES AND ACCESSORIES

6 , 1


ADVERTISING F E A T U R E

H e l p at H a n d o n the Australian Adventure Travellers taking time off to see the increasingly popular sights of Australia can join a unique new club to provide them with a helping hand in their first tricky weeks. The W o r l d T r a v e l l e r s C l u b was

set

up by t w o seasoned travellers in response to the Australian tourism boom which is fast making the country the world's number one long-stay destination. Since 1 9 8 3 for example, the number of British and Irish travelling to the land ' d o w n under' has more than doubled from 1 2 6 , 8 8 0 in 1 9 8 2 - 8 3 to 2 5 6 , 4 5 4 in 1 9 8 8 - 8 9 . Leigh Harris and A m a n d a Galbraith, the co-founders of the W T C , have developed a safety package which assists travellers of all ages both working their passage and simply holidaying to have a more enjoyable hassle-free experience. This system allows travellers to organise a free airport pick-up and book accommodation in their Australian destination before leaving home. This is followed by a complimentary orientation tour or Sydney Harbour Cruise. Once in the Sydney W T C office, travellers are assisted with tax file number registration —essential for

working holiday makers and medicare cover. W T C staff also help with job and flat hunting and provide a long term luggage storage facility. For people on the move, the W T C offers a permanent postal address and telephone number from w h i c h mail and messages can be held in our office or forwarded to the travellers next port of call. The first of its kind, the World Travellers Club, has been operating for over a year in Australia, ten months in Britain and will shortly be networking throughout Australia and into Thailand and New Zealand. Life membership can be obtianed in Britain for a fee of £30 for a single person or £50 for t w o people travelling together. Members are also entitled to reduced rates for secretarial services, complimentary introductory drinks in local restaurants and even free surfboard rental! For £52 per person or £101 for t w o the W T C will include the first three nights accommodation—in a budget hotel owned and operated by the W T C —in our membership package. In Sydney the W T C has a travel agency and information bureau. Here

you can book your rail, air or bus ticket to every destination in Australia and overseas. A t the moment w e are the sole agency in Sydney offering car insurance specifically catering for travellers who are non-residents. The latest addition under our umbrella organisation is the World Travellers N e w s . This is our newly developing free fortnightly publication aimed at both overseas and budget Australian travellers. The World Travellers N e w s is full of information on w h a t ' s happening 'at home' with current affairs, sports and entertainments news, from Europe, Candada, U S A , New Zealand and A s i a . Travel features and tips, financial column and classifieds also w h a t ' s on and where to go in Australia and other features. All in all a good read. The whole idea of the World Travellers Club is to provide a quality service w h i c h travellers w a n t to use, at a reasonable cost. Also to provide some security for travellers without being obtrusive or too much like a 'package holiday'.

Concorde House, 18 Margaret Street Brighton, East Sussex BN2 1TS Telephone: (0273) 6 7 2 2 6 2

I.C.S.F. Presents

A U S T R A L I A

Picocon 9

WORLD TRAVELLERS

Guests: Dan Abnet Alex Stewart UNION BUILDING Saturday 2nd March SF * Fantasy * Comics A

fun

w a y

to

s p e n d

Films •AIRPORTPICKUP •CITYTOUR •EMPLOYMENTSERVICE • FLATFINDING SERVICE • MAIL COLLECTION • LUGGAGE STORAGE • TRAVEL DESK • INFORMATION SERVICE

t h e

d a y

k/e- L^I'M, tfeu Fiw Star Serv-ice. At A One

Star Prize.


M r & Mrs Bridges I T h i s f i l m follows the c o u r s e of a n A m e r i c a n u p p e r m i d d l e class m a r r i a g e d u r i n g t h e 1930s a n d 1940s. P a u l N e w m a n plays t h e part of the o l d f a s h i o n e d , 'set in his w a y s ' , a n d s o m e t i m e s p o m p o u s father just b r i l l i a n t l y a n d is s o m e t i m e s v e r y f u n n y , p u r e l y b e c a u s e he is so s t u b b o r n . His wife, b o t h o n a n d off s c r e e n , is J o a n n e W o o d w a r d , w h o is the t y p i c a l o v e r - c a r i n g a n d p r o u d m o t h e r , p l a y s this part b r i l l i a n t l y . T h e f i l m is b a s i c a l l y c o n c e r n e d w i t h h o w t h e i r t h r e e c h i l d r e n , t w o girls a n d one boy, grow up. T h e son, p l a y e d by Robert Sean L e o n a r d , (the o n e w h o k i l l e d himself i n Dead Poets Society) goes f r o m b e i n g t h e n e r v o u s y o u n g E a g l e S c o u t t h r o u g h to b e i n g i n the a r m y air c o r p s d u e to

wartime excitement, a n d finally ending up t a k i n g o v e r his father's l a w f i r m . The two daughters Harriet and Ruth, played by Saundra McClain and K y r a Sedgwick, have their o w n troubles. H a r r i e t meets G l e n at U n i v e r s i t y , m a r r i e s in haste a n d finds out later that she can't stand her h u s b a n d . R u t h , a h i g h - s p i r i t e d , s e x u a l l y c h a r g e d g i r l , d e p a r t s for the artistic b o h e m i a of N e w Y o r k . Other noticable performances were by D r A l e x S a v e r (Simon C a l l o w : Amadeus, A Room with a View) a n d also b y B l y t h e D a n n e r as G r a c e B a r r o n t h e best f r i e n d of M r s B r i d g e . A l l i n a l l t h e f i l m w a s e n j o y a b l e , but not s o m e t h i n g I w o u l d d e l i b e r a t e l y go a n d s e e — m y parents w o u l d l o v e i t e n o u g h said? Hix.

Meet the Applegates F

A l l is s m i l e y faces u n t i l d e c a d e n c e takes its toll; D i c k b e g i n s to p r a c t i s e w i t h his n a m e s a k e o n his s e c r e t a r y a n d J a n e finds out about the j o y s of plastic. Not to b e o u t d o n e , S a l l y a n d J o h n n y get a b u n in the o v e n a n d t u r n into a d o p e - c r a z e d m e t a l freak (respectively, of course).

T h e r e a f t e r m u c h c h a o s ensues; Sally's one-night s t a n d is a l a r m e d t o d i s c o v e r that not o n l y is she u n p r o t e c t e d but also invertebrate. Johnny's dope suppliers are e q u a l l y a l a r m e d to find just h o w h i g h y o u c a n go a n d b o d i e s start to pile up l i k e extras i n a C h a r l e s B r o n s o n pic. A s for dear little Spot the dog.. T o a d d n e w j o y to the c o n c o c t i o n the m o u s t a c h i o e d Q u e e n B e a (bad pun) s h o w s up i n the u n l i k e l y guise of D a b n e y C o l e m a n (what is it w i t h h i m a l l of a s u d d e n ?) a n d p r o c e e d s w i t h a n all-out e n t o m o l o g i c a l assault o n the n u k e plant in the h o p e that all the h u m a n s m a k e w a y for the m o r e resistant b u g population.

6

T h e s t o r y c e n t r e s a r o u n d Saga, w h o u p o n his r e t u r n to his v i l l a g e after a l o n g p e r i o d finds that his fiancee has b e e n m a r r i e d to his a g e i n g father. S a g a feels b e t r a y e d b y his father, his fiancee, his b r o t h e r a n d , i n fact, the w h o l e v i l l a g e . H e t h e n sets up his hut close to, but separate f r o m , the rest of the v i l l a g e . H o w e v e r , S a g a a n d his f o r m e r fiancee later m e e t again and make love. The villagers soon d i s c o v e r the ' i n c e s t u o u s ' r e l a t i o n s h i p , u l t i m a t e l y l e a d i n g to t r a g i c results. Tilai a c t u a l l y m e a n s 'the l a w ' . O u e d r a o g o is i n t e r e s t e d i n the codes u n d e r w h i c h society m u s t l i v e i n o r d e r to s u r v i v e a n d t h e c o n s e q u e n c e s for a n i n d i v i d u a l w h e n he or she b r e a k s those rules. Saga's b r o t r i e r for e x a m p l e recognises that S a g a m u s t a c c e p t t h e i r father's d e c i s i o n a n d c o n t i n u e life as best he c a n u n d e r t h e n e w c i r c u m s t a n c e s . B o t h father a n d s o n w i l l a l l o w n o r o o m for c o m p r o m i s e — t h e i r e g o i s m i n fact threatens a n y o r d e r that has b e e n c r e a t e d b y the n o t i o n of ' v i l l a g e ' o r society. T h e ties of h o n o u r w h i c h h o l d the c h a r a c t e r s together are also v e r y s t r o n g i n the f i l m .

D i c k , J a n e , J o h n n y a n d S a l l y are a blue-eyed, blond haired ailA m e r i c a n nuclear family. J o h n n y (15) l o v e s b a s e b a l l a n d s c i e n c e . S a l l y (17) is f o n d of C h i c k e n M c N u g g e t s a n d kisses o n the s e c o n d date. D i c k a n d J a n e are the perfect c o u p l e , a n d k e e p a wonderfully average house. T h e y even live in Median, Ohio.

W h i l e this m a y s o u n d l i k e s m a l l potatoes (as o p p o s e d to t h e g a r g a n t u a n rooters of Die Kroppe) c o m p a r e d to a n a v e r a g e e p i s o d e of Neighbours the a b o v e s c e n a r i o t a k e s o n a h a p p y t u r n for the w o r s e / b e t t e r w h e n y o u d i s c o v e r that the A p p l e g a t e s are i n fact a m i a b l e s i x foot c o c k r o a c h e s b e n t o n c r a c k i n g the c o o l e r of the l o c a l n u k e p l a n t .

B u r k i n a Faso's Idrissa O u e d r a o g o first c a m e to the a t t e n t i o n of the B r i t i s h c i n e m a g o e r s i n 1989 w i t h the h i g h l y a c c l a i m e d Yaaba. H e has f o l l o w e d it up w i t h Tilai, w h i c h w o n last year's G r a n d J u r y P r i z e at C a n n e s .

H o o r a y ! J a p a n e s e monster, m o v i e m a y h e m ! C o o l i n g towers glowing green ! B a n k s of c o l o u r e d s w i t c h e s e x p l o d i n g ! G i a n t subtitled insects w a d i n g t h r o u g h the d e b r i s i n a desperate struggle for the future of the h u m a n race ! E t c ! Meet The Applegates is a n i c e little e c o l o g i c a l satire f r o m the d i r e c t o r of Heathers (if y o u haven't seen it y o u ought to), offering t h e r a r e l y s e e n insect p e r s p e c t i v e o n the h u m a n w a y of life. H a v e y o u e v e r s t o p p e d to c o n s i d e r the diffficulty of o b t a i n i n g insect p o r n o g r a p h y i n a s m a l l A m e r i c a n t o w n ? O r of the problems involved in concealing a m u m m i f i e d s e c r e t a r y i n a d r i n k s cabinet? O n the v i c a r i o u s side it's n i c e to see i n n o c e n t s s u c c u m b to e v e r y o n e of the major categories of v i c e ( d o n k e y b u g g e r y e x c e p t e d ) a n d t h e insects a r e v e r y cute. Especially Sally. The A m a z i n g Flying Gerbil Machine

T h i s is of c o u r s e classic m a t e r i a l for t r a g e d y (one m a y c o n s i d e r t h e s i m i l a r i t i e s w i t h the O e d i p u s story). N e v e r t h e l e s s this is a v e r y A f r i c a n f i l m — a s O u e d r a o g o says, ' P e r h a p s t h e great G r e e k tragedies are not the o n l y ones i n the w o r l d . . . B u t w e h a v e not h a d the c h a n c e to put ours in writing.' But don't w o r r y , the f i l m isn't half as d r y as I m a k e out. T h e f i l m is v e r y f u n n y i n places, a n d e x t r e m e l y b e a u t i f u l . T h e film m a k e r s p e r s u a d e d the b r i l l i a n t S o u t h A f r i c a n jazz m u s i c i a n , A b d u l l a h I b r a h i m , to c o m p o s e a h i g h l y e v o c a t i v e s o u n d t r a c k for the f i l m . O u e d r a o g o h i m s e l f c o m m u n i c a t e s s u p e r b l y t h r o u g h the m e d i u m w h i c h h e operates. I m a g e a n d s o u n d c o m b i n e w o n d e r f u l l y , a l w a y s it seems w i t h the m i n i m u m of effort or fuss. It a l l seems so s i m p l e , yet has b e e n b r i l l i a n t l y f a b r i c a t e d to p r o d u c e a v i s u a l l y stunning w i n d o w on a very rich world. I.H.

—Film


The Slow Moving Snail presents more thoughts...

Tonics for the Tube T w e n t y - o n e floors u p creates a w o n d e r f u l v i e w of s u n r i s e o v e r L o n d o n . Y e t there is a sense of b e i n g b o x e d . C a g e d a b o v e L o n d o n one a n d a quarter hours from college gives m e a sense of n a u s e a as I start e a c h n e w day. T o s p a r k - u p m y m i n d f r o m this d o l d r u m I resort to the b o o k . T h e first b o o k leans against the w a l l of the toilet. A s m y yesterday's m e a l p l u m m e t s t w e n t y - o n e floors - does it b e h a v e as G a l i l e o suggests? W e l l , I suppose it is a far c r y f r o m b a l l s off P i s a 1 r e a d a light t o n i c . A d o g that flies a S o p w i t h , is t e r r i f i e d of the l o c a l cat, goes into ' r e j e c t i o n ' state as his first n o v e l c a n n o t find a p u b l i s h e r . T h e r e is o n l y o n e cartoonist w h o c a n create s u c h a p s y c h o t i c c h a r a c t e r , C h a r l e s S c h u l t z . I rer e a d these c a r t o o n s e v e r y day, empathising w i t h Charlie B r o w n . No one else c o u l d p e r s u a d e t h e m s e l v e s that t h e y are n e e d e d b y a r g u i n g w i t h a tree that eats kites, or b e so b o r e d w i t h life a n d so u n a b l e to talk to the g i r l he fancies. C h a r l i e e x p r e s s e s m y feelings i n a w o r l d of p o o l - p l a y i n g beagles a n d i c e - h o c k e y p l a y i n g little y e l l o w birds, a fantastic w o r l d i n w h i c h the s ad a n d frustrated b e c o m e a cause to smile. I h a v e a b o o k that p s y c h o a n a l y s e s the c h a r a c t e r s in A l i c e i n W o n d e r l a n d , has a n y o n e d o n e it to C h a r l i e B r o w n ? James T h u r b e r was in m a n y ways a

a g a i n l e a v i n g o n l y a g i r l , a b o y a n d the last flower. T h e flower b e c o m e s a s y m b o l of l o v e that is n e e d e d to c r e a t e hope. Thurber - Volumes 1 and 2 are great b o o k s for the m o r n i n g t h r o n e . S a d l y t h e y are too h e a v y for the t u b e . F o r the l o n g t u n n e l of the u n d e r g r o u n d I r e c o m m e n d a J o h n S t e i n b e c k b o o k , or some poetry. S t e i n b e c k has r e c e n t l y b e e n r e p u b l i s h e d , a g o o d t h i n g as s o m e of his n o v e l s w e r e b e c o m i n g s c a r c e . Cannery Row is a p l a c e i n w h i c h ' w h o r e s , p i m p s , t r a g i c figure, b l i n d i n o n e e y e d u e to a childhood accident, and slowly going b l i n d in the o t h e r , a l w a y s w o r r i e d a b o u t being run-over while w e a r i n g dirty u n d e r p a n t s . H i s c a r t o o n s , short stories a n d fables a r e c o l o u r e d w i t h s h a r p i r o n y a n d a n e v e r y d a y sense of the a b s u r d . His R e d R i d i n g H o o d b l o w s t h e h e a d off the wolf. A seal lies o n the h e a d b o a r d of the b e d as the h u s b a n d dismisses his wife's c l a i m to h a v e h e a r d a b a r k . A s a w r i t e r for the New Yorker he d o o d l e d c a r t o o n s at u n b e l i e v a b l e speed, these jokes e v e n t u a l l y got p r i n t e d a n d m a d e his r e p u t a t i o n . H i s f a v o u r i t e c a r t o o n w a s a story he d r e w w h i l e d e p r e s s e d d u r i n g the s e c o n d w o r l d w a r . It is c a l l e d The Last Flower, the w o r l d b e i n g destroyed by politicians a n d religious fanatics, b e i n g r e b u i l t a n d d e s t r o y e d

g a m b l e r s , a n d sons of b i t c h e s , ' b e c o m e 'Saints a n d a n g e l s a n d m a r t y r s a n d h o l y m e n ' , at least t h r o u g h the m e t i c u l o u s l y d e t a i l e d i m a g e s that c e l e b r a t e life a n d express a l o v e of his c h a r a c t e r s . S t e i n b e c k ' s w o r l d is p o w e r f u l e n o u g h to lose y o u r sense of r e a l i t y w h i l s t h a n g i n g o n t o those b a c k h a n d l e s as y o u w i n d t h r o u g h the t u n n e l s . A m u s t for those of us that o t h e r w i s e close o u r eyes to escape f r o m t h e i n h u m a n w o r l d of London Underground. Gavin Ewart can n o w be read on the tube. H e is o n e of s e v e r a l poets c e l e b r a t e d b y the n a t i o n a l P o e t r y S o c i e t y u s i n g posters of t h e i r w o r k . T h i s m o n t h G a v i n is l a u n c h i n g a n e w c o l l e c t i o n , of his p o e m s o v e r the past d e c a d e . H e w i l l be r e a d i n g a n d t a l k i n g a b o u t his w o r k at the P o e t r y S o c i e t y , 21 E a r l s C o u r t S q u a r e (just b y E a r l s C o u r t tube) o n 14th M a r c h at 7:30pm. G a v i n has b e e n w r i t i n g p o e t r y for m a n y y e a r s g i v i n g his w o r k great breadth a n d interesting historical developments. His w a r poems contrast, a n d t h e r e b y confuse, the fantasy of the c a r d b o a r d cut-out target w i t h the breathing h u m a n . His short funny poems are m e d i c i n a l tablets against feeling t oo serious. T a k e these b o o k s a n d d o n ' t let the w o r l d get y o u d o w n .

AMNESTY! on display in the JCR 5- 7 March Your chance to find out about Amnesty International, its work and what you can do to deop. Plus letter writing stall and sale of Amnesty goods on Tuesday and Thursday lunchtimes. Organised by Imperial College Group.


Escape from China along the Karakoram

Highway

A Passage to P a k i s t a n It w a s a b e t t e r bus t h a n I'd h o p e d for. M e n w i t h r u g g e d m a c h o faces, w i l d but shapely beards a n d well established m o u s t a c h e s m o o c h e d a m i d s t acres of luggage. T h e i r heads w e r e c r o w n e d w i t h weather-beaten turbans a n d they were dressed i n b a g g y c o t t o n suits a n d l o n g w o o l l e n waistcoats. V a c u u m tea sets, pots a n d pans, sacks of tinsel a n d o t h e r C h r i s t m a s d e c o r a t i o n s burst f r o m c l o t h bags. It t o o k a l m o s t three h o u r s to b a l a n c e it a l l o n the roof a n d fight out the seating p l a n . T h e r e w e r e three J a p a n e s e , t w o Swiss, one Nepalese, t w o B r i t i s h a n d t w e l v e P a k i s t a n i passengers. E v e r y o n e w a n t e d a w i n d o w seat. D u r i n g the t w o d a y j o u r n e y w e w e r e to cross the highest pass i n the w o r l d . A t 16,540 ft the K h u n j e r a b pass traverses t h e highest c o n c e n t r a t i o n of lofty peaks a n y w h e r e i n the w o r l d . T h e K a r a k o r a m , the P a r m i r s , the H i m a l a y a s a n d the H i n d u K u s h a l l m e e t in a u n i q u e l y c h a o t i c j u m b l e d splendour.

w a v i n g kids c o c o o n e d i n m u l t i p l e layers. A t 196 k i l o m e t r e s f r o m K a s h g a r a n d at a n altitude of 3,900 metres w e passed K a r a k u l i L a k e , w i t h horses, y a k s a n d c a m e l s i n s c a t t e r e d dots, g r a z i n g the fertile plains. T h e h o r i z o n w a s d o m i n a t e d b y the m a s s i v e M u z t a g a t a M o u n t a i n , its 5,000 m vastness o v e r w h e l m i n g a n d its glaciers s l o w l y s p i l l i n g f o r t h . W e stopped for a brief toilet stop at the c o l d , n u m b i n g h e i g h t of 12,000 feet. A s

w h o a c t ed as if this w a s t h e first bus t h e y h a d seen, it p r o b a b l y w a s ! In ruffled, baggy uniforms, brains n u m b e d with cold a n d b o r e d o m , t h e y g a v e a c u r s o r y glance at the p a p e r w o r k a n d u s h e r e d us o n . A t ten p"m B e i j i n g t i m e , w e r e a c h e d the little frontier outpost of T a s h k u r g a n 260 k m a n d ten h o u r s d r i v e f r o m K a s h g a r . W e s t o p p e d h e r e for the n i g h t . T h e r o o m s w e r e c l e a n a n d c o l d for 10 y u a n

Late i n the a f t e r n o o n w e r e a c h e d D i h , the P a k i s t a n c h e c k - p o i n t , a little ' g a r d e n ' n u r t u r e d p a i n s t a k i n g l y to life, a little oasis germinated in the rubble. T h e barrier was r a i s e d b y the i n v i s i b l e g a r d e n e r . S o m e o n e got o n a n d the d o o r refused to close. A passenger k i c k e d it a n d w e d g e d it fast. T h e C h i n e s e d r i v e r t r i e d i n v a i n to r e p a i r it. T h e s c r e w d r i v e r h a d n o effect o n t h e d o o r a n d w a s i n s t e a d t u r n e d o n the passenger.

the s u n sank, p r e m a t u r e l y e x t i n g u i s h e d b y the r u g g e d s c e n e r y , the P a k i s t a n i s t h r e w off their robes a n d s q u a t t e d i n rubble-filled d r a i n a g e d i t c h e s . A s t a r i n g , c o n t o r t e d c a m e l t r a i n of K i r g h i z n o m a d s passed us by. A t dusk w e r e a c h e d the T a s h k u r g a n c h e c k p o i n t w i t h its t w o b e m u s e d guards

(ÂŁ1). T h e J a p a n e s e cloclP i n r e c e p t i o n c h i m e d t e n a n d p l a y e d a little t u n e , w h i c h the J a p a n e s e s a n g a l o n g a n d giggled to. T h e hotel was r u n b y b a d t e m p e r e d H a n C h i n e s e w h o hated everything and everyone, including t h e m s e l v e s . T h e r e w a s n o hot w a t e r for tea i n the d i n i n g r o o m , a n d b e e r (our last

N o - m a n s - l a n d w a s b l e a k a n d Scottish. T h e r o a d c l i m b e d h i g h e r f r o m the r i v e r b e d a n d across a bog-land. L a k e s a n d b r o o k s lay f r o z e n a n d w h i t e i n the t u n d r a . Y a k s a n d buffalo g r a z e d a n d stared a n d p e o p l e l o o k e d up f r o m their toil w i t h s h e l l - s h o c k e d e x p r e s s i o n s . B y m i d - a f t e r n o o n w e h a d r e a c h e d point z e r o at 16,000 feet. P a k i s t a n i a n d C h i n e s e soldiers stood a n d c h a t t e d at the m o n u m e n t a n d the bus w h i z z e d past. A steep, n e r v e - f r a y i n g descent f o l l o w e d , fraught w i t h d o u b l e h a i r - p i n bends. T a l l n a r r o w g o r g e s l i k e huge d o o r s ajar r e v e a l e d t a n t a l i z i n g glimpses of o t h e r k i n g d o m s , s h i n i n g br i g ht s n o w f i e l d s a n d jagged, c a r n i v o r o u s , t o o t h e d peaks. It w a s like b e i n g l o w e r e d into a d e e p w e l l , s t r a i n i n g e v e r m o r e to see s k y . H u g e

B e l o w if was Sust, the P a k i s t a n b o r d e r a n d i m m i g r a t i o n post. T h e t o w n itself is just a j u m b l e d c o l l e c t i o n of single st orey shacks, w i t h n a m e s b e y o n d their status; 'The K h u n j e r a b H o t e l ' , ' T h e Sust International H o t e l ' . C u s t o m s a n d i m m i g r a t i o n are s o m e e q u a l l y s h a b b y w o o d e n huts i n a c o u r t y a r d o n t h e left, fenced off b y a d r y stone w a l l a n d a barbed wire topping.

T h e 'desert' w a s a s t o n y g l a c i a l m o r a i n e affair w i t h a g u r g l i n g m e l t w a t e r s t r e a m gushing s o u t h w a r d s . A r e a l toilet w i t h a v i e w . T h e bags w e r e b e i n g u n l o a d e d w h e n I r e t u r n e d . Just out of t h e ' t o w n centre' was t h e M o u n t a i n R e s c u e Inn. It was a s m a l l c o l l e c t i o n of h o l i d a y c a m p t e r r a c e d chalets. It w a s c l e a n a n d pleasant a n d the p e o p l e w e r e f r i e n d l y , quite a n o v e l t y - a c u r i o u s b l e n d of B r i t i s h c o l o n i a l i s m , Islamic hospitality, a n d M u s l i m f u n d a m e n t a l i s m ; of c r i c k e t pitches o n p r i s t i n e l a w n s a n d j o s t l i n g h o r i z o n s of v i l l a g e c h u r c h spires a n d mosques, crescent m o o n s a n d w i n d vanes.

T h e effort to u n l o a d the bus w a s h a r d l y w o r t h t h e hassle. C u s t o m s w a s a joke, a n d w e w e n t i n s e a r c h of f o o d . In the p a s s p o r t - s t a m p i n g r o o m t h e y s o l d bottles of C o c a - c o l a , d u c k - s h a p e d biscuits, t i n n e d fruit a n d tea sets for ' F o r e i g n F r i e n d s ' . W e squatted i n the m i d d l e of the r o a d and wolfed d o w n some tinned cherries before t h e y froze! T w o h o u r s after a r r i v i n g , w e w e r e w a v i n g the C h i n e s e soldiers a n d C h i n a b y e b y e .

S n o w - c o v e r e d , shattered p e a k s r e p l a c e d b l u e skies a n d distances c o u l d n o l o n g e r be judged. E v e r y t h i n g s e e m e d so close, w h e t h e r one or fifty k i l o m e t r e s a w a y . T h e r o a d c l i m b e d steeply a n d the e n g i n e a d o p t e d that w h i n i n g m o n o t o n e d r o n e of m e c h a n i c a l s t r a i n . P e r i o d i c a l l y the t r a c k d i s a p p e a r e d a n d the bus s w a y e d off i n t o the desert c a r e e r i n g o v e r r o c k s a n d b o u l d e r s a n d t h r o u g h s t r e a m s to rejoin the ' r o a d ' a little further o n .

g r e y p e a k s rose up as far as y o u c o u l d i m a g i n e a n d t h e n t w i c e as h i g h a g a i n . T h e K u n j e r a b R i v e r f l o w e d into the Hunza River, shining white and dazzling. In the a f t e r n o o n s u n the c a n y o n w a l l s s w i r l e d i m m i s c i b l y i n different b r o w n s like an oil-painter's pallet, b e l o w the a w e s o m e , steely-grey, dog-tooth tombstone peaks. The sky was a v i v i d u n n a t u r a l b l u e . A r o u n d e a c h c o r n e r , as I m a r v e l l e d at the o v e r p o w e r i n g e n o r m i t y of e a c h s p i k y p e a k a n o t h e r e v e n greater, m o r e r ug g e d , s o a r i n g spotlit s u m m i t c a m e into v i e w .

I h a d o n l y e a t e n f r o z e n biscuits a n d t i n n e d cherries a l l day. T h e restaurant signs p r o t r u d i n g o v e r the w a l l w e r e too m u c h . A f t e r q u e u i n g to w a i t for passport formalities I c o u l d w a i t n o l o n g e r . O u t of the c o m p o u n d Sust h a d t h e a t m o s p h e r e of a large a i r y A l p i n e c a m p i n g site. I e n q u i r e d w h e r e the toilets w e r e . 'This is a n o p e n area...you c r a p i n the desert'

A t mid-day w e reached the Chinese b o r d e r post of P i r a l i , a ten b u i l d i n g , n o w h e r e place, about 2 0 0 m l o n g , w i t h a bank, a customs check point and a p a s s p o r t - s t a m p i n g r o o m . A k a r k y tent b o a s t e d ' F o r e i g n F r i e n d s Rest P l a c e ' . H o w C h i n e s e , h o w m e a n i n g l e s s , h o w final. I w a s w e a r y of this c o u n t r y a n d of m y three m o n t h c o n t i n u o u s struggle w i t h baffling a n d pointless b u r e a u c r a c y . T h e e n d w a s n o w in sight.

T h r e e hours out of K a s h g a r w e hit the Ghez valley. A n undersized stream trickled through an oversized wide basin of g l a c i a l m o r a i n e s a n d c o n v o l u t e d sandstone layers. Under precipitous o v e r h a n g s w e sped, o n r o u n d l u m p y c o r n e r s suffering f r o m r o c k fall debris. 'Wooden' knots and grains spiralled t h r o u g h the r o c k . T h e cliffs rose u p at s u c h a n angle that e v e n b y c r a n i n g m y n e c k as far as possible t h e s k y w a s n o t i n sight. T h e first c h e c k - p o i n t a n d g r u m p y official c a m e a n h o u r or so later a n d f r o m h e r e the r o a d g r e w g r a d u a l l y w o r s e ; in fact it s e e m e d a m i r a c l e that a n y r o a d c o u l d exist at a l l .

W e passed r o a d side w o r k e r s c a m p s a n d t i n y c o l l e c t i o n s of flat r o o f e d singlest orey square m u d d w e l l i n g s , s p o r t i n g

It w a s h a r d to get out of b e d at 8 . 3 0 a m . T h e rest aurant w a s c l o s e d so w e s t o c k e d up o n little h a r d f l o w e r - s h a p e d f r o z e n biscuits f r o m a m a n w i t h a b o x f u l o n the r o a d outside. T h e bus p u l l e d out at 9 . 0 0 a m a n d w e sat s h i v e r i n g . I p e e l e d a n a p p l e out of the w i n d o w a n d lost the s e n s a t i o n i n m y hands. W e sat a n d bit o n the h a r d biscuits a n d I s t a m p e d m y n u m b e d feet o n t h e floor.

hang-glider-sized eagles s w o o p e d a n d spiralled below, and big black rooks flapped b y i n f o r m a t i o n . Y u r t s (a sort of tent) l a y s p r i n k l e d a r o u n d the r i v e r valleys and streaky cold waters gushed by.

A f t e r half a n h o u r w e b r o k e d o w n . T h e d r i v e r o p e n e d t h e d o o r s a n d fiddled w i t h the engine. W e sat a n d s h i v e r e d . H e di dn' t b o t h e r to fix it - w e d r o v e o n a l l the same. T h e m o u n t a i n s w e r e m o r e s p r e a d out as w e crossed the w i d e grasslands, s p l i c e d b y a v i v i d b l u e r i v e r . W e c h e w e d biscuits a n d h u r t o u r t e e t h o n those that w e r e still f r o z e n .

O n e h o u r i n t o the ride, a n d as w e a p p r o a c h e d t h e outskirts of the oasis, the d r i v e r s t o p p e d , a b a n d o n e d the bus a n d took up residence on a solitary w o o d e n f r a m e d b e d at the r o a d side. A s h e d o z e d w e a l l ate c o l d n o o d l e s n e a r b y .

It d e s c e n d e d t h e roller-coaster stretches of c o r r u g a t e d k i d n e y - b a s h i n g c h a n n e l s at b r e a k n e c k s p e e d , s e e m i n g l y out of c o n t r o l . T h e P a k i s t a n i passengers sat h u d d l e d o n t h e i r seats l i k e A n t a r c t i c p e n g u i n s , feet a n d l i m b s t u c k e d into layers of b l u b b e r o u s c l o t h e s a n d scarfs, b l i n k i n g eyes s q u e e z e d b e t w e e n t u r b a n s a n d veils.

for a w h i l e ) w a s t w i c e the n o r m a l p r i c e . T h e r i c e , v e g e t a b l e a n d e g g dishes that w e o r d e r e d t o o k f o r e v e r. It d i d n ' t help t h e i r m o o d that w e w e r e k e e n to get r i d of o u r c h a n g e a n d p a i d i n one, t w o a n d five fen notes, (O.lp). I filled m y m e t a l d r i n k i n g bottle w i t h hot w a t e r f r o m a b o i l e r a n d put it i n m y b e d for a n h o u r or so, p r a y i n g for it not to l e a k . T h e d u v e t w a s t h i c k a n d m y sleep w a s deep.

W i t h a pot of s w e e t m i l k y tea I settled d o w n to r e a d the visitors b o o k . T h e r e w e r e B e l g i a n w r i t e r s , P o l i s h geologists, a c o n v e n t i o n of m i l k - m e n f r o m a l l o v e r the w o r l d , B r i t i s h thieves, v a g a b o n d s , astronauts, s p a c e t r a v e l l e r s , A u s t r a l i a n m i i k m a i d s , A f g h a n w a r l o r d s , gravediggers a n d m a r t i a n s . I n e v e r r e a d s u c h frivolities i n C h i n e s e visitors b o o k s .

'Foreign Friends Resting

Welcome

Here'

W e pressed o n u n d e r o v e r - h a n g i n g gorges w h i c h t u r n e d the r o a d into a t u n n e l . T h e d r i v e r d o d g e d fresh l a n d s l i d e m a t e r i a l a n d t h e bus p i t c h e d a n d y a w e d like an overloaded camel. T h e snowy

It w a s o n l y after l e a v i n g C h i n a that I realised w h a t w a s m i s s i n g , h o w b a c k w a r d a n d a b n o r m a l l y stifled it w a s ; h o w artificial a n d s y n t h e t i c the p u b l i c friendship was, a n d h o w o p p r e s s e d a n d frantic the p e o p l e w e r e b e n e a t h t h e i r l a m p s h a d e hats. W e h a d s l i p p e d t h r o u g h the K a r a k o r a m c u r t a i n a n d e s c a p e d f r o m the China's suffocating suppression. I was g l a d to be free.


Travelling on the cheap isn't always fun.

IRAN EL

Istanbul Blues

E a s i n g the w e i g h t off m y i n j u r e d foot, I leant o n the r e c e p t i o n desk. A w e a t h e r b e a t e n b i b l i c a l face p e e r e d u p f r o m his paper.

' D o r m i t o r y . . . ' , I b e g a n . T h e s t u b b l y face r e m a i n e d b l a n k , '...kac lira?', I c o n t i n u e d . 'Bes b i n . . . ' c a m e t h e m u f f l e d r e p l y b a r k e d t h r o u g h his t h i c k b l a c k m o u s t a c h e . I p a i d i n a d v a n c e , a n d left m y passport as requested. T h e m o u s t a c h e v e n t u r e d out f r o m his desk a n d b e c k o n e d as he h e a d e d for a bat t ered, handle-less d o o r i n the c o r n e r . K i c k i n g it o p e n , he d e s c e n d e d into the g l o o m of a T o l k e i n style d u n g e o n . A s o l i t a r y sky-light i l l u m i n a t e d the f l a k i n g , r a n c i d w a l l s w h i c h c u r l e d d o w n to the h o t e l cellar. T h e stairs f l o w e d into a n i r r e g u l a r l y - s h a p e d grotto s w a m p e d b y a slag-heap of b l a c k d u s t y r u b b l e . M y g u i d e s t e p p e d off the final stair into t h e filth. I h o b b l e d i n his w a k e .

h u n g l i m p l y across e a c h t a r n i s h e d p a n e . T w o m i l l e n n i u m of C o n s t a n t i n o p l e g r i m e c a k e d the glass a n d t a i n t e d t h e t w i l i g h t . 'This one... o r this o n e ' m u m b l e d t h e m o u s t a c h e , g e s t u r i n g to t w o b u n k s w h i c h already had rucksacks strewn over them.

H e o p e n e d the d o o r i n front of h i m . It r e v e a l e d a r o o m that w o u l d c o m f o r t a b l y h a v e h e l d o n e d o u b l e b e d , but w a s c r o w d e d b y t h e four d o u b l e b u n k s w h i c h l i n e d the w a l l s a n d w i n d o w s . A s h r e d d e d , green, cobweb-coated mosquito mesh

r o o m w a s e a s e d b y its i n m a t e s . T h e b u n k s w e r e h o m e to a b u n c h of backpackers, modern-day explorers t r a d i n g t r a v e l l e r ' s tales of h a s h - h a z e d f e l u c c a trips d o w n t h e N i l e , of p r e T i a n a n m e n C h i n a , a n d of T o p D e c k t r a v e l throughout Eastern Europe.

I s u n k o n t o a s o i l e d sheet a n d r e l e a s e d m y t h r o b b i n g foot f r o m t h e scuffed b a s e b a l l boot. T h e i n s i g n i f i c a nt blister of three w e e k s a g o h a d t u r n e d septic. N o w the hot anger of i n f e c t i on t h r o b b e d t h r o u g h m y w e a r y nerves. T h e s w o l l e n festering foot i n t r i g u e d m y r o o m - m a t e s . S o m e t h i n g else to r e c o r d i n their t r a v e l logs, n o d o u b t !

' T h e y m o v e o u t today,' he a s s u r e d m e . T h e little d u n g e o n m a s t e r scuttled b a c k upstairs to lie i n wait for s o m e m o r e budget t r a v e l l e r s . T h e s q u a l i d a p p e a r a n c e of the little

W O R L D

In i m p e c c a b l e E n g l i s h , a S w e d i s h m e d i c v o l u n t e e r e d h i s services. A f t e r s o m e painful p r o d d i n g , he offered to l a n c e it. A n Australian graphic designer donated the s c a l p e l a n d s o m e a n t i b i o t i c s . T h e foot w a s b a t h e d , t h e s c a l p e l b u r n t , a n d the Swede scrubbed up. I l a y b a c k o n the l u m p y mattress, a towel gripped between m y teeth. Gazing up at t h e s a g g i n g , s t a i n e d mattress a b o v e m e , 1 stifled m y first s c r e a m . . .

L E A D E R S

I N D E P E N D E N T

I N

T R A V E L

Low cost flights on quality airlines Special fares for students Weekend breaks, tours & group bookings Well travelled consultants to guide you Over 120 offices worldwide

Pick up a copy of your free Student Travel Handbook now! Imperial College, Sherfield Building, Prince Consort Road, London SW7 2AZ

i/J ULU

TRAVEL


Proof that Imperial College engineers can build a car that can reach Kenya overland and rally with the best in Egypt...

T h e A d v e n t u r e s of B o r i s

T h i s is a s t o r y of e v e r y d a y m e c h a n i c a l e n g i n e e r i n g graduates w h o d e c i d e d to do s o m e t h i n g different. T h e y w a n t e d a d v e n t u r e , a n d one of t h e m , M a r k Sealy, w a n t e d to b u i l d a car. A p l a n was h a t c h e d to a t t e m p t the d r i v e f r o m B i r m i n g h a m to L o n d o n a n d o n across the S a h a r a i n just t h r e e m o n t h s . T h e t e a m of eight i n c l u d e d graduates f r o m I m p e r i a l C o l l e g e s u c h as M a r t i n Baker and Trevor Power w h o apparently gained a reputation in City & Guilds M o t o r C l u b , b u t h a d n e v e r before d e s i g n e d or b u i l t a v e h i c l e for s u c h a d e m a n d i n g j o u r n e y . M a r k used m a i n l y Lada mechanicals in a custom tubular steel chassis but i n c o r p o r a t e d a J a g u a r rear-axle a n d a n o v e l c r o s s - l i n k e d suspension s y s t e m to help r i d e the dunes. Th e four-wheel-drive vehicle, christened ' B o r i s ' , was c o m p l e t e d a n d set off o n its first j o u r n e y t h r o u g h F r a n c e w i t h o u t p r o p e r trial, a l o n g w i t h t w o p r o d u c t i o n Ladas. B i r m i n g h a m to N a i r o b i C r o s s i n g into M o r o c c o v i a G i b r a l t a r , the lure of the S a h a r a b e c a m e r e a l . In A l g e r i a t h e y s t o c k e d up w i t h 156 gallons of p e t r o l a n d 37 gallons of w a t e r . A f t e r a final b a t h a n d g a m e of c r i c k e t , t h e y set off, n a v i g a t i n g b y d e a d r e c k o n i n g u s i n g 1:1 m i l l i o n m a p s . T h i s t e c h n i q u e is n e i t h e r a c c u r a t e in distance n o r d i r e c t i o n , but f o l l o w i n g t h e t r a c k s of o t h e r S a h a r a n traffic l ed t h e m to a F r e n c h F o r e i g n L e g i o n fort w h e r e the l o c a l g e n d a r m e "

c l a i m e d he w a s the one w h o h a d f o u n d Mark Thatcher! A t T a m a n r a s s e t , in the l u n a r l a n d s c a p e of the H o g g a r M o u n t a i n s , t h e y c a m p e d w i t h a g u a r d b y the v e h i c l e s . T h o r n trees p r o v i d e d s h a d e o n the w a y to A g a d e z but also c a u s e d m a n y p u n c t u r e s . R e a c h i n g Niger offered the c h a n c e to r e p l e n i s h supplies a n d witness a c a m e l race. F r o m Niger t h e y h e a d e d t h r o u g h w a r - t o r n C h a d , c r o s s i n g fast across the p o w d e r y crust of L a k e C h a d to the capital N d j a m e n a . H e r e there is a c r o s s i n g to the C e n t r a l A f r i c a n R e p u b l i c a n d a ' r o a d ' to its c a p i t a l B a n g u i . C r i m e is rife a n d the C a t h o l i c M i s s i o n offered a h a v e n to c a m p a n d enjoy a C h r i s t m a s m e a l . Meat is g e n e r a l l y a v o i d e d b y t r a v e l l e r s but a feast w a s p r e p a r e d w i t h s o m e v e r y fresh chickens. The trans-African highway t h r o u g h Z a i r e is i m p a s s a b l e d u r i n g the r a i n y season a n d m a n y r o a d s are o n l y o p e n six to s e v e n m o n t h s of the y e a r . T h e y suffer b a d l y t h r o u g h h e a v y t r u c k traffic—some pot-holes are r e p u t e d l y d e e p e n o u g h to s w a l l o w a t r u c k w h e n t h e y fill up w i t h r a i n . T h r o u g h this t e r r a i n the t e a m often h a d to d r i v e 12 to 14 hours a d a y to k e e p o n s c h e d u l e a n d sleep out i n M o s q u i t o nets i n m a k e s h i f t c a m p s . Despite l o s i n g a n u m b e r of teeth i n the r e a r differential, B o r i s p r o v i d e d a m a t c h for the most d e m a n d i n g r o a d s a n d the L a d a s d i s p r o v e d their m a n y critics. T h e p r i z e at the e n d of this s t r e t c h is the beautiful R u w e n z o r i M o u n t a i n s a n d f r o m R w a n d a it is l i t e r a l l y d o w n h i l l a l l

the w a y to T a n z a n i a a n d the M a s a i M a r a pl ai ns o n the floor of the Rift v a l l e y i n K e n y a . T h e f i n a l goal of m a n y o v e r l a n d e r s is to c l i m b M t K i l i m a n j a r o . A t 5,895m it is o n e of the highest p e a k s that c a n be c l i m b e d w i t h o u t o x y g e n . H o w e v e r , y o u do n e e d guides a n d to p a y about $100 to enter the s u r r o u n d i n g g a m e p a r k — t h e t e a m h a v i n g to a u c t i o n s o m e of t h e i r e q u i p m e n t . In five d a y s t h e y c o m p l e t e d the c l i m b a n d t h e n h e a d e d for t h e coast w h e r e B o r i s was s h i p p e d b a c k i n a c o n t a i n e r to be o v e r h a u l e d after the 8,000 m i l e s for the next adventure. R a l l y of the P h a r o e s Not c o n t e n t w i t h p r o v i n g the d e s i g n , M a r k set a b o u t fitting i n b o a r d disks, h y b r i d s u s p e n s i o n a n d a 2 3 0 b h p 4.3 litre V 8 into B o r i s a n d getting h i m r e a d y for a m o r e c o m p e t i t i v e test of e n d u r a n c e , the P h a r o e s R a l l y — 3 , 5 0 0 m i l e s t h r o u g h the E g y p t i a n desert i n t e n d a y s . T h e y w e r e the o n l y B r i t i s h entry, the o n l y soft-top a n d the o n l y s p e c i a l , o t h e r s p o s s i b l y dissuaded b y the S6,500 e n t r y fee. T h e r a c e p r o v e d eventful, B o r i s c r a s h i n g o n the s e c o n d d a y a n d the c h a s e v e h i c l e later h i t t i n g a d o n k e y , b u t a b r a v e finish o n the t e n t h day p r o v e d that the t e a m c o u l d c o m p e t e w i t h the best. T h e B o r i s t e a m w i l l be p r e s e n t i n g t h e i r a d v e n t u r e s at future m e e t i n g s of the Institution of M e c h a n i c a l E n g i n e e r s . C h e c k the Engineer's News for details.

FELIX HEALTH WARNING: CROSSING THE SAHARA USING THIS METHOD M A Y SERIOUSLY D A M A G E YOUR H E A L T H .


Richard Lyle writes about the delights of

Intriguing Indonesia a n c i e n t stone temples, s u c h as the one at B o r o b u d u r w h i c h has b e e n a c c l a i m e d as the e i g h t h w o n d e r of the w o r l d . It also contains s o m e of the most beautiful s c e n e r y i n the a r c h i p e l a g o . G a z i n g out of the bus w i n d o w , as I d i d o n n u m e r o u s o c c a s i o n s , I w o u l d be c o n f r o n t e d w i t h a s e a of g r e e n t e r r a c e d r i ce paddies b o r d e r e d b y t a l l majestic coconut palms. E v e r y n o w and again a s m o k i n g v o l c a n o , its tall t o w e r i n g c o n e r e a c h i n g for the s k y , w o u l d l o o m into v i e w p r o v i d i n g s o m e t h i n g else for m e to stare at.

Stone relief of Ramayana, I c a n distinctly r e m e m b e r it w a s not u n t i l the a e r o p l a n e t o u c h e d d o w n at the Sukarno-Hatta International Airport, J a k a r t a , that I t h o u g h t 'this is i t — t h e p o i n t of n o r e t u r n ! ' A s I t o o k a d e e p b r e a t h , m y heart w a s d e f i n i t e l y p o u n d i n g faster t h a n u s u a l — p a r t l y d u e to fear of the u n k n o w n a n d p a r t l y w i t h e x c i t e m e n t as to w h a t l a y a h e a d of m e i n the n e x t s e v e n w e e k s . A s it t u r n e d out I h a d the t i m e of m y life! T h e c h a r m of t r a v e l l i n g a n y w h e r e o n a budget is the contact y o u h a v e w i t h the i n d i g e n o u s p e o p l e . N o w h e r e is a better p l a c e t h a n I n d o n e s i a i n this respect for the p e o p l e are e x t r e m e l y f r i e n d l y a n d c o u r t e o u s — t h e y also l o v e the sight of a t r a v e l l e r . In s o m e of the m o r e r e m o t e places that I v i s i t e d I b e c a m e a n instant sensation w i t h the l o c a l c h i l d r e n as t h e y all c h a n t e d t h e i r 'hello m i s t e r s ' a n d e n e r g e t i c a l l y w a v e d at m e . S o m e of the m o r e m a t u r e people, that I e n c o u n t e r e d w e r e eager to p r a c t i c e t h e i r c o a r s e b r o k e n E n g l i s h o n me. O n o n e bus j o u r n e y the first few w o r d s of a y o u n g m a n w h o h a d p l a c e d himself b y m y side were, 'Gary Lineker, World Cup, England team very good!' I had a very enlightening conversation w i t h him on the W o r l d C u p m u c h to t h e a m u s e m e n t of a c a p t i v e a u d i e n c e of o n l o o k e r s . Whilst travelling in Indonesia on a shoestring, t h e p r i m a r y m o d e of transport a v a i l a b l e to t h e t r a v e l l e r is the bus a n d this is a n e x c e l l e n t place to v i e w a n d c o m e i n c o n t a c t w i t h s o m e of the n a t i v e people. T h e bus m a y c o m e i n m a n y shapes a n d sizes f r o m m o d e r n airc o n d i t i o n e d c o a c h e s d o w n to b e a t e n u p

12

Borobuder

t h r e e - w h e e l e r b e m o s that a r e f o u n d i n cities. A f t e r just a few short r i d e s o n the bus n e t w o r k I got the distinct i m p r e s s i o n that w h e n e v e r I c h o s e to take the bus so d i d the rest of I n d o n e s i a as w e l l ! T h e s e c r o w d e d v e h i c l e s c a r r y h o r d e s of p e o p l e , of a l l ages, c o m p l e t e w i t h t h e i r s h o p p i n g a n d p r o d u c e as w e l l as m a n y of t h e i r animals. 1 clearly remember being rudely a w o k e n , i n the e a r l y h o u r s of the morning, by an extremely vivacious c o c k e r e l h a i l i n g the start of a glorious n e w day—just one of the m a n y perils of t r a v e l l i n g o n a n o v e r n i g h t bus! Y o u also n e e d n e r v e s of steel too! A l l Indonesian bus d r i v e r s s e e m to be e q u i p p e d w i t h lead-lined boots to e n s u r e that t h e y c a n press the a c c e l e r a t o r fully to the floor as t h e y t a k e p a r t i n the G r a n d P r i x that d a i l y a d o r n s Indonesia's n e t w o r k of roads. A s their buses h a c k at full s p e e d t h r o u g h the c o u n t r y s i d e t h e y p a y v e r y little r e g a r d to pedestrians a n d e v e n less r e g a r d for other traffic o n the r o a d . Countless are t h e n u m b e r of times that I g l a n c e d out of the front w i n d o w o n l y to be t r a n s f i x e d b y the sight of a n e q u a l l y fast a n d large bus s t r e a m i n g t o w a r d s us o n the same c a r r i a g e w a y o n l y to p u l l i n front of the v e h i c l e it w a s o v e r t a k i n g right at the last m o m e n t — a n d w h e n I say last I m e a n last! J a v a h a p p e n e d to be m y first i n t r o d u c t i o n to t h e I n d o n e s i a n w a y of life, the c h e a p , d i v e r s e a n d v e r y tasty food a n d fruits a n d , as w i t h most Southeast A s i a n countries, the s y s t e m of b a r t e r i n g for m a n y items, s u c h as s o u v e n i r s a n d t r a v e l . I also saw m a n y s p e c t a c u l a r

Having manically rushed through Java t r y i n g to see e v e r y t h i n g a n d a n y t h i n g ti w a s t i m e to s p e n d a few r e l a x i n g days i n U b u d , c e n t r a l B a l i . I e s p e c i a l l y w a n t e d to s a m p l e s o m e of the r e n o w n e d B a l i n e s e c u l t u r e a n d m y first i n t r o d u c t i o n c a m e i n the f o r m of a T e m p l e c e r e m o n y . O n a r r i v a l at the o r n a t e l y d e c o r a t e d t e m p l e I c o u l d c l e a r l y see w h e r e t h e o t h e r tourists had gathered, all w e a r i n g their batik sorongs a n d t e m p l e s c a r v e s (as a m a r k of respect to the B a l i n e s e people). I settled myself d o w n i n a m o n g s t t h e m a n d feasted m y e y e s o n w h a t l a y before m e . Decorations hung from every available space a n d B a l i n e s e w o m a n , i m m a c u l a t e l y t u r n e d out w e r e to-ing a n d fro-ing, c a r r y i n g o n t h e i r heads t a l l stacks of beautifully a r r a n g e d fruits a n d flowers. A f t e r a short w h i l e , the festivities k i c k e d off w i t h a d a n c e k n o w n as the T o p e n g (literally m a s k dance). T h e m u s i c a l a c c o m p a n i m e n t w a s i n the f o r m of a

Bali

G a m e l a n , the i n s t r u m e n t of w h i c h consist m a i n l y of d r u m s a n d c y m b a l s , w h i c h g i v e the m u s i c a d i s t i n c t l y c r a s h i n g s o u n d . A s the night p r o g r e s s e d I w a n d e r e d to different c o r n e r s of the t e m p l e to w i t ne ss o t h e r events s u c h as offerings b e i n g l a i d out to the gods. A l l i n a l l it w a s w h o l l y u n l i k e a n y o t h e r religious c e r e f n o n y 1 h a d e v e r seen a n y w h e r e i n E u r o p e , but it w a s a most i n t e r e s t i n g o c c a s i o n . M y e v e n i n g w a s r o u n d e d off b y a brief e n c o u n t e r w i t h o n e of t h o s e m u c h - l o v e d a n d e v e r ubiquitous tropical creatures—the c o c k r o a c h . O n the b e m o h o m e I w a s sitting i n m y seat m i n d i n g m y o w n business w h e n I felt a t i c k l i n g s e n s a t i o n o n m y leg. A s I l o o k e d d o w n to investigate m y w o r s t h o r r o r w a s r e a l i s e d — p e e r i n g u p at m e , s e e m i n g l y grinning was an enormous orange and b l a c k c o c k r o a c h . F r o m t h a t p o i n t o n the j o u r n e y w a s m a r k e d b y s u d d e n jolts of m y body and subdued screams every t i m e I felt a t i c k l i n g a r o u n d m y legs, m u c h to the a m u s e m e n t of s o m e A u s t r a l i a n girls w h o w e r e seated b e h i n d me! P e n e l o k a n , situated i n t h e N o r t h e r n m o u n t a i n s of B a l i , has to b e the p l a c e w h e r e I h a v e w i t n e s s e d o n e of the most a w e - i n s p i r i n g sunrises i n m y life. I h a d met this E n g l i s h b l o k e w h i l s t t r a v e l l i n g o n the b e m o u p to P e n e l o k a n . W h e n w e a r r i v e d at the v i l l a g e , situated o n the crater r i m of a n a n c i e n t e x t i n c t v o l c a n o , the v i e w w a s b r e a t h t a k i n g . L o o k i n g d o w n into the v a l l e y f r o m o u r cliff-top t e r r a c e , the crater floor s p r e a d out before us m a r k e d b y t w o distinct features—a s e r e n e v o l c a n i c l a k e a n d adjacent to it M o u n t B a t u r . W e w e r e approached b y some local boys, w h o w a n t e d to g u i d e us to the s u m m i t of M o u n t B a t u r the f o l l o w i n g m o r n i n g , a s s u r i n g us that the s u n r i s e w a s not a sight to be m i s s e d . W e d e c i d e d that w e w o u l d see it b u t d i d not n e e d to p a y for the services of a guide to f i n d out w a y to the t o p — h o w w r o n g w e w e r e ! B y e v e n i n g t i m e w e h a d m a n a g e d to r e c r u i t a c o u p l e of D u t c h g i r l s to j o i n us o n o u r e x p e d i t i o n the f o l l o w i n g m o r n i n g , e x p l a i n i n g to t h e m that w e w o u l d h a v e no p r o b l e m s c l i m b i n g M o u n t B a t u r . A t 3 . 3 0 a m , m y m i n d a n d b o d y still not sure w h a t w a s g o i n g o n , 1 f o u n d myself sitting i n the b a c k of a n open-top V W jeep, the c o l d night air r u s h i n g t h r o u g h m y hair, s p e e d i n g d o w n i n t o the crater v a l l e y . W h i l s t p r e p a r i n g to set off for the t w o h o u r u p h i l l h i k e i n the d a r k , it m a t e r i a l i s e d that I w a s the o n l y one to have brought a torch—to find our way in the p i t c h d a r k n e s s . A s w e b e g a n the climb we soon realised h o w disabled we w e r e w i t h ' o n e e y e ' to see w h e r e w e w e r e g o i n g . N o t s u r p r i s i n g l y w e s o o n lost the right p a t h a n d e n d e d u p c l a m b e r i n g u p a v e r y steep v a l l e y of loose v o l c a n i c rock.

TRAVEL W h e n the s k y b e g a n to l i g h t e n the p e a k w a s d e f i n i t e l y out of t h e q u e s t i o n as w e w e r e o n l y a t h i r d of the w a y u p . A s w e p e r c h e d o u r w e a r y b o d i e s o h the steep scree w e settled d o w n to a m a g n i f i c e n t light s h o w h o s t e d b y n a t u r e : out of the d a r k n e s s c a m e a faint o r a n g e g l o w w h i c h g r a d u a l l y b e c a m e stronger a n d m o r e intense. S u d d e n l y the s u n i n c h e d out f r o m b e h i n d a r o c k y slope to o u r left. A s it d i d so, a b a n k of t h i c k w h i t e mist f l o o d e d i n front of us, o n l y to be b r i l l i a n t l y i l l u m i n a t e d a fluorescent orange-red b y the sun. Further cloud e n s h r o u d e d the s u n u n t i l it t o o k o n the a p p e a r a n c e of a m o o n - l i k e disc. A l l too s o o n this light fantastic s h o w w a s o v e r a n d it w a s t i m e to h e a d b a c k d o w n to the hot springs i n the v a l l e y . W h a t bliss it w a s to soak a w a y o u r a c h e s a n d pains i n the hot c l e a r water, as the fresh m o r n i n g b r e e z e w a s h e d across o u r faces. O n c e I h a d e x p l o r e d the beaches, m o u n t a i n s a n d temples of B a l i it w a s t i m e to seek rest a n d solitude, thus ten days of m y trip w e r e spent o n the t i n y s e c l u d e d desert i s l a n d of G i l i M e n o . S i t u a t e d about 5 k m off the, n o r t h - w e s t coast of L o m b o k , it is the m i d d l e of three t i n y c o r a l f r i n g e d islands (each no b i g g e r t h a n 3.5 square kilometres) a n d c a n o n l y b e d e s c r i b e d as paradise. If g o o d w e a t h e r , e m p t y g o l d e n beaches, gin-clear w a t e r a n d e x o t i c c o r a l reefs w i t h a m y r i a d of m a r i n e life are w h a t y o u seek it c a n c e r t a i n l y b e f o u n d here. I h a d met u p w i t h four o t h e r t r a v e l l e r s and we had decided on Gili Meno because t h r o u g h the t r a v e l l e r ' s g r a p e v i n e w e h a d h e a r d that it w a s the quietest a n d most unspoilt of the three islands. O n a r r i v a l w e w e r e not d i s a p p o i n t e d as the place had a most enduring c h a r m . W e c h e c k e d into o u r b a m b o o b e a c h hut at the a p t l y n a m e d B l u e C o r a l , a n d at 7,500 R u p i a h s (£2.50) p e r night i n c l u d i n g t h r e e meals a day, w e w e r e set to h a v e a great time.

Balinese

statue

Stone Temple,, Java W e s o o n s l i p p e d into a r o u t i n e — a f t e r a d a y of s u n b a t h i n g , s l u m b e r i n g a n d s n o r k e l l i n g , the perfect w a y to r o u n d off the d a y w a s to h e a d off to the b a r (a b a m b o o shack) at the w e s t e r n e n d of the i s l a n d . A s w e sat a r o u n d c h a t t i n g a n d s i p p i n g the c o o l I n d o n e s i a n - b r e w e d B i n t a n g b e e r , the s u n w o u l d l a z i l y s i n k to a w a t e r y g r a v e , s i l h o u e t t i n g the p a l m s o n the adjacent b e a c h as it d i d so. O n the h o r i z o n , the d i s t i n c t i v e c o n e shape of Mount A g u n g , on Bali some 50km away, w o u l d p r o v i d e the b a c k d r o p to a m a g n i f i c e n t l y lit s k y of m a n y different pastel-shaded c o l o u r s . U n f o r t u n a t e l y a l l g o o d things must c o m e to a n e n d . F o r m e that m e a n t h e a d i n g b a c k to B a l i to c a t c h m y flight h o m e . O n m y flight out of B a l i I was p r e s e n t e d w i t h a most w o n d e r f u l spectacle. A s the a e r o p l a n e r a p i d l y g a t h e r e d height, m o m e n t s after l e a v i n g D e n p a s a r a i r p o r t , w e flew a b o v e the v o l c a n o , M o u n g A g u n g . A s I p e e r e d out of the t i n y w i n d o w , b e l o w m e l a y a g i g a n t i c c o n e r i s i n g up to a p i n - l i k e o p e n i n g w h i c h w a s the c r a t e r of the v o l c a n o . T h e r e w a s a definite feeling of m e l a n c h o l y i n m y heart as m y m i n d w e n t t h r o u g h the e v e n t s of the last s e v e n w e e k s . A f t e r f l y i n g b y this e n t h r a l l i n g feature w e h e a d e d out to the J a v a sea a n d b a c k to E n g l a n d . W h a t e v e r it is y o u seek, be it the r i c h a n d d i v e r s e c u l t u r e , the s p e c t a c u l a r seaa n d land-scapes or the e x o t i c f o o d a n d fruits s o m e w h e r e i n I n d o n e s i a it is l i k e l y to be o n offer.

13


What is it like to travel on the Trans Siberian Railway? Whai can be found on the way? Chris Riley found out last year.

Bottom B u n k to Beijing H a s the 'openness' of glasnost o p e n e d u p t h e U S S R to t h e i n d e p e n d e n t t r a v e l l e r o r a r e the trials a n d t r i b u l a t i o n s of m a k i n g a j o u r n e y o n the T r a n s - S i b e r i a n R a i l w a y still as great t h a n those of l i v i n g i n the country? The Trans-Siberian railway proper runs f r o m M o s c o w to V l a d i v o s t o c k i n t h e Soviet F a r East. T r a v e l l e r s c r o s s i n g S i b e r i a have a c h o i c e of t h r e e trains. T h e first follows a r o u t e due east to K a k h o d k a o n the Pacific coast, for ferry crossings to J a p a n . T h e s e c o n d a n d t h i r d routes b o t h r u n to P e k i n g , o n e v i a M o n g o l i a a n d the o t h e r t a k i n g the l o n g e r route t h r o u g h Manchuria. A c c o u n t s of the trip r a n g e f r o m the classic w o r k b y A.I. D m i t r i e v - M a m a n o v Guide to the Great Siberian Railway 1900 to a few pages i n B o b Geldoff's a u t o b i o g r a p h y Is that it? M o r e i n f o r m a t i v e guides o n routes, costs, b o o k i n g s a n d things to take i n c l u d e B r y a n T h o m a s ' Trans-Siberian Handbook (£8.95) to R o b e r t Strauss' Trans-Siberian Rail Guide (£6.95). W a t c h for the out-of-date i n f o r m a t i o n o n Intourist i n b o t h b o o k s . T r a v e l prices r a n g e w i d e l y f r o m c o u n t r y to c o u n t r y , d e p e n d i n g o n w h e r e y o u are p r e p a r e d to e m b a r k . Intourist, the sole R u s s i a n t r a v e l agent, s e l l o n e w a y tickets f r o m M o s c o w to P e k i n g for

r e p o r t e d for as little as U S $ 1 0 , less t h a n the cost of t w o L o n d o n d a y t r a v e l cards. Intourist o p e r a t e a t e l e p h o n e b o o k i n g s e r v i c e f r o m their L o n d o n offices i n the Isle of Dogs ( G e n e r a l E n q u i r i e s o n 081-538 8600). H o w e v e r t h e 50 y e a r s e x p e r i e n c e of a r r a n g i n g t r a v e l i n the Soviet U n i o n that t h e y boast o n t h e i r b o o k i n g forms has taught t h e m little about c u s t o m e r relations. T h e y r e a l l y k n o w h o w to p u t the hassle into t r a v e l . T h e i r s u s p i c i o u s , u n h e l p f u l attitude to i n d e p e n d e n t t r a v e l l e r s w a s p e r h a p s suited to the B r e z h n e v / A n d r o p o v Russia of the 70s a n d 80s, but not G o r b a c h e v ' s glasnost of today. T h e ' h a v e a n i c e d a y ' a p p r o a c h practised inthe newly opened Moscow M a c D o n a l d s is not n e c e s s a r y . H o w e v e r a little e n c o u r a g e m e n t a n d a d v i c e about the daunting bureaucracy and paper work, w h i c h s u c h a t r i p still d e m a n d s , w o u l d be appreciated. T h e attitude of the Intourist staff i n G l a s g o w a n d M a n c h e s t e r is a p p a r e n t l y m o r e c o n d u c i v e to b o o k i n g , but t h e y still prefer to h a n d l e g r o u p t r a v e l . F o r the i n d e p e n d e n t t r a v e l l e r the p a c k a g e s a n d s e r v i c e offered b y the F i n l a n d b a s e d S c a n d i n a v i a n Student T r a v e l S e r v i c e (SSTS) are m o r e a p p r o p r i a t e . T h e y c a n be a r r a n g e d t h r o u g h B r i t i s h t r a v e l agents l i k e S T A t r a v e l . D o n ' t be put off b y the

a r o u n d £325 s h a r i n g a four b e r t h c o m p a r t m e n t i n ' h a r d ' class. Intourist does not a r r a n g e t r a v e l f r o m the U K to M o s c o w . Y o u c a n fly for £185 or take the 53-hour t r a i n j o u r n e y for £167. If y o u are p r e p a r e d to s p e n d t w o w e e k s i n H u n g a r y a ticket c a n cost as little as £27! T h e t r i c k is to p u r c h a s e a legitimate t i c k e t i n B u d a p e s t for about £70 i n o r d e r to get your USSR travel documents. Y o u then get a r e f u n d o n this t i c k e t , (loosing o n l y about £15) a n d b u y one of the n u m e r o u s b l a c k m a r k e t tickets for £12.

'Student' n a m e . It is d e s i g n e d to e n c o u r a g e students r a t h e r t h a n d i s c o u r a g e non-students. S S T S specialise in R u s s i a n a n d C h i n e s e t r a v e l . T h r o u g h a n y B r i t i s h agent t h e i r f a x e d r e s p o n s e to e n q u i r i e s is i ns t ant ane o us . T h e c u s t o m e r has a c h o i c e of three p a c k a g e s c o n s i s t i n g of v a r i o u s c o m b i n a t i o n s of stop-overs i n M o s c o w a n d S i b e r i a . A l l trains d e p a r t f r o m H e l s i n k i . A o n e w a y flight f r o m L o n d o n to H e l s i n k i is about £100. T h e fifty h o u r t r a i n j o u r n e y is about t h e s a m e p r i c e .

T r a v e l l i n g f r o m east to w e s t still r e m a i n s the cheapest d i r e c t i o n . T i c k e t s b o u g h t i n B e i j i n g a n d H o n g K o n g are U S $ 1 8 0 a n d U S $ 1 0 0 in J a p a n . W i n t e r b l a c k m a r k e t p r i c e s in B e i j i n g h a v e b e e n

U n l i k e Intourist, SSTS offer a d v i c e o n m o n e y , t i m e z o n e s , d i n i n g o n the t r a i n , b o r d e r formalities, stop-over itineraries a n d assistance w i t h R u s s i a n a n d C h i n e s e v i s a a p p l i c a t i o n s . I r o n i c a l l y S S T S still h a v e

14

to m a k e the b o o k i n g t h r o u g h Intourist, but t h e y e l i m i n a t e the frustrations e x p e r i e n c e d b y b o o k i n g d i r e c t . A l l this help c o m e s at a p r i c e . T h e i r H e l s i n k i M o s c o w - I r k u t s k - P e k i n g t o u r t a k i n g 11 days a n d 10 nights costs U S $ 1 0 4 5 to share a 4-berth ' h a r d ' class c o m p a r t m e n t . The price includes all meals between M o s c o w a n d the C h i n e s e b o r d e r , a one d a y tour of M o s c o w w i t h a c o m p u l s o r y night i n a n e x p e n s i v e Intourist H o t e l a n d a t w o d a y t o u r r o u n d Irkutsk a n d L a k e Baikal. B e f o r e e m b a r k i n g it c e r t a i n l y s e e m e d that despite t h e w i d e s p r e a d r e f o r ms of the G o r b a c h e v e r a , the p a r a n o i d fear a n d s u s p i c i o n of t h e i n d e p e n d e n t t r a v e l l e r still existed. W h o w o u l d be c o n t r o l l i n g the U S S R , Intourist o r p e r e s t r o i k a ? It w a s a stiflingly hot a f t e r n o o n at the e n d of J u n e w h e n the R o s s i y a s l i p p e d silently f r o m its s i d i n g at Y a r o s l a v l station o n the east side of M o s c o w . T h e Intourist guide a s s i g n e d to escort us to Irkutsk w a s Peter, a m e e k , slender, b e a r d e d m a n w i t h w o r n out m o u r n f u l eyes. H e h a d e n d u r e d the T r a n s - S i b e r i a n R a i l w a y t e n times i n as m a n y years. ' N o t h i n g has c h a n g e d . . . ' he s i g h e d . ' T h e t r a i n is the same.... the s e r v i c e is the same....and the food....no the food is worse....our e c o n o m y is b a d . '

T h e food w a s b a d . E a c h m e a l c o m m e n c e d w i t h a stainless steel d i s h of w a t e r y c o n g e a l i n g s o u p s l o s h i n g u p the h i g h sides. Y o u a l w a y s h a d to ask w h a t f l a v o u r it w a s . T h e m a i n c o u r s e w a s t h e u s u a l s h r i v e l l e d s q u a r e of b o i l e d meat, splodge of m a s h potato a n d s c o o p of sauer-kraut. D r y biscuits to d u n k in y o u r coffee c o m p l e t e d e a c h m a s o c h i s t i c m e n u . W e w e r e r u n n i n g o n 'Peter t i m e ' . W h e n he g r e w b o r e d , o n c e or t w i c e a day he t o l d us a l l to put o u r w a t c h e s f o r w a r d . T r a v e l l i n g this w a y a v o i d e d a n y jet lag. W e r e a c h e d L a k e G a l i c h s k o y e , 501 k i l o m e t r e s f r o m M o s c o w as the mid-night s u n g l o w e d l o w i n the s k y . I w o k e 690 k i l o m e t r e s further o n to h e a v y r a i n i n B a l e z i n o . W e t figures fought tractors

a l o n g d e e p l y r u t t e d t r a c k s , w o o d e n huts s t e a m e d i n d a m p forests a n d Jail House Rock w a r b l e d t h r o u g h t h e s p e a k e r s . O u t s i d e the c l a t t e r i n g t r a i n for the first t h r e e days w a s a repetitive w a l l p a p e r of u n d u l a t i n g s i l v e r b i r c h trees. W h e r e the t r a i n crosses the U r a l s i n t h e s o u t h , t h e y are b a r e l y 5 0 0 metres h i g h a n d pass l i k e a b a d j o i n i n the p a t t e r n . T h e entire history of R u s s i a n a r c h i t e c t u r e is s p r e a d a l o n g the l i n e ; f r o m c o n c r e t e c o n d o m i n i u m s a n d filthy factories of P e r m a n d N o v o s i b i r s k , to n e g l e c t e d w e a t h e r - b l a c k e n e d houses m a d e of p l a n k s a n d split-log huts w i t h g r o u n d - s c r a p i n g w i n d o w ledges. Air on a G string e c h o e d d o w n the c o r r i d o r as w e c r o s s e d the m i g h t y K a m e R i v e r a n d p a s s e d t h r o u g h P e r m . A t 1777 k i l o m e t r e s f r o m M o s c o w w e r a t t l e d past the u n o b t r u s i v e o b e l i s k a n d e n t e r e d A s i a . W h e n I w o k e o n the t h i r d d a y the a i r w a s t h i c k w i t h d a n d e l i o n seeds. T h e t r a i n h a d s t o p p e d at O m s k (2716km) w i t h its s t r a w b e r r y sellers a n d w a t e r m e l o n stalls a n d 'gift shops' s e l l i n g w e d d i n g invitations. It w a s g o i n g to be a h a r d day. Peter s a i d so. W e w e r e c r o s s i n g t h e S i b e r i a n Steppes, a n a r e a l a r g e r t h a n F r a n c e a n d r e s e m b l i n g t h e Fens. It w a s o v e r 30°C a n d the t h i c k b l a c k soils of the steppes t u r n e d to a fine soot, s u c k e d up b y the passi ng t r a i n a n d injected i n t h r o u g h c l o s e d d o o r s a n d w i n d o w s . It w a s d r a w n m a g n e t i c a l l y to c l a m m y s k i n . F a c e s , h a n d s a n d legs t u r n e d b l a c k . C l u m p s of d e a d w h i t e 'ghost' trees s t o o d a l o n e i n the s w a m p s a n d s m a l l herds of d a i r y cattle g r a z e d the p l a i n s . W e b s of criss-crossing taut t e l e g r a p h cables f r a m e d the s h a n t y t o w n s a l o n g the t r a c k . W e w e r e r u n n i n g t h r e e h o u r s late, Peter said it w o u l d be s e v e n h o u r s b y V l a d i v o s t o c k , (not b a d for 10,000km). T h e l o n g O b r i v e r o n its 4 0 0 0 k m j o u r n e y n o r t h to t h e A r c t i c S e a s i g n a l l e d a w e l c o m e e n d to the Steppes. O n the p l a t f o r m i n N o v o s i b i r s k w e jostled w i t h the locals to b u y o v e r - r i p e , d e e p r e d plums. Irkutsk l o o m e d large a n d d a m p o n a dark drizzly Siberian S u m m e r evening 5191 k m f r o m M o s c o w . T h e R o s s i y a s l i p p e d into t h e d r i z z l e a n d o n to V l a d i v o s t o c k four m o r e d a y s d o w n t h e track. A b r o k e n bus s p l a s h e d t h r o u g h the floods a n d t o o k us a w a y . A d a m p d a y i n Irkutsk a l l o w e d a s a i l i n g t r i p o n the m i s t y w a t e r s a n d a t r a m p t h r o u g h a v a l l e y v i l l a g e o n the shores. L a k e B a i k a l w i t h its t h i c k fir-tree forests w a s h e d i n c o o l mists r e s e m b l e d a l a r g e Scottish l o c h (larger t h a n Scotland). T h e l a k e is t h e w o r l d ' s oldest a n d deepest, a c c o u n t i n g for one fifth of the w o r l d ' s fresh w a t e r . B a c k i n t o w n a n d for just

o v e r 15p that night w e h a d front r o w seats for a S i b e r i a n p e r f o r m a n c e of S w a n Lake. T h e M o s c o w - P e k i n g t r a i n , n u m b e r 19, s c o o p e d us u p t h e n e x t d a y as it t r u n d l e d t h r o u g h Irkutsk a n d r o u n d t h e s o u t h e r n e n d of L a k e B a i k a l . A s t w i l i g h t c a m e w e h e a d e d east a n d into the K h r e b e t K h a m a n D a b a n foot hills of the M o n g o l i a n frontier. T h e C h i n e s e b o r d e r d r e w e v e r n e a r e r o n the s e c o n d d a y out of Irkutsk. T h e silver b i r c h w e r e g o n e a n d the ' C a n a d i a n R o c k i e s ' a p p e a r e d , s p o r t i n g S w i s s style C h a l e t s , a n d w o b b l i n g o v e r the i m p e r f e c t i o n s i n the m u d spattered glass. Vast grasslands of the ' S o u t h D o w n s ' r o l l e d d o w n to t h e b o r d e r t o w n A Manzhouli and a welcome t h r f hour b r e a k whilst t h e w h e e l s w e r e hanged. U n t i l last year, p h o t o g r a p h i c this o p e r a t i o n t e m p t e d indefinite sentences i n the h a r d l a b o u r c a m p s to t',? n o r t h .

Today Glasnost had reached M a n z h o u l i , w e w a t c h e d , p h o t o g r a p h e d , m a d e notes a n d s w a p p e d coins w i t h t h e r a i l w a y m e n quite freely. O n c e a c r o s s the b o r d e r w e s t e p p e d o n t o a w a l l t o w a l l C h i n e s e carpet of cultivation animated by match-stick m e n w i t h l a m p s h a d e hats. A n e n t i r e l y m a n m a d e l a n d s c a p e m e t o u r e y e s ; flooded golf-green r i ce fields c o a t i n g vast o p e n pl ai ns a n d t e r r a c e d o n i m p o s s i b l e slopes. F r o m M a n z h o u l i , B e i j i n g w i t h its p r i c k l y heat, s e v e n m i l l i o n b i c y c l e s a n d ten m i l l i o n b u s t l i n g p e o p l e is a d a y a n d a half a w a y . S u d d e n l y the p r e d i c t a b l e s e c u r i t y of the ten d a y R u s s i a n t o u r is at a n e n d . T u r f e d out of m y c o s y b u n k a n d into a n a l i e n w o r l d of c h o p s t i c k s a n d n o o d l e s , m a n d a r i n m o n e y c h a n g e r s , spitting a n d staring, b r a n d n e w o l d f a s h i o n e d s t e a m trains a n d s i n g i n g b i c y c l e bells. This article first appeared in TNT Magazine issue 839, 11 February 1991

15


Throwing Muses —The Real Ramona

Goodbye Mr Mackenzie —Now we are Married

I 7"

LP

i

§1»

T h e r e is a s a y i n g 'if y o u try h a r d e n o u g h and long enough you will eventually s u c c e e d ' . G i v e it a n o t h e r ten years a n d the Mackenzies m i g h t get s o m e w h e r e . A f t e r five listenings I w o u l d have great difficulty in r e m e m b e r i n g a single l i n e s a v e for ' n o w w e are m a r r i e d ' that seems to constitute the majority of the t r a c k . T h e r e is no m e l o d y or h o o k — n o t h i n g to stop y o u w a n t i n g for the n e e d l e to r e a c h the m i d d l e . O n the B side is a t r a c k that e v e n 1 w o u l d be e m b a r r a s s e d to release, a n d I'm about as m u s i c a l as a deaf lobster. Please stop t r y i n g . A n n a B.

The Melvins & Steelpole Bathtub -Marquee

22.2.91

W h o were they? T o n i g h t ' s o p e n e r s , Duh, w e r e not o n the b i l l a n d a l l t h e y w e r e a b l e to p r o v i d e w a s a n e n e r g e t i c w a l l of s o u n d a n d p l e n t y of a s p r i n y o u w o u l d not e v e n h a v e d e c i p h e r e d t h e i r n a m e w i t h o u t l o o k i n g at the t-shirts o n d i s p l a y — t h e r e r e a l l y w a s n ' t all that m u c h there. T h e d i s a p p o i n t m e n t s of the e v e n i n g w e r e Steelpole Bathtubs. They successfully m a n a g e d to lose t h e i r finely w o v e n edge apparent o n their albums a m o n g s t the n o i s e w h i c h s e e m e d to p r e v a i l f r o m Duh's s o m e w h a t i n t r i g u i n g p e r f o r m a n c e . If y o u ' d seen t h e m w i t h o u t e x p e c t a t i o n s y o u m a y h a v e s u r v i v e d but I e m e r g e d w i t h a l l illusions shattered. T h e set w a s so u n d e f i n e d that I w a s s u r p r i s e d I could recognise anything. T h e n the Melvins. N o i l l u s i o n s here, n o n e at a l l . The Melvins b u i l t a 900 foot h i g h m o n o l i t h a n d no o n e k n e w quite h o w to l o o k at it. W i t h a l l superflous guitars r e m o v e d t h e y ' v e p e r f e c t e d m i n i m a l i s t t h r a s h m e t a l . T h e s o u n d is r e d u c e d to a 1 5 m p h c r a w l t h r o u g h the r e m a i n s of t h e h a r d c o r e c r o s s o v e r . Crunchingly slow and terminally loud The Melvins s t e a m o n , t h e bass n e v e r s t o p p i n g . B u t the d r u m m e r set it u p . B e a t i n g out r h y t h m s s u i t a b l e for the G o d s r e q u i e m mass. D r e s s e d o n l y i n d r u m s t i c k a d o r n e d y-fronts a n d grip-gloves w h i c h he h a d t a p e d to his wrists he b e a t out the tattoo for the a p o c o l y p s e . W h e n the e n d of the w o r l d c o m e s The Melvins are p r o d u c i n g the s o u n d t r a c k . Seb

16

T h i s is the f o r t h a l b u m f r o m this four piece b a n d r e l e a s e d b y 4 A D a n d there's e v e n t w e l v e t r a c k s o n it (three goes into t w e l v e four times?). It's j a m - p a c k e d w i t h j a n g i n g guitars, energetic d r u m s and vibrant rasping v o c a l s . E a c h t r a c k unfolds l i k e a m o t h o p e n i n g its w i n g s . A d u l l m e l o d i c b e g i n n i n g r e v e a l s a p a n d o r a ' s b o x of delights. U n l i k e m u c h of t o d a y ' s m u s i c the edges are left r o u g h to g i v e e x t r a bite, r a t h e r t h a n the stale r o u n d e d s o u n d that r e c o r d c o m p a n i e s s e e m to prefer. I get the feeling that t h e y w o u l d be a w o n d e r f u l a n d e x c i t i n g act to see l i v e , r e l i s h i n g i n t h e a t m o s p h e r e of t e n s i o n . T h e v o c a l s are a m a z e of riddles a n d double meanings m a k i n g listening a c h a l l e n g e , not a passive process: 7 throw an egg against the wall, I watch it break and slide, I see my name.'

Basti Basti—bit of u n k n o w n here. A l l I k n o w is that I e x p e c t e d m o r e f r o m a b a n d w i t h t w o d r u m m e r s — a bit of a r a r i t y n o w a d a y s . T h e a l b u m is a n o v e r v a m p e d through pseudo industrial wasteland w h i c h seems c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of m u c h of the m u s i c e m e r g i n g f r o m the L o n d o n hardcore scene. A l t h o u g h mellower than a n d Terminal b a n d s s u c h as Silverfish Cheesecake, Basti still m a n a g e to fit t h e m o u l d — g r u n g e / t h r a s h guitars w i t h a m i x t u r e of s a m p l e s a n d v o c a l s . T h e m a i n p r o b l e m is that for a b a n d w i t h t w o d r u m m e r s t h e y s e e m to p r o d u c e some singularly uninteresting backbeats. Backbeats w h i c h could liven up some deadly monotonous tracks. T h e first a n d p e r h a p s best e x p o n e n t s of this m u s i c a l i d e a l w e r e t h e Beatings (US

C o m i n g i n the m i d d l e of t h e s u p p o s e d c o m e - b a c k of g u i t a r b a s e d b a n d s , this is g r o u n d that is w e l l t r a v e l l e d . F o r t u n a t e l y t h e y are b i g e n o u g h to c a l l t h e i r m a r k to s h o w the w a y for all those groups lost i n mediocrity. In years to c o m e w h e n y o u put this a l b u m o n it w i l l still s o u n d fresh a n d i n t e r e s t i n g , s o m e t h i n g to b u y a n d a v a l u a b l e asset to a n y o n e ' s c o l l e c t i o n . O n e s m a l l gripe; t h e y still s e e m to be p l a n n i n g a l b u m s for v i n y l uses. P u t t i n g a short t r a c k at the e n d of side o n e to fill space a n d g i v e y o u w a r n i n g to c h a n g e sides is great, but w h a t if y o u have a C D p l a y e r ? It does t e n d to m a k e t h i n g s a bit disjointed, p e r h a p s different o r d e r for different formats? T h a t aside, a great a l b u m . So I t h i n k I'll g i v e it four out of five. A n n a B.

—B LP b a n d o n A T ) w h o successfully fused i n d u s t r i a l a n d d a n c e m u s i c to create a n e a r h y p n o t i c effect w i t h o u t too m u c h r e p e t i t i o n . It's difficult to s a y this about the Basti a l b u m . A l t e r n a t i n g b e t w e e n k e y b o a r d s a n d guitars t h e y p r o v i d e a t u n e w h i c h sits l o o s e l y o n a bassline w h i c h seems the s a m e t h r o u g h o u t . T h e d r u m s r a r e l y rise to the c h a l l e n g e but w h e n t h e y d o , the result is w o r t h it, a t r u l y great s o u n d e m e r g e s a n d the c o m b i n a t i o n of v a r i o u s v o c a l styles a n d samples m a k e y o u t r y to listen. U n f o r t u n a t e l y t h e r e seems to be no t h e m e to the a l b u m a n d the w h o l e p a c k a g e sounds too c o m m e r c i a l . T h e y h a v e e n o u g h g o o d songs to h a v e p r o d u c e d a g o o d single but n o t a n a l b u m . Seb


Gary Clail

Spaceman 3 —Recurring

- Human Nature 12" T h i s r e c o r d f o l l o w s i n the w a k e of Clail's last effort, the v e g g i e a n t h e m Beef, this t i m e p r o p o u n d i n g l o v e a n d u n i t y for mankind. Human Nature k i c k s off w i t h w h a t appears to be a M a r t i n L u t h e r K i n g s a m p l e ( a l w a y s g o o d for a few B r o w n i e points in m y b o o k ) a n d goes off i n a v a g u e l y t r a n c e y tangent u n t i l it s u d d e n l y collides w i t h the t h e m e m u s i c f r o m ' S n u b T V a n d takes o n a l o o p y s w a y i n g q u a l i t y . K i n g interrupts a little further o v e r a t i n k l i n g p i a n o riff a n d the w h o l e t r a c k coasts a l o n g p l e a s a n t l y to a n e n d . T h e B-side, Rumours Of War d r a w s d e e p into r e g g a e a n d d u b to b r i n g a s e m i - s p o k e n w o r d message about the Gulf W a r ; not shy of c o n t r o v e r s y , it n a m e s n a m e s a n d c a r r i e s off its intent w e l l . Superior dance music. Stone

LP

Sonic Boom a n d J a s o n h a v e finally g o n e t h e i r separate w a y s , but as a lasting r e m i n d e r h a v e left us w i t h Recurring, a s w i r l i n g m a s t e r p i e c e of a l m o s t epic p r o p o r t i o n s . It's h a r d to i m a g i n e that a n y t h i n g so d o w n r i g h t beautiful was p r o d u c e d i n a n a t m o s h e r e of l o a t h i n g a n d mistrust. S u c h is the a n i m o s i t y b e t w e e n the t w o that e a c h c o n t r i b u t i o n w a s m a d e separately, S o n i c r e c o r d i n g side o n e a n d J a s o n the o t h e r — a l t h o u g h there's o n l y a v e r y subtle difference b e t w e e n the two, b o t h w e l d so w e l l together. Side o n e starts w i t h the d a n c e I Know o r i e n t a t e d Big City (Everybody Can Be Found Here) a w e l l p a c e d , t r i p p y a n t h e m . B r i n g i n g s o m e c l a r i t y to the haze, / Love You steals m o r e h e a v i l y f r o m the s i x t i e s a n d the l u s h Set M e Free ends side o n e w i t h S o n i c B o o m w h i s p e r i n g 'I t h i n k it's g o n n a e n d n o w ' , a n d as it trails into n o t h i n g he laughs, k n o w i n g full w e l l he leaves y o u e m p t y a n d d y i n g for m o r e . Side t w o , i n a l l its t a i n t e d glory, takes us t h r o u g h the irrepressible Hypnotized a n d Feelin' Just Fine (Head Full Of Shit). It just m a k e s m e w a n t to c l e a r s o m e floor space, lie d o w n a n d stare at the c e i l i n g all day. If e v e r I.C. n e e d e d to listen to a r e c o r d , this is it. 'Let the g o o d t i m e s r o l l . ' Harry.

Carter USM Charity Gig •ULU 14.2.91 What a treat—a Valentine's Day musical feast f e a t u r i n g the one a n d o n l y Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine, with s uppo r t f r o m Th' Faith Healers, The Family Cat, Bleach a n d a ' s u r p r i s e ' act. A n d a l l this for o n l y £6, w i t h the p r o c e e d s of t h e e v e n i n g g o i n g to the M a c M i l l a n F u n d for C a n c e r Relief. So i m a g i n e the s c e n e — s e v e r a l h u n d r e d jolly p e o p l e h a v e g a t h e r e d o u t s i de U L U a n d h a v e just d i s c o v e r e d the i d e n t i t y of the surprise act... 'Oh my God—not EMF!'. O h my God, y e s — t h e r u m o u r w a s t r u e . T o say EMF's r e c e p t i o n w a s hostile w o u l d be a n ' - •-• u n d e r s t a t e m e n t . T h e r e w a s a constant s h o w e r of plastic pint pots o n t o the stage a n d s c r e a m s of ' y o u ' r e shit, y o u ' r e shit' (it w a s a bit sad really). P o o r J a m e s , the b a n d ' s u n f o r t u n a t e singer got so pissedoff— that he d i d — h a l f w a y t h r o u g h the first s o n g . H e d i d c o m e b a c k (bad m o v e )

for a few m o r e songs, but g a v e up c o m p l e t e l y f o l l o w i n g the a b d u c t i o n of one of t h e i r m i c r o p h o n e stands. Th' Faith Healers w e r e o n l y d i s c o v e r e d b y c h a n c e w h i l e o n the w a y to the bar. The bar was undoubtedly more i n t e r e s t i n g as t h e y w e r e r e a l l y p r e t t y uninspiring...erm...yes—see w h a t we m e a n . B a c k at t h e m a i n stage the e v e n i n g s u d d e n l y got a lot better w i t h the a p p e a r a n c e of The Family Cat. T h e y p l a y e d a b r i l l i a n t set, f i n i s h i n g w i t h a w i c k e d l y w o n d e r f u l c o v e r of Unbelievable. It must h a v e r e a l l y r u b b e d the p r o v e r b i a l salt into t h e w o u n d s EMF w h o were no doubt nursing backstage. B a c k o n c e a g a i n to the b a r a n d the o t h e r stage w h e r e Bleach were p l a y i n g . T h e i r l e a d s i n g e r (female) g e n e r a t e d as m u c h interest as t h e i r m u s i c . U n f o r t u n a t e l y for t h e m a w h i s p e r b e g a n that Carter w e r e about to a p p e a r o n the

m a i n stage, a n d so t h e y s u d d e n l y lost most of t h e i r a u d i e n c e . T h e m a i n h a l l w a s b y n o w c l o s e l y r e s e m b l i n g the inside of a r e c e n t l y b o i l e d kettle. J o n Beast, the Fat B a s t a r d k e p t the c r o w d w e l l e n t e r t a i n e d as t h e y w a i t e d for J i m b o b a n d Fruit-bat to appear, ( m i n d y o u w e c o u l d h a v e d o n e w i t h o u t the brief d i s p l a y of his backside). W h e t h e r t h e y p e r f o r m e d v e r y w e l l or v e r y b a d l y w a s totally i r r e l e v a n t as b y n o w most of t h e c r o w d w a s i n a complete frenzy. The stagediving became a n e w k i n d of Bloodsport for All as y o u w i l l a p p r e c i a t e if y o u w e r e w i t h i n a few feet of the stage. T o finish t h e y p l a y e d a s t o n k i n g l y g o o d v e r s i o n of the Pet Shop Boys', Rent. (Neil T e n n a n t himself h a d b e e n spotted l u r k i n g a r o u n d earlier i n the evening.) A n y w a y w h a t m o r e c a n w e say—a good time was had by all! Egor and Hedgehog.

17


Adam Harrington

visited

Czechoslovakia.

Prague P r a g u e has b e e n r e f e r r e d to as the Paris of the East, ft has o n e or t w o benefits o v e r P a r i s , o n e b e i n g that P r a g u e ' s a r c h i t e c t u r e is m o s t l y the s a m e n o w as it w a s o v e r a h u n d r e d y e a r s ago. T h e s e c o n d is t h a t it is m u c h c h e a p e r . C z e c h o s l o v a k i a c a p i t u l a t e d i n the 1930's, a n d so its cities w e r e not b o m b e d senseless l i k e o t h e r E u r o p e a n cities, a n d s i n c e the w a r there has n o t b e e n e n o u g h m o n e y in the c o u n t r y for a n y development. Its t o w n c e n t r e is a l m o s t e n t i r e l y p e d e s t r i a n i s e d , b e c a u s e the m e d i a e v a l streets are not w i d e e n o u g h e v e n to a c c o m m o d a t e the m i n u t e T r a b a n t . It has m i l e s of m e a n d e r i n g l a n e s w e a v i n g b e t w e e n beautiful houses a n d c h u r c h e s . T h e v i e w across the V l t a v a r i v e r to Hradcany, the presidential palace o n top of a hill, is b r e a t h t a k i n g , e s p e c i a l l y w h e n it is floodlit at night. A p e d e s t r i a n b r i d g e , the C h a r l e s ' b r i d g e , c o n n e c t s t h e base of H r a d c a n y w i t h the c e n t r e of the c i t y . A l l a l o n g its l e n g t h t h e r e are m u s i c i a n s , g e n e r a l l y p l a y i n g t r a d i t i o n a l j a z z o n a v a r i e t y of b a t t e r e d i n s t r u m e n t s . G i v e n the s u r r o u n d i n g s , h o u r s c a n be spent sitting h e r e , w a s t i n g t i m e i n a v e r y pleasant manner. O n several evenings there w e r e a d u o p e r f o r m i n g w h a t I t o o k to be C z e c h folk songs. O n e p l a y e d bitter-sweet o b o e a c c o m p a n i m e n t to t h e o t h e r m a n ' s nasal s i n g i n g . In a l l it w a s h i g h l y effective, a n d these t w o a r e o n e of m y most e n d u r i n g m e m o r i e s . A n e n t i r e a f t e r n o o n c a n b e spent w a t c h i n g a g r e e n g r o c e r ' s store, w h e r e P r a g u e c i t i z e n s w a n d e r past, n o t i c e a p i n e a p p l e , or a grapefruit or s o m e t h i n g s i m i l a r a n d a m i d s t e x c i t e d chatter, c r o w d a r o u n d the w i n d o w p o i n t i n g at it a n d j o i n a q u e u e a l r e a d y 20 p e o p l e l o n g . T h e shops a r e l i k e s o m e t h i n g o u t of t h e 30's. G r o c e r s stores are p a c k e d w i t h cans of salted fish, m i l l i m e t r e t h i c k n e s s strips of d r y c u r l e d up c h e e s e a n d l u m p s of stone m a s q u e r a d i n g as b r e a d . A l l these are b e h i n d c o u n t e r s a n d h a v e to be a s k e d for, t h e y c a n ' t be p i c k e d u p a n d b o u g h t at the exit. T h i s m e a n s t h a t y o u h a v e to speak C z e c h , w h i c h n o b o d y e x c e p t the C z e c h s c a n do. So g i v e u p b u y i n g y o u r o w n food a n d g o to a r e s t a u r a n t . T h e r e is o n e c a l l e d ' U P r i n c e ' i n a c o r n e r of t h e o l d t o w n s q u a r e (Staromestske namesti) w h i c h bel ongs t o the state, as d i d a l l restaurants w h e n I w a s t h e r e , t h o u g h things are m o v i n g so fast p o l i t i c a l l y that things m a y c h a n g e s o o n . A f t e r a r e a s o n a b l e b u t not s t u n n i n g three c o u r s e m e a l for t h r e e p e o p l e , w e w e r e c h a r g e d the e q u i v a l e n t of five p o u n d s . W e a s s u m e d that this w a s for e a c h , but n o , it w a s b e t w e e n a l l of us. T h e l a n g u a g e b a r r i e r is a p r o b l e m , C z e c h s o n l y s p e a k R u s s i a n as w e l l as

18

A step back in time. their o w n language. English and G e r m a n c o m e a p o o r t h i r d . C z e c h s a r e not b y n a t u r e v e r y h e l p f u l ; w h e n w e w e r e there, a c e r t a i n a m o u n t of m o n e y h a d to b e c h a n g e d e v e r y day a n d e n t e r e d o n the v i s a (no v i s a or m o n e y c h a n g e is r e q u i r e d n o w - Mrs Thatcher visited President H a v e l a few d a y s before w e v i s i t e d P r a g u e . G o d k n o w s w h a t she d i d , but he r e n e g e d o n visas). A t e v e r y (state o w n e d ) b u r e a u de c h a n g e a different s t o r y w a s g i v e n as to w h a t s h o u l d b e e n t e r e d o n the v i s a , a n d i n t h e o r y , if t h e i n f o r m a t i o n is w r o n g , exit f r o m the c o u n t r y c a n be b a r r e d u n t i l l a r g e a m o u n t s of m o n e y c h a n g e h a n d s . T h e r e are a lot of s h a d y c h a r a c t e r s a r o u n d these b u r e a u x muttering 'Wechsel, cambio, bureau'. T h e s e are i l l e g a l m o n e y c h a n g e r s , g i v i n g a better rate of e x c h a n g e . S i n c e things are so c h e a p i n P r a g u e , a n d t h e r e is so little to b u y , it is d a m n difficult to get r i d of the m o n e y b e f o r e y o u l e a v e . C z e c h K o r u n y c a n n o t be l e g al ly t a k e n out of the c o u n t r y , a n d c a n n o t be c h a n g e d b a c k into r e a l m o n e y o n c e b o u g h t . T h e last d a y i n P r a g u e w a s spent b u z z i n g a r o u n d the c i t y t r y i n g to get r i d of the m o n e y . T h i s is a v e r y u n u s u a l feeling, as I a m m o r e u s e d to stringent e c o n o m y d r i v e s . P r a g u e l o v e s its ice c r e a m - a n d it's b l o o d y g o o d despite there b e i n g no c h o i c e of f l a v o u r s - a n d m o s t of the excess k o r u n y w e n t o n this. A w o r d of w a r n i n g . C z e c h o s l o v a k r a i l w a y s m a k e B r i t i s h R a i l l o o k helpful a n d efficient. Q u i t e d e f i n i t i v e l y the w o r s t

r a i l j o u r n e y I've e v e r h a d w a s b e t w e e n H l a v n i n a d r a z i - P r a g u e ' s t e r m i n a l station - and Nurnberg in Germany. W e were f o r c i b l y e v i c t e d f r o m the s p a r t a n c o m p a r t m e n t into the e v e n m o r e s p a r t a n and very breezy corridor by a collection of o v e r w e i g h t a n d c o p i o u s l y s m o k i n g East E u r o p e a n s w h o t h e n c o n t i n u e d to s m o k e i n the c o r r i d o r a n d d r o p fag a s h o n us. They were in cahoots w i t h a w o m a n g u a r d built l i k e a R u s s i a n s h o t p u t t e r w h o l o o k e d l i k e she w o u l d b r o o k n o c o m p l a i n t . I e m e r g e d at f o u r i n the m o r n i n g at N u r n b e r g l o o k i n g l i k e s o m e t h i n g f r o m ' V . A r u c k s a c k is a g e n e r a l n o t i c e of t w o things: 1. Y o u d o n ' t h a v e m u c h m o n e y a n d are p r o b a b l y i n t e r - r a i l i n g a n d so c a n b e t r e a t ed l i k e t u r d , as no m o r e m o n e y c a n be s q u e e z e d out of y o u if y o u w e r e t r e a t ed n i c e l y a n d 2. A s t h e r e a r e too m a n y r u c k s a c k e r s a n y w a y , the m o r e difficult y o u r life c a n be m a d e , the f e w e r there w i l l b e n e x t year. C o n c l u s i o n - fly to P r a g u e a n d fly out, but for h e a v e n ' s sake see it before it b e c o m e s too touristy. It is a beautiful c i t y , a n d is w o r t h s e e i n g just b e c a u s e it is so u t t e r l y p e c u l i a r d u e to its c o m m u n i s t past. Flights cost f r o m a r o u n d S I 7 0 r e t u r n , a n d c h e a p a c c o m m o d a t i o n c a n be b o o k e d f r o m H l a v n i station hostel offices w h i c h o n l y o p e n w h e n trains f r o m a b r o a d p u l l i n . It w o u l d be a g o o d i d e a to contact the C z e c h o s l o v a k E m b a s s y to c h e c k details beforehand.


Mark Richardson

toured Europe by

Inter-Railing Last s u m m e r I t r a v e l l e d a r o u n d G r e e c e a n d Italy w i t h a n i n t e r - r a i l c a r d . T h e free ferry c r o s s i n g offered b e t w e e n Patras o n the P e l e p o n e s e a n d B r i n d i s i i n s o u t h e r n Italy m a k e s this a n a t t r a c t i v e o p t i o n for a route t h r o u g h s o u t h e r n E u r o p e .

roof of K o n t o h o r i y o u t h hostel in the t o w n of T h i r a , a n d three nights s l e e p i n g o n the b l a c k s a n d b e a c h at Perissa. It's not c l e a r w h e t h e r y o u are a c t u a l l y a l l o w e d to sleep o n the b e a c h e s but p l e n t y of p e o p l e do it.

O u r first stop i n G r e e c e w a s the s m a l l t o w n of L i t o c h o r o at the foot of M o u n t O l y m p u s . M o s t of the t h o u s a n d s of interrailers w h o v i s i t G r e e c e g o for the s u n a n d h i s t o r i c a l b e a u t y , f e w e r realise G r e e c e is also a v e r y m o u n t a i n o u s country with some spectacular natural s c e n e r y . W e s t a y e d at the s m a l l a n d f r i e n d l y y o u t h hostel i n L i t o c h o r o w h i c h is used as a b a s e b y h i k e r s w h o c o m e to c l i m b M o u n t O l y m p u s . If y o u w a n t to attempt the c l i m b , y o u c a n h i r e boots a n d m a p s a n d also l e a v e y o u r r u c k s a c k at the hostel. W e w e n t to L i t o c h o r o i n t e n d i n g to c l i m b the m o u n t a i n but d e c i d e d against it at the last m i n u t e . H o w e v e r , it's a n e x p e r i e n c e i n itself to lie o n a b e a c h w i t h the h o m e of the gods t o w e r i n g n e a r l y 3000 metres a b o v e y o u w i t h its feet i n the sea!

T o cross free to Italy y o u have to sleep o n d e c k but this is no h a r d s h i p i n the A d r i a t i c d u r i n g the s u m m e r . F r o m the h a r b o u r t o w n of B r i n d i s i w e t r a v e l l e d across Italy to Naples w h e r e w e stayed i n the e x c e l l e n t m o d e r n y o u t h hostel. F r o m N a p l e s it's a short t r a i n a n d bus ride to mount Vesuvius and Pompeii. We u n f o r t u n a t e l y didn't have t i m e i n our s c h e d u l e to v i s i t P o m p e i i , but m a n a g e d to c l i m b to the h u g e crater at t h e top of V e s u v i u s . T h e w a l k is fairly easy as a bus takes y o u m o s t of the w a y . Naples itself is a b u s y port w h i c h is r a t h e r o v e r c r o w d e d a n d c h a o t i c , but the n a t i o n a l m u s e u m ( w h i c h houses m a n y of t h e relics f o u n d at P o m p e i i as w e l l as a f a s c i n a t i n g c o l l e c t i o n of a n c i e n t E g y p t i a n artifacts) is w e l l w o r t h a visit, a n d the p i z z a s are fantastic.

After visiting the ancient historical sights in D e l p h i a n d A t h e n s , w e h e a d e d for the i s l a n d of S a n t o r i n i i n the C y c l a d e s . T h e night f e r r y c r o s s i n g f r o m A t h e n s costs o n l y a b o u t £8 if y o u sleep o n d e c k . S a n t o r i n i w a s f o r m e d a b o u t 4,000 years ago b y a m a s s i v e v o l c a n i c e x p l o s i o n i n the A e g e a n s e a . T h e v o l c a n o still smoulders on a nearby island. W e went out to see it o n a boat trip. O u r p a r t y c l i m b e d the m o u n d of b l a c k r o c k a n d ash to the s u l p h u r - c a k e d sumit, t h e n , after r e t u r n i n g to t h e boat, w e d i v e d into the sea to s w i m i n the hot s p r i n g s w h e r e w a t e r h e a t e d i n s i d e the v o l c a n o w e l l s up to m i x w i t h t h e sea. O n S a n t o r i n i , w e spent o n e night o n the

O u r n e x t stop w a s R o m e w h e r e w e spent t w o days a d m i r i n g the sights of a n c i e n t R o m e , e s p e c i a l l y the C o l o s e u m a n d the P a l a t i n e H i l l , a n d those in the V a t i c a n C i t y — S t Peter's b a s i l i c a , the V a t i c a n m u s e u m a n d the Sistine C h a p e l . R o m e has a n e x c e l l e n t purpose-built y o u t h hostel, the largest w e stayed i n o n o u r travels. F r o m R o m e w e t r a v e l l e d o n to T u s c a n y a n d the R e n a i s s a n c e s p l e n d o u r of F l o r e n c e a n d P i s a . F l o r e n c e is v e r y r e l a x i n g , a n d it is i n t e r e s t i n g to w a l k b e t w e e n the p a i n t e d houses near the D u o m o c a t h e d r a l a n d the P u e n t o V e c c h i o b r i d g e . T h e r e ' s a restaurant i n F l o r e n c e w h i c h is r e p u t e d to m a k e the best icec r e a m i n a l l Italy (and therefore the

w o r l d ) . W e a l s o f o u n d a site i n the c o u n t r y s i d e just outside t h e c i t y w h e r e y o u c a n sleep for free o n r o o f e d w o o d e n platforms. A f t e r a b r i e f stop i n B o l o g n a to try the s p a g h e t t i b o l o g n a i s e i n its t o w n of o r i g i n , w e w e n t o n to V e n i c e . V e n i c e is a g o o d p l a c e to w a n d e r i n , w i t h m a n y w i n d i n g a l l e y s , h u m p - b a c k bridges a n d s m a l l s q u a r e s as w e l l as the f amous sights of St M a r k ' s s q u a r e a n d b a s i l i c a a n d the D o g e s ' P a l a c e ( h o m e of the o l d V e n e t i a n g o v e r n m e n t ) . T h e t o w n consists of 117 islets a n d to r e a c h V e n i c e ' s y o u t h hostel, a n o t h e r of t h e e x c e l l e n t m o d e r n Italian t y p e , y o u n e e d to take a w a t e r bus. Passes a v a i l a b l e for 2 4 - h o u r t r a v e l o n w a t e r buses are a g o o d w a y of seeing Venice. A r o u t e t h r o u g h G r e e c e a n d Italy s u c h as this o n e , c o u l d be m a d e i n either d i r e c t i o n a n d t h e r e is also great scope for ideas i n y o u r r o u t e b e t w e e n h o m e a n d s o u t h e r n E u r o p e . O n the w a y there, w e passed t h r o u g h the G e r m a n c i t y of C o l o g n e w i t h its e x c e l l e n t c a t h e d r a l , s a w the m a g n i f i c e n t i m p e r i a l b u i l d i n g s in V i e n n a , f r o m w h e r e half of E u r o p e w a s r u l e d for m o r e t h a n s i x c e n t u r i e s , a n d t o o k a g l i m p s e at life i n E a s t e r n E u r o p e i n o u r visit to B u d a p e s t . H e r e w e w e r e a m a z e d at the sights a n d a c t i v i t y a l o n g s i d e t h e D a n u b e at night. T h e j o u r n e y d o w n to G r e e c e — t h e infamous B e l o r a d e - A t h e n s r u n — w a s not pleasant but n o t h i n g l i k e as b a d as a n y of the h o r r o r stories w e h a d h e a r d . T h e j o u r n e y f r o m B u d a p e s t t o o k 24 h o u r s , but w e h a d seats for m o s t of the t i m e a n d w h e n w e h a d to s t a n d at least the s c e n e r y w a s interesting! O n the r e t u r n j o u r n e y , w e passed t h r o u g h the S w i s s A l p s , s t o p p i n g i n Z e r m a t t at the foot of the M a t t e r h o r n , before returning home through France a n d I r e l a n d (there are free ferries to a n d f r o m Ireland). T o use the free ferry c r o s s i n g as w e l l as t r a i n s e r v i c e s , y o u n e e d a n 'Inter-Rail a n d B o a t ' c a r d w h i c h costs £180. A n o r d i n a r y Inter-Rail c a r d costs £155. I e n d e d up s p e n d i n g n e a r l y £500 o n t h e w h o l e m o n t h ' s h o l i d a y but have no doubt that it c o u l d h a v e b e e n d o n e for less. O u r travels t h r o u g h G r e e c e a n d Italy w e r e v e r y e n j o y a b l e a n d o u r activities v a r i e d e n o r m o u s l y i n the t i m e w e w e r e t h e r e . O n e d a y w e w e r e e x p l o r i n g the t i n y cliff-top v i l l a g e s o n S a n t o r i n i o n h i r e d m o p e d s a n d o n l y days later a d m i r i n g the m a g n i f i c e n t R e n a i s s a n c e a r c h i t e c t u r e of Tuscany.

A church

on

Santorini

If y o u w a n t a h o l i d a y w h i c h c o m b i n e s so m a n y n a t u r a l a n d h i s t o r i c a l sights w i t h d a y s l y i n g o n a b e a c h a n d loads of p i z z a a n d i c e - c r e a m , a n inter-rail trip t h r o u g h G r e e c e a n d Italy is e x c e l l e n t v a l u e for money.

19


LETTERS

Scribbler's Corner.

A noble gesture Dear Andy, I u n d e r s t a n d f r o m a friend of m i n e that a letter a p p e a r e d i n last w e e k ' s F E L I X c o n c e r n i n g R e g g i e the L i o n , the mascot of K i n g ' s C o l l e g e a n d I'd l i k e to take this o p p o r t u n i t y to clear up a n y misunderstanding and inaccuracies. 1. Reggie's o r i g i n a l W e d d i n g T a c k l e , n o w m o u n t e d o n a pl aque a n d b e i n g l o o k e d after b y a K i n g ' s E n g i n e e r at a hall of r e s i d e n c e w i l l s o o n be kept b e h i n d the bar at K i n g ' s — a l o n g s i d e IC's m i l i t a r y dressed teddy-bear. 2. Reggie's present e q u i p m e n t — ' h e ' s a very proud lion'—created by yours truly, w i l l r e m a i n in place u n t i l . . . w e l l , u n t i l further n o t i c e ! 3. F o r the i m m e d i a t e future, (Rag W e e k a n d E n g i n e e r s ' Ball), R e g g i e w i l l r e m a i n i n a B l s e c u r i t y z o n e at a l o c a t i o n i n the c o l l e g e k n o w n to f e w er t h a n ten people. So y o u lot c a n ' t h a v e h i m ! S o r r y , lads! Lots of love from, Alex Ottway, Defender of Reggie.

The bottom Standards line and logic Dear Editor, Is this p s e u d o n y m business a p r i v a t e function, or c a n a n y o n e j o i n in? If so, t h e n I w o u l d l i k e to put in m y contribution. In y o u r e d i t o r i a l for F e l i x 892 y o u e x p r e s s y o u r a n n o y a n c e at e x a m s . I too h a v e h e a r d the a r g u m e n t s for e x a m s — that t h e y p r o v i d e a n abstract scale against w h i c h to m e a s u r e p e o p l e against, et a l . T h i s set m e t h i n k i n g a b o u t w h a t the C o l l e g e is r e a l l y for. A f t e r three years here, I h a v e c o m e to the c o n c l u s i o n that it o n l y exists to p r o d u c e a u t o m a t o n s to k e e p o u r i n d u s t r y (barely) r u n n i n g ; but, p r i m a r i l y , to m a k e m o n e y . E x a m s p r o v i d e t h e cheapest w a y to assess students, so profits c a n be maximised. C o u l d t h e r e be a n y other reason? Yours, The Wizzard.

Dear Andy, I do w i s h A t h e n a w o u l d a p p l y the s a m e standards to h i m s e l f / h e r s e l f / t h e m s e l v e s as s h e / t h e y / h e does (do) to o t h e r s . Issue 894 p o i n t 2: begins b y s l a g g i n g off C h r i s t i a n s for h a v i n g a r g u m e n t s o n a p r e m i s e that the B i b l e is f i c t i o n. Is either a n y better t h a n the other? N o w let's s a y I w a n t to argue s o m e t h i n g w i t h the p r e m i s e that t h e r e is life after d e a t h . A t h e n a w o u l d (I p r e s u m e ) a l l o w m e to state this (after a l l , there's n o less proof t h a n f o r — s a y — t h e fictional n a t u r e of the Bible). B u t w h a t if I s a i d ' a c c o r d i n g to St Paul's first letter to the C o r i n t h i a n s . . . ' a n d t h e n stated 'there is life after d e a t h ' . S u d d e n l y n o g o o d ? H m m m , n o v e l logic. H o w e v e r , I do a g r e e w i t h point 2—it's n i c e , o r d e r e d logic. So, A t h e n a , p r a c t i c e w h a t y o u p r e a c h , or stop p r e a c h i n g . Yours sincerely, Andy Cooksley, Physics 3.

A reply to a reply to another reply Dear Andy, A r e p l y , to a r e p l y , to a n o t h e r r e p l y , to yet m o r e r e p l i es to a letter w h i c h m a y or m a y not h a v e b e e n p r i n t e d i n F E L I X a l o n g t i m e ago. 1. A t h e n a m a y not be s c a r e d e n o u g h not to a d m i t h i s / h e r / i t s n a m e , but h o w about the o t h e r s w h o w r i t e i n u s i n g a s s u m e d n a m e s ? A n d e v e n if A t h e n a w a s s c a r e d , w o u l d he/she/it a d m i t it? A t this p o i n t for the s a k e of c o n t i n u i t y , I w i l l refer to A t h e n a as the f e m a l e g e n d e r as Pallas A t h e n a o r i g i n a l l y w a s . 2) Y e s , m u c h logic i n c l u d e d i n a r g u m e n t s o n the letters p a g e is flawed, or two-faced. E g . A t h e n a writes that w e w o u l d assume g e n e r a l i s a t i o n s a b o u t her, (i.e. if she w e r e female, she w o u l d be a feminist) if her n a m e w a s disclosed. Fair enough. But i n d o i n g so, she too m a k e s a gross g e n e r a l i s a t i o n in that the a v e r a g e r e a d e r is ' a s s u m p t i o n i s t i c ' . 3) W i t h the c l o s u r e b y t h e editor of a c e r t a i n topic w h i c h p r o v o k e d m u c h h e a t e d a r g u m e n t , A t h e n a has k i n d l y s u p p l i e d us a l l w i t h a fresh, n e w a n d c h a l l e n g i n g o n e to sink o u r c r i t i c a l teeth into, i.e. the historicity of the B i b l e . I hope A t h e n a does m o r e w o r k at her

20

c o u r s e t h a n i n r e s e a r c h i n g h e r literature, because if not, she's got q u i t e a bit to do. B i b l i c a l l i t e r a t u r e is e m b e d d e d i n the f o u n d a t i o n of M i d d l e E a s t e r n history a n d as science m o v e s f o r w a r d i n r e s e a r c h i n g o u r past, m o r e a n d m o r e of the B i b l e is p r o v e d to be v a l i d , if not fact. Fifty y e a r s ago, A b r a h a m w a s t h o u g h t of as b e i n g a m y t h i c a l figure, but n o w there is m o r e t h a n e n o u g h a r c h e o l o g i c a l e v i d e n c e to say that he l i v e d o n this e a r t h . G o i n g e v e n further b a c k , there is a n i n c r e d i b l e a m o u n t of e v i d e n c e to suggest that t h e r e w a s a f l o o d a n d that there is a w o o d e n boat-like s t r u c t u r e embedded in ice o n Mount Ararat, T u r k e y , c o r r e s p o n d i n g to t h e d i m e n s i o n s specified b y G o d to N o a h w h e n b u i l d i n g the a r k . Jesus m a y or m a y not h a v e w a l k e d o n water, d e p e n d i n g o n w h a t y o u b e l i e v e , but A t h e n a , b y d e c l a r i n g t h e B i b l e as 'fiction', is most c e r t a i n l y w a l k i n g o n t h i n air. 4) R e f e r r i n g not just to A t h e n a , but m a n y m o r e w h o hav%«^rjtten i n , w e c a n c o n c l u d e that a l l Chrisjjaji^ are u n f o r g i v i n g , self-righteouo, j u d g e m e n t a l , h y p o c r i t i c a l , etc. T h i n k i n g of us (yes, I'm o n e too) as V i c t o r i a n i s t s is i n itself archaic.

Y e s , a l l of us fall for at least o n e of these quite f r e q u e n t l y , b u t that doesn't m e a n w e are s u p p o s e d to. T h e r e isn't e n o u g h t i m e or space to d e a l w i t h a l l of t h e m , but t a k i n g the subject of forgiveness, C h r i s t i a n s are s u p p o s e d to forgive a n d be c o m p a s s i o n a t e , but w e are also c h a r g e d (just as w e w o u l d be m o r a l l y ) to p o i n t out to s o m e o n e w h e n t h e y are d o i n g s o m e t h i n g b l a t a n t l y wrong. There have been some misunderstood a n d m i s g u i d e d letters o n b o t h sides, p o r t r a y i n g a n u n c a r i n g C h r i s t i a n faith, of w h i c h this m u s t be the fault o n l y of ourselves. A n o t h e r c r i t i c i s m of C h r i s t i a n s w r i t i n g i n is not of q u o t i n g the B i b l e , but of not g i v i n g a c o n t e x t or a r e a s o n for t h e i r belief i n it, or a n i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of w h y the p e r s o n i n q u e s t i o n m i g h t be t e l l i n g us to do or not to do s o m e t h i n g . 5) A g r e e i n g w i t h A t h e n a ' s v i e w s o n the p r e h e n s i l e antics of m a s c o t r y a n d the solutions suggested, I ask myself, is it the c h i l d r e n w h o are at risk o r the U n i o n funds a n d r e c r i m i n a t i o n s w e s h o u l d be w o r r y i n g about? Yours, trying to be Christlike, Giles Pettit, Mech Eng 1 (A real entity!)


What's O n AN UP-TO-THE-MINUTE GUIDE TO EVENTS IN A N D A R O U N D IMPERIAL COLLEGE

FRIDAY Hang Gliding Southside Upper Lounge. Come and find out about weekend training. Weekly meeting. Yacht Club Meeting Huxley 413. Rag Meeting Union Lounge. Huxley Soc Bookstall JCR. Friday Prayers Southside Gym. See Islamic Society. Kung Fu Union Gym. C.U. Prayer Meeting 413 Maths. Yoga Southside Christian Union Meeting 308 Computing. Swimming Sports Centre. New members always welcome. Fencing Club Training Club training. Shaolin System Nam Pai Chuan Southside Gym. Water Polo Sports Centre. Come along and join in. Southside Disco..... Southside Bar.

SATURDAY Picocon 9 All day in the Union Building. Kung Fu Club Wu Shu Kwan in Southside Gym.

SUNDAY Sunday Service Anteroom Sherfield Building. See West London Chaplaincy. Catholic Chaplaincy Mass 53 Cromwell Road. Wargames UDH. A l l welcome. Yoga Southside G y m . Kung Fu Club Wu Shu Kwan in the Union G y m . Catholic Mass 53 Cromwell Road, followed by supper.

MONDAY RockSoc Meeting Southside Upper Lounge. A l l abnormalities welcome. Basketball Club Volleyball Court. Men's Team. Keep Fit Southside G y m . Intermediate Rock 'n' Roll JCR. , •• Swimming Sports Centre. New members always welcome. Beginners Rock 'n' Roll

JCR. Water Polo Sports Centre. Come along and try one of the most physically demanding sports. Latin American JCR.

TUESDAY C.U. Prayer Meeting Chaplain's Office Riding Club Meeting Southside Upper Lounge. Amnesty Stall JCR. Sign a letter, look at the display, buy some goods. AudioSoc S.C.R. for cheap records, CDs and hi fi discounts. Radio Modellers Southside Lounge. Cathsoc Mass Mech Eng 702. Followed by lunch. Sailing Club Southside Lounge. PhotoSoc Southside Lounge. New members to join. Radio Modellers Student training workshop, Mech Eng. Keep Fit Southside Gym. Amenesty International Clubs Committee Room. Weekly meeting. Wine Tasting Soc Union Lounge. Weekly meeting. Everyone welcome Improvers Ballroom JCR. Canoe Club Beit Quad store or 8.30pm in Southside Upper Lounge. Judo Union Gym. Ballroom Bronze Medal JCR. Yoga Southside Gym. Cricket Nets Lords. Meet at 7.45pm in Mech Eng Foyer. Must bring whites.

WEDNESDAY Amnesty Stall JCR. Keep Fit Southside G y m . Bike Club Southside Lounge. Cycling Training Meet at Beit A r c h . Wargames UDH. A l l welcome. Speaker Meeting Physics LT1. 'Enhanced back-scatter: Beyond the spectre of the Broken'—Prof C Dainty. Micro Club Meeting

Top floor NW corner Union Building. Every week. Kung Fu Union Gym. Huxley Soc 'Coffee & Chat' Physics Level 3, next the Blackett Bookshop. DramSoc Union Concert Hall. Diving Swimming Pool. Shaolin System Nam Pai Chuan Southside Gym. Basketball Club Volleyball Court. Women's Team Kung Fu Club Union Gym. W u Shu Kwan.

THURSDAY Fencing Training Intermediate & advanced coaching. Balloon Club Meeting Southside Upper Lounge. Y H A Meeting Southside Upper Lounge. Postgrad Lunch Chaplains Office (10 Princes Gardens). See West London Chaplaincy. Amnesty Stall JCR. Sign a letter, look at the display, buy some goods. Fencing Training Beginners Training. Pro-Life Meeting Union Lounge. Third World 1st Meeting Green Room Union Building. ' A n introduction to Traidcraft and alternative trading'. Huxley Soc Debate Huxley 340. 'This house believes blasphemy is good'—proposed by the Huxley Soc, opposed by Christians. Fencing Training General. Gliding Club Meeting Aero 266. Come and arrange a trial flight. A l l newcomers welcome. Keep Fit Southside Gym Midweek Service Chaplains Office (10 Prince's Gardens). New Beginners Ballroom JCR. Judo Union Gym. Surf/Windsurf Video Night Union Lounge. Improvers Ballroom JCR Intermediate Ballroom JCR. Southside Disco Southside Bar. ICCAG Soup Run Meet Weeks Hall Basement.

21


ICU Sabbatical Hustings

TOP ICU

Monday 4th

St Mary's, 6pm T h u r s d a y 7th

1. Pretty

Woman

Imperial College JCR, 6.30pm

2. Look Who's Talking 3. Nuns on the Run 4. Leviathan 5. Drugstore Cowboy 6. Joe Versus the Volcano 7. Last Exit to Brooklyn 8. A.W.O.L. 9. Dark Angel 10. Two Moon Junction

Hear next year's candidates' lies and ask them awkwark questions

ICU Social Cultural and A m u s e m e n t Board

Thursday 7 t h March

All videos only £1 per night Monday-Thursday Special weekend rate 3 nights only &3 Membership is now FREE

W e dne s da y 6th M a r c h

BAR QUIZ

C a b a r e t ' 9 1 N i g h t £2.50 advance £3.50 on the door Doors open at 8pm

Imperial College Union Overseas Students Committee Presents

Union Lounge Bar £5 per team 8pm start

Friday 1st March 1991 Saturday 2nd March RUGBY INTERNATIONAL England vs Ireland Bar

open

from

Midday

Food Festival—6.30pm, J C R Cultural S h o w - 8 . 0 0 p m , Great Hall Brazilian Carnival—10.00pm, Tickets available from the Union Office o r overseas society officers: £3.50 in advance £4.00 at the door

EVERYBODY WELCOME

Imperial College of Science, Technology & Medicine Exhibition Road, South Kensington, London SW7


A

Editorial Apologies, Explanations, and Frustration... So, here it is, t h e T r a v e l S p e c i a l . R o l a n d , the Features E d i t o r , has a l r e a d y g i v e n his o p i n i o n s o n t h e subject of t r a v e l i n his m i n i - e d i t o r i a l o n page 4, so I'm not g o i n g to repeat his w i s d o m . I a m g o i n g to apologise to a n y o n e w h o s u b m i t t e d a n y t h i n g for this issue that wasn't used. T h i s s h o u l d h a v e b e e n 2 8 pages l o n g , but due to u n f o r t u n a t e t i m i n g i n v o l v i n g us a n d p a p e r s u p p l i e r s , w e didn't h a v e e n o u g h paper. E v e n w o r s e , it isn't a n y b o d i e s fault, so there's no p o t e n t i a l for a g o o d rant. A n d that's the bit that's really a n n o y i n g . A l s o due to this l a c k of space s e v e r a l things that w e r e p r o m i s e d last issue haven't b e e n p r i n t e d . T h e follow-up to the article a b o u t c o m i c s ( w h i c h w a s e x c e l l e n t l y written...) w i l l be p r i n t e d n e x t w e e k , as w i l l the s e c o n d p a r t of ' Z e n L a w y e r ' , a n d t h e n e w c o l u m n s (the d i a r y a n d the b o r i n g lecture forum). A s for that cat, see b e l o w . . . H i ho, h i ho, it's off to...? Y e t m o r e n e w stuff. S t a r t i n g n e x t w e e k there w i l l be a s e m i - r e g u l a r section i n v e s t i g a t i n g the v i e w s of I m p e r i a l students t o w a r d s i m p o r t a n t issues, b o t h w i t h i n c o l l e g e a n d w i t h o u t . It takes the f o r m of a s u r v e y , w h e r e i n r a n d o m students w i l l be a s k e d a q u e s t i o n about a specific subject, a n d the a n s w e r s w i l l be p u b l i s h e d . If y o u are q u i z z e d , y o u w i l l be a s k e d w h e t h e r or not y o u m i n d h a v i n g y o u r n a m e a n d / o r p h o t o u s e d , w h i c h is totally up to y o u . T h e first s u r v e y was r u n w i t h the q u e s t i o n ' A r e y o u g o i n g to v o t e i n the I C U s a b b a t i c a l elections?'. S h o u l d be fun... Next comes an experiment. T r a d i t i o n a l l y F e l i x does n o t p u b l i s h fiction or p o e t r y , as these h a v e b e e n the d o m a i n

of P h o e n i x . H o w e v e r , P h o e n i x is o n l y p r o d u c e d s p o r a d i c a l l y (about o n c e a year), a n d is v e r y u n d e r p u b l i c i s e d . T h u s F e l i x w i l l n o w be o p e n to t h e p u b l i c a t i o n of fictional m a t e r i a l . T h e r e is far too little e m p h a s i s o n t h e arts at this college, a n d t h e r e needs to be m o r e a w a r e n e s s of art a n d l i t e r a t u r e . So get w r i t i n g ! W a n t e d : M o r e Dwarves... T h e r e are s o m e i n t e r n a l c h a n g e s b e i n g m a d e to F e l i x , starting this w e e k , i n a n effort to m a k e the office m o r e efficient, a n d get F e l i x o u t w i t h o u t h a v i n g to stay up a l l night! A s s u c h there w i l l be a v e r y i m p o r t a n t staff m e e t i n g at 12.30 p m today, in the F e l i x office. Staff m e e t i n g s are N O T just for c u r r e n t staff. T h e y are the best t i m e for a n y o n e interested i n h e l p i n g out to c o m e i n , as all the r e g u l a r b u n c h w i l l be about. F e l i x c o n s t a n t l y n e e d s m o r e h e l p , f r o m anyone. W e ' r e not a n a s t y little c l i q u e full of h a c k s , w e ' r e h u m a n (honest. W e l l , apart f r o m the o d d alien). If needs be I'll get d o w n o n m y h a n d s a n d k n e e s : H E L P ! ! ! In a c o l l e g e of o v e r 6000 students, there must be m o r e t h a n a d o z e n w h o are interested in w h a t F e l i x does! O v e r a h u n d r e d p e o p l e s i g n e d up at the F r e s h e r s F a i r last t e r m , so w h e r e are y o u ! Y o u don't e v e n h a v e to b e able to w r i t e , or to spell (as C h r i s is a n e x c e l l e n t e x a m p l e of), F e l i x c a n a l w a y s do w i t h m o r e people. If y o u ' v e e v e r l o o k e d at F e l i x a n d t h o u g h t ' W e l l , I don't l i k e that...' or ' W h y didn't t hey do this...?', t h e n C O M E IN A N D T E L L US. PLEASE!!!! So there y o u h a v e it: A g r o w n m a n r e d u c e d to h y s t e r i c a l , last d i t c h attempts at getting y o u r attention. A sad e x a m p l e of the effects of a p a t h y o n a (relatively) sane, idealistic y o u n g edi t or. If y o u don't w a n t to hear a n y m o r e of this k i n d of

S F Bit

t h i n g , t h e n y o u k n o w w h a t to do: G i v e us a hand...Please! Credits Printing and Typesetting: A n d y and Rose News E d i t o r : A n n a A r t s Editor: A d a m T Books Editor: Michael Music Editor: John Photo E d i t o r : R i c h a r d Features E d i t o r : R o l a n d T h e G a n g : Stef, J a m e s , l a n , C h r i s R, the t r a v e l w r i t e r s , a n d a l l the r e v i e w e r s . The Collators: Phil; political radical, d r a g g e d here b y P h i l ; P h i l , P h i l , Y a s m i n , a n d G a b r i e l , a n d a n y b o d y else w h o turns up. F e l i x is p r o d u c e d f o r

a n d o n b e h a l f of t h e

Imperial

U n i o n P u b l i c a t i o n s B o a r d a n d is p r i n t e d b y t h e College 2 B B (Tel

College

Imperial

Union Print Unit, Prince Consort Road, London 071-225

8672). Editor: A n d r e w

Chris Stapleton, Business Manager: F e l i x 1991. ISSN

Jeremy

Butcher, Burnell.

SW7

Manager: Copyright

1040-0711.

NOW IN AT Imperial College Union Bookstore THE T-SHIRT of 'Imperialist College Union' LIMITED EDITION

Staff Meeting: for all current and new persons in the Felix Office today at

12.30pm. If you can't make it come along

on Monday lunchtime instead. 23


p i Kill the Rooster to Frighten the Monkey FELIX

T w o h u n c h e d , s u l l e n figures w e r e p u s h e d r o u g h l y t h r o u g h a c u r t a i n h a n g i n g across the c o r r i d o r . T h e y w e r e h o l d i n g h a n d s n o , their t h u m b s w e r e c l a m p e d together b e t w e e n the k n u c k l e s . T h e y w e r e b e a t e n r e p e a t e d l y u n t i l t h e y lay o n the floor below m y bunk. One thumb-clamp was l o o s e n e d a n d t h e i r a r m s w e r e fed t h r o u g h the b u n k legs to u n i t e w i t h the c l a m p the o t h e r side. It l o o k e d v e r y p a i n f u l a n d both prisoners w i n c e d w h e n their arms w e r e t w i s t e d a n d t h e i r t h u m b s w e r e bent. T h e digits w e r e b a d l y s w o l l e n a n d the s k i n w a s b l o a t e d a r o u n d t h e i r d i r t y nails. T h e y lay there w i t h staring, guilty expressions. I e s t a b l i s h e d that t h e y h a d b e e n c a u g h t s t e a l i n g m o n e y . Justice in C h i n a seems to be d i s p e n s e d e n t i r e l y b y t h e p o l i c e , w h o also decide t h e p e n a l t y . T h e u l t i m a t e p e n a l t y is e x e c u t i o n . The policeman who kicked them when he passed, g r i n n e d a n d s e e m e d p l e a s e d w i t h his arrest. T h e y w o u l d n o t be here t o m o r r o w , he s a i d . 1 a s k e d w h a t t h e i r fate w a s . H e r e p l i e d b y m i m i n g a gunshot i n the h e a d , the s t a n d a r d m a n n e r i s m for e x e c u t i o n . B o t h figures t w i s t e d a n d c o n t o r t e d t h e i r bodies to escape f r o m the k i c k s b e n e a t h m y b u n k . T h e y lay i n the cigarette stubs, m e l o n s k i n s a n d c h e w e d c h i c k e n b o n e s , the w h i t e s of t h e i r eyes large a n d b r i g h t i n the d u s k . F r e q u e n t l y e x e c u t i o n s a r e c a r r i e d out at mass gatherings. T h e p u r p o s e of this is to m a x i m i s e the d e t e r r e n c e p o t e n t i a l , the official r e a s o n b e i n g that 'it is g o o d to h a v e s o m e p e o p l e e x e c u t e d so as to educat e others'. It w a s a hot, u n c o m f o r t a b l e night. I slept i n starts, w a k i n g to b r u s h c o c k r o a c h e s f r o m m y face. W h e n d a w n c a m e , the c o n v i c t s w e r e g o n e , their lives t e r m i n a t e d to 'educate others'.

Mass

execution.

If y o u can't m a k e it to t h e s t a d i u m t h e n y o u c a n a l w a y s c a t c h up w i t h the m o n t h ' s k i l l i n g s at the e x h i b i t i o n . In a l m o s t a l l the large cities t h e r e are p e r m a n e n t d e t e r r e n t b o a r d s d e d i c a t e d to g r u e s o m e , s t o m a c h - c h u r n i n g p i c t u r e s of the latest e x e c u t i o n s . T h e p i c t u r e s here w e r e part of a n e x h i b i t i o n i n K u n m i n g , Y u n n a n province, in southern China. O t h e r subjects c o v e r e d i n c l u d e d p a r t i c u l a r l y g o r y , fatal r o a d accidents, a n d d e c a y i n g genitals—the v i c t i m s of V D . It is h a r d to say h o w C h i n a ' s c r i m e rate c o m p a r e s w i t h those i n o t h e r c o u n t r i e s . J u v e n i l e c r i m e is a g r o w i n g p r o b l e m i n the cities. T h e types of c r i m e c o m m i t t e d i n c l u d e m u r d e r , rape, a n d theft of large sums of m o n e y . C r i m i n a l groups of y o u n g s t e r s a r e c o m m o n . T h e official b l a m e is p l a c e d o n i n f l u e n c e f r o m foreign c r i m i n a l c l i q u e s p o r t r a y e d i n the mass m e d i a . P e r h a p s it is s i m p l y that t h e y are

f o l l o w i n g the e x a m p l e of t h e i r 'glorious leaders'. B u t the d e a t h p e n a l t y is p a r t of C h i n e s e c u l t u r e , a n a c c e p t e d w a y of life. T h e g e n e r a l o p i n i o n i n C h i n a is of s uppo r t for the d e a t h p e n a l t y a n d m o s t a g r e e that it is ne c e s s ar y t o d a y to m a i n t a i n the l o w c r i m e rate. C h i n e s e ar g ue that life i m p r i s o n m e n t , f a v o u r e d b y E u r o p e is a n e x p e n s i v e a l t e r n a t i v e w h i c h c a n n o t be a d o p t e d b y C h i n a at present. T h e i r r e v o c a b l e deaths of the w r o n g l y c o n v i c t e d are s i m p l y a 'pity'. A l t h o u g h e x e c u t i o n is u s u a l l y r e s e r v e d for m u r d e r a n d rape, d u r i n g the n u m e r o u s c l a m p - d o w n s that take place ' e x e c u t i o n q u o t a s ' h a v e to be m e t b y e a c h p r o v i n c e . If the q u o t a isn't r e a c h e d , the pettiness of c r i m e s w h i c h w a r r a n t death increase. In 1984 a v i l l a g e p a r t y s e c r e t a r y i n S h a a n x i P r o v i n c e put 72 v i l l a g e r s into c u s t o d y for s u s p i c i o n of s t e a l i n g part of his b i c y c l e b e l l . S e v e n t e e n w e r e t o r t u r e d a n d the a n o t h e r 28 w e r e h e l d for eight days a n d forced to pay fines to c o v e r the cost of the g u a r d s . B a c k i n Y u n n a n P r o v i n c e a g r o u p of p o l i c e m e n d e t a i n e d 201 p e o p l e i n 1986 for 'law-study class' w h i c h lasted as l o n g as eighty days. M a n y w e r e fined a n d t o r t u r e d u n t i l t h e y confessed to c r i m e s t h e y h a d not c o m m i t t e d . A s a result t w o p e o p l e c o m m i t t e d suicide, one p e r s o n died and m a n y were wounded. Before J u n e 1989 C h i n a ' s last r o u n d - u p of c r i m i n a l s started i n 1983 w h e n 100,000 w e r e arrested. In the last e i g h t e e n m o n t h s the s a m e n u m b e r h a v e lost t h e i r lives in the n a m e of ' e d u c a t i o n ' , for c r i m e s no greater t h a n w r i t i n g this article. C h r i s t o p h e r Riley.

A candidate

for death.

This is a n e x t r a c t f r o m p a r t of a n Amnesty Group exhibition on H u m a n Rights, to be h e l d i n the J C R n e x t w e e k , b e t w e e n the 5th a n d 7th M a r c h .

http://www.felixonline.co.uk/archive/IC_1991/1991_0896_A  

http://www.felixonline.co.uk/archive/IC_1991/1991_0896_A.pdf

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you