Renegade Writings

The collected writings of a Renegade Tourist

Category

Feeling of the moment

New Moon Beach, 5:36 pm

The sun has just started to set, it's noticeably lower in the sky but still bright and warm, shining right at me. My hat shields my face from its rays but I can feel its warmth on my bare chest. It paints a broad streak of silver on the water's surface, like a glimmering road across the tops of the waves, from the ever shifting waterline on the wet sand all the way out to the horizon.  I stand a few feet out in the water with the waves washing over my ankles, watching that strip of silver as if mesmerized by the way it sparkles, drawing in my eyes until I see nothing else. I feel the cool breeze one my back, I feel the sand being washed out from under my feet as I sink down into it, I hear the wooshing of the waves that, though not loud, drowns out the sounds from the people around me. It is a strange thing this, this urge that makes me kick off my shoes and go stand in the water, this instinctive need for meditation that only the ocean can fulfill.

Grand Lisboa Casino, 9:53 pm

The sign at the door said no photo so I’m on the balcony trying to take it all in. Below me is the main floor of the casino, a large hall with plush red carpets, brown panels on the wall that look like leather and all around the room the fixtures and fittings are polished to a golden sheen. About 50 gambling tables, topped in green or red cloth depending on the game, are spread out in the room. At each one of them sits a dealer clad in dark green a jacket, buttoned all the way up, with golden … Read the rest

Wynn Palace, 8:41 pm

Everyone has seen it in some movie or other, the cast stand in front of that fountain in Las Vegas looking at the show in front of them. This is just like that, except it’s not a movie. In front of me is a large pond bordered on this side by the promenade and on the opposite, the Wynn Palace casion with the central building right in front and the wings set at an angle like open arms welcoming you in, it’s facade bathed in a warm golden orange. From the middle of the pond dozens of water jets, lit … Read the rest

Senado Square 11:51 am

I have wandered into the central square of a European city. Around me are old, European style buildings in pastel colors, their facades covered in the kind of decorations you might see in Italy or Spain, their lower floors fronted by arcades. The ground is covered in worn down, black and white stone tiles laid out in a zebra stripe mosaic. In the center is a fountain surrounded by tourists with their cameras. It’s quite astounding how European the place looks, the only thing indicating that I’m in fact thousands of kilometers from Europe are the Chinese characters on the … Read the rest

Chengde temple trail, 7:15 pm

There is a rounded opening in the wall of trees, just big enough for two people to stand side by side, framed by overhanging branches and low bushes silhouetted against the background, a barely perceptible difference between the shades of gray. A path, its gravel surface painted a light gray by moonlight, runs through the undergrowth, undulating slightly as it stretches out to a point somewhere in the distance. Thanks to the full moon my companions and I can navigate the darkness without using our flashlights, it enables us to see the little flickers of light all around us. In … Read the rest

Nanliao beach, 3:29 pm

A vast expanse of grayish brown sand, broken up by a couple of large puddles left over by the receding tide.  Shallow canals winding their way through the wet sand, leading out to a large lagoon of pale blue water, and in the distance the white crests where the waves break over the outer sand bank. The sun shining down from a cloudless sky, topping every unevenness in the sand and every ripple in the water with a dash of silver. The distant roar of the breaking waves fills the air, every other sound seems to have been blown away … Read the rest

Kiroro ski resort, Expert A course, 1:46 pm

It’s cold, if there’s even a slight gap in my armou of winter clothing I feel it immediately. It’s snowing, the icy flakes sting the exposed skin of my face and stick to my beard, forming a frozen mask around my mouth. Visibility is low, at most some 50 meters before the world disappears in a thick milky fog. Given the circumstances you’d think that I’d be miserable but I’m ecstatic; I’m literally ass deep in soft fluffy powder with a snowboard under my feet and it feels like surfing on clouds. Bloody awesome!… Read the rest

Fa Yuan street raised walkway, 4:39 pm

The walkway is raised above the road, allowing pedestrians to navigate the streets without having to deal with the heavy Hong Kong traffic. It’s a couple of meters wide and covered but with open sides, and follows the street for several hundred meters, branching off here and there to follow the smaller side streets. Normally it’s nothing special, just a convenient way to get around, but today is Sunday, when all of Hong Kong’s maids (most of them Malaysian migrant workers) have their day off. Since they have no place of their own they can’t go home, and since Hong … Read the rest

XXX underground club, 00:33 am

The room looks like the basement of a school or something, thats been temporarily converted to a disco; an open space with low ceiling, bare white walls and a couple of support pillars. Against the back wall is a DJ booth on a raised platform and behind it, the letters “XXX” painted in white on a black background. On the left wall is an LED matrix display showing the words “Absurd TRAX – dj sniff”, and on the right wall is powerful light. The entire place is awash in red and blue light and the air is imbued with the … Read the rest

Campbell Lane, 1:39 pm

I’m in the most amazing market I have ever seen! The entire street is full of stalls, crammed so tightly together it’s impossible to know where one ends and the next one begins. In the the middle of the stalls is a narrow passage that is so full of people, both locals and tourists, that you can hardly turn around without bumping into anyone. Nearly every vendor in the market is selling things for the upcoming Deepavali festival. There are entire walls covered in garlands of artificial flowers; there are tables laden with boxes of fireworks; and from the canvas … Read the rest

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