Around the World in 80 Poems – Mexico City, China, Mongolia, Russia
Whether you have the wanderlust or you’re wander "lost", whether you have the travel bug or are simply travel sick, whether you’re on top of the world or feel six feet under, this book might be just what you need.
“I’m going travelling whether you come with me or not!” Without this ultimatum from my partner, I may never have stepped off the career ladder to circumnavigate the globe. In April 2006 my girlfriend and I took the plunge and left our comfortable jobs to travel the globe for a year. It was the best decision we made, so good we came back married.
Despite having written little poetry prior to travelling, I decided it might be a great way to document our trip. I started on day one in a hostel in Mexico City. I carried on until the last leg of our journey on the Trans-Siberian Express across China and Mongolia to Russia. Anyway, we returned to the UK in March 2007; I eventually took the advice of my many travel companions and compiled my book which I self-published.
Three hundred and forty five days, sixteen countries, four continents, three hospitals, two wedding rings, one police station and a day lost forever – certainly an unforgettable experience! From burping Mexicans to BBQ rat in Laos, a leap of faith in Vietnam and an irate nun in Russia, my poems follow the ups and the downs of a year in the life of two novice travellers on the backpacker trail. I hope they make you laugh, ponder, cringe and wonder why anyone would quit a comfortable job to circumnavigate the globe.
Let me take you on a taster trip around the world with some of my observations, the serious and the funny that will, hopefully, inspire you to either book the next flight to somewhere new, or convince you to never go on holiday again. Whether you are a globetrotter, a "rather-not-er", read poetry everyday, play on the motorway – sit back, fasten your seatbelt and enjoy the experience. Will these poems give you rhyming reasons to travel the globe…or not?
Pop culture (Mexico)
The Indian people of Chamula
Say “Kushee” instead of “Hola”
And like many other people
They worship Coca-cola
It’s part of their culture
From the workers to the Chief
More than a fizzy pop
Rather a religious belief
In the colours of the corn,
From cans and bottles they slurp
The evil spirits are released
When they belch or burp!
Thailand to Laos on the slow boat
Was an ordeal, not to repeat?
Crammed in like tinned sardines
Bags and people at your feet
Not much to eat, not much to do
On wooden planks you’re sat
Occasionally someone jumps on board
To sell some barbecued rat!
It may take an age to get there
Hard going to say the least
But it’s safer than the speedboats
And you’ll get there in one piece
Leap of faith
How does the traveller cross the road?
With difficulty it would seem
In Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
Motorbikes you will dream
Questions you may ask yourself…
Will I live until I’m old?
Or make it to the other side?
The future is untold
Forget what you have learnt before
Forget the ‘Green Cross Code’
Remember this survival tip
When you have to cross the road:
You must take a leap of faith
Your instincts must be ignored
Don’t try to make a dash for it
Or curl up on the floor
Keep an eye on the traffic
Don’t run, just have belief
Walk slowly as they steer around
That’s it…feel the relief!
Be careful when using a phrasebook
I found this out to my regret
I pointed to the wrong word
A moment that’s hard to forget
In a church in the middle of Russia
With a nun we couldn’t understand
I pointed to "‘atheist" not "agnostic"
Ooops! The fires of hell I’d fanned
Horrified and shocked don’t come close
To describe the look of her disgrace
Thought I’d sent her to heaven early
I hurriedly tried to save face
With a lot of smiles and many nods
We tried to communicate
And patiently listened to her sermon
As it started to get late
If we hadn’t made our move
We would probably still be there
Let this be a warning to you
With your phrasebook do take care!