The Raid

 

THE ALDINGA BAY CAFÉ

Fine Indian Food

Eat in or Take Away

 

They´d been there for 12 years.

A middle aged Indian couple and their teenage son.  

The Aldinga Bay Café.

There were many Indian restaurants in Adelaide and a large Indian community. But at the popular beach side suburb of Aldinga – a good 40 kilometres out of the CBD – there was one.

And it was a good one.

The Aldinga Bay Café became well known and highly regarded, but that didn’t offer any protection on the night when the police turned up ……

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Small Journey

 

 

 Arriving at the outskirts of the town of Ladbergen in southern Germany after a long day on our bikes, we had an interminable job finding the hotel which we had booked for two nights. We finally found it.

It was at the end of town and in the midst of modern houses and leafy streets. We were surprised to see that our hotel was a renovated medieval era building and that opposite it was a very old church with a single high tower surrounded by tombstones. Amidst the overwhelming sterility of modern suburbia, these relics of history were a welcome sight.  The same could not be said however for the Italian ice cream parlour, a short distance from the hotel….then again, it depended on how you saw it.

Ice cream might be a powerful symbol of well being….. even, a nation redeemed …

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The Rise and Fall of Phnom Pen Part 2

The arrival of Khymer Rouge arrive in Pnom Pen in April 1975. This photo appeared in the international news services all over the world – afterwards, nothing was reported. Cambodia was cut off from the rest of the world for 4 years during which a paranoid, maniacal regime turned an entire nation into one big killing field. 

 

One afternoon during one of my regular visits to Phnom Pen between the years 2004 – 2009, I sat in a cafe and watched film clips of the arrival of the Khmer Rouge into Phnom Pen. These were shot by French photographers who were still in Phnom Pen at the time and got out shortly afterwards. They had more luck than an Australian journalist who was captured and tortured to death.  

In the city built by Sihanouk and Van Molyvann, I watched long lines of dour boy soldiers clad in the traditional black pyjamas worn by the peasants, marching through the streets carrying rocket launchers and automatic rifles…..

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The Rise and Fall of Phnom Pen Part 1

 

When I first visited Phnom Pen, it didn´t make a great impression on me.

The main tourist attractions – the Silver Pagoda, the Royal Palace on the Tonle Sap River, and the gruesome relics from the notorious reign of the Khymer Rouge (the S21 torture prison and the Chou Ek ‘killing fields’) could easily be seen in a day or two.

For the rest it just seemed like another sprawling, polluted Asian city.

On future visits, I changed my mind.

There was something unique about Phnom Pen which I liked but I didn´t know what.

Then one day it dawned on me…

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Supermoon! Part 2

The supermoon was due to arrive on the night of April 7, 2019.

Early that evening, Anya and I were sitting in plastic chairs with the astronomical binoculars between us, waiting for the moon to rise.

Above the hills on the distant horizon were clouds and I wondered how much we would see.

On the lawn in front of us was the dome tent we had erected a few days before. The idea was to practice setting it up so that when the lock down was over, we could travel to far deserts and camp out – and at nights, do a bit of stargazing. But once the tent was up, Anya had insisted on leaving it there to remind us of past adventures and the promise of future ones.

A symbol.

Then the supermoon appeared…….

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