T H E S L O W B O A T T O C H I N A
I am very pleased to announce the publication of my first piece of travel literature.
Both a study in common humanity and a memoir of one of the world’s most celebrated overland journeys, The Slow Boat to China focuses on my travels from Tokyo to Moscow with my best friend and traveling companion, mainly using railways such as the Trans-Siberian.
Exploring the nomadic, mysterious cultures of Mongolia and Kazakhstan, as well as the dominating influences of China and Russia, this work depicts a journey which spans a great distance of the globe. Completing the experience are the day-to-day habits of the people of each of these cultures, who fundamentally seek to live in contentedness and in order; together.
Arriving at Skovorodino, the summer I had endured in China, left behind in Mongolia, and briefly rediscovered in Russia’s Far East was dissipating again; this time for good. The trees were now a richer shade of auburn, the curl of the burnt brown leaves a stark reminder of autumn, and the depression in the air was distinctly chillier than any I’d yet to be familiar with.
I wandered from the station up into the town, where there appeared to be little indications of life. I passed a small, simple news agents store. The dirty glass windows obscured the view inside, and the white paint was peeling from the wooden door frame. Here, like everywhere else, simple cafes and bare shop shelves represented life in provincial Russia. There was another of the striking Orthodox churches in town too, a beacon made of sterile brickwork. Here, Orthodox religion casts its watchful eye over an otherwise colourless and down-at-heel stopover. There was no other person on the streets here – I seem to remember the inside of the church was just as quiet as the outside.