Memes and genes in Warsaw, Poland

Memes are like genes. They are passed from one generation to the next. But memes are knowledge, conventions, things we learn, like brush your teeth twice a day, what goes up must come down, say your prayers before you go to bed. Like genes, some memes thrive and flourish, others die out.

Vienna, Austria

Looking for the entrance to the sewers that Harry Lime escapes down in the Third Man, somewhere near Karlsplatz. No sign of a cobbled square. Instead a major road junction and a number of modern buildings including a technical university. Some of the trams look like they could date back to 1949 though.

Belgrade, Serbia

Now I’m in Belgrade, in a place called Hot Spot Cafe, just uploading some pics of Macedonia, pausing briefly to read about the conviction of the lyrical terrorist. Saw a demonstration today against (or for) a writer, with demonstrators all in combat gear. Also went to the Nicola Tesla museum – he who invented electric motors and radio (Marconi stole the idea apparently). Getting the train to Hungary tonight, via Budapest.- which reminds me of an old Goon Show: Grytpype: Now, Captain Seagoon Seagoon: Yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes…

Ohrid, Macedonia

I’ve been staying with a family here for the past week: a man, a woman – who approached me at the bus station, or actually it was a guy with her who approached me asking if I needed somewhere to stay, which I did – and an occasional 20 year old son. They invited me into their living room this afternoon for a coffee and then some wine and some pumpkin. They live in the living room at the moment, at least whilst I’m there. The man told me the room I’m now staying in is actually his bedroom. I’m…

Thessaloniki, Greece

I’ve just taken the overnight train from Athens. Sitting in the smoky station cafe waiting for the connection to Skopje, Macedonia, having just eaten a sickly sweet king-size chocolate croissant with Nutella-type chocolate oozing out of it.

Samos, Greece

Paying the bill in the hotel today the woman went through the things I’d eaten or drunk then started saying two and a half hours internet, three hours internet etc.. They had wifi access and I’d been sitting there with my laptop, assuming it was free, not realizing they were noting down how long I was sitting there and charging me for it. There were signs saying internet 3 euros per hour by the computers, but when there’s wifi that’s usually free, except when some charging thing comes up on the screen and you have to put in a credit…

Ephesus Museum. Selçuk, Turkey

American woman talking to museum warden: – I like Turkish people. So would you describe yourself as a European? I’ve been to other countries in Europe and they don’t like us much. The French don’t like us, but in Turkey the people are so friendly. Your Ataturk was a great man, he really brought your country into the modern age, and look at you now: a developed country that’s neither muslim nor christian…

Selçuk, Turkey

This is a small town near to the ruins of Ephesus, the capital of the Eastern part of the Roman empire. I have been told to procure photos of the site so that they may be entered into a database.

Istanbul, Turkey

Sitting on the sea wall where the Bosphorus meets the Sea of Marmara. It’s Ramadan though it doesn’t seem to be as strictly observed here as in Morocco, the other islamic country I’ve been to during Ramadan. There, in Casablanca, I was stopped by a couple of policemen who had spotted me taking a swig from a bottle of water. Though they weren’t so bothered when they realized I wasn’t Moroccan, they still told me it was forbidden. In the more touristy places, such as Marrakech, some cafes were open during the day for tourists, but I only ever saw…

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