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Tag: Martial Arts

18
June 9, 2012 Posted by tahir in Travel

Kabul airport, Afghanistan

Daydreams and nightmares are the currency of Kabul airport, a realm awash with raw adrenaline, lost hope and off-the-scale corruption. For those flying out, the Afghan capital’s airport has a warm hazy aura. Get to the ramshackle departure lounge and you’ve run a terrifying gauntlet. By the time you reach the broken plastic chairs on the upper level, and the stall selling Marlboros, flat Perrier and stale Pringles, you’ve most likely been threatened and patted down hard. A stream of crooked officials are on standby, eager to coax stray weaponry from your underwear. And they’ll gladly extract a few last dollars too (no worn bills, please) for the privilege of a boarding card.

For those landing at Kabul airport, entering the squalid belly of the terminal building is like stepping into a Jean-Claude Van Damme movie: guns, guns, and more guns – most of them strapped to towering mercenary types with blonde ponytails and cast-iron jaws. The last time I flew out of Kabul, my film crew and I were relieved of all our Super 16 exposed film – a month’s work. The reason? We didn’t have $20,000 in cash for a last-minute bribe.

From The Guardian article ‘Travel writers’ favourite tiny and unusual airports

What’s your favourite tiny and unusual airport? Have you been to any of the airports on this list?

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Pipeline

With experience I learned that it wasn’t good enough writing one article and then starting work on the next when the first was done and dusted. Rather like a basket maker, I gradually refined the process of creation and started a kind of pipeline. There were several articles in production at the same time. The starting point was an ideas file, which I always tried to keep packed full with stuff, gleaned from as many difference sources as possible — newspapers, books, conversations overheard on a bus etc. Then I’d have the research stage. This would be broken down into the planning, and the actual research. Over time, I refined my methods and learned not to do more work than I needed to do. At the beginning, I used to buy and read entire books for an article on, say, Death Row, but gradually honed this process and so the research could be done very well, but much more efficiently. The writing part was always quite easy, and it should be if your research is in place. It’s actually a relief to write the thing. And then I’d either start with the selling, if I was doing it on spec, or send it to an editor if there was an commission. When I was doing a lot of feature writing, I’d have as many as a dozen articles in the pipeline at any one time… all in different stages of development. It worked very well, and taught me to create in a structured way, something that I later used when writing books.



TS