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Everyday Heroes
In times of peace, they were strictly enemies. Mr Wilson sat on his porch, sweating in front of an old desk fan, glowering at the boys who sat in the park, drinking beer on sun-baked afternoons, smoking cigarettes, hawking at the back of their throats, spitting, playing loud music, swearing, intimidating passers-by. They wore Nike-branded…
Caruso
For a few years I lived in the Trastevere district of Rome. I rode a bicycle to work and bought groceries at the market. I lived in a flat at the top of a cobbled alley. All the buildings in the alley were painted a slightly different shade of terracotta; ivy grew on the walls…
Summer Romance
Ten years ago, I lived on an island off the coast of Honduras. It was summer when I was there. It was summer almost all the year. The air was hot and buttery; day lasted long into the night. Through the afternoons, men played dominoes in the shade beneath the mango trees. In the evenings,…
Coronavirus and the Roar of America
I read an article once, by a man whose name I cannot remember, which attributed the differences between occidental and oriental cultures to the incidence of communicable disease. Asia, he argued, has historically been prone to outbreaks of diverse and deadly communicable diseases. As a result, foreigners were treated with suspicion, since foreigner people often…
Life’s Little Joys
The finest and best restaurant on Koh Tao is a cosy little place called Mama‚Äôs. The eponymous Mama is a middle-aged blob of a woman, chubby and churlish, who makes the best chicken soup you may ever set spoon to in your entire life. Her husband is Yeh, a chuckle-faced and kind-eyed man with a…

Astray is run by a team of writers who mostly live, work and play in lutruwita/Tasmania. With reverence, we acknowledge the Tasmanian Aboriginal people as the rightful custodians of the land, which was stolen and never ceded. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging.