Christmas Island

Christmas Island, located at 10°30′S 105°40′E, 500 km south of Java in the east Indian Ocean. An Australian territory since 1957. Area 135 km2, population 2,072 (as of 2011). A place where several migrations intersect: Chinese and Malay ‘coolies’ (i.e. migrant workers, indentured labourers, or slaves) imported by the British to mine the high-quality guano phosphate …

Robben Island

For the past ten days, I haven’t been living where I’m living. I searched for Robben Island on the map, and I’ve been absorbed ever since. Area 5.07 km², pretty much flat, 12 km north-north-west of Cape Town in Table Bay. Roughly oval in shape, yet at first, I found it difficult to describe, from …

Poem to the Senkaku/Diaoyutai mole

There’s a photo-tagging war raging around the Senkaku / Diaoyu / Tiaoyutai Islands on Google Earth, and it’s hilarious. Many of the photographs are accompanied by messages more or less well parsed by machine translation, often with exclamation marks in full patriotic profusion. Images of Chinese rockets and torpedos, annotated with the words “To defend …