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EVERY ROLEX IS MADE FOR GREATNESS. THE DAY-DATE II, L AUNCHED IN 2008 , ENHANCES

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EDITOR’S LETTER

EDITOR’S LETTER
EDITOR’S LETTER A dventure means different things to different people. To some, it means abseiling, bungee

A dventure means different things to different people. To some, it means abseiling, bungee jumping, snowboarding or white-water rafting.

I find that a rather dull definition of what adventure is; for me it means something that combines dislocation (geographic, not physical), a small element of danger and preferably some stunning scenery. This has resulted in me hiking in Afghanistan and northern Iraq, trekking through Ethiopia, diving off the coast of Djibouti and meeting militants in Lebanon, the West Bank and the

Philippines.

Adventure can also mean doing the

unexpected, such as when a fortysomething fashion maven decides to tackle the Hindu Kush, one of the wildest mountain ranges in the world. The typographic cover, designed so brilliantly by Mitch Blunt, is another attempt at doing the unexpected.

Someone else who marched to his own beat was Sean Flynn, son of the legendary actor, Errol. He had a Hollywood career laid out before him, but became a war photographer instead and disappeared in communist-held Cambodia while chasing a story. His friend and room mate in Vietnam, Perry Deane Young, tells us his story. We also feature two cities that are off the beaten track, for very different reasons, but are beautiful in their own way. Sana’a is a city unlike any other, and Tim Macintosh-Smith explains why the Yemeni capital is so magical. Another place that defies categorisation is Pyongyang, the otherworldly North Korean capital. Charlie Crane’s stunning photography captures a place frozen in time. Enjoy the issue.

CONOR@OPENSKIESMAGAZINE.COM

Emirates takes care to ensure that all facts published herein are correct. In the event
Emirates takes care to ensure that all facts published herein are correct. In
the event of any inaccuracy please contact The Editor.Any opinion expressed
is the honest belief of the author based on all available facts. Comments and
facts should not be relied upon by the reader in taking commercial, legal,
financial or other decisions.Articles are by their nature general and specialist
advice should always be consulted before any actions are taken.
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COPIES
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EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Obaid Humaid Al Tayer GROUP EDITOR & MANAGING PARTNER Ian Fairservice GROUP SENIOR EDITOR Gina SENIOR EDITOR EDITOR ae ART DIRECTOR JUNIOR DESIGNER CHIEF SUB EDITOR STAFF WRITER CONTRIBUTING WRITER EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Londressa Flores SENIOR PRODUCTION MANAGER S Sunil Kumar PRODUCTION MANAGER C Sudhakar GENERAL MANAGER, GROUP SALES BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER SENIOR ADVERTISEMENT MANAGER DEPUTY ADVERTISEMENT MANAGER Murali Narayanan ADVERTISEMENT MANAGER EDITORIAL CONSULTANTS FOR EMIRATES: CONTRIBUTORS:

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CONTENTS

CONTENTS

OCTOBER 2011

CONTENTS OCTOBER 2011 OUR MAN IN CHITTAGONG REPORTS ON THE CITY’S SHIP BREAKERS (P37) WE SHOWCASE

OUR MAN IN CHITTAGONG REPORTS ON THE CITY’S SHIP BREAKERS

(P37)

(P37)
(P37) WE SHOWCASE SOUTH-EAST ASIA ’S DIVERSE DIVING SITES  
(P37) WE SHOWCASE SOUTH-EAST ASIA ’S DIVERSE DIVING SITES  

WE SHOWCASE SOUTH-EAST ASIA’S DIVERSE DIVING SITES

 
 

(P41)

(P41)
(P41)
(P41) WE GET THE SCOOP ON EVELYN WAUGH ’S CLASSIC YARN (P43)

WE GET THE SCOOP ON EVELYN WAUGH’S CLASSIC YARN (P43)

(P41) WE GET THE SCOOP ON EVELYN WAUGH ’S CLASSIC YARN (P43)
(P41) WE GET THE SCOOP ON EVELYN WAUGH ’S CLASSIC YARN (P43)
(P41) WE GET THE SCOOP ON EVELYN WAUGH ’S CLASSIC YARN (P43)
   

COPENHAGEN GETS THE MAPPED TREATMENT AS WE DISCOVER ONE

OF THE COOLEST CITIES IN EUROPE (P44)

OF THE COOLEST CITIES IN EUROPE (P44) THE ADVENTURE MOVIE
OF THE COOLEST CITIES IN EUROPE (P44) THE ADVENTURE MOVIE
OF THE COOLEST CITIES IN EUROPE (P44) THE ADVENTURE MOVIE

THE ADVENTURE MOVIE

 

GENRE HAS HAD A SOMEWHAT CHEQUERED PAST (P48)

GENRE HAS HAD A SOMEWHAT CHEQUERED PAST (P48) WE GO
GENRE HAS HAD A SOMEWHAT CHEQUERED PAST (P48) WE GO
GENRE HAS HAD A SOMEWHAT CHEQUERED PAST (P48) WE GO

WE GO

   

SEARCHING FOR STYLISTAS ON THE STREETS OF SAN FRANCISCO

(P58)

(P58) DUBAI HAS A NEW CULTURAL HUB. WE INVESTIGATE THE

DUBAI HAS A NEW CULTURAL HUB. WE INVESTIGATE THE HAS A NEW CULTURAL HUB. WE INVESTIGATE THE

SHELTER, THE UAE’S NEWEST HOT SPOT (P62)

SHELTER, THE UAE ’S NEWEST HOT SPOT (P62) NURISTAN IS ONE
SHELTER, THE UAE ’S NEWEST HOT SPOT (P62) NURISTAN IS ONE
SHELTER, THE UAE ’S NEWEST HOT SPOT (P62) NURISTAN IS ONE

NURISTAN IS ONE

 

OF THE WILDEST PLACES ON THE PLANET. ERIC NEWBY’S HILARIOUS

ACCOUNT OF HIS TRIP THERE IS A TRAVEL WRITING CLASSIC (P70)

ACCOUNT OF HIS TRIP THERE IS A TRAVEL WRITING CLASSIC (P70) A SNAKE, SOME DJINNS AND

A SNAKE, SOME DJINNS AND A CITY OF MAGIC. TIM MACINTOSH-SMITH

TELLS US A SANA’A TALE (P80)

TELLS US A SANA’A TALE (P80) WE LOOK AT THE LIFE AND
TELLS US A SANA’A TALE (P80) WE LOOK AT THE LIFE AND
TELLS US A SANA’A TALE (P80) WE LOOK AT THE LIFE AND

WE LOOK AT THE LIFE AND

   

DISAPPEARANCE OF ERROL FLYNN’S SON, SEAN (P88)

DISAPPEARANCE OF ERROL FLYNN’S SON, SEAN (P88) A
DISAPPEARANCE OF ERROL FLYNN’S SON, SEAN (P88) A
DISAPPEARANCE OF ERROL FLYNN’S SON, SEAN (P88) A

A

   

PHOTOGRAPHIC JOURNEY THROUGH NORTH KOREA’S SURREAL

GIRARD-PERREGAUX Full Calendar White gold case, sapphire case back, Girard-Perregaux automatic mechanical movement. Full
GIRARD-PERREGAUX Full Calendar White gold case, sapphire case back, Girard-Perregaux automatic mechanical movement. Full

GIRARD-PERREGAUX Full Calendar

White gold case, sapphire case back,

Girard-Perregaux automatic mechanical movement.

Full calendar with date, day of the week,

month and moon phase indicators.

CONTRIBUTORS

CONTRIBUTORS
CONTRIBUTORS MITCH BLUNT: Mitch is an English illustrator who has worked with clients including The Atlantic
MITCH BLUNT: Mitch is an English illustrator who has worked with clients including The Atlantic

MITCH BLUNT: Mitch is an English illustrator who has worked with clients including The Atlantic Monthly, Breo Watches, Google and Wired. Mitch is planning on moving to Seoul next year to mix things up and push the idea of working as a freelance illustrator to the limit.

DAYNA EVANS: Dayna lives in Chittagong, Bangladesh, and has written for a variety of websites,

DAYNA EVANS: Dayna lives in Chittagong, Bangladesh, and has written for a variety of websites, including the Sundance Channel. She has a degree in creative writing from NYU and is currently on a 10-month Asian trip.

TIM MACINTOSH-SMITH: Tim has lived in the Yemeni capital, Sana’a, for the best part of

TIM MACINTOSH-SMITH: Tim has lived in the Yemeni capital, Sana’a, for the best part of three decades. He is the author of the prize-winning Yemen: Travels In Dictionary Land, and a trilogy of travel books following Moroccan globetrotter Ibn Battuta.

PERRY DEANE YOUNG: Perry was friends with Sean Flynn, who went missing during the Vietnam

PERRY DEANE YOUNG: Perry was friends with Sean Flynn, who went missing during the Vietnam War. His account of Flynn’s time in Vietnam, Two Of The Missing, perfectly captured the madness of the time. He is also a playwright and historian.

CHARLIE CRANE: Based in London, Charlie has won numerous awards for his photography and has

CHARLIE CRANE: Based in London, Charlie has won numerous awards for his photography and has also directed a number of TV commercials. He has won a Bronze Award at the British Television And Advertising Awards.

INTRO

P. Asian diving P. Dubai’s new hub

P. 64 Istanbul booty

CANADA CONNECTED WE DISCOVER ONE OF THE COUNTRY’S MOST SPECTACULAR WALKWAYS P60
CANADA
CONNECTED
WE DISCOVER
ONE
OF
THE
COUNTRY’S
MOST
SPECTACULAR
WALKWAYS
P60
OUR MAN IN CHITTAGONG BANGLADESH’S SHIP GRAVEYARDS ARE PROFITABLE, BUT DANGEROUS, ENTERPRISES N ine men,

OUR MAN IN

CHITTAGONG

BANGLADESH’S SHIP GRAVEYARDS ARE PROFITABLE, BUT DANGEROUS, ENTERPRISES

N ine men, all wearing

dirty button-down

shirts, are pulling a

metal rope aggressively while chanting a Bangla “heave-ho!” The rope slackens and tightens when the men throw their bodies backward in an attempt to get leverage on the metal ship part they’re pulling toward the shore. The part is 10 times their size. It’s rusted, decrepit, and its prior purpose is hard to identify, but they pull it anyway. This giant ship part is going to make somebody a great deal of money. The ship breaking yards of Chittagong span the Bay of Bengal’s shores and are home to hundreds of ships, thousands of men, and millions — sometimes hundreds of millions — of dollars in gain. The 8,000-tonne German ship that is being dismantled piece by piece was purchased by the yard’s manager and investors for $40 million. Its metal parts will be broken down, thrown into a furnace, and melted into highly profitable steel rods, while everything else – from the ship’s toilets to its bedspreads – will be

sold in market stands on the road out of the yards. The economy of this bayside city thrives off the ship breaking industry and employment has steadily been on the rise since many of the yards opened, this one in 1986. While it is understood that all quick-money industries inevitably have a dark side, the ship breaking industry has many. While I watched men scale 50- foot hollowed-out ships barefoot and shirtless, a yard manager explained how his yard is run. The workers – none of them are younger than 18 – work eight-hour shifts, and they get paid a dollar a day. He says it with a straight face, yet I find it all so hard to believe. While I walk around taking pictures, adolescent faces smile back at me and their elder companions look worn and tired. The life of a ship breaker – dismantling enormous ships with only a blowtorch and rudimentary tools – is not glamorous or lucrative. A man fell to his death from the top of a 60-foot ocean liner in mid-August and is only one

Dayna Evans is an American writer based in Bangladesh.

of at least 50 who will die from the profession this year. But as the yard manager says, “ship breaking is creating jobs”. What it is also creating, however, is an influx of environmental issues. When the ships come into port to be disassembled, they do so at full speed, crashing toward shore and leaving toxic waste behind them. In order to be approved for dismantling, the authorities have to check for hazardous materials first. However, corruption is rampant; the yard manager said no ship had ever been denied. Hazardous chemicals are left to poison the waters, while managers and investors pull in profit. All around, there are men using blowtorches without masks, operating machinery without gloves, and trudging through sand and muck that is littered with rusted slabs of scrap metal. I ask this yard’s manager if purported new health and safety regulations will help. The workers have little money, little health. We are changing this so they can have good futures.”

will help. “ The workers have little money, little health. We are changing this so they

GRAPH

INFORMATION ELEGANCE

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ILLUSTRATION: ZACHARY VABOLIS | WWW.WHOISZACH.TUMBLR.COM 39
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ILLUSTRATION: ZACHARY VABOLIS | WWW.WHOISZACH.TUMBLR.COM 39

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TWITTER PITCH

SOUTH-EAST ASIAN

DIVING

Every month we profile a number of venues in a different city, country or continent. The catch? The companies must be on Twitter and must tell us in their own words what makes them so special. This month, we feature South East Asia’s best diving spots. If you want to get involved, follow us at:

www.twitter.com/openskiesmag

to get involved, follow us at: www.twitter.com/openskiesmag DiveAsia Scuba Diving Center in Phuket, Thailand. Offering
to get involved, follow us at: www.twitter.com/openskiesmag DiveAsia Scuba Diving Center in Phuket, Thailand. Offering

DiveAsia

Scuba Diving Center in Phuket, Thailand. Offering day trips to Phi Phi, Raja, Shark Point as well as Padi Diving Courses and IDC. www.twitter.com/diveasia

Komodo

Scuba

Indonesia’s Komodo Islands are home to some of the best diving in the world. We should know – we dive there every day! Komodoscuba.com! www.twitter.com/komodoscuba

every day! Komodoscuba.com! www.twitter.com/komodoscuba Wicked Diving A small, ecologically friendly dive center

Wicked

Diving

A small, ecologically friendly dive center – diving around Thailand’s Similan Islands. Wickeddiving.com. www.twitter.com/divethailand

Scuba

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Scuba lessons from Andy Davis – a wreck diving fanatic working in Subic Bay, Philippines. PADI, TecRec, SSI and BSAC qualified instructor. www.twitter.com/divephilippines

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For a full range of affordable dive trips in Phuket then drop us a line. Check out our website at www.phuketdiving.org. www.twitter.com/phuket_diving

BOOKED

BOOKED EVELYN WAUGH – SCOOP T h is is Evelyn Waugh at his playful best; a
BOOKED EVELYN WAUGH – SCOOP T h is is Evelyn Waugh at his playful best; a

EVELYN WAUGH – SCOOP

T his is Evelyn Waugh

at his playful best; a

ROOM 356 FRANKFURTER HOF FRANKFURT, GERMANY INTERNET SPEED: 2MB, $20 per day PILLOWS: Four IPOD
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FRANKFURTER HOF
FRANKFURT, GERMANY
INTERNET SPEED: 2MB, $20 per day
PILLOWS: Four
IPOD DOCK: Yes
CLUB SANDWICH DELIVERY TIME:
22 minutes
COMPLIMENTARY SNACKS: Tea &
coffee, fruit, sparkling water
TOILETRY BRAND: Bulgari
DAILY NEWSPAPER: None
EXTRAS: CD/DVD player, TV in
bathroom, walk-in wardrobe
BUSINESS CENTRE: Yes
VIEW: 3/5
RATE: From $250
WWW.STEIGENBERGER.COM/ FRANKFURT
There are very few hotels with
the history of the Frankfurter. Set in
the heart of a very modern German
city, its iconic entrance dominating
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combines old world (huge rooms
and corridors) with the new (Wi-Fi
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with one Michelin Star) edges out
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canopies a Frankfurt landmark. The
service is, as to be expected,
excellent; the rooms are what you
would expect from a turn of the
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light fixtures and teak desks. The
property was a makeshift hospital
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the sense of history is everywhere. It
may not be the city’s hippest hotel,
but it’s certainly the grandest.

comic novel of exquisite

proportions set in the fictional African state of Ishmaelia, where the protagonist, William Boot, is sent to cover a war. Boot, a timid 22-year-old nature columnist with no journalism training, has been mistaken for a novelist of the same name. No matter, for he gets the ‘scoop’ the book is named after, despite arriving in Africa with no ideas and “a quarter of a ton of luggage”. The book is based on Waugh’s own experience covering Mussolini’s invasion of Abyssinia for The Daily Mail. His view of the newspaper business is not hard to decipher: cowering hacks placating press barons, lying, inebriated reporters and above all, the need for ‘news’, no matter whether it be fictional or real. The name of Boot’s paper says it all: The Daily Beast. These themes have been covered countless times before and since, but never with such deft handling. Waugh throttles his subjects with a velvet glove, which makes up for the (at times) slow pacing of the book. A master at work.

Secker & Warburg, 1958

glove, which makes up for the (at times) slow pacing of the book. A master at

MAPPED

COPENHAGEN

Denmark packs both substance and style into its rather compact capital, Copenhagen. Made up of
Denmark packs both substance and style into its
rather compact capital, Copenhagen. Made up
of centuries-old architecture juxtaposed against
sleek new builds, fashionable foreigners love it
as much as locals for its fine-dining restaurants,
design stores and everything in between. Nick
Clarke highlights this autumn’s must-see sights.
WWW.HG2.COM
HOTELS
1.
Nimb
2. The Royal Hotel
3. D’angleterre
4. Avenue Hotel
RESTAURANTS
5.
NOMA
6. Fiskebaren
7. Umami
8. MASH
BARS / CLUBS 9. Ruby 10. Simon’s Nightclub 11. Jolene 12. Vega Natklub GALLERIES 13.

BARS / CLUBS 9. Ruby 9. Ruby

10. Simon’s Nightclub

11. Jolene

12. Vega Natklub

GALLERIES 13. The Danish Natl. Gallery 13. The Danish Natl. Gallery

14. V1 Gallery

15. Frihedsmuseet

16. Galleri Bo Bjerggaard

MAPPED

COPENHAGEN

HOTELS 1 NIMB 2 THE ROYAL HOTEL 3 D’ANGLETERRE 4 AVENUE HOTEL Framing the famous
HOTELS
1 NIMB
2 THE ROYAL HOTEL
3 D’ANGLETERRE
4 AVENUE HOTEL
Framing the famous
fringes of the Tivoli
Gardens, Nimb may only
have 14 suites but what
it lacks in lodgings it
makes up for downstairs
with four restaurants
and two sleek bars.
Danish designer Arne
‘Egg Chair’ Jacobsen put
the finishing touches
As famous as the
clientele that stays
here – Hans Christian
to
this iconic building
back in 1960. 606 is the
only room in which
Jacobsen’s classic
original décor remains.
Andersen included –
this is Copenhagen’s
undisputed super-stay:
steeped in more than
250 years of history.
Found in leafy
Frederiksberg, it’s housed
inside a 19th-century
townhouse with 68
rooms. There’s no
restaurant,but there’s a
breakfast room, a patio
and a buzzing bar.
RESTAURANTS 5 NOMA 6 FISKEBAREN 7 UMAMI 8 MASH Here, in a converted 18th-century warehouse,
RESTAURANTS
5 NOMA
6 FISKEBAREN
7 UMAMI
8 MASH
Here, in a converted
18th-century warehouse,
Nordic nosh with an
emphasis on local
ingredients is served up.
Understated interiors
allow the food to take
centrestage.
Found in the trendy
Meatpacking District,
Fiskebaren is one of the
city’s hottest tables. And
it’s not hard to see why.
Danish seafood is the
order of the day: the fish
and chips is excellent.
The cuisine is high-end
Japanese served up with
MASH is a carnivore’s
hunting ground: the
a
French twist: seared
mouthwatering menu
foie gras with eel and
sake-steamed mussels
are must-tries. Go on a
weekend night when the
DJ spins funky tunes.
is
meat-centric, with
bloodthirsty diners
gorging on doorstep-sized
steaks accompanied by
sumptuous sides.
BARS/CLUBS 9 RUBY 10 SIMON’S NIGHTCLUB 11 JOLENE 12 VEGA NATKLUB Hidden behind the façade
BARS/CLUBS
9 RUBY
10 SIMON’S NIGHTCLUB
11 JOLENE
12 VEGA NATKLUB
Hidden behind the
façade of an 18th-century
apartment building,
Ruby is hard to get in.
But once you’ve got in,
you enter a space of high
ceilings, Chesterfields
and bookcases.
Relatively new kid on
the block, Simon’s is
housed in an old art
gallery. There are dwarves
behind the bar and ballet
dancers on the dance
floor. Extremely hard to
get in, but worth it.
Found inside a converted
slaughterhouse, Jolene
1990’s stalwart Vega is
as popular now as it was
is open for free Wi-Fi
hawks during the day
and underground scene
queens by night. It’s small,
intimate and attracts a
crowd of hipsters.
back then: and for good
reason, comprising a
network of concert halls,
nightclubs and bar in
one circular, brick-built
venue. Bags of character.
GALLERIES 13 THE DANISH 14 V1 GALLERY 15 FRIHEDSMUSEET 16 GALLERI BO NATIONAL GALLERY A
GALLERIES
13
THE DANISH
14
V1 GALLERY
15
FRIHEDSMUSEET
16
GALLERI BO
NATIONAL GALLERY
A
haven for younger
Proving once and
BJERGGAARD
700 years of cultural
history are packed in to
Copenhagen’s largest
museum, and visitors
line up to view everything
from installations to
abstract photography.
artists in Copenhagen,
V1 is the perfect platform
for new talent. White
walls and a concrete floor
allow the art to do the
talking, most of which is
quite inexpensive.
for all that size isn’t
everything, this small
museum in Churchill
Park tells the touching
story of Denmark’s
courage during WWII:
Just recently relocated to
the Meatpacking District.
Inside this hip gallery is
European art from the
late 20th-century with
a
particular slant on
a
very poignant place.
photography and video.

FLICK

CELLULOID DISSECTED

Why Hollywood Loves Adventure Mark Powell By
Why Hollywood Loves
Adventure
Mark Powell
By

D iscuss adventure movies today, and it’s highly likely that the first titles to

spring into your conversation will be the gigantic summer blockbusters that inevitably surf in on a wave of shark-eyed merchandise tie-ins. Lunchboxes, action figures and video games are all now regular precursors to the actual premieres of these films: Jurassic Park, Pirates Of The Caribbean and Harry Potter. These movies are CGI extravaganzas, filmed on vacant sets in front of giant green screens, with 90 per cent of their visual fireworks edited in after the actors have performed their action sequences and moved on to other projects. Adventure films of the modern era are pretty

much wholly reliant on a series of staggeringly costly illusions. But was this always the case? Well, not exactly: back in the genre’s initial 1930-40s era, even the most swashbuckling epics still knew a thing or two about keeping it real. Errol Flynn, Clark Gable and Tyrone Power were the stalwart adventure heroes of the day, fending off waves of cannonballs, poisoned arrows and love rivals in titles such as The Black Swan, The Mark Of Zorro and Adventures Of Don Juan. Stunts and effects have always been part of large-scale moviemaking, but those early forays into macho fantasy were a far cry from our modern obsession with schoolboy wizards. So how did we

get here, and have we lost some of that grittier early spirit of adventure along the way? Investigate the evolution of the genre through the 1950-60s, and you’ll still spot plenty of familiar- sounding titles in the early years — films such as Treasure Island and Ivanhoe all stuck to the motifs of moustachioed swordsmen, smouldering damsels and wild beasts. But then things change; by the mid- 1950s, we see films such as Forbidden Planet, The Time Machine and Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea. As the rate of scientific progress exploded and humankind’s journey into the oceans and space ploughed onward, Hollywood tried to stay ahead of the curve.

From the mid-1960s until the early 1980s, one name became synonymous with the blurring of the lines between adventure and fantasy — that of animation genius Ray Harryhausen. His trademark stop-motion visual effects now perfectly demonstrated the increasing power of cinema to act as a mirror for even our wildest flights of fancy: during this period, key Harryhausen movies like Jason And The Argonauts, The Golden Voyage Of Sinbad and Clash Of The Titans gradually became the standard at which all adventure epics felt compelled to aim. The influence of this era on cinema has never really faded. It’s obvious across the Indiana Jones titles —

arguably the most iconic of the genre’s latter-day franchises. As techniques have evolved yet further, so too have the environments and enemies our modern heroes struggle against. Couple that with a growing industry realisation throughout the 1980s and 1990s that merchandising to young cinemagoers was more lucrative than the movies themselves, and it’s only a short hop, skip and jump to the position we find ourselves in today. While it may be easy to lament the apparent shift in fashion away from the real-world settings and historical overtones of golden era Hollywood adventuring, it’s important to note that we’re now in an enviable position of choice: for every Avatar, there’s

been a Ridley Scott/Russell Crowe reboot of Robin Hood; alongside each successive Harry Potter, we’ve had new versions of Gulliver’s Travels, Conan The Barbarian, and yes — even Clash Of The Titans. In fact, it seems the biggest threat to the whole adventure genre at the moment comes from mainstream cinema’s increasingly maddening obsession with remakes. If CGI is the one force in Hollywood currently encouraging us to push out and beyond into previously uncharted territory, then we arguably owe it a debt of gratitude in retrospect. 3D, on the other hand… well, that’s a bile-flecked rant for another issue altogether.

gratitude in retrospect. 3D, on the other hand… well, that’s a bile-flecked rant for another issue

SKYPOD

DUBAI-BASED SOUL AND JAZZ VOCALIST RACHAEL CARRADINE PICKS HER PLAYLIST

SOUL AND JAZZ VOCALIST RACHAEL CARRADINE PICKS HER PLAYLIST HUMAN NATURE — MICHAEL JACKSON This song

HUMAN NATURE — MICHAEL JACKSON This song has such a beautiful melody. I love the way Michael sings it, what a talent he was.

THE SUN RISING — THE BELOVED

I remember in the late 1990s,

BBC Radio One played this song during a solar eclipse just as sun came back out —

it was magical!

solar eclipse just as sun came back out — it was magical! TANTO TEMPO — BABEL

TANTO TEMPO — BABEL GILBERTO This whole album is just so chilled out but Tanto Tempo is my favourite track. It reminds me of one of my sisters back in the UK. It brings back some hilarious memories too.

back in the UK. It brings back some hilarious memories too. IT’S MY LIFE — TALK

IT’S MY LIFE — TALK TALK

I listen to this when things start to get

me down. It’s a great uplifting tune and

the video, with all the animals running around, is fabulous.

THE PLANET SUITE — GUSTAV HOLSTE This was my first proper introduction to classical music. My dad had it on vinyl when I was very young. If you listen carefully you can hear how it influenced all ‘space’ theme tunes since, including Star Trek and Star Wars.

WWW.THEFRIDGEDUB AI.COM

I KEEP FORGETTIN’ — MICHAEL MCDONALD The groove of this song is so cool; I also love the way it lifts in the bridge. I’m a fan of anything he does, but this song is one of my favourites.

of anything he does, but this song is one of my favourites. COULD YOU BE LOVED
of anything he does, but this song is one of my favourites. COULD YOU BE LOVED

COULD YOU BE LOVED — BOB MARLEY I picked this song, but I really could have picked anything by Bob Marley. I used to play his Natural Mystic album on repeat. Think I’ll dig it out and get to know it again.

PORTUGUESE LOVE — TEENA MARIE Anyone who’s into soul, hip hop or R&B should definitely listen to Teena Marie’s material. She broke down many walls with her incredible voice and was one of the only white artists signed to the Motown label back in the day. This song is the obvious choice.

NEGGHEAD — POINTLESS PRESSURE I love this track because it’s from one of my favourite
NEGGHEAD —
POINTLESS PRESSURE
I love this track because it’s
from one of my favourite labels
(www.waxonrecords.com) and I
often have it playing on repeat.
Good vibes.

I AM THE BLACK GOLD OF THE SUN — ROTARY CONNECTION The vocals on this track are incredible. The Nuyorican Soul version is great too, but the original is still the best, Minnie Ripperton is amazing. Les Fleurs is another great tune of theirs too.

ILLUSTRATION BY VESNA PESIC

ILLUSTRATION BY VESNA PESIC LOCAL VOICES HOW TO ACCESS OUR INNER STRENGTH FEELING THE FEAR WAEL

LOCAL VOICES

HOW TO ACCESS OUR INNER STRENGTH

FEELING THE FEAR

WAEL AL SAYEGH WONDERS WHERE THE ADVENTUROUS SPIRIT OF PAST GENERATIONS HAS GONE TO

D o you ever wonder why tomato juice tastes so much better on a plane

and why some movies make far better sense when viewed 30,000ft in the air? Ever thought about why five minutes feels like 10 when you’re travelling? When we travel, we are reunited with our ‘adventurer selves’. With destination set and path determined, our senses are heightened, our souls tuned to the frequency of the expanding universe. We are aligned with its flow, its energy, its force. We feel at home. One of the most respected European adventurers ever to visit Arabian sands was Sir Wilfred Thesiger (1910-2003). What made Thesiger different from other travellers was his true adventurer’s spirit. He didn’t come to teach us how life should be, but instead embraced our way of life and journeyed

alongside us. He was a student of our land and our people; he came to learn, not to preach, he came to explore and discover, not to sow and reap. In return he was given love, respect and even an Arabic name, Mubarak Bin London. I was privileged to be amongst the few students in my school who had the chance to meet this legendary man and hear him speak. The brief encounter was memorable. His tall stature and distinctive nose gave him great presence in a culture where these features are much valued. His eyes were almost hypnotic, past the stage of having any distinct colour. The wrinkles on his hands and face resembled the ripples of the desert sands of the Empty Quarter, which he managed to cross twice. The pictures of him on our school walls showed him in full Bedu attire, and with his beard, turban, a chain of

camels, and a khanjar (Arabic dagger) proudly strapped to his waist, it was almost impossible to think of him as being non-Arab. In fact, it wasn’t until we were told who he was — an adventuring Englishman from Oxford — did we come to understand that he was an outsider. His key message to the gathered students has remained with me ever since; ‘Don’t lose what your grandfathers had’. Thesiger was referring to our ancestors’ way of life, one that had

adventure and exploration at the very heart of it. Whether on land or at sea, the element of the unknown was present. Pearl divers would annually take part in expeditions that meant they had to live on a boat for almost half the year. Storms and piracy were an everyday hazard. The Bedu, with their ‘desert ships’, would cover long distances every day with the threat of invading tribes and robbers, all the while battling the environmental challenges of some of the world’s most hostile terrain.

Despite, or perhaps because of, the many threats and risks of that time, our grandfathers and grandmothers lived every moment in the present and thus fully tasted and appreciated life in a way our cursing, mall-hopping generation finds hard to fathom. Our grandparents were financially poor compared to us today, but they were far richer in personality and charisma. They were thin and lanky, but they could handle all the pressure

A BRIEF HISTORY OF EXPLORERS

1304 1454 1788 1813 Ibn Battuta was the original globetrotter, set- ting off from Morocco
1304
1454
1788
1813
Ibn Battuta was the
original globetrotter, set-
ting off from Morocco
in 1325. He travelled
through North Africa,
the Middle East and
China, eventually
returning home 29
years later. The veracity
of his writings has been
questioned, but no one
doubts his wanderlust.
Something of a
workaholic, Amerigo
Vespucci was a
navigator, financier,
cartographer and an
explorer. The Americas
are named after him,
which might explain
why Columbus had
some issues with him.
An Italian icon of
exploration.
The interpreter and
guide for the Lewis and
Clark Expedition,
Sacagawea has long
been a symbol for
American women and
Native Americans. She
was kidnapped twice as
a child, but survived;
and took part in one of
the country’s great
historical moments.
David Livingstone was
a Scottish mission-
ary who popularised
the ‘scramble for
Africa’with his journeys
across the continent.
His religious zeal was
combined with a Prot-
estant work ethic. He
died in Africa, aged 60,
riven with malaria and
dysentery.
54

life could throw at them with a smile and a twinkle in their eye. Their souls were tempered by the adventurer way of life. All of us, Arab or not, still have access to this tempered inner strength, even in our modern age. The only thing standing between us and our ‘adventurer selves’ is a four letter word: Fear. Today, most of us live in the warmth of our own comfort zones, so much so that when fear knocks on the door we mistake it for an

enemy instead of recognising it for what it is, a source of an emotional energy that can help us live the life of the adventurer. If unutilised, this energy roots us to the ground and we become chained to a life of no surprises, no excitement and ultimately no happiness. This is, unfortunately, all too common in the modern world. When we adventure, we break this cycle. Fear is the fuel that helps us do that. Fear is the best friend an adventurer has.

LOCAL VOICES

That is why travelling and adventure are seen by many cultures as a spiritual journey and not merely physical transportation from point A to point B. The great mystic poet Rumi called the holy voyage into adventure ‘Night Travelling’, where the word night is used to represent our fear. Adventure is a purifying experience because it propels us outside what is comfortable to where real living begins. This is something we should all try and experience.

begins. This is something we should all try and experience. 1877 1887 A true Renaissance Man,
begins. This is something we should all try and experience. 1877 1887 A true Renaissance Man,
1877 1887
1877
1887

A true Renaissance Man, William Beebe was a biologist, explorer, naturalist, author and ornithologist who helped popularise scientific writing in the early 1900s. His deep sea diving and field trips mark him out as one of the world’s first conservationists.

The first woman to fly over the North Pole, Louise Arner Boyd, was also a polar bear hunter, an avid Arctic explorer, and one of the first people to conquer the icy swathes of Green- land. She was honoured by the American and Norwegians and is revered to this day.

by the American and Norwegians and is revered to this day. 1923 1934 Yuri Gagarin was
1923 1934
1923
1934
and Norwegians and is revered to this day. 1923 1934 Yuri Gagarin was the first man

Yuri Gagarin was the first man to journey into outer space, and became a Soviet hero after he landed in 1961. His mission sent the Americans into a panic and started a full scale battle to explore space. Gargarin died seven years later when his MiG jet crashed.

The ultimate American hero, Chuck Yeager flew for more than 60 years and was the first person to break the sound barrier in 1947. He flew missions in WWII and Vietnam and his deep, sooth- ing drawl has been mimicked by pilots worldwide. A legend.

He flew missions in WWII and Vietnam and his deep, sooth- ing drawl has been mimicked
He flew missions in WWII and Vietnam and his deep, sooth- ing drawl has been mimicked
He flew missions in WWII and Vietnam and his deep, sooth- ing drawl has been mimicked

55

He flew missions in WWII and Vietnam and his deep, sooth- ing drawl has been mimicked
He flew missions in WWII and Vietnam and his deep, sooth- ing drawl has been mimicked
He flew missions in WWII and Vietnam and his deep, sooth- ing drawl has been mimicked

MY TRAVELLED LIFE

BENEDICT ALLEN, 51, EXPLORER

INTERVIEW

MY TRAVELLED LIFE BENEDICT ALLEN, 51, EXPLORER INTERVIEW ON TROUBLE The only trouble I ever seem
MY TRAVELLED LIFE BENEDICT ALLEN, 51, EXPLORER INTERVIEW ON TROUBLE The only trouble I ever seem
MY TRAVELLED LIFE BENEDICT ALLEN, 51, EXPLORER INTERVIEW ON TROUBLE The only trouble I ever seem

ON TROUBLE

The only trouble I ever seem to have from humans are when encountering other people like me, not adventurers, but outsiders. Opportunists such as loggers, drug runners, gold miners – have been a big problem.

ON EXPLORING
ON EXPLORING

While I was at university, I kept trying to find ways that would allow me to be an explorer.

I knew I wasn’t cut out for the army, and

I didn’t have any money – but I thought

that there must be a way. There are people living in Borneo and in the Amazon who don’t have any money either and I thought

I could live with people like these, and

that is how the expeditions came to pass.

I turned to local people in places we would consider inhospitable.

ON THE LOCALS
ON THE LOCALS

When I put myself at the mercy of the local people they were incredibly hospitable – even people in the towns would warn me that there were wild cannibals that would eat me. But no matter where I have been, people would welcome me. I was no threat, I didn’t usually have a gun – I was just by myself.

ON KIT
ON KIT

I always have a survival kit around my waist, with things such as waterproof matches,

a spare compass. I also have a special white

penknife, which is easier to find at night or in tropical places, which is where I tend to go. I have two young children now, so I take photos of them with me to remind myself what I am coming back to. If you are ever in a bad posi- tion you need to have something to fight for.

ON ISOLATION
ON ISOLATION

I have gone 30 days without seeing a person

before. In terms of ‘civilised’ people, crossing

the Amazon basin took me seven and a

half months and I only came across mainly indigenous people. Being totally alone is hard, but those are the survival situations you find yourself in. The thing with survival situations is that life is beautifully simple – all you have to do is get out of them.

ON CLOSURE
ON CLOSURE

Including my last book, Into The Abyss, I have written 10 books. The writing is the closure of each expedition; I have to get everything out of my system. After the physical bit, there is the mental bit – writing about your findings. That’s what exploration is about; building on people’s knowledge of places.

bit – writing about your findings. That’s what exploration is about; building on people’s knowledge of
bit – writing about your findings. That’s what exploration is about; building on people’s knowledge of

STREET PEEP ER

SAN FRANCISCO WWW.STREETPEEPER.COM

STREET PEEP • ER SAN FRANCISCO WWW.STREETPEEPER.COM DIGITAL MARKETING All vintage SHOP ASSISTANT All Paul Smith

DIGITAL MARKETING

All vintage

WWW.STREETPEEPER.COM DIGITAL MARKETING All vintage SHOP ASSISTANT All Paul Smith J.Crew shirt Lanvin shorts

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DIGITAL MARKETING All vintage SHOP ASSISTANT All Paul Smith J.Crew shirt Lanvin shorts JP Tod’s shoes

J.Crew shirt Lanvin shorts JP Tod’s shoes Club Monaco belt

shirt Lanvin shorts JP Tod’s shoes Club Monaco belt DORIAN BUSINESSMAN Pierre Cardin jacket, vest and

DORIAN

BUSINESSMAN

Pierre Cardin jacket, vest and pants Optimo hat John Lobb shoes

FASHION EDITOR Vintage jacket and dress Chanel bag DSquared shoes STYLIST Levi’s vest American Apparel

FASHION EDITOR

Vintage jacket and dress Chanel bag DSquared shoes

EDITOR Vintage jacket and dress Chanel bag DSquared shoes STYLIST Levi’s vest American Apparel T-shirt J

STYLIST

Levi’s vest

American Apparel T-shirt

J Brand pants Salvatore Ferragamo shoes

Apparel T-shirt J Brand pants Salvatore Ferragamo shoes MUSICIAN Vintage jacket Disney sweatshirt Ralph Lauren

MUSICIAN

Vintage jacket Disney sweatshirt Ralph Lauren pants

Vintage jacket Disney sweatshirt Ralph Lauren pants REBECCA SHOP ASSISTANT See by Chloé dress

REBECCA

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See by Chloé dress Seychelles shoes

PLACE

ARCHITECTURE

MAPPED

CAPILANO SUSPENSION BRIDGE

PLACE ARCHITECTURE MAPPED CAPILANO SUSPENSION BRIDGE 60
IMAGE: MICHELLE LEE
IMAGE: MICHELLE LEE

STORE

URBAN CARTOGRAPHY SHELTER DUBAI CREATIVE SPACE

D ubai is known for many things — big buildings, big brands and big money — but

not as a creative hub. At least not yet. But there is a change afoot in the dusty industrial area of Al Quoz, where the well-hidden collection of innocuous warehouses known as Al Serkal Avenue has already become home to a number of art galleries. Now, twin brothers Rashid and Ahmed Bin Shabib – editor in chief and publisher of local bi-monthly art

magazine Brownbook respectively – have moved Shelter, which Rashid describes as a gathering place for creatives to share ideas, to the area. Shelter originally opened in 2007 in another, more isolated, Al Quoz location, but the brothers have been looking for the opportunity to move to the heart of the creative community for the past four years. “We always worked closely with local galleries, and our remoteness in the old space was counterproductive,” says Rashid. “Clusters work better for projects like this, and the community is very happy with the move.” The brothers enlisted the skills of Japanese architect Takeshi Murayama to create a functional yet environmentally sensitive space within an existing warehouse. “We’ve used OSB boards made up of wood debris,” says Rashid. “That element of recyclability and avoiding waste is very much in line with our philosophy. A lot of people preach,

and avoiding waste is very much in line with our philosophy. A lot of people preach,

IMAGE: BAHR AL ALUM KARIM

whereas we are really doing it.” The result is an impressive two-floor, modular wooden house

whereas we are really doing it.” The result is an impressive two-floor, modular wooden house construction within what is a typical warehouse space, built of recycled wooden sheets with a number of glassless windows cut into them. There is also a bookstore, a café and a library. “Takeshi Murayama’s work is very distinctive,” explains Rashid. “His style is rooted in Japanese architecture — minimalism, usability of small spaces and functional pockets, all of which you see at the new Shelter.” The upper floor features a small meeting room and desks for creatives to come in between 9am and 6pm to work on their laptops, study for exams or plan their next project, with the more open downstairs space set aside for film screenings and a programme of educational seminars — a major focus for the Bin Shabib brothers. The topics of the monthly seminars range from independent fashion and retail across the Middle East to publishing, food and farming. “Education is a big part of what we do,” says Rashid. “They will be held three times a week and will be free to all.” And with Shelter also looking to hold 30 events in collaboration with local creatives, the space will provide a welcome boost to the creative scene.

space will provide a welcome boost to the creative scene. Shelter, Warehouse 30, Al Serkal Avenue,

Shelter, Warehouse 30, Al Serkal Avenue, Al Quoz, Dubai, (971) 4 3809040; www.shelter.ae

BOOTY ISTANBUL WE BAG HALF A DOZEN QUIRKY KNICK KNACKS IN THE CITY’S BAZAARS
BOOTY
ISTANBUL
WE BAG HALF A DOZEN
QUIRKY KNICK KNACKS
IN THE CITY’S BAZAARS

1

1

Backgammon Board, $12. An entertaining café pastime or an attractive and quirky coffee table trinket.

The Grand Bazaar, Çemberlitas

2

2

Haci Bekir, Turkish Delight, $12. The locals call it lokum, and Haci Bekir makes the best in the city. Delicious.

Hamidiye Caddesi 83, Eminönü

3

Vintage Watch, $18. You might need to wind it every 10 minutes, but it’s definitely an original.

The Grand Bazaar, Çemberlitas

3

4

Turkish Coffee Set, $26. Enjoy Istanbul’s best coffee in in the comfort of your own home.

Kurukahveci, Tahmis Sokak, 66 Eminönü

of your own home. Kurukahveci, Tahmis Sokak, 66 Eminönü 4 5 Retro Orient Express Film Poster,

4

5

Retro Orient Express Film Poster, $4. A reminder of travel’s glory days for your study wall.

Medicye Mah Hazine SK, 2/A Ortaköy

5

6

Atatürk Fridge Magnet, $1. Say hello to the father of the Turkish nation every time you go to grab the milk.

Ortaköy Sunday Market

6

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SAHARA RACE

Adventurers take to Cairo as they race across 250km of desert. www.racingtheplanet.com
Adventurers take to Cairo as they race
across 250km of desert.
www.racingtheplanet.com

COMIC-CON

New York hosts one of the largest pop- culture geekfests in America. www.newyorkcomiccon.com
New York hosts one of the largest pop-
culture geekfests in America.
www.newyorkcomiccon.com

MIDDLE KINGDOM, MIDDLE EAST

The first Chinese art exhibition in Dubai will feature 25 works of art. www.galleryetemad.com
The first Chinese art exhibition in
Dubai will feature 25 works of art.
www.galleryetemad.com
Dubai will feature 25 works of art. www.galleryetemad.com ATP WORLD TENNIS FINALS The top eight players
ATP WORLD TENNIS FINALS The top eight players in the world play each other in
ATP WORLD TENNIS FINALS
The top eight players in the world
play each other in London.
www.barclaysatpworldtourfinals.com

IBA ANNUAL CONFERENCE

The International Bar Association’s annual conference takes place in Dubai. www.ibanet.org
The International Bar Association’s
annual conference takes place in
Dubai. www.ibanet.org

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October

MAIN

P. 88 the last action hero P.

A SANA’A TALE MAGIC AND MYSTERY THE OF YEMEN’S CAPITAL. AND A SNAKE P80
A SANA’A
TALE
MAGIC AND MYSTERY
THE
OF
YEMEN’S
CAPITAL.
AND
A SNAKE
P80

ILLUSTRATIONS: MITCH BLUNT || WWW.MITCHBLUNT.COM

ILLUSTRATIONS: MITCH BLUNT || WWW.MITCHBLUNT.COM 70
w ith all the lights on and the door shut to protect us from the
w ith all the lights on and the door shut to protect us from the

w ith all the lights on and the door shut to protect us from the

hellish draught that blew up the backstairs, the fitting room was like an oven with mirrors. There were four of us jammed in it: Hyde-Clarke, the designer; Milly, a very contemporary model girl with none of the normal protuberances; the sour-looking fitter in whose workroom the dress was being made; and Newby. Things were not going well. It was the week before the showing of the 1956 Spring Collection; a time of endless fittings, the girls in the workroom working late. The corset- makers, embroiderers, furriers, milliners, tailors, skirt-makers and matchers all involved in disasters and overcoming them – but by now slightly insane. ‘You MUST stand still dear; undulation will get you nowhere,’

Hyde-Clarke said. He stood up breathing heavily and lit a cigarette. There was a silence broken only by the fitter who was grinding her teeth. ‘What do you think of it now, Mr Newby?’ he said. “It’s you who has to sell it.’ ‘Much worse, Mr Hyde-Clarke.’ (We took a certain ironic pleasure in calling one another Mister.) ‘Like one of those flag poles they put up in the Mall when the Queen comes home.’ Hyde-Clark was already putting on his covert coat. ‘We’ll try again at two. I am going to luncheon’. He turned to me. ‘Are you coming?’ he said. We went to ‘luncheon’. In speech Hyde-Clarke was a stickler in the use of certain Edwardianisms, so that beer and sandwiches in a pub became ‘luncheon’ and a journey in his dilapidated sports car ‘travel by motor’. As we batted our way up Mount

Street through a blizzard, I screeched in his ear that I was abandoning the fashion industry. ‘I saw the directors this morning and told them I had just had a book accepted for publication.’ ‘It isn’t true is it? I can hardly visualise you writing anything.’ ‘That’s what the publishers said, originally. Now I want to go on an expedition.’ ‘Aren’t you rather old?’ ‘I am just as old here as on an expedition. You can’t imagine anything more rigorous than this can you? In another couple of years, I’ll be dying my hair.’ ‘In another couple of years you won’t have any to dye,’ said Hyde-Clark. On the way back from ‘luncheon’, while Hyde-Clarke bought some

A SHORT WALK

A SHORT WALK Scotch ribs in a fashionable butcher’s shop, I went into the Post Office

Scotch ribs in a fashionable butcher’s shop, I went into the Post Office in Mount Street and sent a cable to Hugh Carless, a friend of mine at the British Embassy, Rio de Janeiro. CAN YOU TRAVEL NURISTAN JUNE? It had taken me 10 years to discover what everyone connected with it had been telling me all along, that the fashion industry was not for me. Hugh Carless. Who had replied so opportunely to my cable, entered the Foreign Service in 1950. The son of a retired Civil Servant, he is, like so many Englishmen, in love with Asia. For a time he was posted to the school of Oriental Studies, from where he emerged with a good knowledge of Persian; then to the Foreign Office, from which he frequently disappeared on visits to industrial plants; once he went down a coalmine. His Persian being both fluent and academic, he was lucky to be posted to our Embassy in Kabul where he could actually make use of his talents. Hugh had subsequently been transferred to Rio de Janeiro, but the seed [of Afghanistan] had been planted. Hugh’s telegram [agreeing to the Nuristan trip] was followed by a great spate of letters, which began to flow into London from Rio. They were all at least four pages long, neatly typed in single spacing – sometimes two would arrive in one day. They showed that he was in a far more advanced state of mental readiness for the journey than I was. It was as if, by some process of mental telepathy, he had been able to anticipate the whole thing. It was all heady stuff, but then, quite suddenly the tone of the letters changed.

I don’t think we should make known our ambition to go to Nuristan. Rather I suggest we ask permission to go on a

Climbing Expedition. There are some good and unclimbed peaks of about 20,000 feet, all on the marches of Nuristan. One of them, Mir Samir (19,880) I attempted with Bob Dreesen in 1952. We climbed up to some glaciers and reached a point of 3,000 feet below the final pyramid. A minor mishap forced us to return.

He was already deeply involved in the clichés of mountaineering. I re- read his 1952 letter and found that the ‘minor mishap’ was an amendment. At the time he had written ‘one of the party was hit on the head with a boulder’; he didn’t say who. I was filled with profound misgiving. In cold print 20,000 feet does not seem very much. But I had never climbed anything. I had never been anywhere that a rope had been remotely necessary. It was useless to dissemble any longer. I wrote a letter protesting in the strongest possible terms and received by return a list of equipment that I was to purchase. Many of the objects I had never heard of: two Horeschowsky ice-axes; three-dozen Simond rock and ice pitons; six oval karabiners (2,000lb. minimum breaking strain); five 100ft nylon ropes; six abseil slings; Everest goggles, Grivel, ten point crampons; a high altitude tent; an altimeter; Yukon pack frames – the list was endless. It was the second week in May. I was leaving in a fortnight. To add to my troubles I now received a letter from Hugh. It was extremely alarming. I read it to Hyde-Clarke. ‘These three climbs will certainly be a good second-class mountaineering achievement. But we will almost certainly need with us an experienced climber.’ ‘I thought you said he was an experienced climber.’ ‘So did I.’

Eric Newby and Hugh Carless travelled to Istanbul, before setting off by ferry and then by car to Tehran, and eventually to Meshed in the south of the country.

A little beyond Meshed we stopped at a police post in a miserable hamlet to ask the way to the Afghan Frontier and Herat. I was afflicted with the gastric disorders that were

we passed through but not feel it and the only smells were from the fumes of our exhaust and the foul pipes; vistas we would have gladly lingered over had we been alone were gone in an instant and forever. If there is any way of seeing less of a country than from a motorcar I have yet to experience it. The air was full of dust and, as the sun set, everything was bathed in a blinding saffron light.

sun set, everything was bathed in a blinding saffron light. I re-read his 1952 letter and

I re-read his 1952 letter and found that the ‘minor mishap’ was an amendment. At the time

he had written ‘one of us hit on head with boulder’

time he had written ‘one of us hit on head with boulder’ to hang like a

to hang like a cloud over our venture. Hugh seemed impervious to bacilli and, as I sat in the vehicle waiting for him to emerge from the police station, I munched sulphaguanadine tablets gloomily and thought of the infected ice cream he had insisted on buying at Kazvin on the road from Tabriz to Tehran. Five miles beyond the police post the road forked left for the Afghan Frontier. It crossed a dry riverbed with banks of gravel and went up past a large fortified building set on a low hill. But whoever was driving seemed possessed of a demon who made it impossible ever to stop. Locked in the cab we were prisoners. We could see the country

There was not a house or village anywhere, only a whitewashed tomb set on a hill, and far up the river bed, picking their way across the grey shingle, a file of men and donkeys. Here for me, rightly or wrongly, was the beginning of Central Asia. Now the country was wider still, the road more twisting, with a range of desolate mountains to the west dimly seen in the flying sand. The only occasional people we met were

A SHORT WALK

roadmenders, desiccated heroes in rags, imploring us for water. To the left was the Hari-Rud, a great river burrowing through the sand, and we pointed to it as we swept past, smothering them in dust, but they put out their tongues and waved their empty water skins and cried ‘namak, namak’ [water, water] until we knew

the river was salt and were shamed into stopping. At times the river was so insubstantial that it tapered into nothingness, sometimes it became

a lake, shivering like a jelly between

earth and sky. Sixty miles farther on we arrived at Herat. On the outskirts of the city, raised by Alexander and sieged and sacked by almost everyone of any

consequence in Central Asia, the great towers erected in the fifteenth century by Gauhar Shah Begum, remarkable wife of the son of Timur Leng, King Shah Rukh, rose into the sky. Only a few of the ceramic tiles the colour of lapis-lazuli, that once covered these structures from top to bottom, still remain in position. By the time, later that day, we left Herat it was dark. All night we drove over shattering roads, taking turns at the wheel, pursued by a fearful tail wind that swirled the dust ahead of us like a London fog. If it had been possible we should have lost the way, but there was only one road. It seemed impossible for the road to get worse, but it did: vast pot-holes large enough to contain nests of machine- gunners; places where it was washed away as far as the centre, leaving a six-foot drop to ground level; things Hugh called ‘Irish Bridges’, where

a torrent had swept right through

the road leaving a steep natural step at the bottom; all provided a succession of spine-shattering jolts. Whereas the previous night we had

natural step at the bottom; all provided a succession of spine-shattering jolts. Whereas the previous night
J O H N NI W A LK ER R EM I N DS Y

JOHNNI

WALKER REMINDS YOU TO DRINK RESPONSIBLY

W .D INKIQ.COM THE JOHNNIE WALKER AND BLACK LABEL WORDS, THE STRIDING FIGURE DEVICE AND
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A SHORT WALK

only met two lorries in the hours of darkness, there were now many monster American vehicles loaded with merchandise to the height of a two-storied house, each with its complement of piratical-looking men hanging on the scramble nettings, who jumped off to wedge the wheels on the steep gradients, while the passengers huddled together, making the crossing on foot, groaning with apprehension. Sticky with melon we arrived at a town called Girishk on the Helmand River. There, under a mulberry tree, squatted the proprietor of a chaikana, a

avenues, newly asphalted, past Russian steamrollers still ironing out the final bumps, to the principal hotel. We were five days late. It was Friday, 5 July, 1956. In a month we had driven nearly 5,000 miles. Our journey was about to begin. We left Kabul on 10 July. Our destination was the Panjshir Valley and The Mountain. The last hope of recruiting an expert mountaineer had now expired. During our short stay in the capital we had been extremely discreet about our capabilities or rather our lack of them, but still no one had come

or rather our lack of them, but still no one had come He was a fine-looking

He was a fine-looking bearded man, nearly always a bad sign in Asia, where fine looking bearded men leave you in the lurch at the worst times

bearded men leave you in the lurch at the worst times long-headed grey-bearded Pathan, chanting a

long-headed grey-bearded Pathan, chanting a dirge on the passing of a newly founded civilization, no new thing in this part of the world. He railed against the Americans until the oil lanterns that were tied to the trees began to flicker and go out one by one. “You will be in Kandahar in two hours,’ he went on. ‘The Americans built the road; they have not taken that away.” It was as he said. The road was like a billiard table. The following morning we arrived in Kabul and drove down the great ceremonial

forward. With us in the vehicle were Ghulam Naabi [a local cook Carless had used on a previous expedition] and one of the private servants from the Embassy, a fine-looking bearded man with loyal eyes. This is nearly always a bad sign in Asia where fine-looking bearded men with loyal eyes have a habit of leaving you in the lurch in the most inconvenient moments – but this particular specimen really was faithful. The road climbed a pass where gangs of

Hazaras, round-headed Mongols in the uniform of the Afghan Labour Corps were widening it, using Russian steamrollers. Immediately the lugubrious air that hangs over the visitor to Kabul in an almost visible cloud was dispelled, and we entered the Koh-i-Daman, rich upland country. Our spirits rose. Now that we were near our destination, Ghulam Naabi began to identify the scenes of the various mishaps that had overtaken him and Hugh on the road when they were last there in 1952. “Here I was overset in a lorry with Carless Sahib.” “You never told me that,” I said to Hugh. “It was nothing, the driver lost his head. Ghulam Naabi was a bit shaken, that’s all.” Another mile. We ground up a really steep piece covered with loose stones. “Here we had a puncture.” A little farther and we reached a place where the radiator had boiled over. It seemed impossible that such a short distance could encompass so many misfortunes. I asked Hugh about the passes into Nuristan. “Don’t mention the word Nuristan when we come to hire the drivers, otherwise they won’t come. They’re terrified of the place.”

A SHORT WALK

Newby, Carless and their guides did eventually reach the Hindu Kush, but their multiple attempts to climb Mir Samir, an unclimbed glacial peak of 20,000 feet, ended in failure. After a series of near misses, brushes with death, sickness, unfriendly natives, and hostile conditions, the two inexperienced climbers turned back towards the Panjshir and Kabul. As they returned they came across one of the world’s great explorers: Wilfred Thesiger.

We crossed the river by a bridge, went up through the village of Shahnaiz and downhill towards the lower Panjshir. “Look,” said Hugh, “it must be Thesiger.” Coming towards us out of the great gorge was a small caravan. We had been on the march for a month. We were all jaded; the horses were galled because the drivers were careless of them and their ribs stood out because they had been in places only fit for mules. The drivers had run out of tobacco and were pining for their wives; there was no sugar, no jam, no cigarettes and I was reading The Hound Of The Baskervilles for the third time; all of us suffered from dysentery. The ecstatic sensations we had experienced at a higher altitude were beginning to wear off. It was not a gay party.

Thesiger’s party consisted of two villainous-looking tribesmen dressed like royal mourners in long overcoats reaching to the ankles; a shivering Tajik cook, with bright red hair, unsuitably dressed for Central Asia in crippling pointy brown shoes and natty socks supported by suspenders, but no trousers; the interpreter, a gloomy-looking Afghan in a coma of fatigue, wearing dark glasses, a double-breasted lounge suit and an American hat; and Thesiger himself, a great, long-striding crag of a man, with an outcrop for a nose and bushy eyebrows, forty-five years old and as hard as nails, in an old tweed jacket worn by Eton boys, a pair of thin grey cotton trousers, rope-soled Persian slippers and a cap comforter. “That cook’s going to die,” said Thesiger; hasn’t got a coat and look at

to die,” said Thesiger; hasn’t got a coat and look at England’s gone to pot said

England’s gone to pot said Thesiger as we lay smoking the interpreter’s King Size cigarettes

as we lay smoking the interpreter’s King Size cigarettes his feet. We’re nine thousand if we’re

his feet. We’re nine thousand if we’re an inch here. How high’s the Chamar Pass?’ We told him 16,000 feet. “Get a coat and boots, do you hear?” he shouted in the direction of the fire.

After two hours the chickens arrived; they were like elastic, only the rice and gravy were delicious. Famished, we wrestled with the bones in the darkness. “England’s going to pot,” said Thesiger, as Hugh and I lay smoking the interpreter’s King Size cigarettes, the first for a fortnight. “Look at this shirt, I’ve only had it three years, now it’s splitting. Same with tailors; Gull and Croke made me a pair of whipcord trousers to go to the Atlas Mountains. Sixteen guineas – wore a hole in them in a fortnight. Bought half a dozen shotguns to give to my headmen, well-known make, twenty guineas apiece, absolute rubbish.” He began to tell me about his Arabs. “I take off fingers and there is a lot of surgery to be done; they’re frightened of their own doctors because they are not clean.” “Do you do it? Cutting off fingers?” “Hundreds of them,” he said dreamily, for it was very late. “Lord, yes. Why, the other day I took out an eye. I enjoyed that.” “Let’s turn in,” he said. The ground was like iron with sharp rocks sticking up out of it. We started to blow up our air-beds. “God, you must be a couple of pansies,” said Thesiger.

“God, you must be a couple of pansies,” said Thesiger. Eric Newby left the fashion business

Eric Newby left the fashion business and became an award-winning travel writer.

a couple of pansies,” said Thesiger. Eric Newby left the fashion business and became an award-winning

A Snake Came to My Parapet

A Sana a Tale

how a slithery visitor helped explain YEmen's magical capital . by tim macintosh- smith

8080

ILLUSTRATIONS: CHRISTIAN MONTENEGRO

A SANA’A TALE

I have good reason to be grateful to the ancient South Arabian kingdom of Saba, the biblical Sheba; not least, as will become clear, for the

snake up on the parapet of my house here in Sana’a. There is little solid fact about Sana’a, the capital of Yemen, in the time of Saba. The city lies at a junction of two major trade routes — from the desert to the sea, and along the spine of the mountain range — so it was probably important for a good few centuries BC. By the third century AD it was home to Ghumdan, the skyscraper palace of the Sabaean kings — 10 storeys or more and topped, the old historians said, with a ceiling of alabaster and with eagles and lions of bronze that shrieked and roared when the wind blew. Beyond that, we don’t know much. The reason for the gap in historical knowledge is that Sana’a is virtually unexcavated. Occasional bits and pieces of Sabaeic inscriptions are visible, built into the walls of existing houses. The Great Mosque, founded by order of the Prophet

Muhammad (PBUH) in about AD 627, contains re-used columns and other masonry that probably came from the next-door site of Ghumdan, and from a cathedral built in the sixth century when the Ethiopians ruled Yemen for a few decades. But the site of the pre-Islamic city itself is an archaeologist’s dream, a virgin tell. And so it will remain, for the ruins are inhabited — covered by the dense urban hive of the later city, itself an architectural masterpiece. Tower-houses, some themselves going back many hundreds of years, crowd the southern end of the ruin- mound where Ghumdan stood. Going north you pass through the

blacksmiths’ suq, a maze of tiny workshops and flying sparks (they still make things here!). At the north end of the hillock, where the ninth-century palace of the Abbasid

(they still make things here!). At the north end of the hillock, where the ninth-century palace
(they still make things here!). At the north end of the hillock, where the ninth-century palace
(they still make things here!). At the north end of the hillock, where the ninth-century palace
(they still make things here!). At the north end of the hillock, where the ninth-century palace

governors stood, you reach the donkey market — and, among others, my house.

This is partly why I’m grateful to the Sabaeans. My five-storey house is not especially tall by Sana’a standards. Some of its grander neighbours go up, in subconscious imitation of the palace of Ghumdan, eight or nine floors. But being on the tail end of the ancient tell, my house has that extra height — and a view, a view that haunts my dreams when I’m away, a view that always brings me back. The manzar, the top-floor ‘viewing-room’ that I added when I moved in, is fine enough inside, with its windows of alabaster and coloured glass and its verse- inscription in stately thuluth script

– ‘Paris is beneath you in beauty, O

Sana’a, and so too are London / And the capitals of the Romans and the Americans… ‘ But it’s when you open the shutters — the sounds of braying donkeys and clanging blacksmiths

float up — that the verse makes sense:

immediately beyond the low parapet of my miniscule roof-terrace lie the buildings of the suq, punctuated, further away, by sporadic tall houses; there’s a splash of green, a palm and

a pepper-tree in a garden; and then

the eye is drawn by a wandering line of minarets — exclamation marks in the cityscape, marking the mosques of al-Shahidayn, Aqil, Salah al-Din, al-Bakiriyyah. Over to the right is the dome of the Ottoman mosque in the fort, standing out white against the tawny background like a giant ostrich egg; to the far left, another building

obtrudes — the Mövenpick Hotel. The Mövenpick’s escarpment of mirrored glass is a reminder that we don’t live in a time-warp; that,

in fact, the only constant in the Sana’a scene is its great backdrop, the crouching lion-coloured mass of Jabal Nuqum. The mountain looms over the city from the east, watching the comings and goings of its rulers:

Sabaeans, Himyarites, Ethiopians, Persians, Umayyads, Abbasids, then a bewilderment of local dynasties interspersed with a couple of periods of Ottoman rule and the ins and outs of the Zaydi imamate; the declaration of a republic in 1962; what next? The weather can be as busy as the

in 1962; what next? The weather can be as busy as the The mountain looms over

The mountain looms over the city, watching its rulers: Sabeans, Persians, Abbasids, Ummayads

watching its rulers: Sabeans, Persians, Abbasids, Ummayads history. As we’re so high up – 2,300m, with

history. As we’re so high up – 2,300m, with the peak of Nuqum another 600m above — the lighting of the scene is fickle. In certain seasons the mountain disappears in a grey- out of desert dust, blown from the distant Empty Quarter. In spring and summer, thunder-clouds rant and roll around the surrounding plain, crackling with electricity; by the grace of God, rain falls — in deluges, followed by an almost painful clarity in which it seems that every rock on the mountainside is visible. Most days, rain or shine, the late-afternoon sun bronzes the city’s buildings and the bare crags of Nuqum. Then, best of all, comes maghrib-time, when the sun slips behind the jagged rim of mountains to the west, and Sana’a and Nuqum radiate an afterglow, luminous against a fragile sky of

jagged rim of mountains to the west, and Sana’a and Nuqum radiate an afterglow, luminous against

A SANA’A TALE

A SANA’A TALE eggshell blue; until, at last, shapes and colours dissolve, and slowly the lights

eggshell blue; until, at last, shapes and colours dissolve, and slowly the lights come on behind other windows, like mine, of coloured glass and alabaster. One shape remains in the immediate darkness outside my window, an even darker, serpentine line, visible against the plastered parapet: a snake! As snakes go, this one is pathetic, a handspan long, perhaps a foot if it could be stretched out; little more than a worm. Besides, as snakes go, this one goes nowhere. It was

a worm. Besides, as snakes go, this one goes nowhere. It was Sana’a is apparently protected

Sana’a is apparently protected by two talismans in the form of vipers and other snakes

by two talismans in the form of vipers and other snakes beaten out of an iron

beaten out of an iron rod by one of the clanging blacksmiths down below. But it has a certain elegance, and it makes up for its shortcomings with a long pedigree. Writing nearly 1,000 years ago in his History of Sana’a, al-Razi explained that ‘Sana’a is protected by two talismans in the form of vipers and other snakes, and it is rare indeed that these creatures harm anyone. As for death from snakebites, such a thing has never been heard of… One of these talismans is of iron,

never been heard of… One of these talismans is of iron, and the other of bronze,

and the other of bronze, and they used to be on the main gate of the city. The first, which was in the place known as al-Qasabah, was made in pre-Islamic times. The iron talisman is now on the gate of al-Misra, where the blacksmiths work today; the other is on the gate of al-Kashwari.’ It all sounds highly fanciful. But the odd snake of pre-Islamic vintage does indeed turn up — I have a photograph of a bronze one with a human head, of obscure significance. Then again, we know that the Sabaeic word S3H R (a suitably sibillant, serpentine word, even if the vowels aren’t known) meant ‘an amulet to protect a building’; in Arabic, the cognate sih r means ‘magic’. Today, some houses in Sana’a have snakes carved on the stones of their facades – undulating, like my iron one, or coiled spring-tight, as if to leap. Older people who know about such things say that they scare actual snakes away. As did al-Razi’s talismans, they work like Beware Of The Dog signs, but inverted: Snakes Beware! Apart from these pest-controlling serpents of stone and metal, snakes have played a long role in Arab folklore as the guardians of treasure. As far back as the sixth century AD, a Meccan named Abdallah ibn Jad’an claimed to have come across

the burial cave of some Jurhumites, members of an ancient local tribe. The cavern also
the burial cave of some Jurhumites, members of an ancient local tribe. The cavern also
the burial cave of some Jurhumites, members of an ancient local tribe. The cavern also

the burial cave of some Jurhumites, members of an ancient local tribe. The cavern also contained an Ali Baba stash of gold and gems, and was guarded by a golden snake with ruby eyes. The belief in snake guardians is still very much alive. When I was about to move into my house on the Sabaean ruin mound, I heard odds and ends of rumours – of a recurring dream experienced by the previous occupant concerning treasure hidden in the house, and of a mysterious snake that had been glimpsed, coiled on a shelf in a first-floor room, ‘not a real snake, you know, but a guardian, from the jinn’. When I did move in I found, in that same first-floor room, a very real small bottle of a type sold in the apothecaries’ suq. It was empty, but it had an Arabic label that said,

‘Oil Of Violets: For Expelling Jinn And Afrits’. And, all over the house, I found equally real holes in the plaster of the walls, where my predecessor had performed her treasure-hunting excavations. (Did she find anything?) Passing through the blacksmiths’ suq on the day of the move, I spotted the elegant iron talisman and bought it immediately. I was thinking partly of flesh-and-blood snakes: in my old house I’d surprised one in the kitchen one day — after a lively chase, it was dispatched with a heavy coffee-roasting spoon. Now I judged that prevention, even by ancient and dubious means, would be better than cure. But, I asked the blacksmith, thinking of jinn-snake- guardians, would it see off supernatural as well as everyday snakes? He smiled. ‘God is the one who

A SANA’A TALE

knows… To be honest, there’s not much call for them these days.’ I nailed the talisman above my front door and for several years saw no snakes, natural or supernatural. Mā fi ‘l-h anash illā ra’sih, says a Yemeni proverb: ‘there’s nothing to a snake but its head’ — meaning, Go for the head and you get rid of the problem. I seemed to have nailed, on the head, the problem of unwelcome slithering visitors. But the story of my talisman of ancient lineage has a tail, a tail to the tale, and the tail has a twist. A couple of years ago, the iron snake fell off the wall. I nailed it firmly back. It fell off again… my suspicions turned to the numerous small children who live in my alley. For some time they’d been coming out with questions like, ‘Is it true that you keep snakes in your house, all wriggling around?’ Not wanting to disappoint them, I’d never denied it. (It has been known. Tennent’s Ceylon mentions a gentleman of Negombo who kept guard-cobras: ‘They glide about the house, a terror to thieves, but never attempting to harm the inmates…‘) As for the iron snake, I took it inside and put it on a shelf to gather dust.

The very next morning, a visitor came. The fact that he’s the Middle East correspondent of a respectable British daily newspaper is not essential to the story; but the other fact, that I had a witness of his stature, is reassuring. What I was about to see was no hallucination. We were sitting in my manzar, my top room with the view, when I happened to mention the errant metal snake. ‘Oh!’ my visitor suddenly said. He was staring out of the window. ‘Look behind you.’ A prickle ran down my spine. I turned — and there, catching the sun as it looped, leisurely, along the parapet, was an elegant, foot-long, metallic-grey snake.

Its tail had hardly slid over the edge when I went and retrieved the talisman and hammered it on to the parapet. It remains there, on guard, overlooking that magical view. No more snakes have come, so far.

that magical view. No more snakes have come, so far. Tim Macintosh-Smith is an award-winning writer

Tim Macintosh-Smith is an award-winning writer who has lived in Sana’a for decades.

more snakes have come, so far. Tim Macintosh-Smith is an award-winning writer who has lived in
more snakes have come, so far. Tim Macintosh-Smith is an award-winning writer who has lived in

THIS IS SEAN FLYNN. HIS FATHER WAS ERROL FLYNN. SEAN WAS DESTINED FOR MOVIE STARDOM, BUT HE CHOSE A DIFFERENT PATH. HE DROVE A MOTORCYCLE INTO COMMUNIST HELD-TERRITORY IN CAMBODIA ON APRIL 6, 1970 AND WAS NEVER SEEN AGAIN. THIS IS A STORY ABOUT YOUTH, WAR, AND DEATH. ABOUT LOVE, FRIENDSHIP, AND GETTING THE PHOTO. THIS IS HIS STORY. BY HIS FRIEND, PERRY DEANE YOUNG.

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THE MANY MYSTERIES OF SEAN FLYNN

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SEAN FLYNN

B eautiful. That was how Michael Herr described Sean Flynn in his brilliant book, Dispatches. Sean was

indeed beautiful, no question about it, and outwardly calm no matter how desperate the situation. He had the perfect manners of an old-fashioned gentleman, and yet there always seemed to be inner voices calling to him from some dark place deep within, urging him on to mysterious ventures. How else do you explain his obsession with weapons. His fascination with mortal combat in Vietnam. And, of course, his final journey down a road in Cambodia he knew he might never return from. Sean’s actor father, Errol, had the grace to say, “he looks like me, but better.” And Errol himself was no slouch when it came to looks. For nearly 30 years he was the ultimate swashbuckling hero to moviegoers the world over. Errol was Ivanhoe and Don Juan and Jeb Stuart and

Captain Blood and General Custer and Gentleman Jim Corbett. As film executive Jack Warner said of him: “He was all the heroes in one magnificent sexy, animal package.” His escapades off camera only added to that image. Errol was a fantasy figure to millions of people, but he was the very real father of my friend, Sean. It didn’t help that his son grew up in the precise physical image of his father. Sean’s mother, the French-born actress, Lili Damita, had been the real star when she met the poor Australian actor on a boat to America in 1935. Lili had starred in several major silent movies, but, like so many others, she was unable to make the transition to talkies. After marrying Errol, she never made another movie. After Sean was born in 1941, Errol would write in his memoir, My Wicked Wicked Ways, Lili’s real career became suing him for all he was worth. She took Sean to live in Palm Beach, Florida, as far away from Errol and Hollywood as she could get.

as far away from Errol and Hollywood as she could get. SEAN FLYNN AND TIM PAGE

SEAN FLYNN AND TIM PAGE WORKING AS PHOTOGRAPHERS IN VIETNAM

SEAN FLYNN AND TIM PAGE WORKING AS PHOTOGRAPHERS IN VIETNAM One of his grade school teachers

One of his grade school teachers remembers Lili running so hard in the parent-son races she fell on her face. “I was mother, father, everything to him,” she told me. “I did it all myself.” She felt a young boy should know all about guns so she took him to have shooting lessons from a colourful character with a range outside town. It was the beginning of Sean’s lifelong fascination with weapons. Sean was a senior at the Lawrenceville School in October of 1959 when Errol died in Canada, at the age of 50 and in the company of his teenage girlfriend, Beverly Aadland. When young Sean attended his father’s funeral at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in

his father’s funeral at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in As an actor, Sean was as unconvincing

As an actor, Sean was as unconvincing as his father had been a true natural

was as unconvincing as his father had been a true natural Glendale, CA, he caught the

Glendale, CA, he caught the eye of all the old pros in Hollywood. Hy Seeger, George Hamilton’s agent, said, “He was maybe the most beautiful boy I had ever seen.” George had also grown up in Palm Beach and he and Sean had been friends since they met before a judge on separate speeding charges. When the 20-year- old George was filming Where the Boys Are in Fort Lauderdale in 1959, he got a walk-on part for his friend Sean, who was 18. Sean’s mother was ferocious in her opposition to a film career for her only child. It would take a year before she relented and allowed him to sign with Seeger as his agent.

AMERICAN COMBAT HELICOPTERS ON A SEARCH AND DESTROY MISSION IN SOUTH VIETNAM IN 1967

By that time, Sean was a freshman at Duke University. He had been at Duke only about three months when he got the offer from director Harry Joe Brown to star in The Son Of Captain Blood, a sequel to his father’s first big film, which Brown had also directed. As an actor, Sean was every bit as stiff as his father had been natural and convincing in his cutthroat roles. One reviewer said Sean, “seems like

a nice boy, which is going to be his handicap for some time to come.” When Sean set off to film another

B movie in Spain in 1961, he left

Hollywood for good, returning only

for one or two brief visits. Only one of his movies was ever seriously reviewed. His mother gave him her mother’s apartment in Paris that became his base camp for various hunting trips to Africa. When he set off for Vietnam in January of 1966, he was pursuing “the sole great adventure,” and one his father had never experienced. Errol was ridiculed for playing heroes in the movies but was ineligible for service in the Second World War. The Hearst papers sent him to cover the Spanish Civil War, but he turned tail and ran at the first signs of danger.

Sean arrived in Saigon carrying two suitcases, a suit, an attaché case, a camera and a tennis racket. A letter from Paris-Match got him his accreditation. Having never worked as a journalist or photographer, he set off to cover the war. He had no deadlines, so he was able to stay out with the troops as long as he wanted. The Green Berets adopted him as one of their own. A Green Beret officer told me: “The guys fell in love with him; they thought he was the greatest thing going. They identified with him because he was willing to take his share of the

SEAN FLYNN

chances.” No other correspondent had such access to missions. And Sean came out with pictures such as the ones of prisoners being tortured, which nobody had gotten before. The stories under Sean’s byline were not the shallow observations of a movie swashbuckler, they were sensitive stories about the “real stupidity of war.” In one, Sean described an American captain crying as he watched a Vietnamese child dying of shrapnel wounds. After he moved into moving film, Sean began stockpiling hours and hours of film with the ambition of producing the ultimate documentary on war. After the “Five O’clock Follies” — the daily American press briefing — one day in Saigon, Sean encountered Tim Page. They became instant friends, the war’s odd couple. On the surface, the two seemed polar opposites and yet they would become the kind of bosom buddies that can only happen in the midst of war. Tim was every bit as gregarious as Sean was careful, contained, polite. Invited to an embassy party, the two showed up in Viet Cong style black pajamas. Timothy John Page was born May 25, 1944 in a suburb of London. He was 21 years old when he managed to get the only pictures of a coup in Laos that led to a staff job with UPI. It didn’t take long for Tim to move on up to Life; that’s where the money was. Tim was first wounded by “three pieces of shrapnel up the bum” in September of 1965. During the Buddhist riots in Danang in July of 1966, Tim was hit in the hand and face, with blood spurting all over him. Sean commandeered a Marine jeep, strapped Tim on the front on an

old wooden door and sped off to the military hospital. After this, Tim was taking no-risk assignments like a visit to the Coast Guard cutter, Point Welcome. Incredibly, the ship was bombed and strafed by American F-4 fighter jets on nine different passes. Two Coast Guardsmen were killed. Tim counted 800 pieces of shrapnel in his body and carefully saved his hospital bills and mailed them to the Secretary of the Air Force. If Sean had a charmed reputation as one of the lucky ones everybody wanted to be with, Tim was the opposite. One colleague said he was “a walking magnet for shrapnel.” A collection was taken up to get him out of the country. He left with Sean to film the worst, and last, of his bad movies, this one called Cinq Gars Pour Singapore or Five Guys For Singapore. Tim went off to America where he proudly got himself arrested (for drugs) on stage with The Doors. When the Singapore film had its premiere in Paris, Tim and Sean were together again, arriving in Tim’s taxi in jeans and T-shirts. One night at the Ritz in London, George Hamilton got a call from hotel security that two suspicious guys in black pajamas wanted to see him. “That’s no Viet Cong,” said George. “That’s Errol Flynn’s son.” George had a reputation for going out with President Johnson’s daughter while dodging the draft. Sean said he ought to see the war for himself, “things are more clear-cut there.” That made no sense to George and he urged Sean to come back and resume his acting career. Sean had taken fencing lessons and done all the superficial things, but he had never

taken acting lessons “and he had the depth to be a good actor.” George never saw his friend again. The next thing he heard, Sean was in the Six Day War in Israel and then he was back in Vietnam after the Tet Offensive began in January of 1968. I had arrived in Saigon the night before Tet and had made the rounds of all the New Year’s Eve parties. At 3am, my office called and said, “Come to work if you can get across the street.” I covered the fighting in Saigon, then flew to Danang where I was in and out of the siege at Khe Sanh and the battle for Hue. To me, it was all so overwhelming it never seemed quite real to me. I was watching a movie and so never felt the very real dangers. And, one afternoon at the Danang Press Center, Sean Flynn walked onto the set of my movie.

THE LAST PHOTO OF SEAN AND DANA
THE LAST PHOTO OF SEAN AND DANA

Sean turned up in Saigon with a suitcase, a suit, a camera and a tennis racquet

movie. THE LAST PHOTO OF SEAN AND DANA Sean turned up in Saigon with a suitcase,

SEAN FLYNN

SEAN AND HIS FATHER ERROL ON A FISHING TRIP NEAR LAS VEGAS IN 1951
SEAN AND HIS FATHER ERROL ON A FISHING TRIP NEAR LAS VEGAS IN 1951

Understated does not begin to describe him. Soft-spoken, almost shy, he seemed an utter contradiction to the legend that preceded him. He quietly asked if I wanted to walk down along the riverfront with him. It is the quiet times like this that I remember; hanging out at the little cottage of our soul mates, Dana and Louise Stone, lazy afternoons at the Pink House on China Beach. Off course, Tim was not far behind. He showed up one night at the Saigon airport – with all his camera equipment, but with no visa, no money and no accreditation. A group of us went out to help him through customs. Tim had arrived just before “mini-Tet” and with money from a Life magazine cover, he was staging lavish banquets for his friends in no time. He soon recruited me to join him in renting the other half of a huge apartment on Tu Do Street where Sean and UPI photographer Nik Wheeler lived. It was an open clubhouse. John Steinbeck IV, son of the author, was soon a regular. John explained that he and Sean were instant friends “because we both had a name that was only partly our own.” For my own goodbye to Vietnam, the whole group took off for a weekend jaunt in December 1968. I then set off on my own tour of the Orient, from Hong Kong to Singapore to Bali and then back up the Malay peninsula to the Thai capital, Bangkok. Sean and I were in Vientiane, Laos, when he received a telegram from Saigon: “VOTRE AMI EST GRAVEMENT BLESSE ET PEUT-ETRE MOURIR.” [Your friend is gravely wounded and perhaps to die.] After a wild night out, we flew back to Saigon to see Tim.

I could not imagine a more hideous end to our war adventure as we slowly made our way down the long rows of mutilated young soldiers now laid out like sides of beef, their lives ruined at such a young age. Tim was not expected

to live and if he did, he might never walk again. Tim, of course, is a survivor. He would go on to a distinguished career as

a photographer and author of books. Sean, meanwhile, wrote out his own will and then took off to Indonesia, where he fell in love with a high

took off to Indonesia, where he fell in love with a high Sean and Dana drove

Sean and Dana drove around a Communist roadblock and into enemy territory

drove around a Communist roadblock and into enemy territory school girl named Lacsmi. The next we

school girl named Lacsmi. The next we heard, Sean was in jail. A taxi

driver had assumed his girlfriend was

a prostitute and arranged a paid date

for her. Sean went after the driver, his john and his Mercedes, with a baseball bat. We never heard how Sean got out of that one, but he was soon back in Saigon with tales of his

idyllic life in Bali. He was going to live out his life on that peaceful isle. Dana and Louise were now living in the old apartment. They had left the war for good but, like Sean, Dana was always drawn back to it. He became

a CBS cameraman and was sent

into Cambodia just days before the American incursion. Sean couldn’t stand the idea of missing out on this new phase of the war and he soon joined Dana at the Hotel Royale in Phnom Penh. Dana and Sean rented two bright red brand new Suzuki motorcycles. The

next morning the two set for the town

of Chi Pou near the Vietnamese border. A government-led tour for other correspondents caught up with Sean and Dana, some would remember overhearing them. The two sat arguing at a teashop. Dana talked about the danger of what Sean wanted to do; Sean said of course it was dangerous “but that’s what makes it a good story.” Sean tossed Dana’s keys into

a puddle and set off alone. Dana quipped, “Sean’s trying to scoop me” and rushed after him. The other correspondents watched in amazement as the two drove around

a Communist roadblock and headed

into enemy territory. By that time, I had a newspaper job in New York. Although Herr had described Vietnam as “the happy childhood none of us ever had,” he had also written of the aftermath when “it seems the dead have only been spared

lot of pain.” When a friend at UPI called up to tell me they’d been captured, I blurted out: “I wish to hell I were with them.” You could not grieve for them as you would for others lost in the war. They were there because they wanted to be there; and they were fully aware of the dangers that took their lives. Their images will live on in that last photograph of them alive and young and setting off on yet another adventure. There’s Sean on his motorcycle, dressed in the latest shades from Paris, a floppy jungle hat, T-shirt, cut-off shorts and flip flops as he set off to die.

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cut-off shorts and flip flops as he set off to die. a Perry Deane Young is

Perry Deane Young is the author of Two of the Missing, Remembering Sean Flynn and Dana Stone

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