Mughal Selfies

by Oscar Rickett

On the east side of Humayun’s tomb, a young European woman in leggings and a black sports t-shirt positions herself so that she is perfectly framed by the 16th century arch behind her. She fixes her hair, lies down on the ground and pushes up into a yoga pose.

Get Your Gun, Girl

Anne Carson once wrote that in order to survive, you needed an edge; in this age, I suspect that a blade might be better. Reading the year’s new clatch of stories about the “real” Gone Girl ... I found myself wishing that men who turned out to be killers and mass manipulators were rare enough that a story about the “real” Gone Guy would catch on.

Plants, Powders and Spirit Voices

“I’m definitely going to shit myself,” I told my friend, as I stuffed a pair of pants into my rucksack. We were in her apartment in Bogotá, readying ourselves for an overnight stay in Colombia’s Cordillera Oriental mountains, where we were to participate in an ayahuasca ceremony.

Bedding the President

Straddling two continents, the opposing strips of land that form the city are split by bustling seas. Lit by candy-floss skies, this 8000-year old metropolis undulates to the rhythm of traffic and construction, its rising population cocooned by smoke and mirrors.

Victoria and the Fragility of the Expat Dream

Around five years ago, I decided to move to Berlin after visiting the city for a weekend and instantly loving it. A sense of freedom was palpable along its wide streets and in the parks where people sat drinking massive bottles of cheap, decent beer.

Lucky Star, Maybe

“I don’t believe in astrology; I’m a Sagittarius and we’re skeptical.” — Arthur C. Clarke.

“Palmistry and astrology are good because they make people vivid and full of possibilities. They are communism at its best. Everybody has a birthday and everybody has a palm” — Kurt Vonnegut.

Seeking Patriotism

I’m inclined to argue that my sham national pride is, in many instances, better than the real thing; that orthodox patriotism often masks nationalism and the odious opinions of those intolerant of others. I’m in decent company in this assessment.

How Should We Be Bored?

It’s a lazy Sunday afternoon and I’m watching Take Me Out on catch-up. It’s a cringe-y lol and the right level for my brain, ticking to a slower tock after too many gin and tonics last night. Except I’m not just watching Paddy – “let the angel see the delight”; “let the jal see the frezi” – I’m also on my phone.

Love Advice from Larry Flynt

I have three icons: Joan Rivers, Martha Stewart and Larry Flynt. So, when I drove to Beverly Hills to meet Flynt at his headquarters, I was giddy like a schoolgirl at a pop concert – just my Bieber happens to be a 73-year-old, foul-mouthed pornographer bound to a wheelchair.

Childhood Sexuality and Shame

I had been humping Happy, my stuffed Mickey Mouse doll, and now I was in trouble. Happy was a present from the tooth fairy, so I must have been about six years old. We lived on an American island in the Caribbean.