Tag Archives: Mexico City

Ten Sounds You Miss from Your Hometown, Part One

23 May

My vast work-in-progress moves ever nearer to completion. The narrator is living in exile. He has been thinking about the sounds he misses from his home country.

Here are the sounds I miss the most: the chatter of the liitraavn in Rezistanzskvaar, the two-stroke clatter of Noorskii-SEATs, the jingling of the signals at pedestrian crossings, the chiming of the bells in Klokksskvaar, the breaking of waves on the Valtikkzii shore, the clunking of the otiis-mekanismis in the Berkmanis department store, the whine of the locomotives’ electromechanical motors, the four-note fugue of the train’s public address system, Tiia’s voice and those of my family, Jovaa and Valeriia, the sound of my own language, its cadence and intonations… 

It got me thinking about the exiles I know – and there are quite a few of them – and which sounds they miss the most, or vice-versa, those they don’t. 


So I asked my wife, the Colombian illustrator, Catalina Carvajal. It seemed the obvious place to start. And this is what she told me. 

Her grandmother’s voice

Aeroplanes flying low overhead on approach to the airport

The prerecorded voice of the tamales-vendor, advertising his wares

The whistle of a mobile sweet-potato oven

Comforting conversation coming from the TV downstairs at her mother’s house in Bogota

The marimbas of street musicians

The sound of departing underground trains on the Mexico City metro

Her friends babbling in the background at a dinner party

The noise of the crowds in downtown Mexico City

The clattering plates and chattering clientele of the cantinas 


In the coming weeks, we’ll be hearing from other exiles about the sounds they miss.

All text and images © PSR 2017

Travels in América del Norte

23 Dec

Well, we’re in the depths of the English winter here and on most days the temperature struggles to reach double figures. So it seemed timely to cast my mind back to the summer, when I was in North America. I spent the first part of August in Mexico City in the company of my Colombian illustrator. Our wanderings in that city that she knows so well were the inspiration for the dystopian graphic novel that we’re planning to write. So I’m sharing with you some of the things that I saw in that mad and amazing city. The bright, hazy light makes it difficult to take decent photos (well, that’s my excuse, anyway). And it’s an opportunity to prove to the world that my command of the Spanish language still isn’t any greater. An undisclosed prize goes to the first person to guess in which of the buildings the illustrator and I would live.


Mirando hacia fuera de la Ciudad de México


A las montañas…


Y más montañas


La antigua…


Y la moderna


Los colores de la Ciudad de México (1)


Los colores de la Ciudad de México (2)


Los colores de la Ciudad de México (3)


Siniestros abandonados automóviles negros, la inspiración para una distopía …

All text and images © PSR 2016