Tom Bamforth, aid worker and author of Deep Field: Dispatches from the Frontlines of Aid Relief.
San Tango Hotel, San Telmo in Buenos Aires. Seeking a taste of old Buenos Aires in the bohemian San Telmo district, my partner and I found ourselves staying in a grandly decaying 19th-century family home with high ceilings, winding marble staircases, and balconies with a panorama of the congested streets below. Portraits of slick-haired tango celebrities adorned the walls and we thought we had found ourselves in the city’s sophisticated heart. But then the window shutters collapsed, the electricity went out, the water stopped and the owner left for a day’s shopping, leaving us trapped for hours in the dark.
United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS): nothing beats the thrill and glamour of air travel in ageing Soviet aircraft in which both the craft and the crew appear to be fuelled by the same homebrew.
Provisional Infantry Frontier Force Expeditionary Reserve Officers’ Mess, Abbottabad, North West Frontier Province, Pakistan with impeccable lawns, billiard tables and languid peacocks. Above the billiard table is a portrait of Pakistan’s founder, Mohammad Ali Jinnah. It shows him not as the serious and sober father of the nation but relaxed and quaffing a large scotch, smoking a grand cigar and taking unsteady aim with the cue.
Books. They are heavy, inconvenient and an absolute necessity. Reading Kipling’s Kim while travelling along the Grand Trunk Road in Pakistan is a favourite travel memory.
Deep Field: Dispatches from the Frontlines of Aid Relief from Pakistan to Kazan, the Punjab to the Pacific. (Hardie Grant Books $26.95)