Author: Jacob Resneck

  • A month goes by, still no bloody Taj Majal

    It’s been exactly a month since I arrived in India. By tourist standards, I’ve seen very little as I’ve been focused on some journalism projects. But in the last calendar page I’ve made a few observations, a few friends and continue to be holding my head above water in the loud, crowded and incredibly complex […]

  • Keep Jacob Resneck on the air: an urgent appeal

    DELHI, India– I’ve never asked for money and I’m not gonna now. Rather this is about my occasional employer, Free Speech Radio News. http://fsrn.org They’re the ones that gave me my first shot at international reporting from Georgia and for that I’ll be forever grateful. http://www.fsrn.org/audio/south-ossetia-refugees-still-displaced/4678 http://www.fsrn.org/audio/newscast-friday-april-10-2009/4524 Now it seems they’re about to go belly-up. […]

  • Near misses in the Near East

    BECHARRE, Lebanon – Hurtling down the highway at 140 kilometers an hour, Khaled the friendly taxi driver had an idea. We’d been drinking countless cups of black coffee and choking down innumerable cigarettes: it was time to switch to beer. Khaled didn’t speak English and I don’t speak Arabic. But after a can of syrupy […]

  • Abkhazia on 100 rubles a day

    TBILISI, Georgia – My money was no good in this town. I was in Gagra in the northern edge of Abkhazia – that breakaway republic of Georgia that was once the jewel of the Soviet Union. Expansive beaches along the Black Sea and crumbling 19th century hostelries and sanitariums dot the coast line that still […]

  • Little boxes of despair

    Little boxes, little boxes, Little boxes all the same There’s the green one and the pink one And the blue one and the yellow one And they’re all made outta ticky-tacky And they all look just the same… Malvina Reynolds (sung by Pete Seeger, 1963) TBILISI, Georgia It all started out with the best of […]

  • Bridge to Abkhazia

    TBILISI, Georgia Admittedly, I’ve developed somewhat of a penchant for quasi-independent nation states. In my school years, I was an enthusiastic Northern California secessionist and have long harbored ambitions of one day starting my own country. What better way to educate myself than to see how it’s worked out breakaway republics like Transinistria near Moldova […]

  • Transnistrian shake down

    ODESSA, Ukraine It was the most pathetic shake down attempt I’d ever witnessed. It wouldn’t be a bribe, they explained, but I must pay money if I wanted to leave the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic. In Transdniestria must give– give geld! the border guard insisted in a mix of tongues. I’d been told to prepare myself […]

  • Leaving Fortress Europe: a sojourn into Ukraine

    Our story so far: After three relatively glorious years in Saranac Lake, New York the author liquidated many of his assets and set off back into the world to claim his fortune or at least stave off boredom as he enters his thirties. After a grueling pace of travel that took him through a half-dozen […]

  • RCMP: The R is for ‘refund’

    SARANAC LAKE, New York — Back in June I wrote about getting popped – twice – in Canada. The first time was by a CN railcop in the Charny yard outside Quebec City on my way to Halifax. Second arrest was in St. Leonard, New Brunswick after my 48′ container car was flooded by a […]

  • Federales net 11 riders, four dogs stowed away on freight train in New Brunswick

    ST. HYACINTHE, Quebec — Get caught or get stranded. Neither was certain but I’d have to move soon or else that train would pull without me. No guts, no glory, I kept telling myself. I was in the wrong part of the Halifax railyard when I realized how little time I had. Between me and […]

  • Halifax freight trip derailed by bilingual bull in blue

    HALIFAX, Nova Scotia — A little after 6 in the morning and everything was in place. Ensconced under an overpass in Montreal the tell-tale signs of success surrounded me: soggy cardboard, recent trainriders’ tags and a sleeping homebum told me that the site was well-known as a portal east to the Maritimes. Like clockwork, my […]

  • Fleshpots and Finance Ministers

    VIENNA, Austria Forgive me, gentle reader, for I am about to stray into adult territory. For that is what I did one weeknight evening on a trip through some of the seediest places purely for journalistic reasons. I had made acquaintance with a fellow journalist, whose identity I shall protect, who was investigating the underworld […]

  • Eating the free food

    VIENNA, Austria. Journalists in the United States jealously guard their sense of independence. In order to avoid even the appearance of bias, we’ve invented all kinds of rules silly rules for ourselves. One of these cardinal rules is never eat the free food. When going out for a meal or even a coffee we pay […]

  • Striking a deadly pose on a purple girl’s bike

    SALZBURG, Austria It’s t-shirt weather during the heart of winter in this Alpine city. The 6,470-foot peak of Untersberg rises up only a few miles from the city center, reminding this visitor that despite the balmy weather, the majestic Alps are not far. While snow-capped, it’s the only glimpse of snow I’ve yet to have […]

  • The $94 million question; Austrian steel executive aghast at Corporate America’s wage disparities

    VIENNA, Austria After a virtually sleepless flight across the Atlantic punctuated by crying babies, we touched down in Vienna’s international airport. I didn’t blame the wailing children one bit after all, they are merely expressing (loudly) what the rest of us passengers feel inside. Because air travel sucks. My in-flight companion and I only had […]