Benedict Cooper
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Benedict Cooper is a freelance journalist based in the UK, covering travel, politics, social affairs and more. His writing has appeared in the British national newspapers, various trade journals, consumer magazines and online.

Entries by Benedict Cooper

Scotland: A Dream Unravels

(0) Comments | Posted September 21, 2014 | 4:18 PM

In the end it was all over with a whimper, and two years of anticipation unravelled in a couple of hours. In the club we had fallen into on Niddry Street in the centre of Edinburgh, somewhere after midnight, crowds that would usually be bouncing off the walls in raucous...

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Life Between the Rock And the Hard Place

(0) Comments | Posted July 3, 2013 | 11:32 AM

The police were on alert. Above hearts-and-minds grins, vigilant eyes followed a disparate procession as it streamed into the community hall on a still, pale evening in May.

A week before, almost to the hour, a young soldier's death had sickened a nation. But he had not bitten the dust...

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Dear iPhone... Breaking Up Is Tough

(43) Comments | Posted November 28, 2012 | 9:20 AM

Dear iPhone,

I think we both know things haven't been great for a while now. I haven't tried to disguise the fact that I've been getting frustrated with things you do; I just don't think you have ever given me many options, whether it's ringtones, settings or anything, to...

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Up And Down The Streets Of Hanoi (PHOTOS)

(2) Comments | Posted September 4, 2012 | 7:00 AM

If I had to do one thing for the rest of time, I would walk the streets of Hanoi.

The colors, sights, smells and sounds you take in with every step and the thunderstorm of motorbikes and taxis that explodes every day.

And the food: The delicate but powerful flavors...

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Track Records: A Walk Around The Hutongs of Beijing

(0) Comments | Posted August 22, 2012 | 7:00 AM

I was expecting big, hot and busy when I set off for Beijing. Words failed as soon as I arrived.

Getting into the Chinese capital by train is like trekking through a great urban mountain range. The landscape keeps building and building until you think you've reached the peak...

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Track Records: Ankle Bone Shooting And Wrestling At Mongolia's Naadam

(1) Comments | Posted August 2, 2012 | 7:00 AM

Starting the day with a bottle of Kazakhstani brandy has never been a habit of mine.

I can think of several good reasons not to do it, but none of them came to mind when I got back to my compartment after getting up to go to the bathroom at...

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Track Records: The Trans-Mongolian Blues

(2) Comments | Posted July 31, 2012 | 7:00 AM

I won't lie, I'm feeling a little sorry for myself. There's no reason to be feeling down at all, it's a wonderful new chapter to the trip. The Trans Mongolian leg of the journey has begun and within 24 hours I'll be in Ulaanbataar.

It's just that when you're not...

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Track Records: Yekaterinburg And The Asian Frontier

(0) Comments | Posted July 23, 2012 | 7:00 AM

I'm sitting in a cabin on the Trans Siberian Railway with a Russian army officer's huge fingers clasped around my throat while he bellows into my face from about six inches away.

Now this sounds a lot more menacing than it was. I think it was him doing a charade...

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Track Records: Startled Awake In St. Petersburg

(1) Comments | Posted July 17, 2012 | 7:00 AM

"Wake up, quick, we're in St Petersburg!"

I jolted awake with a surge of adrenaline and stared up at two big sparkling blue eyes looking down at me.

For one very confusing split second before the words were processed by my slightly delirious brain, it was an enchanting moment;...

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Track Records: Moscow Is a Huge Machine

(0) Comments | Posted July 12, 2012 | 7:00 AM

My energy was at a low point as I shouldered my backpack which felt heavier than ever, stepped down onto the platform and with gritted teeth, headed into the station.

Passing through Moscow station is like running an obstacle course of soldiers, German Shepherds, metal detectors, policemen and two thousand...

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Track Records: Warsaw's Unexplored Other Half

(0) Comments | Posted July 3, 2012 | 7:00 AM

They didn't seem to give a damn in Praga about the Euro 2012 spectacle. Poland's big moment as host of the lucrative soccer tournament passed with little comment or interest on this side of Warsaw, the less successful twin of the shining new city over the river.

I had...

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Track Records: Poznan, Poland, Is Tough And Freaky

(1) Comments | Posted July 2, 2012 | 7:00 AM

I had just checked into my hostel in Poznan, Poland, and was preparing to have a wander around this strange new city where I knew no one, when my date for the evening introduced herself.

Would I like to go to a free concert in the town square, and for...

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Track Records: The Last Days Of An Artists' Squat In Berlin

(0) Comments | Posted July 1, 2012 | 9:10 AM

If walking around Paris last week during La Fete de La Musique was like floating through a breezy dream, climbing the dark brutal concrete steps of Tacheles on Berlin's Oranienburger Straße was like reliving a dark and unsettling nightmare.

Wherever you go in Berlin the urban artwork hammers...

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Track Records: The Other Side Of Brussels

(0) Comments | Posted June 28, 2012 | 7:00 AM

To tell you the truth, I didn't know what to expect from Brussels.

I was on the way there from Paris, my Eurail Global Pass pass just kicked in, and I had been so wrapped up with the music and the beauty of Paris that I...

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Track Records: The Sound Of La Fête De La Musique Fills Paris

(0) Comments | Posted June 26, 2012 | 7:00 AM

There are lots of music festivals. There is only one Fête de la Musique.

Imagine those wonderful streets of Paris suddenly bursting into song, with every corner, pavement, park and square suddenly a stage.

It's like walking through a strange dream. You turn around a corner and find 200...

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Track Records: The Beginning

(2) Comments | Posted June 25, 2012 | 7:00 AM

I'm fairly sure that I won't wake up on my 30th birthday -- 41 days from now -- bald and podgy, having sleepwalked through my nuptials and the conception of soon-to-be born first child. But you can never be too sure.

This is what I'm thinking about as my train...

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