By Eric Campbell
Award-winning overseas correspondent Eric Campbell has been stoned via fundamentalists, captured via US specific Forces, arrested in Serbia and threatened with expulsion from China. He′s negotiated relationship rituals in Moscow, shared a home with a charismatic mercenary in Kabul and brought up smoking at gunpoint in Kosovo. In 2003 in Iraq he used to be injured in a suicide bombing which killed his colleague, cameraman Paul Moran. through turns provocative and thoughtful, ABSURDISTAN is a memoir approximately juggling life, love and fatherhood whereas reporting from probably the most dysfunctional areas on the earth.
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Extra resources for Absurdistan
We can pay you,’ Robert said. They were the magic words. Timofei agreed. We went back to the guesthouse and put on every item of thermal clothing we had. I layered up with two sets of neck-to-knee underwear, two pairs of woollen socks, one jumper, two fleeces, a thick down jacket, gloves, mittens and a fur hat. Tim handed each of us a camera battery half the size of a house brick. ‘Put these in your underpants,’ he ordered. ‘It’s the only way to keep them warm. ’ We walked back to the trading store looking like Michelin men with genital mumps.
For reasons I never quite understood, the TV staff all worked in another office on the other side of town. The ABC had a talent for expanding bureaucracy but I was about to learn it had nothing on the Russians. I walked into the (radio) bureau to introduce myself to the local staff and found the office manager, Ira, almost crying into the phone. ‘I cannot believe this,’ she said to me, after pleading to an obscure official on the other end of the line. ‘It’s even worse than Soviet bureaucracy. They change the rules every day.
There’s no difference between them. Eighty-six per cent of Yeltsin’s administration are former Communist Party members,’ he said. ’ I wanted to give something to Vladimir and his friends. They were proud men and wouldn’t take money so I offered them a souvenir from Australia. I had brought hundreds of kitschy miniature soft-toy clip-on koalas to Russia on the advice of the ABC’s first correspondent, John Lombard. It didn’t quite seem appropriate to give a toy koala to a tough ex-miner but Vladimir was touched.