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Monthly Archives: June 2012

Slurping Spanish soup and surprising Sancerre

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After watching Spain beat the boring French in the Euros, my wife decided that the only way to celebrate the win over Les Bleus was for some Spanish food the following evening.

We were due a break food-wise as on match night we’d loaded up at a fantastic local vegetarian Indian restaurant called Saravana Bhavan, part of a global chain that boasts nearly 70 outlets. It was mind-blowingly good. I was reminded of my friend Frank’s disgust at not seeing meat on the menu at a veggie curry house we went to once for ‘boys’ curry night’. He would’ve hated it, but out here, meat can be of dubious quality, so sticking to veg is often a safe bet and boy did we cash in. Read the rest of this entry

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Guilty parties?

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An altogether strange week or so since my last post.  The world seems to be descending into chaos, environmental disaster, racism and guilt.

KL was covered in smog a few days ago, and in places the pollution index exceeded safe limits.  I hadn’t quite counted on this level of pollution when moving here.  The air was thick and blue – from the condo window, downtown was totally obscured by a creeping menace – causing us to shut the windows and hunker down as if there were a plague coming.  Indonesia is blamed for its slash and burn policies resulting in plumes of smoke towards Malaysia.  Burning their pristine forest to make way for plantations of palm oil and cattle ranches is helping to prop up their economy, but boy those pesky Indonesians are a nuisance.

Rio+20, the circus-like summit of environmentalists, policy-makers, business leaders, media and oceans of hangers-on – all there to (erm…sip caipirinhas? watch the girls go by on Copacabana beach?) get a meaningful agreement on climate change and sustainable development  – has unfortunately passed most people by and is already looking like a failure. Rio+20 as a news item is competing with the economic collapse of two of Europe’s proud nations, genocide in Syria and the football. With the Greeks and Spanish queuing up at soup kitchens, it’s not surprising that environmental austerity measures perceived to be curbing standards of living are seen as a bum note.  The trade offs are short-sighted but it’s a reality we continue to fight against. Read the rest of this entry

Pride and Pampas

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This week got me thinking about pride.

What is it to be proud; to have a sense of pride?  Is it ego or swagger?  Is it an intangible swelling of positive emotion on account of someone’s success?  We Brits swing from jingoistic notions of national pride to hiding personal pride under a bushel.

So here’s this week’s run down of pride-inducing moments…. Read the rest of this entry

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