Big Oil Malaysia: A Wake Up Call for Canada

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The oil drop ride: good, clean fun with a message

Originally published in Alternatives Journal Online.

You learn some interesting things in a year of travel.

Kuala Lumpur is a striking, bustling city of 1.5 million with a transit system of six light rail lines that span across the city. The twin Petronas Towers are the city’s signature landmark, reminiscent of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. The gleaming shopping centre below houses the Petrosains Discovery Centre.

A science centre funded by an oil company –– this we had to see. Continue reading

Two Fathers, Two Nations

Comparing Gandhi and Ataturk

    Statues of Ghandi (at the Ghandi Museum in Madurai)

Raising the flag in front of the statue of Gandhi at the Gandhi Museum in Madurai

The statue of Ataturk in Taksim Square, Istanbul

The statue of Ataturk in Taksim Square, Istanbul

Mohandas Gandhi and Mustafa Kemal. Both have so much in common. They both liberated their home country (both from the British… funny), and both received a name meaning Father (Ataturk actually means Father of the Turks, but whatever). To compare these two figures, one must first know a bit about them. And I learned a lot about each as we travelled through both India and Turkey.

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We Are How We Eat

Secca de boeuf, the regional specialty in Entreveaux, France

Secca de boeuf, the regional specialty in Entreveaux, France

Originally published in Alternatives Journal Online

In Verona, that most picturesque and fabled town, we ate horse. It was a cultural challenge, not a culinary one. The pastissada de caval was superb. As our waiter explained, horse meat may have had its origins in tough times, but today it has everything to do with taste, not necessity. It is a regional specialty. Continue reading

To all Shopaholics

DSC08886To all shopaholics, sorry in advance.

The first impression that anyone who ever goes to Dubai has is one of awe. That makes sense, of course. Who wouldn’t be amazed by the imposing Burj Khalifa with its 163 floors? Or the beautiful palm islands on the glittering sea? On the surface Dubai seems like a paradise. However, once you take a look beneath, you begin to notice all of the things that are so very wrong with this place.

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Finding Santa

Originally published in Alternatives Journal blog, Think Global

It’s December 6, and we are on the island of Kos in Greece. The stores are closed for the celebration of St. Nicholas, the patron saint of sailors, but the sun is out and the cafes are doing a brisk trade. A band approaches and then a procession bearing the icon of St. Nicholas sweeps through the square on its way to the church where the service is being held. The procession passes, and the square is empty again, save for the Christmas tree and Santa Claus display. Continue reading

Guts over Fear

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The Canadian National Vimy Memorial

Originally posted in Alternatives Journal

Lest we forget: war is about power.

It’s mid September, 2014. We’ve been driving the North of France with Eminem’s new single, “Guts over Fear” in never ending rotation on French radio. Our theme over the past week has been the great wars, which makes it an appropriate anthem. Much better than “Gigo, gigo, gigotez”, the French version of one of the many songs reflecting pop culture’s newfound fascination with butt wiggling and which leave you wondering what all the sacrifice was for. Continue reading