NO! NO CHANGE!

There´s a saying about the ruling political party: “They’ll change everything to make sure that nothing changes”. This philosophy has clearly permeated all Mexican life, at least retail, because it’s near-impossible to get any CHANGE. How can an entire economy be so strapped for coin? s? I needed money this evening to reimburse people’s travel expenses…

Weaving reflections

I’ve made friends with a couple of upscale women in textile handicrafts – they work on private sector ‘inclusive value chains’ i.e. getting better prices to artisans by encouraging them to make more market-friendly designs of their traditional weaving etc, and marketing that to rich folks. This is a fascinating area. I did an online…

Ayotzinapa ‘disappearances’ protests

The extrajudicial kidnapping and killing of the 43 student teachers from the radical teacher-training college in Ayotzinapa has had the country in disgusted upheaval for months now because of the way it revealed the cosy cooperation between Iguala municipality’s mayor, drug gangs, the police and the national army. For those of us coming from the…

"London Orbital". Read it drunk.

This is part of my London book fix from Daunt Books on Haverstock Hill. I went to stock up on UK reading as a slightly desperate attempt not to lose touch. Plus now that I wasn’t a Smoke resident any more, I could read books like ‘The Biography of London’ without looking criminally smug.The pleasant…

recycle? Just get someone to do it for you.

I bought five bananas last week. I eat one or two each morning with muesli. By day 3 the bunch was starting to look manky and I knew that ugly things would happen if I left the remaining two bananas out on the shelf. But it would also be bad if I put them in…

Carbon Godzilla

This year my lovelife will be trans-continental: Bangladesh to Britain, follwed shortly by Bangladesh to Brazil. I have 30 days of annual leave. My immediate family also lives on a different continent. Hence, my emotional and physical wellbeing rests heavily, heavily on the possibility of taking long-distance airplane journeys at regular intervals. According to the…

Money and laundering

Here are the ways to get clean clothes in Dhaka: Send clothes to the laundry with the dudes-who-clean. Comes back after 5-6 days, boiled, beaten and finally, mangled. You can use the shirts for roof tiles. Highly impressive, albeit a bit harsh on the clothes. You then have to remember to cut the little note…

goat and pumpkin

At work today we talked about rural poverty. In certain districts of Bangladesh, absentee landlords own all the land. Although it’s fertile as Eden, the people who work there (growing food) don’t own any of it, and earn a living from their labour on other peoples’ (probably my neighbours’) fields. (They may well have had…