Mitä me syödään?

Me yritetään syödä hyvää ruokaa – joka maistuu hyvältä, joka on terveellistä, joka tulee mahdollisimman läheltä ja jossa ruuan hinnasta suuri osa menee maanviljelijöille ja pientuottajille eikä valtavien tehtaiden osakkaille. Onneksi täällä San Cristobalissa on paljon mahdollisuuksia syödä noiden periaatteiden mukaan. Tältä meidän ruoka näyttää!

Green & yellow fuzz

I keep being late for work because every morning I discover something else that’s covered in mold and needs a vinegar bath (or soak or scrub). To wit: My only sexy high heel shoes 20-dollar bills Kuksa (by the way, that price is extortionate. Come to Finland and buy one instead, get a nice trip…

Topless professionals

I’ve just had my body double-scrubbed at a hamam – palace of sensual femininity, a temple of Oxun, the flirtatious orixa of fresh water. For a handful of lira you get entrance to the echoing, splashing, dome-roofed hamam with a tiled platform surrounded by benches and basins of water… For two euros you get scrubbed…

Around Oaxaca

Oaxaca is a very aesthetically pleasing town with lots of radical street art, investment in cultural centres and exhibition spaces, wide streets, handicrafts… and Mexico’s tastiest cuisine. You should visit!! And everyone should do a ceramics tour and buy some pottery at Colectivo 1050 Grados – they have a shop on the delightful Xolotl square,…

Fooling around on ancient monuments pt 2

These guys had complex societies, writing, astrology and built giant stone monuments when my people were still wandering around the steppes going ‘damn it’s cold!’ You have to admire the achievements – although I suspect that they didn’t do so well on my criteria for a good society: redistribution, sustainability, security and quality of life…

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…

Weird shit story no. 3: soap and the hereditary unclean

We came to visit a Dalit (Hindu casteless people) NGO, Parittran, outside Khulna (in fact, right next to that stretch of bad road I wrote about). These guys were the only angry ones I met during the visits. They had a burn in their eyes, a grudge, a seething knowledge of all the injustice they…

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…

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…

Dhaka week 1: Fifty men with spoons

This is a sprawling congested third world metropolis, running on overpopulation and dirt-cheap labour. The skyscrapers and highrise blocks are hand-built by skinny worn-down people stamping clay, whacking brick molds, stacking bricks, burning bricks, carrying bricks on their heads… At building sites there are anthills of people shovelling cement, hauling baskets of sand, buckets of…

Christmas refugee

By chance, the only cafe that’s open in my home town today is also the only place where I can get internet access, so Wayne’s doubles up as mökkihöperöys (cabin fever) antidote, espresso pusher and communication channel. I’m here enjoying an ethnic family Christmas. Staying at grandpa’s one-bed flat isn’t so bad as long as…