Christmas unsettled. A Christmas tagine rather than a Christmas tree!

by Rashmee

Posted on December 25, 2017


This is a very different Christmas for us. The Tunis house is in the process of being packed up and put into boxes large and small for dispatch across the seas. We don’t have a tree, decorations, a big Christmas dinner with family and friends to entertain. In some ways, it’s not much like Christmas … Continue reading “Christmas unsettled. A Christmas tagine rather than a Christmas tree!”

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India’s patchy record on pollution has led the country to crisis

by Rashmee

Posted on December 20, 2017 / The National


Until Monday, when the Gujarat elections results came in, the air over Delhi was thick with speculation. The Indian capital, always a political cauldron, hissed and bubbled. Was Narendra Modi on the point of that ultimate indignity, losing face in his home state? Would Mr Modi’s BJP cede ground after 22 years in its stronghold? … Continue reading “India’s patchy record on pollution has led the country to crisis”

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The grim reality of comparing Tunis, Tunisia with New Delhi, India: quality of life

by Rashmee

Posted on December 18, 2017


We returned to Tunis from Delhi and saw the sky – clear blue, the sunlight shining brightly on the smiling capital of Tunisia, the traffic moving well along on the roads. And we sighed. As an Indian, there is no way to describe the pain of seeing Delhi as it is today. It is a … Continue reading “The grim reality of comparing Tunis, Tunisia with New Delhi, India: quality of life”

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Thank God for those who give thanks. We should be grateful for the reminder

by Rashmee

Posted on November 24, 2017


This Thanksgiving, it is only right to give thanks for those who tell us why we should give thanks. One of those is Yale law professor Stephen Carter, who recently wrote up 13 reasons we should be grateful to be alive in November 2017. These included one well-worn theme – the fall in the number … Continue reading “Thank God for those who give thanks. We should be grateful for the reminder”

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Vikings writing Allah? Read Michael Crichton’s 41-year-old novel ‘Eaters of the Dead’

by Rashmee

Posted on October 14, 2017


Those who wonder about the recent report on “Allah” embroidered onto Viking funeral clothes should read Michael Crichton’s novel ‘Eaters of the Dead’. The book’s title has a strapline ‘The Manuscript of Ibn Fadlan Relating His Experiences with the Northmen in AD 922 ‘. Later, Crichton’s novel was republished as The 13th Warrior to correspond with the film adaptation. … Continue reading “Vikings writing Allah? Read Michael Crichton’s 41-year-old novel ‘Eaters of the Dead’”

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From dinar store to a real Chinese restaurant, Beijing is in Tunisia, big league

by Rashmee

Posted on September 25, 2017


A couple months ago, I noted the new growth – the visible aspects – of China’s presence in the Tunisian capital. There was, after Ramadan, a new “Asian” restaurant in the big Carrefour in La Soukra. Then there was the One China Market on Route 9. It must, I think be the Tunisian equivalent of … Continue reading “From dinar store to a real Chinese restaurant, Beijing is in Tunisia, big league”

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A Tunisian/ Maghrebi speciality, the pancake of a thousand holes, is good eating

by Rashmee

Posted on September 22, 2017


Yesterday, I ate a Tunisian/ Maghrebi speciality, the pancake of a thousand holes. That’s not a speciality for Ras el am el Hejri, the Islamic New Year which Tunisia celebrated on September 21. But the crepe mille-trous is called ghrayef or baghrir and is made of semolina. From what I can make out, the ghrayef is … Continue reading “A Tunisian/ Maghrebi speciality, the pancake of a thousand holes, is good eating”

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St Maarten: a very personal memory of the Caribbean island 95% destroyed by #Irma

by Rashmee

Posted on September 8, 2017


I have a very particular interest in the Caribbean island of St Maarten, now 95 per cent destroyed by Hurricane #Irma. Four years ago, we visited the beautiful 34-square-km Franco-Dutch island, had a wonderful holiday living on the southern Dutch side, and acquired our Dutch passport-bearing dog from Mrs Richardson via the Dutch vet. From what … Continue reading “St Maarten: a very personal memory of the Caribbean island 95% destroyed by #Irma”

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Two amazingly similar views of Venice: from April 2017 and the early 1700s

by Rashmee

Posted on September 3, 2017


To continue the theme from an earlier blog on Venice, a modern city that’s still amazingly, astoundingly, recognizable from centuries-old paintings. Look at this photograph taken by me on April 11, 2017. It was the low season and before the anti-tourist movement had begun to be felt. It’s a view of the Grand Canal from … Continue reading “Two amazingly similar views of Venice: from April 2017 and the early 1700s”

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A cheat’s guide to Venice. Oscar’s 5 easy tricks to avoid queues & other things

by Rashmee

Posted on September 2, 2017


Here’s what I learned in three days in Venice. By the way, I went in the low-season, and before the anti-tourist movement had begun to make itself felt. Do reserve a place on a free walking tour. They’re conducted by volunteers who know and love Venice and want to share their city with visitors. At … Continue reading “A cheat’s guide to Venice. Oscar’s 5 easy tricks to avoid queues & other things”

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Rashmee has lived and worked in several countries in the past decade, including Afghanistan, India, Haiti, Tunisia, the UAE, UK and US