#Tunis rings in the #New Year with roast chicken and snowy-scarved pastry saints

by Rashmee

Posted on January 1, 2018


For the third year running, I find myself in Tunisia as the old year dies and a new one is born. The security this time round was very tight with policemen conspicuously on patrol everywhere. Shops and restaurants were heaving (as were the roads, especially at the roundabout before Tunis’s biggest Carrefour). In the supermarkets, … Continue reading “#Tunis rings in the #New Year with roast chicken and snowy-scarved pastry saints”

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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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Despite successes, Bonn climate talks fell short

by Rashmee

Posted on November 22, 2017 / The National


On Saturday, the Bonn conference on climate change ended. No one would have particularly noticed that it started or stopped had it not been for Donald Trump. Mr Trump’s opposition to the Paris climate agreement led him to withdraw in June from the 2015 voluntary pledge by nearly 200 nations to curb greenhouse-gas emissions. It … Continue reading “Despite successes, Bonn climate talks fell short”

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A camel fair in India. A Mexican island. Japanese ramen. The exotic & ethnic sells

by Rashmee

Posted on November 4, 2017


On Saturday, November 4, the Pushkar Camel Fair ended, probably to the great regret of its more than 400,000 visitors. The rebranding of Pushkar into a giant carnival that draws the intrepid (or the just curious) from overseas, tells an important story. Originally, it was just a simple event to barter livestock on the sidelines … Continue reading “A camel fair in India. A Mexican island. Japanese ramen. The exotic & ethnic sells”

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