Travellers all, let’s celebrate 2015 as the year of the plug

by Rashmee

Posted on February 1, 2015


The new year is exactly a month old so perhaps it’s time to celebrate its specialness – as the year of the plug. That’s what The Economist’s Gulliver suggested not too long ago. I’m with him. It really “is the simple things that count” – well-positioned and plentiful plug points in public spaces; sockets that … Continue reading “Travellers all, let’s celebrate 2015 as the year of the plug”

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5 years after quake, Haiti has some hotels but too few hospitals and schools

by Rashmee

Posted on January 18, 2015


Whatever happened to all that aid for Haiti, Emily Troutman asked on the fifth anniversary of the January 12 earthquake. Why is it that there are so many more luxurious hotels and such few schools, hospitals and other basics? It’s a good question but the proliferation of hotels and absence of hospitals says more about Haiti’s dysfunctional … Continue reading “5 years after quake, Haiti has some hotels but too few hospitals and schools”

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Delhi is due a crash course in gender awareness. Girls, some common sense

by Rashmee

Posted on January 3, 2015


Open magazine has an interesting piece on just how hard it is to be a woman in Delhi. A professional woman, with perhps a few friends, and the odd invitation to meet them somewhere of an evening. To see a film. To have a lively conversation. A coffee. A meal. It’s okay if you have … Continue reading “Delhi is due a crash course in gender awareness. Girls, some common sense”

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Life in Abu Dhabi: Why I went to Yas Island to buy an Ikea Lack table, again

by Rashmee

Posted on December 28, 2014


When I moved to Abu Dhabi, I bought an Ikea ‘Lack’ table. Again. Despite three houses of furniture in other parts of the world and warehouses full of ‘stuff’, I had to turn to the ‘Lack’ and other Ikea staples (the ‘Ingertorp’ dining table, ‘Terje’ folding chairs) to fill my bare flat. That’s why it … Continue reading “Life in Abu Dhabi: Why I went to Yas Island to buy an Ikea Lack table, again”

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Unhealthy US labour dispute leaves McDonald’s Japan a small fries order

by Rashmee

Posted on December 22, 2014


For everyone who wants fast food outlets to serve better food – not quite so fatty, artery-clogging, but still delicious – all I can say is be careful what you wish for. McDonald’s in Japan is now going to offer only small servings of french fries. For love nor money, you’re not going to be … Continue reading “Unhealthy US labour dispute leaves McDonald’s Japan a small fries order”

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How did the Caribbean begin to be seen as an earthly paradise?

by Rashmee

Posted on September 13, 2014


Speaking of tourism with a purpose (Porto’s ‘worst tours’) reminded me of Carrie Gibson’s remarkable analysis of how the Caribbean began to be seen as a tropical tourist paradise. In her BBC Radio 4 piece, ‘Four Thought: The Trouble With Paradise’, Ms Gibson, went through evolving ideas of the Caribbean. She should know.  She’s the … Continue reading “How did the Caribbean begin to be seen as an earthly paradise?”

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Mystics, persuaders: Sometimes, the brain just has to tell tall stories

by Rashmee

Posted on September 9, 2014


British writer Will Storr tells an interesting story about the science of storytelling, something that might, in some circles, be called the twisted rationale that drives the barmy army. People who fantasize; daydream and believe it; think themselves to be the savior and suchlike. In other words, the loony fringe; those people you see muttering … Continue reading “Mystics, persuaders: Sometimes, the brain just has to tell tall stories”

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Ebola is not the next pandemic but logic can’t quell newfound paranoia

by Rashmee

Posted on September 7, 2014


Our insensate fear of pandemics is not really very old at all, as Atlanta-based disease-specialist anthropologist Wendy Orent points out in her excellent Aeon piece. It “first infected the zeitgeist with the publication of Laurie Garrett’s ‘The Coming Plague’(1994) and Richard Preston’s ‘Hot Zone’ (1995),” she writes. These books suggested that deadly viruses lay in wait for human intruders … Continue reading “Ebola is not the next pandemic but logic can’t quell newfound paranoia”

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What’s next for Haitian tourism? An expensive London promotion office?

by Rashmee

Posted on September 4, 2014


Now that Haiti has its first foreign office of tourism promotion – it’s in Santo Domingo, next door – expect more of the same around the world. Next stop possibly London? Then, Paris? Let me explain. Back in June, as I travelled back from Cap Haitien to Port au Prince, I heard some unmistakably English … Continue reading “What’s next for Haitian tourism? An expensive London promotion office?”

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Planting now could yield a gorgeous Flamboyant red flood tomorrow

by Rashmee

Posted on May 13, 2014


In Haiti, the passionate red of Flamboyant tree flowers in Haiti is not quite like Japan’s yearly fabled froth of cherry blossom. Sydney-based writer Rebecca Giggs describes the Sakura as follows: “When the sprays of blossom finally break open through the capital, their momentum is as forceful as floodwaters returning. The cherries’ high, white foam … Continue reading “Planting now could yield a gorgeous Flamboyant red flood tomorrow”

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Rashmee has lived and worked in eight countries in the past decade. She spent much of 2015 in the UAE and currently divides her time between the UK and Tunisia. Before that, she was in Haiti, the US, Afghanistan and India.