Meat-free Montreal / Montréal sans viande — Zut Alors!

I’ve just discovered this blog by an Australian woman who has lived in Montreal for 4 years! Looks like I should have no trouble finding plenty of wonderful things to eat with my vegetarian guests in late June… and for me over the nearly four months I will be there. Yay, only 5 more sleeps

There’s a strange divide in Montreal’s dining scene: on one side a surprising number of vegetarian, even vegan, cafes and casual restos (the local, bilingual slang for restaurants), while with few exceptions anywhere that’s a bit fancy has almost nothing (or literally nothing) without meat, fish or seafood. There’s obviously a substantial population here that […]

via Meat-free Montreal / Montréal sans viande — Zut Alors!

I believed I was not racist – I was wrong

Every day I wake safe in my home, fenced in on lands where once you walked proud
I don’t even know the name of your people, never asked of your stories, never thought where you’ve gone
“I have done nothing wrong, it is mine, I have bought it.” But what cost do you pay for my right?
Every day in my car, I heedlessly race, cross your paths, your slow ways, your land covered now with pollution, construction, and haste
I buy food grown on your sacred places, burn energy mined from under your dreaming, learn esoterica in torpid advantage.
I partake of a culture that assumes I am white. Red, White and Blue, Aussie mate.
No one walks toward me, looks at my skin, furtively wondering “Is she drunk, violent, bludger, or stoned?”
I’m lucky, I don’t have to wake, being black, on the margin, excluded, derided, denied.
Nearly 200 years my family has walked here
Trodden with confident right,
Today I say sorry, with all of my heart, for what we have stolen, what we’ve claimed for our own,
without thought, without care, to your loss.
“I have done nothing wrong”, I used often to think
Defending, “I’ve no other home”
But I missed the point and I’m here to confess: I’m racist, I’m privileged, I’m white.
I have never consciously done you a wrong.
I have every day thoughtlessly done you great wrong.
Aboriginal Australia, I’m sorry.

Angkor Wat, Siem Reap… Cambodian Nostalgia

A friend has gone to Siem Reap, Cambodia today. Listening to her plans made me nostalgic so here are some journal entries from my time there Christmas 2012.

I’ve tried posting them in reverse order so you can read from the top down. Or just dip in as you like.  Enjoy

22/12… Santa Krishna’s in Siem Reap

Sing along please:- It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas… there’s tinsel on the tree and a sleigh ride for you an’ me… yep Santa’s in shop windows, carols are blaring, war maimed beggars are wearing flashing Santa hats. Incongruous enough at any time, totally bizarre in 35C heat in Buddhist Cambodia, but I guess since the world didn’t end yesterday (21/12/12) we’re here in a multi-cultural multi-faith world a little longer. Also incongruous I must say was the tinsel and mistletoe adorning the Singapore Airlines plane interior yesterday – but if it’s good enough for Singapore Airlines I guess it’s good enough for Siem Reap, so Santa Krishna’s abound (local pronunciation).

Yes, you guessed it, I have arrived in Cambodia! Lara Croft and Indiana Jones eat your hearts out – coz I’m here!

Nothing much to say actually as I’ve not done any tomb raiding yet – I believe from the signs and themed souvenirs that Angkor Wat is somewhere nearby. Continue reading “22/12… Santa Krishna’s in Siem Reap”

23/12… Lady Croft

Ok I’m struggling. Clearly Lady Croft was a lot to live up to.

The day started dark, lit only by blue and white Christmas icicles and flashing stars adorning the trees around the hotel. Hot, but festive. Full of hope. All good.

We drove in the darkness at speeds never exceeding 30km/h toward Angkor Wat, bought my entry ticket, were dropped from the car in the dark and, leaving the world of artificial light, set off like good pilgrims in darkness down a track into the unknown.

Stars pricked the velvet blackness of the predawn sky, all was silent, the outer rock wall of the temple loomed in the faint light of the guide’s cell phone. We rounded a corner and gasped, just able to discern the towers of the great temple complex against the near black sky. Motorbikes passed breaking the moment with sound and light, flashlights popped as people tried to capture the dim moment in pixels. I adjusted my ISO to max, manually focused, sat the camera on what I think was a rock wall and 8 seconds later (no flash) had a moderately focused poorly composed silhouette of Angkor Wat with the evening star bright above her spires. Should have gone home then. Continue reading “23/12… Lady Croft”