Friday, February 20, 2004

You know The Lorax? The Dr. Seuss story where the Once-ler comes along and finds a forest of Truffula trees. He turns the trees into Thneeds, which sell like hotcakes. As his business develops, he is visited by the Lorax, who warns him of the effect he is having on the forest and the animals that live there. But in the end, the Once-ler doesn't realize until it is too late and he's chopped the whole forest down. Well, Karla read it to her class. They responded to it with lines like "But my mom says when I wear new clothes and wash them, they don't look as good," and "We'll still have nice places to go - the mall."

One of the reasons that they don't get it, is that Kuwait has always looked like the forest after it has been destroyed - that's as good as it gets. Here, the environment isn't your friend - it's nasty. Getting indoors is a relief from being subject to the outside - fromthe heat, the dust, the bright blandness that's everywhere.

Monday, February 16, 2004

Here are a few of our digital photos from Oman.

Friday, February 13, 2004

Well, it wasn't a big weekend. But it was a weekend. After a week in Oman, we've been back for a week. We went to a charity flea market on Thursday. It was a pretty typical flea market - lots of old junk. Except that Kuwaitis mostly like ugly stuff at the best of times, so there wasn't a lot. It was a good day for other reasons though. First, on the way there I saw a real Lamborghini Countache in a used car lot. It was the first time I had really seen the car of my boyhood dreams other than in a photo. And as we were leaving the flea market, what should be pulling up but a pink Cadillac.

Oman was a beautiful surprise. It is a desert - but is a mix of real sand desert and rocky mountains. Plus the weather is considerably more mild than Kuwait, so people have wanted to live there long enough that it has some history - forts and museums around the country. To top it all off we got to see little baby sea turtles emerging from sand to make their break for the sea. A detailed travelogue with some photos in being put together.

I was poking around the internet last week, when I discovered that Scottish folk festival favorites Shooglenifty have reformed and are planning a summer tour in Canada. It kindled my summer folk festival excitement. I checked the websites to see if they had posted any performer lists. Only the Edmonton festival had posted a few names - Ani Difranco the big one. Karla and I have been discussing which festival(s) to go to. I am supporting Winnipeg, she is in favour of Edmonton.

Karla got me a subscription to the New Internationalist magazine for Christmas. The first edition arrived this week. It's focus is sugar: how people have just been eating more and more of it since it became available and how we've been getting larger. Not to mention all the dastardly economic effects of its production. I've been watching how much sugar I eat all weekend. It didn't stop me from making the brownies we had in the cupboard though.