curiosity about the ways of the world

Category: Global Gossip 2008

Window shopping in Amsterdam


Dressed for Christmas: not all goods are as well wrapped as the amaryllis.

There’s a lot of life on show in Amsterdam shop windows. Claire summed it up with a phrase I wish I had thought of. On her first night she went for a stroll and returned wide eyed at goods on offer in local shops. “Just popped out for a satsuma and a sex toy.” Continue reading

Treading softly from Scotland to France


Sun in the south of France: getting here was almost as much fun.

It was raining when we reached Paris but I didn’t mind. After Scotland’s cold apology for summer it was warm, welcoming rain and within minutes of getting off our Eurostar we were clinking glasses of wine in Terminus Nord. If we had come by plane we would still be trying to get out of the airport; instead we are sitting down to a three course meal before catching the next train. So comfortable it is tempting to stay but we are only half way on a 1200 mile journey towards the Spanish border and the best could be yet to come. Continue reading

Our man in Brussels braves riots and water canon


There’s irony for you. A text from Ray this morning, he’s due to chair a seminar in Brussels on sustainable industry but the whole area is sealed by riot police with water canon against French, Italian and Spanish fishermen demanding cheap fuel. “Our audience may not get through the barriers.” While Ray retreats to the green peace of Brussels Botanic Gardens I text him a request for pictures of the riots and they arrive on my screen within minutes. Continue reading

Indonesia: waiting for tourists to come

Welcome to the first Global Gossip of 2008. I’ve been pestering Dougal for this for ages but he had work to do in Brazil. And Glasgow. As if that was any excuse. Anyway well worth the wait to see why Dougal Perman thinks we should choose Indonesia for a holiday (and remember, for some it’s destination of choice for weddings too). Photographs by Andrea McCarthy of My Talking Dog (see more on Flickr)



“Taxi? For tomorrow?”
A line of men sitting on the pavement try to entice us to rent their cab. There are many taxi drivers here in Ubud, a beautiful world heritage village in the centre of Bali, Indonesia. But not many tourists.

Indonesia is one of the most beautiful, interesting and exciting places on earth yet people don’t visit in the same numbers as they do in Thailand, Malaysia, or Vietnam. In two weeks travelling around Bali, Java and Sumatra, I saw incredible places and met wonderful people. I just wish, for the country’s sake, more tourists would come. Continue reading

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