This post is wrongly titled, purely for effect as there is no war on meat because the government aren’t even pretending to care anymore. The current UK meat crisis has spread throughout Europe. For those who don’t know it basically consists of a large amount of meat in UK supermarkets being not quite what they say they are, it began with them having traces of horse DNA in beef mince then some items such as packaged lasagne have been found to be 100% horse meat and a later revelation that in a posh middle class supermarket (Waitrose) their beef meatballs were partly pork, bad for religious reasons in particular, and they knew about it for two weeks before being caught out.
Now some peoples response to this has been ‘what’s wrong with horse, the French eat it?’ or that they don’t see much difference between horse and cow in processed meat. Which is a fair point if the horses used weren’t from the newly named ‘meat mafia’ sneaking decrepit old diseased horses into the meat supply, these unfortunately are not the same standard as eating a race horse. They are probably more akin to the horses used in dog food. To add to this the horses are treated with a hormone which is potentially harmful when consumed by humans, though that doesn’t seem to have done much yet. Read More »
I love the genre of film loosely termed ‘American Indie’ From Mumblecore to Rom Com these low budget, dialogue driven films regularly portray the lives of slightly lost 30 something creative. These remind me of my life and those of many I know, people not sure what they want in life but sure they don’t want an office job and so for now have social jobs in bars, cafés and cinemas; working on something creative on the side and never fully committing to a future goal or the idea of being a grown up. People who are really decent and intelligent but just a little lost. This is me at 25. Read More »
I seem to always be saving money, either for travel or something else like a Masters degree and apart from making me a bit grumpy and down every now and again I don’t find it too tough a challenge. I’ve realised that because of this I am quite an outcast and that a large percentage of people genuinely lack the ability to save money. Here are my theories.
After recently reading the book ‘Age of Absurdity’ by Michael Foley I have begun to spot all around me signs of instant gratification. People may be saving with intention but when their bank balance reaches a certain level it will suddenly spell out ‘iphone’ or ‘weekend away in a nice hotel’ or ‘shiny expensive shoes’ and all of these things provide you not only with the instant gratification of owning them but, what I think is more important, attention and compliments. Ultimately being careful with money wins you no friends and no attention, you don’t look cool. At what makes it worse is after all the hard work of saving, when you can afford your target, the response is always ‘you’re so lucky’. Luck has nothing to do with hard work and sacrifice. Read More »
Travel is amazing at the time but I can’t help but think the come down of it is disproportionately difficult, but maybe that is only so in the case of being confused about your future and having very little monies to your name. Basically when your only option is to knuckle right down and forego any luxury.
I’m working back in my previous customer service job. It’s not bad, the staff are the best part, the lack of ability to use your mind is the worst. I’ve realised recently that a lot of people don’t seem to have goals of any sort, no ambition and no aims. If you consider what their life will be in five years time quite a few people would be content to be doing the exact same thing but with a few more wrinkles. But these same people are the ones who get frustrated at the job, at the management and at the customers but make no effort to change. Read More »
Job hunting is a huge emotional rollercoaster for me, something I wouldn’t wish on anyone else. I know that it is meant to be depressing and hard work but my problem with it is quite specific. I always like to know exactly what the next month or year of my life has in store. Not in too much detail but I want to know the general shape of things to come.
Having a bit too much of an imagination means that with every job I apply for I imagine myself in the role and get quite excited. Even when it’s not a job I particularly want I still imagine it as being my future. So then when the inevitable rejection letter comes it feels like someone has ruined my plans and shaken up my entire future. I always have too much hope which means the blow puts me in a bad mood, even if it’s a job I didn’t particularly want, and sometimes those are the worst, you think ‘if I can’t get something I don’t want, how will I ever get something I do want’. And there you are at the beginning of the cycle again applying for four or five jobs a day before you wait for another flow of rejections.
It isn’t a very pleasant way to be living and I really hope this transitory period is nearly over, plus it would be really nice to spend a tenner without having to think long and hard about whether I can afford it.
In my nine months of travel returning home and reintegrating was the single hardest thing I’ve done. It’s not something you expect to be so tough, everyone says about a culture shock but I don’t really understand that because of course I know what England is like, I’ve lived there for 24 years so the culture doesn’t shock me it’s just the mentality and habits of a day to day basis, which I suppose could be considered culture but on the same ways I visited cities abroad I could see the charm in places here. England was, basically, exactly how I had left it. The only problem was that I wasn’t.
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Since being in India never again will I take the simple hostel for granted. The things I learnt to expect from a budget place flew out the window the second I checked into the guesthouse in Delhi to share my bathroom with Bob the Pigeon and his pile of poo.
Comparatively, price wise to Thailand, or South East Asia in general the rooms and facilities are quite shocking. For £6 in Thailand you can have a clean double room with en-suite, including Wi-Fi and towels and hot shower. For the same price in India, which is a cheaper country you will have what looks like a prison cell, no towels. It will normally be en-suite but the bathroom facilities are quite something. The idea of a shower is quite rare and if it does exist it will almost definitely be cold only. If there is no shower then the washing facilities will be a tap on the wall and a bucket and a dirty/mouldy concrete floor. This is surprisingly something you can get quite used to, in warm weather that is. In cold weather such as the minus temperatures experienced in the north this can become so much of a disturbing ordeal that you toy with the longevity of possibility of going without shower. Wearing a hat and hiding your hair is really the commonplace over choosing to get a cold from washing it. Read More »
So far in my travels I have really just been to China and SE Asia; China has very little tourism, and most of it people on a two week stop by, and SE Asia has a huge amount of travellers and holiday makers from all walks of life. Meeting people in India I have found tough.
The main two types of people I met in India (bearing in mind I didn’t go to the south) were;
- The Rich European
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The guidebooks paint an unpleasant picture of Varanassi, much like Agra, warning you of all the touts and how crazy the streets will be. In reality, after Rajasthan, Varanasi was a breath of fresh(ish) air. But then our guide book is seven years old and things can change in tourism very quickly once a trail appears.
We spent a full day walking along the Ganges and seeing the sights, it is most definitely an overload to the senses. In one glance you will see bodies burning while goats eat some of the funereal offerings and someone else washes on the edge of the river among the human ash. After everything else you see the dead bodies seem so much less shocking. It is the overwhelmingness of the situation which almost makes everything fit. If you saw a funeral pyre in London along the Thames it would seem much stranger. Read More »
It wasn’t until this year that I realised how much I enjoy and look forward to Christmas. Apart from the day itself and the element of being with family and friends there is also the build-up and the nice quaint anticipation that something different is happening, something that happens only once a year. I don’t think I could enjoy Christmas in many other countries other than England as I particularly missed the smells of things such as mulled wine and mince pies with the feeling of being wrapped up warm in a coat with a cold nose. In Thailand it was impossible to feel Christmassy no matter how many hotels had plastic Christmas trees it wasn’t the same and the feeling wasn’t there. We were lucky enough to have two friends visiting who were on a similar trail to us and so it made it a bit of an occasion. Read More »