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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Urbanisation is so 1980s

When I was in school, 20 years ago, we would read and learn about Urbanisation. The concept being that (big) cities would be more attractive as there is more work, higher salaries and wages, generally more opportunities. People living on farmlands would migrate to the nearby / far cities to try their luck, hoping for a better, brighter future. While this worked for some, it did not for all. Unpleasant side effects are huge cities with traffic congestion, slums as not everyone would find work etc.

I think today this effect has escalated to something that I would call "Countrification". It is not the bigger, more wealthy city that attracts people, but a richer country. Whole populations are on the move to countries that offer a new perspective. Take the "Amah" or domestic helper. Half of the female population of Manila must be working in Malaysia, Singapore or Hong Kong as hired help around the house. Most waiters in restaurants here are from Burma. And I know a whole bundle of Malaysians that move to Singapore as they have better chances there.

One interesting and negative side effect: I cannot understand the waiters anymore. They know how to get to work, but no English... Ordering food becomes a lottery, but we are all happier with more money we make and a busy travel industry, shipping folks around the planet for new employments.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Do you miss the food from home?

Interestingly, I get asked a lot of times if I am missing the food from home or if I can get the same food as "back home". Yes, you can. Thanks to globalisation. Found this really great Confiture. Grabbed the strawberry and was overwhelmed by the taste.

Exactly what a Confiture should be: Not too sweet, yes with fruits, but not the entire fruit, making it hard to eat it. No sugary taste or traces of any preservatives etc. Just great strawberry taste. Haven't seen this in Germany though, which proves that "out here" you will sometimes some real gems.

Some information from their website (
Albert Ménès jams are slow-cooked with high fruit content but not any strawberry makes the Albert Ménès mark.  Le premier critère de qualité est la variété du fruit : notre confiture de fraise utilise des fraises senga sengana, petites et au goût très concentré, les roses du confit sont des Centifolia en provenance de la région de Grasse.The first criterion in choosing fine, natural ingredients is about the fruit variety. Albert Ménès Strawberry Jam is made only with strawberries of the Senga Sengana species, chosen for their small size, flavour, strong taste and outstanding crunchiness. The strawberries are sorted and selected before being preserved whole in pure cane sugar to give a jam easily spreadable with the enjoyment of full strawberries.
Bon appetit!