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Tuesday, April 3, 2007

raining cats and dogs in my bag

A few trivia. To not always write about my book. Had diner in a great place. Forgot the name, but will go there again, for sure. Yesterday I ate in the worst place in town, I guess. Ordered beef with noodles. Everytime I brought my head down and tried to get some noodles in my mouth, trying invain to seperate a string from the clinging mess in my bowl with my chopsticks, grease dripping from my chin, I smelled something faintly chlorine. First I thought it was the stuff that should have been beef, but consisted of slimy pieces of fat with some hard brown bits in it from some indiscriminate lower lifeform, judging from the taste of it. No beef to be found.. But the smell came from both the bowl and the table. Strong detergent, I suppose. Probably they clean their bowls with the same cloth they use for the tables. Have comforted myself with a big slice of banana-chocolatebread with my medium cappuchino afterwards.

But today had a fantastic cup of Borscht with cornbread and a ginger/orange chicken sandwich. Yummie. While reading the newspaper (what else to do?) I came across the following facts:

1. March was the wettest ever in large parts of Canada. Luckily it just didn't make it to the top spot in Vancouver city.
2. A ban is considered in Vancouver on plastic bags. I can understand the revolution that would be. Even with four items I get three bags in the local supermarket. The article mentioned that in Ireland the amount of plastic bags dropped by 90% after people had to pay 25 cents for each bag.
3. There is a petfood scare running through the country. Several cats and dogs have died of strange kidney failures. Owners cry on television. The source has now been traced to some Chinese factory, where a plastic derivate, Melamine, was found to have contaminated the pet food. Makes one wonder what is in all the other produce we gladly import, because it's so cheap (you won't believe what I paid for it! Only 2 dollars and a kidney!).
4. Several people complain about the time it takes to renew your Canadian passport. Cynical Dutch: listen and shiver!
One woman was told that producing her new passport would take one month. When she asked about it a few weeks later, she was told that the waiting time had risen to 45 days. When she asked some time later, she was informed that she hadn't understood correctly: what they meant was 45 working days. Which amounts to 63 days. After two months, she was told that the waiting period was now actually 85 days. She did not dare ask working days or calendar days anymore and cancelled her holidays, planned for April third.

That was the news that was. Tuesday, april 3.

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