Jul 192011
 

As this sign shows in both Arabic and English no one knows where the hell they are going and what will happen next in the Middle East.

In Two Minds About Visiting

I went to a few Middle eastern and Arab countries while I was travelling around researching my Travelogue and I have to say and I have to stress that if you are considering holidaying or worse living in any country in the Middle East do yourself a favour – DON’T!

There isn’t one country that could boast having just three elements for a successful visit these three important elements are of course:

  • Cleanliness

  • Personal Safety Guarantee

  • Inviting Citizens – they are only after your dollars

But then of course that criticism applies to a number of countries that believe for reasons best known to themselves that they would make great family holiday destinations, such as Great Britain, India, South Africa and so on.

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May 242011
 

As you may or may not know my second book is a Travelogue, and I have to say if you haven’t heard that I’m writing a Travelogue then my PR people are for the chop – but I digress – sorry.

Back to the point of this little blogette for a moment, as you may or may not know my second book is a Travelogue and it’s going to be a wonderful bestseller as usual and of course will be available in all good bookshop (and some not quite as good probably) and Amazon.com in paper and electronic form.

When researching my marvellous ‘must read’ of a Travelogue I travelled the world visiting interesting places, dreadful places and really disgusting places like oh of the top of my head err India!

As you may or may not know India is a rapidly developing country, it’s rapidly developing into something awful like, um Pakistan! It’s a land of corruption, desperate inequality, squalor, child labour and according to the BBC a ever growing practice of female focticide or to be more abrupt, the killing of baby girls.

The most recent census conducted in 2011 shows a serious decline in the number of girls under the age of seven in India – activists fear eight million female foetuses may have been aborted in the past decade because Indian families only want male children.

Sadly this sort of disgusting activity seems to be prevalent in what are known as ‘developing’ countries, China manages to stay well ahead of India in the baby girl killing states but then they have had more practice.

Indians only really started killing their baby daughters in large numbers in the sixties when dowries were outlawed by the government. Before then a daughter was the family’s prized possession because she would fetch a good price on the open marriage market but these days sadly she won’t.

So one disgusting practice was replaced by another but the one thing you learn when you are travelling ‘developing’ countries that have large populations is that life is cheap and if you are a defenceless child your life is more than cheap it’s worthless.

Indian Mineworker

Here are a couple of my holiday snaps from one of the places I visited in India, the 10 year old lad in the picture above gave up school aged 6 so that he could work in the coal mines and earn a wage. Today working conditions are “good for him” he said, a few years ago he was digging coal out of the earth with his bare hands now he is just bagging it above ground.

My second picture shows how the coal mine employes only the most rigorous safety standards, the walkway is made from ‘real wood’ and hasn’t collapsed in weeks.

Indian Mine

As you can see from my holiday snaps travelling the world broadens your mind mainly because you have to cram in more horrors.

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May 042011
 

Sometimes signs speak for themselves and then other times it’s like they are written in a foreign language just try to read the attack on the English language provided by a translator from china who was actually paid for this abomination.

I like to call this sort of nonsense “goop de gobble de” because although it is ‘gobble de goop’ thats’s how it would be translated by this Chinese idiot.

Still I don’t know why we bother trying to understand what the manufacturer was trying to say on the packaging really because if the product is made in China it won’t work for long because anything and everything that’s made there is just plain dreadful, what a good job they haven’t started making medicines yet!

I went to China doing research for my next book a Travelogue – oh it is awful and they eat Cats there did you know that!

Goop de Gobble de

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Dec 152010
 

Mourning Ribbon LHS.png

Today I am saying goodbye to Randolph the Mountaineering Cat who unfortunately yesterday met a mountain that he wasn’t able to climb successfully.

You know I met Randolph the Mountaineering Cat on his travels while I was doing research for my next book ‘The Travelogue,’ unfortunately the chapter with Randolph the Mountaineering Cat in it was ‘bought’ by the country where we met and so it won’t be in my next blockbusting book.

Actually I am finding that a lot of governments, mayors and anyone connect with countries, cities or towns which feature in my soon to be published Travelogue are ‘buying out’ chapters related to their countries, cities or towns so that they don’t have to suffer the embarrassment of being ‘exposed’ in what is the most honest travel book every written by a Cat!

Goodbye Randolph the Mountaineering Cat.jpg

This purchasing of chapters means that the book is constantly getting smaller and in turn means that I in the interests of value for money have to keep traveling to new countries, of course the extra work is annoying but let’s face it the ‘hush money’ or as some call them ‘bribes’ come in very handy – just ask any african politician or sporting body committee member!

What I can say without breaking the confidentiality agreements I have pawed is that I first bumped into Randolph the Mountaineering Cat on the way to Nepal as he was enduring a stop over at a shabby and rather smelly airport in a rapidly developing country that will one day take America’s place as the leader of the world… sorry I have to stop there for two reasons the first is mentioned above and the second is that I am laughing so much I just can’t type.

After that, our paths seemed to cross as we went from country to country Randolph the Mountaineering Cat was off to climb yet another mountain and I was… well I actually can’t tell you too much about what I was doing or you won’t buy the next book and that would be a little like shooting myself in the Paw with a keyboard! Mmh ‘shooting myself in the paw with a keyboard’ doesn’t sound right does it? But I think you know what I mean.

You know in the short time that we had together Randolph the Mountaineering Cat and I got on rather well and shared a curry together and later the same toilet. It was then while we were both in a lot of pain that something he said stuck in my mind as the dysentery did its worst “chaps and Cats that suffer together form a bond that nothing can break!” I knew exactly what he meant and I also knew that I would possibly sometimes miss-quote Randolph the Mountaineering Cat but I would never forget him or what he said.

Sadly yesterday that bond was broken but not but me. I heard that Randolph the Mountaineering Cat was swinging one pawedly from snowy boulder to snowy boulder in a scree 6,000ft above Base Camp 3 when something went wrong and he slipped.

You know, we got on so well that I had even arranged for him to have ‘exploratory’ talks with my translator John Woodcock in the hope that with Randolph the Mountaineering Cat’s amazing adventures and our very own Mr. Woodcock’s feeble talent together they could produce a bestseller similar to my work a masterpiece of feline literary genius – ‘Getting Out Excerpts from a Cat’s Diary’ available here Amazon.com if you are one of the few people on planet earth who haven’t bought it yet and of course my www – wickedly wonderful website www.thecatsdiary.com where you can buy my book, read my blog and get so much more including loads of free online games both festive and not so festive.

It’s a shame and a great loss that as with Randolph the Mountaineering Cat that book is lost forever.

So in conclusion I would just like to say that Randolph the Mountaineering Cat was a fine Cat and a good friend and I know that it is not only me who will miss him because the world is a poorer place without him and his adventurous kind!

Mourning Ribbon RHS.png

Oh take all of what I said about Randolph the Mountaineering Cat back, he has just called me, he’s in town and we’re going out for Prawns on Friday. I asked him about the photograph and he said that it was the first in a series of ‘shots’ taken for a magazine of him clawing his way to the summit of Katmandu.

Apparently the photoshoot was supposed to be ‘dramatic,’ I didn’t have the heart to tell him how ‘dramatic’ the story that was that I was given about the first picture in the series! I don’t know you can never trust the media these days. Still I am looking forward to catching up with Randolph the Mountaineering Cat almost as much as I am looking forward to the Prawns.

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Jun 222010
 

You know I think that BP may have been passed ‘The Cat Towers’ my Prague HQ, and the centre of my ever growing empire, because there is the most enormous oil spill outside on the footpath (see below).

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The enormous oil spill here prompted me to ask a favour of anyone living on the Gulf of Mexico coastline. If they could take a stroll down to one of their now black beaches and sniff a tarred pelican or two and then let me know if they smell of Vegetable Oil, because I have a feeling that is the odour that is drifting up to my office window and of course if the beach and the wildlife do smell of Vegetable Oil it will confirm my suspicions and I will start to make my compensation claim.

BP say that they have a 20 billion dollar fund that they will use to pay for the damage they have created which is a hell of a lot more than the 1.28 billion dollars that Exxon reluctantly spent in 1989 after the Exxon Valdez hit the rocks off Alaska.

I wonder if BP will wash whiter? Because people who live on the coastline that the Exxon Valdez sprayed with oil say that they are still suffering the ill effects all these years later, but then as the general public have a very limited attention span who out there cares? Definitely not Greenpeace those guardians of the environment who spend so much of our hard earned money on their offices, ships and of course staff needed to collect even more of our hard earned disposable income.

I only know that they don’t care about those poor Alaskans because nowhere on their website do they say that they are doing anything for those poor sods, but then the Exxon Vadez doesn’t have the cachet of the BP disaster does it? And that means that Greenpeace couldn’t use that old Alaskan disaster to make a grab for more of your money could they! The Exxon Valdez disaster is now only relevant to Alaskans.

Exval.jpeg

But think about it can you blame greedy corner cutting corporations when it is ‘you’ that they are getting the oil for at the cheapest possible price so that you always can use your car and don’t pay too much for gas!

Tell you what, if you are ‘that’ concerned about this disaster then the obvious answer is to give up your car, don’t fly anywhere and then happily the developed world will need less oil.

800px-Exxon_Valdez_Cleanup.jpg

If we give up our cars and trucks and save loads of oil then that will leave the two biggest polluter China and India (who of course don’t have any international legal obligations to stop polluting) to pay ever greater amounts of cash for oil, which I have to say is a nice idea isn’t it?

Still thinking about the BP disaster for a moment – did you know that the BP disaster is not the worst oil spill ever, yes, you wouldn’t believe it would you? There is at least one worse oil spill. It happened when that arch villain Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait and then offered a “Mother of all Battles” then ran away before ‘Mother’ arrived and the battle could begin.

During Saddam’s brief time in Kuwait he was worried about the American Marines landing from the Persian Gulf and so being the ‘hero’ that he was he ordered that the valves at an offshore oil terminal be opened. The result was a loss of hundreds of millions of barrels of oil and a 4 inch thick oil slick that covered 4000 square miles.

To give you an idea of what that was like just imagine Rhode Island not only covered in oil but swamped with it to a depth of a foot.

Lastly on an equally unhappy note I recently travelled to Hungary to write a little more of my next book which is a Travelogue, now you can see why I went to Hungary it wasn’t for any sort of literary inspiration or anything I hope you didn’t misunderstand.

The whole trip was awful because basically Hungarians are the rudest people I have ever encountered and I have met Prince Charles!

You can read all about my trip in the book when it finally comes out, but I thought I would share an observation and show just why people are acting unwisely if they wear t-shirts with writing on.

As I passed through downtown Budapest I saw a t-shirt which had a very odd message on it! It said “I Love BP” actually it was one of those even worse than dreadful t-shirts that said “I” then had a little graphic representation of a heart “BP” if you see what I mean.

As you can imagine I thought that this was a very risky stance for anyone to take on behalf of BP in the light of what they are doing to one of the prettiest places in the world, but this was Hungary and as I explained, though I hope not too critically, 99.99% of Hungarians are rude bastards.

It wasn’t until I was on my way home and had spent several hours sighing with relief to get out of Hungary alive it sort of dawned on me “I ♥ BP” meant “I Love or ♥ Budapest.”

As you can now tell it was such a dreadful place, because of the Budapestians that it never ever entered my head that someone would love Budapest, or dare wear a t-shirt that showed any love to the oily polluter either for that matter.

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