Across Continents

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Defining feature

January 27th, 2012

I’d long pondered what really defined the First World. There’d be a UN metric of course. But I’d sought something more tangible, substantive. Drawing on observations of North America, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Western Europe. Contrasting these with upwardly mobile nations such as Turkey, Republic of Georgia and China.

Toyed with ideas such as universal health care provision. But that didn’t work for much of North America. Cuba excepted. Similarly the eradication of poverty. That popped up everywhere in varying degrees. Individual freedoms, such as those of expression or the right to protest, were indicators. Same for democracy and the absence of corruption amongst daily life. But nations such as Singapore precluded these as being defining features.

Then it’d hit me. There’d been signs. Literally. Dog grooming. For if a society could afford pampered pets, it pretty much had the fundamentals in order. An empirical analysis, but one I thought pretty rigorous.

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Who let the dogs out?

May 17th, 2011

dogsout

That’d be me then…

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Late night shopping

December 20th, 2010

Late night shopping. Reasonable size provincial town. South east China. The usual provisions. Various bottled juices for the next day. A few bananas. Instant oats. My breakfast staple if it isn’t provided where I stop.

But something had caught my eye. In a very respectable supermarket. Not some back street affair. Dog. Whole. Well, apart from it’s coat. That’d been shaved off. Resembled some form of racing whippet. Not a good one. Obviously.

Alas, far too many supermarket assistants to be able to take a photograph. And I’m not sure I’d want to publish it – after all, we are supposed to be a nation of dog lovers. As, it seems, are some of the Chinese….

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