“It’s not right for a woman to read. Soon she starts getting *ideas*, and *thinking*…”

Gaston had a point. Here are some “ideas” and “thoughts” that are tumbling around in my paltry female brain at the moment… if only I hadn’t read so many books as a child (curse you mother!)

1) When you spend 2 months in a country with a severe fuel crisis, it is difficult to imagine that life outside of that country is proceeding pretty much according to plan. People all over the world go to their local gas station with no fear that it might be dry. Though I have been in Europe for 2 weeks, I still find the idea of a seemingly limitless supply of fuel to be surprising.

2) Ever wonder where unsold clothing goes after the Salvation Army fails to liquidate it? Chances are it ends up in the hands of a hawker somewhere in Southern Africa. There is not necessarily anything wrong with it but the number of poor North American youths running around in ragged clothing should make you think twice before donating your gently used brand-name clothes to a charity that will ship overseas what they cannot sell. Think about donating to a local woman’s shelter or maybe even making your mom 😉 sew your used clothing into something new and useful (bags, quilts, etc. can all be made out of used t-shirts). Heck, I might even think about learning to sew myself if it means I can stop personally contributing to the devastation of a local clothing industry!

3) For all of our flaws, Canadians have done a pretty good job in the public/international relations department. When people find that I am Canadian they tend to be welcoming, friendly, and open minded. Of course, I have never been anything but Canadian (although my British Passport says otherwise) and the counter-factual is unknowable (would I be as well received as an American? a Brit? a Belorussian?) but for the time being I can only be proud at how well received my countrymen are. Good work Canada! Keep up the friendly attitude and the world shall be our oyster… or mussel… or tendon… something like that.

4) My day in The Hague was a bit of a fail. For whatever reason, no museums are open there on Mondays so I ended up just wandering the streets for hours. This left me with 2 things: sore legs, and a gorgeous silver ring that I bought in this nook-and-cranny store a stones throw from the main shopping district. The sore-legs have not yet worn off and I have gone-Gollum over the ring (*strokes it surreptitiously*, my preeeecious). Here’s a picture I took with my webcam. Admire from afar!

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