your black friend is embarrassed for you

I grew up in a city with very few African Canadians.

I recall the first black kid I met. He became a school hero after a math teacher we disliked was fired for some racist comment.

Later my black friend Dave Green became assistant coach at Altadore. He was mostly embarrassed for me. Dave was cool. I was not. 😀

disclaimer – that’s NOT Dave Green. But he is embarrassed.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

related – 7 things black people want their well-meaning white friends to know.


why I don’t like Chile

I originally wrote a post on this topic 2 years ago.

why I don’t like Chile

This is an update after my 2018 trip.

Chile is a lousy travel destination, in general. It’s expensive yet quality is comparatively poor for what tourists get. Low value. ☹️

To expand, I’m disappointed in Chile, Argentina and many other nations for their national priorities.

I can’t recommend any destination that has not figured out trash collection.

Ancud, Chile

I can’t recommend any nation that in 2018 still tolerates feral dogs. Why aren’t they spayed or neutered? Why hasn’t the SPCA come to Chile?

I can’t recommend any destination that doesn’t provide enough public toilets.

Every time you turn around in Chile something is broken or closed. Not much money is spent on maintenance. ☹️

closed overhead walkway in Valparaiso

Most buildings are made of wood. They have a lot of fires, needless to say, due to crappy fire prevention.

Street art is great. But there are far too many vandals and taggers in Chile. Nobody seems to do anything about them.

BEST empanadas in Valpo

New Zealand or Australia are far better tourist travel destinations than Chile, by comparison.

Cairo Teahouse

Egyptian Gymnastics Federation President ‘Bebo’ took some of the foreigners out to Khan el-Khalili (Arabicخان الخليلي‎),  a major souk in the Islamic district of Cairo.

We sipped mint tea and bubbled shisha  at the same table where Putin and Saddam Hussein once sat.

Before I traveled to Egypt in 1994 all I knew about the nation was Naguib Mahfouz‘s novel Midaq Alley (1947) set in an alley in Khan el-Khalili.


Dinner was exactly my style. A tiny side street local joint with paper table cloths and feral cats waiting for leftovers.

First course was rice stuffed pigeon!





farewell Montreal

Three weeks in Montreal. World Gymnastics Championships 2017 and a week relaxing.

M Hostel gave me a deal. C$500 for 30 nights. It costs more than that for 14 nights at the usual rate. Two giant hot tubs on the roof.

Many mornings I ran old Montreal.

After my first stop of the day.

Slowest and least efficient Timmies in Canada, I’d say.

Mostly I wandered the downtown.

Mount Royal park is fantastic. I hadn’t been there for decades.