Shopping malls

China Town plaza

Looking at my globe often makes me think not just of other distant places, or of a well-chosen gift, but of the shopping centre it came from. This was a welcome sanctuary on returning to the UK: a brand new air-conditioned mall with chain stores, a food court and a familiar, inside-outside light filtering onto … Continue reading

The smell of home

Chinese soup spoon

Reading about the salmon in my last post I learnt that apparently salmon are guided in their return migration by the smell of the stream where they were born, and that is how they know how to get home in order to spawn. The sign in Vancouver’s Stanley Park (written by the city’s aquarium) asks, … Continue reading

Coffee shops

Coffee shop chains were a rare sight when I moved back to the UK in the late 1990s, at least outside of major cities. When I did see a branch, it brought familiarity from around the world, and from an important part of my life as a teenager, learning to like coffee with friends and … Continue reading