feeding my own misguided insanity

Forty (40) eh. I must admit, if someone told me what I would get up to or the places I’d visit during my short life, I’d have said: no way Jose. The last forty years have been a journey that’s seen me walking with a big smile on my face, not all the time, but […]

Every three years, along with hundreds of thousands of other expats, I must renew my UAE residency visa — a process that’s as convoluted as it is archaic. Despite the fact that most of the bureaucratic grunt-work is done by somebody else, my family and I are still required to subject ourselves to blood tests […]

A few years back while working in Ghana, I came across a number of people who were spending their gap year volunteering in Africa. I remember being quite impressed by the fact that these young high school graduates had put their academic lives on hold in favour of altruistic pursuits. I was curious and wanted […]

After almost two decades in and around regions endemic with the parasitic disease, I finally contracted malaria. Had it only been malaria it probably wouldn’t have been such a big deal, but tests revealed that I was carrying two additional parasites: Schistosomiasis and Giardia lamblia. All three combined, had systematically compromised my immune system and […]

As a side benefit of being laid up in bed for the last few days, I’ve managed to catch up on the arguments being put forward to the U.S. Congress regarding military intervention in Syria. There were a number of well-polished speeches, feisty comments and even attacks on Obama. Nevertheless, I felt that that the […]

Turkey hints at ‘evidence’ that Israel is destabilizing the Brotherhood, the U.S. fleet is planning a fishing trip to the Med, NSA agents are misusing company resources to spy on their ‘love interests’ and the WikiLeaks Party is about to oust its leader, Julian Assange, if he continues to hide in Ecuador’s London embassy instead […]

Just about every person you’re likely to meet exhibits some idiosyncrasies, or quirks. These may be noticeable during normal day-to-day interaction or could only surface under times of stress or discomfort. I’m particularly interested in the latter because it can shed light onto someone’s receptiveness and the true nature of their responses during discussions and […]

The Middle East is changing, without a doubt, and Dubai is certainly one city that can attest to dramatic changes. Whether the changes are for good or bad, I’m going to reserve judgement for now. However, I would like to say that an infusion of new blood into any community adds a cosmopolitan feel to […]

With my birthday just around the corner I find myself looking back at my accomplishments, my memories and thousands of pictures. My life laid out on the table in front of me as if it all just happened yesterday. I wanted to achieve a great many things, a handful have materialised, others are still works […]

It’s been almost three years since my last big African project south of the equator. This morning I once again saw Lusaka’s green lawns bask in the warm, morning sun while birds played in the lush Acacia trees lining the streets. Not much has changed. The people are still friendly, kind and with a genuine […]

Before going on leave some weeks back, I managed to finish up a number of projects and hand them over to those who would act as custodians in my absence. I try to make the process as painless and informative as possible for those staying behind to man the walls. But in spite of my […]

Today I was approached by a friend and colleague to give a talk about the benefits of working in the information technology consulting industry and “How you attain achievement and enjoyment at work”. To be honest, I was taken aback by the mere proposition of talking on the subject in a positive voice given my […]

I really don’t care for the Emirates Foundation, duty free shopping or the number of languages spoken by the crew, nor do I enjoy announcements that belch through the headphones at a pain inducing volume, override my preferences and pause my show. I care little for local time, the outside air temperature or that some […]

What is it about professional certifications that compels people to get certified in the technologies they work in or fields they want to get into? As many of us know, a certification doesn’t necessarily translate into someone’s mastery of topic. For a long time I resisted obtaining them because of too many disappointing experiences with […]

Research in Motion (RIM), the Canadian maker of BlackBerry phones, is laying everything on the line in the hope that its latest device, the BlackBerry 10 smartphone, will win over consumers and pull the company out of a lossmaking slump that saw its share price tumble by almost 96% over the past two years. RIM […]

To say that I’m a fan of international roaming would be a big fat lie. Don’t get me wrong, I love the freedom of being able to take my mobile phone and SIM (subscriber identity module) card from my current provider, travel half way around the world and still be able to communicate as if […]

Multi-billion dollar Oil & Gas companies are being targeted by a new generation of intelligent and destructive computer viruses that are capable of collecting sensitive information and are capable of destroying entire computer ecosystems. On August 15, Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest Oil & Gas producer based in Saudi Arabia, admitted that it was targeted […]

Millions of frequent flyers around the globe go through the pain of requalifying for the coveted Emirates Skywards Gold membership level. For some of us, this may mean being only a few thousand tier miles away from retaining Gold, for others, it could be 25,000 miles. So what’s the best way to ensure you keep […]

I’m a bit confused by the state of modern backpacking, at least when it comes to understanding people’s motives for leaving home in the first place. And with so many travel websites, prescriptive guides and an ever-increasing supply of tourist-compiled material, I somehow feel that the romance and adventure of exploring new lands is slowly […]

With the rising sun the stillness and peace of the night gives way to hammer-drills, screeching machines and a sea of fluorescently coloured construction workers precariously clinging to the most recent addition to Dubai’s skyline. A marriage of glass and steel, polished until the reflection of distant sea waves can no longer be distinguished from […]