#alienadventures: Helsinki – the quintessential alien adventure

Monocle magazine voted Helsinki the best city on the planet to live this year, so my recent trip there was perfectly timed to see what the fuss was all about. In short here are the pro’s and con’s in brief: Pro’s: There were only 5 (yes 5!) murders in the last year (in Jozi that’s … Continue reading

#alienadventures: 2 countries, 3 cities in 1 week #Zara #NokiaWorld

So next week is rather busy. Besides getting the invitation to sit on a panel discussion at the Nokia World global conference, I received another call from ZARA (who are finally opening in SA in the next couple of months) to visit their HQ and see their operations…all in the same week. Who doesn’t want … Continue reading

#alienadventures: you know you’re in Paris when…(observation 4: OTT retail spaces)

With a city as beautiful as Paris, retail spaces need to blend in with the architecture, not try and reinvent them. As a result you come across the most unexpected spaces and shop fronts. Either the facade belies what is behind – like this Apple iStore: … or you get a big surprize when you … Continue reading

#alienadventures: you know you’re in Paris when…(observation 3: luxe mcdonalds)

Only in Paris would your local McDonald’s come with a sensible (and sensitively laid out) al fresco eating area. Not only are the McCafe’s in Paris hyper chic, but they ensure you get the brasserie eating experience even when chomping on a Big Mac and chips – or, as they would say – Grand Mac … Continue reading

#alienadventures: you know you’re in Paris when…(observation 2: fierce shoes)

The women are as fierce as their shoes are. So it’s true. French women don’t eat croissants. It’s how they manage to squeeze into those designer labels. Spotted in department store Bon Marche was this fierce example. Crisp white coat, with heels and leggings to catch the eye – and catch my eye they did. … Continue reading

#alienadventures: you know you’re in Paris when…(observation 1: pampered pooches)

The street beggars have dogs, and the dogs are better groomed than their owners. It’s a known fact that the French love their pets. Anyone who has walked the streets of Paris would have (sooner or later) had to scrape some merde off the soles of their shoes – it’s a rite of passage. You … Continue reading

#alienadventures: The Rise of the South African “Slackoisie” (Prounounced “Slack-wah-zee)

My latest column for City Press seems to have hit a nerve, so I’ve decided to republish my origional column as a blog-post. The column hinges around the “slackoisie” a delicious term used to describe young law professionals – and increasingly – the work ethic of the Y- generation, or millennials. But I have used … Continue reading

#alienadventures(china) – the Asian two-wheel commute: getting there is the fun part [photo essay]

Anyone who has been to Asia will know that two wheeled transport is what really gets the masses moving. Whether it’s an old-school bicycle, a new fangled electric bike, or your ever-present mosquito bike, the ones that drone and spew toxic noise and fumes, the two-wheeled commute is a surprisingly calm and laid back affair. … Continue reading

#alienadventures(China): more food porn – the vacumn packed fetish variety

OK so the Chinese eat weird stuff, but can the weird be turned into eat-as-you-go convenience food? Of course. Here’s a short sampling of some of the “I can’t believe you made that into fast food” moments in China.

Fresh off the virtual press: Shanghai’s green heart (exclusively for VISI)

I warned you that there would be a lot of posts after my China trip – there’s just so much to write about. After a meeting with Visi editor, Jacquie Myburgh-Chemally, I was commissioned to write an exclusive piece for the magazine on Shanghai’s green philosophy, and forward-thinking urban planning. This is the feature, hot … Continue reading