Chai Talk and WTF is going on in Canada?

Thursday, January 12

Location: The Indian Coffee House, Cochi
Rating: ***/5

Cochin, like other parts of Kerala I've seen is a strange mix of various religions combined with a colonial past and an influx of tourists. Along with this is the communist flags and jeeps with loudspeakers campaigning in the State wide election. This international flavour of the city led me to expect something special from the chai and I was not too disappointed.

The Indian Coffee House is a staple across India serving decent food from their limited menu. While lacking anything that resembles atmosphere the red plastic chairs and waiters headdress that look like they're made from folded napkins do lend to the experience. While my tomato omelet was far too spicy to be considered breakfast food and blackened with pepper, the chai was tasty. I must admit that in fact I ordered a coffee however at the Indian Coffee House the chai and coffee are nearly indistinguishable due to the sheer volume of sugar and cream added to each. The warm sweet drink was light with an inviting froth on top that refreshed me despite the hot and humid sea air.

Ok I have to break into this Chai talk with some politics because I just read that the Conservative Party of Canada (we're voting on Jan 23 for those who don't know) have a 10 point lead in the polls. What happened? I don't read the newspaper for a few days and Canada turns upside down. This i scary stuff!

Admittedly I have not followed this election with my usual diligence partly because I'm overseas but also because I assumed it would have similar results to the last one. How wrong could I be! But seriously do we really want a Conservative government. For starters Stephen Harper is the lamest guy in the world and he'll even admit his lack of personality as he has on many occasions.

I can just imagine every visiting dignitary coming up with excuses to skip diner at Sussex Drive. "Uhhh yeah, this is President Kuizumi. Sorry Stephen I can't make it to discuss beef imports and the FTA with Japan. I have to ummm, wash my hair and there's a good documentary on the ahhh ... CBC about rainbow fish I want to catch."

In an attempt to catch up I've gone quickly through the platforms of the parties and I will say there is nothing totally insane about the Conservative platform (except maybe that arctic defence thing, I mean come on!) But I can't forget that this is the same party who for months said they would reopen the gay marriage debate and somehow do it without using the notwithstanding clause while every legal expert told them it was impossible. It's the party who made deals with the Bloc to bring down the government and force an election with no regard for national unity. This is the party who from reading their platform is suggesting at least a couple of constitutional reforms. This is a leader that forced small C conservatives like Belinda and Scott Brison to cross the floor. I come from the Conservative heartland and while the party has adopted a moderate tone in this election it still has the same MPs who in the past have voiced very concerning views on gay rights, the Charter, and immigration. The most concerning thing however is that the votes the conservatives are winning are not a result of visionary policy or leadership but punishment for Liberal screw ups.

In the end we all have to make up our own minds but before you step into the booth lets all remember, especially you Quebec voters, that we rarely make good decisions when we're angry. So take a deep breath and imagine it's a swim suit competition between the caucuses of each party. Paul is trying to look cool in his straw hat but Belinda steals the show in her retro bikini. Layton looks great in some board shorts while Harper runs Baywatch style down the beach in his speedo with MacKay and Stockwell in wetsuits pulling up behind on their seadoos. Hmm tough choice....Good luck Canada, I hope we all make it through this one alright.

nicholas, 3:19 AM


oh god nicholas, i am so frightened. with this election and the upcoming conservative government in canada, and the new supreme court justice in the US that is really anti-abortion, I think that north america is going to fall apart. stay where you are for now!

i am glad that you got to get out of work and that you get to start travelling. i am missing you quite a bit.

it's krystin's b-day party tomorrow and we are all dressing up like her (in some aspect or another). I wish you could be there because i know that you would have a great costume

all the best nick
Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:13 PM  
now that's some commentary you can take to the bank...

I don't know what happened either. Did you hear about the conservative candidate that got busted for smuggling a benz and a shitload of liqour into canada from the US? Ol' stephen won't let him sit as a conservative if he wins. I hope that guy holds the swing vote at some point in time and f**** harper in the a$$.

But don't let the polls fool you...everyone knows that conservatives are the only ones that actually vote in them.

I guess you've just never been able to find a good cup of chai since bangladesh house, eh? The tea I got in Kolkata is the shit and i'm pretty sure that I can make the best chai in the world. Hopefully i'll still have some tea left in april and you can rate it one more time.
Blogger kent, at 11:56 PM  

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