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Pedaling Haikou City, China 5

Video by James D. Schwartz / The Urban Country Have you ever wondered what it’s like to ride a bike in China? The short film above shows footage of me pedaling around Haikou City yesterday – the capital of the province of Hainan, China. Haikou’s population is somewhere around 1 million people – and I’d ...

Utility Cycling in China 23

All photos by James D. Schwartz / The Urban Country (May 2010) In big Chinese cities – like it or not – bicycles are a vital ingredient to keep the cities moving. From pizza delivery, to painters, to garbage pickup, to cargo shipping, to transporting people – bicycles are everywhere in cities like Shanghai and ...

Handicap Bike Parking 14

Photo by James D. Schwartz / The Urban Country In Shanghai, there are a lot of bikes.. a LOT of bikes. With the high costs of car ownership, heavy pollution and traffic congestion, bikes are still a great alternative and you can quickly get around the city. However, bikes are still generally considered to be ...

The Urban Country Goes to China 2

Photo by James D. Schwartz / The Urban Country (Great Wall of China – 2007) The Urban Country is headed to China for the next three weeks to celebrate our marriage and whatnot. We are on a 13-hour direct flight from Toronto to Shanghai tomorrow and after 4 days in Shanghai we will head south ...

Traveling Water Bottles

Packing for travel is an art: you don’t want to forget anything, but at the same time you don’t want to take hours to do it. Over the past 3.5 years of working for a consulting firm, I have periodically traveled to client sites, attending conferences and for training. As a result, I have become ...

09.09.09: Dubai grows up and gets a Metro

Dubai Metro on the first day. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia Yesterday, on the ninth day of the ninth month of the ninth year of this century at 9:09 pm Dubai matured from a city to metropolis by running its first metro train. The Dubai Metro consists of one partially-functioning Red Line, four under-construction future lines ...

Operation Imani – Ideas for Sustainable African Development

Between 2005 and 2007, Greg John had a life changing experience. He lived in Tanzania while working on a CIDA internship to help the impoverished African country develop its infrastructure. Coming from a cushy life in Canada, living in one of the top 10 poorest countries in the world was an eye opener for the ...

Happy Birthday India! 4

Photo courtesy of www.indianveterans.com Today, August 15th 2009, India celebrates it’s 62nd Independence Day from the 350-year British rule. India is the world’s largest democracy (I call it a ‘Democrazy’!) and has the second largest population in the world. In spite of our large numbers we do miserably in the summer Olympics and are non-existent ...

Back to the Mothership: Punjab (Part II) 1

The second half of our journey in Punjab was primarily gastronomic in nature. Amritsar is famous for its food, especially it’s Dhabas (check out ‘The Dhabas of Amritsar’). My dad is a total foodie and having lived in Punjab early on in his career, he knows a lot of local joints. We stopped by at ...

Middle-Aged Men Powering Through Midlife Crisis

  Last Wednesday I returned from a 6-day canoe/portage trip in the interior of the 7,653 square kilometre Algonquin Park. Like most years, my trip to Algonquin Park contrasts that of other summer travel destinations. Last year I camped at Algonquin Park shortly after taking a vacation in California. Living with only the bare necessities ...