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A student turned traveller turned up at the FMP clinic on Saturday night at 10.45pm with pains across the chest and an uncomfortable heartbeat; he’d spent the day with friends walking the streets of Hanoi looking at some of the old buildings and having great fun. He told the staff he’d had a few late nights with friends drinking the local beers and enjoying the new tasty food. He was having a really great time; but now he felt strange with pains and dizziness.

The final stretch. Riding his dear bike, Nemo, Matt is nearing Kathmandu

 

If you’ve read this column regularly you know that the mantra of “calories in versus calories out” is not the total picture when attempting to lose fat and shape up. Our bodies are in constant flux in the never-ending efforts to maintain homeostasis — the state of equilibrium and balance.

 

Dear Douglas,

We’ve looked at ill-defined terminology before. The non-profit sector not only loves its jargon (MEAL policy, anyone?) but what about those popular — and hazy — words that sound like they really nail something on the head, but upon closer inspection collapse under the weight of their lofty ambitions. ‘Building capacity’ or ‘sustainability’ or ‘delivering impact’ (ack!) are all suspect terms and rightfully so. They’re overused and defined so broadly as to become meaningless. I’ll offer up ‘empowerment’ to demonstrate what I mean.

 

A recent environmental disaster, which resulted in a massive fish kill-off on the central coast of Vietnam, had many people rallying in the streets demanding protection of the environment.

Wine is a constantly evolving product; in the glass, in the bottle and in the vineyard. Innovation, experimentation and the will to constantly improve is the mantra that winemakers live by. This is especially the case in the modern Spanish wine world. Spain is currently the most dynamic wine producing country in the world.

The word alley is more than 600 years old, owing its origin to the Old French word alee, meaning ‘walking or passage,’ and its medieval equivalent aler, or ‘go’ (today aler is spelt aller). The alleyway network in Ho Chi Minh City was introduced as a practical way of delivering goods and people to buildings away from the main streets.

Why does becoming an expatriate bring out the Extreme Sports Expat? Do we have to become more adventurous than friends and family back home? A recent survey of expats revealed that just over half expect to take part in extreme sports while abroad; off-piste skiing, quad biking, kite surfing, sand boarding, kayaking, white-water rafting and rock climbing are booming. The expat community seems not short of enthusiasts and the sports are getting more dangerous.

Matt and Nemo pass through some of the highest mountain passes in the world, in North-West India’s Jammu & Kashmir region

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