Web Articles

I began writing regular monthly columns for the CBC.ca site back in 2003 and continued through to about 2006.  Here is a selection of those commentaries, musings on modern life, which were written under my "Café Chat" column title.


Yoko Ono

Yoko And Me

My God Yoko turns 80 on February 18th. The Most Famous Widow in the World is still going strong. It's time to give this woman her props. Her due.

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Canadian flag

I Am Canadian

"Where are you from?" Such an innocent question. At a party in Toronto recently, a Russian émigré asked me that question and I said I'm from Malaysia. In the context of the conversation, it was benign enough. The person expressed curiosity about my culture.

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Hocky team

We Are Hockey

When I heard about the NHL players' lockout, I was saddened - much to my surprise. I've spent my life avoiding "Canada's game." I don't play it. I don't watch it. Yet, the game is lodged in my subconscious. I'm Canadian, after all.

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The Great Wall, China


Thirty years ago in May, my family and I came to Canada in search of a better life. We were lucky as immigrants. Back then, we were embraced by our adopted country. My family didn't have to face physical hardship to migrate – there were no clandestine meetings nor did money change hands. Most important, we did not face the spectre of a massive barricade to our entry into a better life.

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Big tall building

The New Solitudes: suburban vs urban

When Canadian author Hugh MacLennan released his book Two Solitudes in 1945 it defined this country in terms of the English/French tension. Almost 60 years after the publication of the novel, the linguistic split has faded and in its place there's a different schism – a suburban/urban divide that has polarized our social and political values.

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Toronto from aerial night view

My Canada Includes Toronto

I was 19 when I first came upon the "Little Apple." My week-long adventure included the fruit and vegetable anarchy of Kensington Market, the steaming dim sum halls of Chinatown and the subtle finery of Yorkville. I walked through neighbourhoods lined with maple trees and 100-year-old mansions, passed by people of all stripes and classes.

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