Philippines Tourism wants to ban the boinking...Harper and Emirates duke it out
Honestly, people have to show a little more common sense when they're away from home.
It seems Philippine authorities are "moving to protect public decency " on Boracay Island after a TV crew filmed two naked couples making out/having sex in public on New Year's Day. Now, you could ask why the film crew felt obliged to put the sex on tape, but the underlying issue is still the lack of sensitivity to cultural mores when we travel.
Sometimes it's simple stuff, like when I was in Japan and realized how horrible my behaviour was considered when I blew my nose at a crowded sushi bar, or when people neglect to spend enough time looking at someone's business card in Asia and instead simply stick it in their pocket without a nod or a glance; something considered extremely rude and insulting.
But boinking on the beach, that's a bit much no matter whether you're in Boracay, Beijing or Belleville.
"We're thinking of a 'no sex on the beach' (law) so the other tourists would not be scandalised," according to John Yap, mayor of the town that has jurisdiction over increasingly popular Boracay.
Boracay draws some 650,000 tourists a year, according to the website Open Jaw; more than 20 per cent of the country's total visitor traffic.
CANADA-UAE FIGHT SHOWS NO SIGNS OF EASING
So, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the government of the UAE appear to getting along rather nicely. Or not.
The two sides have been battling for months over a request by Emirates Airline to land more plans in Canada, something I think would benefit consumers. Ottawa, on the other hand, has argued that Canadian airlines could lose thousands of jobs if Emirates flights were more frequent into and out of Canada.
Emirates has been met by something of a brick wall in Ottawa, and the airline has become increasingly frustrated with Harper's intransigence.
The government of the UAE, which includes Dubai and Abu Dhabi, also got tired of the lack of action and recently told Canada to close up an armed base in Dubai that was used for supplying Canadian troops in Afghanistan.
"That's just not how you treat allies, and I think (it) tells us you better pick your friends pretty carefully in the future," the PM told OMI Agency. "I could never see (us) treating an ally like that. Could you imagine after 9/11 if the Americans had come to the Canadian government and said, 'We need help on something to do with security' (and we said) 'Well. only if you do something on Buy America.' I mean, give me a break."
Canadian critics have said Emirates is basically unfair competition because it gets subsidies, something the UAE denies.
"Prime MInister Harper's comments mark the latest round in what has become a Groundhog Day cycle of myths and misrepresentation of Emirates Airline," said Emirates president Tim Clark. "I challenge Prime Minister Harper or any member of his government to produce one shred of evidence to support the false accusations which are repeatedly reported as fact by the Canadian media."
Isn't it nice that the two sides are getting along so nicely?
Meanwhile, I had to laugh a bit when, as I was researching this item, I got a press release advising me that Emirates "is offering price reductions of up to 20 per cent in January for two days on flights from Toronto to multiple destinations in the Middle East when booking online at emirates.com/ca."
The press release says that all published first class seats are on offer for 20 per cent off, while Business Class roundtrip fares get a 13 per cent savings. Restricted business class fares are five per cent off, while Economy Class roundtrip fares get a 10 per cent discount.
The offer is valid for roundtrip tickets purchased on Jan. 11 or 12 only for travel between Jan. 12 and March 31 between Toronto and Jeddah, Riyadh, Doha, Bahrain, Dammam, Kuwait, Tehran, Muscat, Amman, Beirut and Damascus.