Settled in Kelowna and semi-assimilated, with the locals complimenting me on my accent (think Chekov from the new Star Trek) well into my mid-teens, when I finally lost the accent (though I’ll read the menu with an accent for you if you want).
Ended up at a snooty Ivy League school, a scholarship kid among Anglo princes whose family fortunes date back to the triangle trade. Here I developed a love of learning, a keen nose for character and a suspicion of men with perfectly parted hair.
After that, a spell travel writing for Let's Go, facing down rioting militia men in West Timor and angry tarantulas in Arizona. After earning an MA in Poli Sci in California, I took a job in Dubai, working with a bunch of ex-CIA types; spending my mornings eating cactus fruit with a Bedouin family in the Arabian desert, my afternoons shopping for armoured cars and entertaining Iraqi sheikhs on weekend junkets to Beirut, my evenings watching prison-tattooed Russian skinheads luxuriate in the spa on top of the world's only seven star hotel, and my nights clubbing with Emirates Airlines cabin crew one too many times.