I used to place Egypt quite high on the paradox list, as they have a lot of signs reading “Egypt – the land of peace” while a guard carrying an automatic weapon stands firmly posing in front of the very sign. However, there’s a new kid on the block. In Paraguay, I learned recently, there are people guarding the car tire shops in full Kevlar armor, holding a sawed-off shotgun with a finger on the trigger.
A journey through Iran
"I woke up freezing on a Persian rug with aching back. Behind a corner I saw the damned rooster that kept me awake during many hours."
Roaming in Valletta
"I passed the statue of Jean de Valette, the 49th Grand Master who laid the foundation stone to Valletta in 1566, to gaze at the golden interior of St. John’s Co-Cathedral, where he is buried in the crypt."
Visions of Singapore
"By extensive use of landfill with sand bought from Indonesia and Cambodia, the bay area has expanded greatly in the last few years and tall buildings pop up everywhere."
Wazzup in Vaduz
"Vaduz Castle is overlooking the town from a hill, a short walk from the center. It’s really a postcard view with the alps in the background, which I’m sure the prince enjoys as he sips his morning coffee while towering above his loyal subjects."
Eating my way through Basque country
"Not too bad to wash it all down with a local Txakoli, the young white wine typical of the Basque country."
On the Trans-Siberian
"Since the toilets were locked during the seven hour stop, we had to bribe the provodnitsas to use the facilities. Then came the Mongols."