When I travel, I like to start my day with a morning run. Not only does this let me sightsee at speed, I enjoy watching different cities wake up while I plan out my schedule for the day. I usually go for a 5 kilometer run, wandering where I please to be guided home by my Garmin Forerunner 205.
This morning, in Kaduna, I was almost guided to my grave thanks to the many suicidal scooters in Nigeria. But not how you might expect. I was never in danger of being hit, or even side-swiped by a scooter.
No, I was brought to my knees in a fit of couching and hacking by the clouds of scooter exhaust that filled the air and my lungs with toxic blue carbon monoxide.Read More
Stepping off the plane in Skopje, Macedonia, I get a feeling o dÃ©jÃ vu. A feeling I’ve been here before, though I know I haven’t. My parents came through here in the time of Tito, but that was years before my birth.
Still, I could not shake the feeling of dÃ©jÃ vu. It was so strong, I felt I was having an out-of-body experience, until I realized what was happening. I was time-warping and place-shifting myself back to Russia, circa 1999.
The signs in Cyrillic that I could read like they were in English. The language, which spoken slowly sounds way close to Russian. The people, they even look and act Russian. And of course they do, they are Slavs, just like the Russians.
But this is not Russia. This is Macedonia.Read More
Puerto Rico is a beautiful tropical island. A green paradise warmed by the sun and cooled by the sea. And yet this island of perfection has the same cancer, the same degradation of the Caymans: Cars.
Yes, in a place that should be governed by the speed of walking, which should be a car-free delight, is awash in a sea of automobiles. American, Japanese, German, Puerto Rican vehicles mimic the mainland USA in their style, size, and ubiquity.
And, unfortunately, in their pollution.Read More