Sometimes I like to take a break from blabbing on and acting like a travel know-it-all, so here are some news stories and blog posts that have caught my eye recently. Random notes from cheap destinations and a few travel tips, preserved for longer than a fleeting tweet or status update.
First, no link necessary for this one. The Week magazine’s editor started an editorial with the question “How much terrorism can we tolerate?” He then noted that roughly 30,000 Americans a year die in car crashes and another 30,000 die in gun violence. That’s “the equivalent of twenty 9/11s every year.” But we seem to live with that—we assume we can’t get to zero no matter what. So why is getting to our plane so much harder than buying a handgun?
Have you ever had a nightmare about your plane landing in the wrong destination? A couple flying on Turkish Airlines from Los Angeles to Dakar, Senegal, instead ended up in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Here’s the killer quote: “When the flight attendant said we were heading to Dhaka, we believed that this was how you pronounced ‘Dakar’ with a Turkish accent.”
Last month a columnist for the Daily Telegraph noted that the third-largest political party in Hungary hates gypsies and Jews and isn’t afraid to say so. Pretty depressing if you’re one or the other. (You know a newspaper column has struck a chord when even the sane comments that weren’t deleted are at 299.)
Apparently the Sherpas who serve as guides on Mount Everest, Nepal have had enough. At the peak of the climbing season in May, some 100 of them attacked three climbers who had ignored requests to let the Sherpas finish laying their ropes. The exact exchange preceding the 50-minute battle is disputed, but the general interpretation is that the Sherpas are tired of being treated like servants by rich doctors, CEOs, and lawyers who have money but no sense and the guides finally snapped.
This video recently caused quite an uproar in Thailand: Buddhist monks in a private jet with fancy electronics.
For those of us who travel like real monks—in uncomfortable economy—a bit of consumer justice was recently served. Delta got fined for not properly compensating passengers who had been bumped off their flight.
In case you got to the end of this wondering what that naughty image is all about, it’s the new headquarters of China’s People’s Daily newspaper. Apparently comments about it have been blocked on social media after the Chinese went crazy talking about “the organ of the state” while exchanging photos.