GoNOMAD Writer Profiles
He edits the narrative webzine Perceptive Travel.
Avoiding The CNN Effect
You've probably heard that one before. You may have even said it yourself, after hearing the message of danger coming out of your TV for days on end. But is the danger real, or does it just make for a good story that will increase ratings?
And dangerous compared to what? As an American, I live in a country that leads the developed world in most crime statistics: the most guns, the most murders, the most armed robberies, the most inmates, and the most of nearly any other nasty statistic you can think of.
The Caribbean all-inclusive resorts thrive on this fear, as do the other Club-Med types catering to Europeans and Japanese, from Sharm-el-Sheik to Southern Spain to Saipan. They promise to set you up in a protected enclave, one in which you won't have to interact with any scary locals who are out to rob or flay you. Read more...
The half-naked man pushes back his orange turban and getsdown to work. He breaks off chunks of hash and mixes them with tobacco in his bony fingers, then dumps the contents into a chillum (conical clay pipe).
The flaming wooden match lights up the painted lines on his forehead as he shouts, "Bom Shiva!" and starts puffing away, his head disappearing behind a cloud of smoke. After two massive lungfulls, he passes the pipe on to his brethren, more thin men dressed in a minimum of cloth, with long beards, matted hair, and a happily glazed look in their eyes.
They are sadhus, India's wandering holy men. They have renounced their worldly life, said goodbye to both their possessions and their families, and now lead a life of celibacy, ascetic yoga, and a search for enlightenment.
"Only if your horse wins," Mommy replies, without even blinking.
So there we are, before the races even started, committed to betting on behalf of a girl in kindergarten. I’m not sure a five-year-old can pick up on the subtleties of risk analysis yet, but she seems to do fine picking horses by the color the jockey is wearing or whether the horse has “princess” in its name.
The slight tinge of guilt I have in the beginning for introducing a toddler to gambling fades after the horses started thundering down the track, with everyone yelling for their hopeful champ. The guilt blows away for good in a cloud of dust when three elementary school girls in front of us jump up and scream, "We won! Daddy we won!" Read more...
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