Tag Archives: violence

Vietnam! (“The Friendliest Little Communist Country in the East…”)

Vietnam! (“The Friendliest Little Communist Country in the East…”)

There is a genuine warmth in the people of Vietnam that I don’t think I have experienced anywhere else on our fifteen month long backpacking world tour.

The Vietnamese do not display the overt flamboyance of the Brazilians, the macho standoffishness of the Argentinians, the aloofness of the Chileans, the rebellious confidence of the Bolivians, the cultural arrogance of the Peruvians, the willful ignorance of the Ecuadorians, the fearless doggedness of the Colombians, the disingenuous smiley-faced competitiveness of the North Americans, the infuriating over politeness of the Japanese, the ear-drum-shattering brashness of the South Koreans or the downright meanness of the Chinese…

The Vietnamese are just a carefree bunch of happy-go-lucky chaps completely content with their lots in life....

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I Went Backpacking Around China In A Wheelchair…

I Went Backpacking Around China In A Wheelchair…

I don’t often write about disability in this blog, least of all my own.

At best, the effect tends to be poison on my reader numbers. At worst, it’s self indulgence rooted in the bizarre, infantile and utterly false notion perpetuated by almost all Western media outlets that people with disabilities are some kind of ideologically linked community with an axe to grind against the fact the world isn’t built around them....

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Is Colombia Dangerous?

Is Colombia Dangerous?

There’s a certain amount of bravado that comes with having survived a trip to Colombia. If you are reading this blog then you can assume that my girlfriend and I made it out alive…

Since the early 1960s it has been locked in the world’s longest running civil war (still ongoing at the time of writing) against a hapless assortment of leftist narco-terrorist guerrilla groups like the infamous FARC and the lesser known ELN and M19....

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What’s So Great About Ecuador?: An Expat’s View

What’s So Great About Ecuador?: An Expat’s View

Ecuador is a funny old place. In our two week stay there my girlfriend and I struggled to pin down its unique selling point.

Ecuador is perhaps most famous for being home to the Galapagos Islands. It is also where in 1736 an expedition of French and Spanish scientists worked out the latitude of the imaginary line that divides the Earth’s northern and southern hemispheres, after which the country is named....

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13 Surefire Ways To Tell Whether Or Not You’re In Bolivia…

13 Surefire Ways To Tell Whether Or Not You’re In Bolivia…

Backpacking around the world can be disorientating at the best of times. With so much excitement going on, it’s easy to lose track of the time, date or even country that you’re in.

If you ever wake up in the middle of the night wondering where the hell you are, use this handy guide to find out whether or not you’re in Bolivia…

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The Capoeira Fighters Of Bahia

The Capoeira Fighters Of Bahia

We were searching for the definitive capoeira experience. Since arriving in Brazil, I had seen it on postcards but not on the streets.

Brazil’s very own martial art capoeira has been of fascination to me ever since my late teens – September 12th 1998 to be exact – when the videogame Tekken 3 was released on the Playstation....

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Blood, Sweat & Cobblestones In Brazil’s Gold Mining Heartland

Blood, Sweat & Cobblestones In Brazil’s Gold Mining Heartland

It wasn’t until after we arrived that we found out Ouro Preto is officially the steepest town in Brazil. In hindsight, it seems like a daft place to visit in a wheelchair.

Not only is it the steepest town, but I’d be willing to wager my left testicle it’s also the cobbliest....

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