Category Archives: Books

Thoughts of the Day 17

Now I know why it’s called CATalonia: it doesn’t know if it wants to walk through the door or not. Shouldn’t nobody sign no contract that they ain’t read before. (I am now giving legal advice in country lyrics, at … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Estonia, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Law, Lithuania, Media, Politics, Spain, Statistics, Time, Travel, USA | Tagged , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Why travelling with little money is the best

Dan Kieran writes in The Idle Traveller: If you have to rely on other people, you are forced to be open and engage with them, which quickly spreads the notion of friendship and community. One person leads you to another … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Economics, Philosophy, Travel | Tagged , , , | 12 Comments

“Neither Here nor There” by Bill Bryson

I like Bill Bryson and have enjoyed some of his other books, but Neither Here nor There, his account of traveling through Europe from Norway to Istanbul, is disappointing. The book is full of clichés that you already knew about … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Europe, Travel | 4 Comments

Thoughts of the Day 15

If you are ever going to attend France’s National Day parade on 14 July, watch out for the pioneers of the Foreign Legion.  More Orwellian news out of Russia. Romania: “Look, USA, that’s how you do an impeachment. Quick and … Continue reading

Posted in Afghanistan, Books, France, James Bond, Military, Politics, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Technology, Travel, UK, US election 2016, USA | Tagged , , | 21 Comments

Thoughts of the Day 14

If I am ever on a quiz show, my telephone joker will be the dude who wrote Wikipedia. Suki Kim has done impressive undercover reporting in North Korea, fooling both her employer, by pretending that she was a devout Christian, and of course the … Continue reading

Posted in Bolivia, Books, China, Colombia, Economics, Education, Environment, Health, Language, Life, Mexico, North Korea, Religion, Saudi Arabia, Technology, Travel, UK | Tagged , , , , | 19 Comments

Book Markets in the Middle East

In Iraq, booksellers leave the books at the side of the road overnight, thinking: “Readers don’t steal, and thieves don’t read.” That reminds me of an episode during my first visit to Iran. In a used-book shop, I found so … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Iran, Travel | Tagged , | 7 Comments

“Death in Venice”

… and there goes Gustav von Aschenbach: “Death in Venice“ is not my favorite book by Thomas Mann, but he is one of my most favorite authors. I have met a few people who have dismissed Thomas Mann as a writer … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Death, Italy, Photography | Tagged , | 1 Comment