|REALLY LONELY PLANET: 16 TRAVEL TIPS FOR THE DEVELOPING WORLD.|
I spent the better part of last year flying into airports where the runways are paved with pea-gravel and the luggage codes look like twenty-point Scrabble plays. Along the way, I made a few mistakes and learned a few things. So next time you find yourself in a nation where the major industry is sustenance agriculture and your hotel is still decorated with bullet holes from the last coup, follow these rules for a smooth ride.
were the visiting Duke of Salzburg. Gift him with a baseball cap or a pair of sunglasses. It is likely that things will fall magically into place shortly thereafter -- a mat on the floor, a meal of curried goat, a night of conversation.
frequently dead wrong. Smile, nod and then make the attempt anyway -- you may be surprised what you can accomplish.
Baksheesh, Part One
|| standard street bribe for cops
and civil servants should be set according to economic indices at an approximate
ratio of 1000:1 -- in other words, in nations where the per capita income
is $1,000 a year, you should start the bidding at $1. Offer more and you're
setting yourself up for a real shakedown.
Baksheesh, Part Two
|down a few side streets and
then -- once I was sure I had lost them -- removed my license plate with
a screwdriver. Interagency communications are pretty bad in Mexico so I
made it back to Texas with no trouble, but in retrospect, this was a pretty
stupid thing to do.
Baksheesh, Part Three
Not Just Anybody
Walk Like a Man
monetary gifts for street children. Many schools in poor countries can't afford to give their students anything to write with.
An All-Purpose Conversation Starter in Youth Hostels
Look Before You Leap
in Brazil, sitting on the banks of the Paranaiba River watching a train of odd squirrel-like creatures swing from the trees using their tails. Something atavistic about this scene inspired me to get naked and jump into the river. I splashed around for a good hour and was feeling quite pleased with myself until later in the day when I found out the Paranaiba was a secondary sewage artery for a nearby city. The doctors were never sure what caused the week of feverish vomiting when I got back home, but the hepatitis test came back negative.
Divide and Conquer
From the Bookstore:
Trust the Magic
Tom Zoellner is a writer in New York City. He'll trade you for the window seat.