23 May 2017

Reddit Travel Rants, No. 7: Is it Safe?

I have come to the realization that Americans have a very warped sense of safety outside of their borders. Every destination just screams "unsafe" to them. So you have a lot of travel newbies asking questions like "Is it safe to visit Stockholm?" or "Is it safe to visit Berlin?" I wonder how these same people would react when someone asks "Is it safe to visit Orlando?" or "Is it safe to visit California?" After all, bad things also happen to these places, like shootings and other terrorist acts.

21 May 2017

Impressions and Images of Iran: The Golestan Palace in Tehran

Iran might be known today as an Islamic republic, but it used to have a monarchy. In the capital Tehran, there are several buildings in a complex that form the Golestan Palace, or Kagh-e Golestan, which literally means the Palace of Flowers. It is a historic monument and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

19 May 2017

Book Review: Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

I've had this book in my reading list for a while now, but only recently have I gotten the chance to read it. And I must say it was a very powerful book. I would even go as far as saying that it is one of the books that contribute to shaping my constantly evolving world view. I will definitely expand on what I mean by that later, but first, a synopsis.

Brave New World is a futuristic dystopian novel published in 1932. The story is set in 2540 AD (in the book the year is 632 AF or After Ford), and depicts a world where there is just one State, and humans are classified into five major castes. The humans are basically artificially engineered, using a process called Bokanovskification. While the embryo is developing, the eggs are subdivided such that multiples of twins are produced, with identical physical properties. So if you are engineering a set of lower caste workers, then they are all the same, and all designed to do the same menial boring work that the caste is engineered to do.

17 May 2017

Impressions and Images of Iran: The Holy Shrine of Imam Khomeini in Tehran

After hiking the Alamut Valley, I headed to Tehran, which was my final stop. I left my hotel early, wanting to take a bus, but since it was Ashura, buses were not running, and the only option to go to Tehran was by shared taxi. So I took a seat, and after waiting for the taxi to be full, we headed off for Tehran. The highway was empty, as everyone else was still not in town. I found myself a place to stay, and after putting down my things, I headed to the south, to see the shrine of Ruhollah Khomeini.

15 May 2017

Reddit Travel Rants, No. 6: Clueless about the "VISA"

I find it unfathomable that some travelers just think they can buy a ticket and just fly to a destination. I suppose some first-world travelers are just so privileged that they don't need to worry about documentation that they need to procure before heading out. I guess they just think that all they need is a passport and a ticket, and they can board that plane to a foreign country. As someone who holds a passport from a third-world country, I find that bizarre.