I grew up in 1980s America. I remember the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, which exploded over Scotland in 1988. I remember the Challenger space shuttle disintegrating over the Atlantic Ocean in 1986. I remember that airplane crashes just seemed to be on the news regularly, giving me an irrational fear of flying that I still have today.
It’s encouraging to know:
Airplane accidents occur at a rate of: 1 crash for every 1,200,000 flights.
The dark part of our imagination tells us that no one can survive a plane crash. This is wrong. 95.7% of people involved in a plane crash survive, actually. Even in the most tragic and serious of airplane crashes, over half of the passengers survive.
So, what can you do to increase your chances of survival? First, pick the right seat to sit in.
SIT IN AN EMERGENCY EXIT ROW, … Read More »
Q: What do Rush Limbaugh, Big Boi of Outkast and Oakland Raider Louis Murphy have in common?
A: They have all been arrested for traveling with Viagra without a prescription.
Viagra is an ‘erectile dysfunction’ drug that could help make it easier for 50.24% of us to do something harmless. While Viagra’s effects are not quite as bad as crack cocaine, crystal meth or a Big Mac, many countries around the world, including the USA, have strict rules regarding its possession without the pills in their proper container with a proper prescription. Even if you legally purchase Viagra over-the-counter in Taiwan or Mexico, if you bring it back to the US, or Singapore, or the UK, you may find yourself in jail for an evening, with criminal charges leveled against you. It’s not just drugs like Viagra, but also sleep medications, painkillers, sedatives, … Read More »
In the middle, in an aisle seat on the side opposite of oncoming traffic.
I would estimate that I have “enjoyed” 20,000 miles on buses. I’ve survived a 36-hour ride from Beijing to Kunming, a sweltering broken-AC ride from Mulege to La Paz, Mexico, a grueling “third time’s a charm” ride from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh in which I rode on three different buses on one ticket due to the breakdowns of the first two, and an all-out air conditioning assault each time I’m in Malaysia.
To get the seat I want, I go in prepared. I have a little graphic showing the ticket seller of which seat I request.
Here’s a breakdown:
• Passengers in the front of the bus are vulnerable in a head-on collision. Yet, the drivers’ seat is sometimes believed to be the safest seat on the bus, due … Read More »
How is there so little street crime?
Don’t get me wrong, there is crime in Asia. There is government corruption, bribery, domestic abuse and organized crime. However, a traveler is highly unlikely to get caught up in this. “Street crime” such as robbery, assault, rape and murder are astonishingly low, especially in North Asia (Mongolia somewhat excluded). In large Asian cities, I have no fear listening to my iPod and walking home through unknown neighborhoods for two hours in the middle of the night.
Travelers and expats appreciate this quality over here, yet can’t seem to explain exactly why it is. Rich and poor are living together. Surely, there are plenty of “opportunities” for crime walking down the streets. So why is Asia so safe?
Here are a few factors that likely influence the low street crime of Asia:
THE SHAME FACTOR
In the USA, … Read More »
Phnom Penh has a bit of a dangerous reputation among travelers, even though most guidebooks tell us it is safer than it looks. No doubt, the place feels a bit unsafe upon a first visit. Is it?
At night, many of the city streets are dimly lit, and shadowy silhouetted figures gather on the street corners. I am accustomed to utilizing the same judgment I would in an American city- where dark, empty streets are suspicious alone after dark, especially with others loitering about. However, coming here from other Asian capitals, I am so accustomed to walking freely with little fear. Is Phnom Penh different?
Given the amount of guns and Cambodia, along with the discrepancy between the income of the locals and the value of a tourist’s backpack, it is a wonder that there is not actually more crime in Phnom Penh. Certainly, the kindness of local strangers … Read More »