Author: billyfreeze

Oaxaca- The Real Mexico

I was sitting at a table in the zocalo of Oaxaca enjoying the perfect weather. A young boy approached me with a package of combs. “What was he trying to tell me?” I wondered as I ran my fingers through my hair self-consciously. Next appeared a newspaper guy, followed by a wooden craft lady, and then an older woman selling jewelry. Who needs a Walmart when everything for sale is brought to your table by local vendors with faster service than Sky Mall? I’ll admit I have a little ADD, so sitting anywhere for over an hour makes me...

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Afraid of Lebanon? You Don’t Need to Be.

The immigration officer asked me where I had flown in from. “Lebanon”, I replied. “It’s pretty dangerous over there”, he remarked. “Actually not” said I, “they were some of the nicest people I ever met”. He muttered something as he put a special mark on my embarkation card: a “random” mark according to him that got me VIP in the special search-them-extra-good room. Lebanon has an image problem. Once considered a “the place to be” in the Mediterranean, it lost most of its following during the Lebanese hostage crisis that ended in 1992. Subsequent civil wars haven’t helped. The images on television...

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The Most Amazing Country You’ve Never Heard About

Mention the country of Azerbaijan and you’re likely to get a confused look. Much of the western world hasn’t heard of this nation and is even less likely to be able to locate it on a map. Information about it is sketchy at best. My first thought was that the name sounded like a Middle Eastern newly developed country full of goat herders and antiquated Russian buildings. I’m here right now and all stereotypes I had are completely wrong. The truth is Azerbaijan is a very interesting place full of surprises and although it might not have  landmarks that...

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The Bizarre Foods of Mexico

It was lunch time and I was meandering through the San Juan Mercado in Mexico City looking for weird foods to try. I was a little nervous because most of the comestibles I’d heard about were outside of my eating comfort zone. Before I could even navigate past a few stalls, menus were being offered from several of the miniature restaurants tucked in the corners of the market. There was an iguana on the cover of one of them, so I figured that might be the right place to get started. I sat down with my taxi driver, my Spanish translator  app, and began...

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In Search of the Lost Ark…

Some of my friends chide me about my world travels and refer to me as Indiana Jones. Maybe it’s the hat I wear when I’m traveling, my bizarre adventures or seemingly near death experiences that I always seem to escape from unscathed. If you saw Raiders of the Lost Ark you probably know that  Indiana Jones had to journey across the world to get near the Ark of the Covenant, and still never really saw it. Well, that’s one more thing we have in common! Ethiopians claim that the ark was never lost, as is believed by most historians, but has been in their country...

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