Posts Tagged With: Somalia

Tourist Spots for the Extreme Introvert

People-free paradise

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You say you’re an introvert? You say you really hate crowds? You hate them more than lutefisk, filing taxes, and paper cuts? Are you oh so wary of catching a pandemic virus, or even a three-week cold? But you also like to travel?

I’m glad you spoke up. Here are the most beautiful, least tourist-ridden spots in the world. My rankings:

1. Naru

This island paradise gets only 200 tourists a year. Granted that’s 199 visitors a year more than you’d like, but you have to remember that you’ll be one of the 200. People don’t go there because it’s tiny, covering 8 squares miles. Although, this means you don’t have to go far for anything. The beaches are incredibly beautiful and uncrowded. Go there. Go there!

2. Tuvalu

This beautiful speck of land, hardly bigger than a burrito, manages to take in only 1,000 tourists a year. It would receive more visitors, but it’s so hard to get there; only a few sporadic flights connect it with Fiji. That’s great news for us. It keeps the riff raff away. Very few loud oafs infest the island oh so gorgeous beaches and the locals are so laid back that it’s quite easy and stress free to avoid them. Go there soon as global warning may drown this introverts’ paradise. Tuvalu would have easily gotten out number-one rankings if its annual mob of tourists hadn’t exceeded Nauru’s by 800.

3. Kiribati

Kiribati’s splendidly attractive. The life style is relaxed. The beaches are pristine and mostly uninfected by clamorous tourists. The gently swaying palm trees lull you into blissful tranquility. Unfortunately, the atoll-nation attracts 6,000 tourists per annum. That’s too many for us. We must regretfully assign a low ranking to Kiribato. Even so, you might want to go there once before rising water levels submerge the country forever. (The government actively considers relocation to other islands for its people.)

4. Montserrat

A huge volcanic eruption devastated this island in 1995. The southern half of the island was covered in ash and declared uninhabitable. The thriving musical culture got wiped out. So, fewer tourists came to once-island paradise. However, this will make a visit here more attractive. On the other hand, 7,000 clods visit the site every year. Fortunately, they tend to only clog up spots near the volcano. Apparently, people like to see towns and countrysides blanketed with ash. On the third hand, this strange behavior is a boon to us. We get the beautiful beach and wondrous scenery in the untouched north all to our selves.

5. Niue

This pretty little island is just the place for people-hating adventurers. It’s splendidly isolated from the world’s people-teeming nations. It’s beaches are few, small, and hard to get to. But how beach do you need when you’re by yourself, and at most, with one significant other? This little speck of lands is just the thing for divers. Nowhere else on Earth can you explore as many uncluttered underwater tunnels and caves. Supposedly, there’s internet connection all over the island. So if you must contact someone, you can do it at a blissful distance. However, 7,000 tourists manage to get there every year. So, Niue only manages to beat out Somalia and North Korea.

6. Somalia

This African nation is just the spot for tourist-hating travelers. Just 500 people visit the land’s beaches and haunting landscapes. Since, Somalia is a fairly big nation, this means the probability of running into any of the perhaps dozens of tourists there at any one time. On the other hand, it’s not much of a nation. The authority of the central government remains quite limited. The downsides to visiting Somalia are: political instability,  extremists running amok, and military coups. Still there are many forsaken, beautiful landscapes to behold if you’re willing to stock up and rent an all-terrain vehicle. Hey, it’s better than North Korea.

7. North Korea

You might be surprised that we included this country in our introverts’ must-see sites. This country steadfastly remains at the top-of-the-top list for its capricious, brutal dictatorship, rampant human rights violations, and annual food shortages. Paradoxically, these factors earn it a spot on our lists as these frankly horrible attributes keep the number of visitors down to 6,000. Oh and I forgot, you can’t go anywhere without a guide. If you talk to locals, the omnipresent police will kick you out of the country and possibly jail the local you spoke to. You should also assume your hotel room will be bugged.  There are no palatable restaurants. It’s airline, Air Koryo,  consistently wins the award for the world’s worst burger. It’s strange to say then that Air Koryo is North Korea’s primary attraction. There is simply no other airlines that give you a glimpse into what budget air travel was 70 years ago. Still, it’s hard to overcome the nation’s faults and the fact that you will be traveling in an airplane rife with tourists. We easily gave North Korea our worst rating. I mean, it’s like Somalia with 5,500 extra tourists. Brr!

 

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

Categories: international, things to see and do | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Paul the Liberator

Independence Fireworks

By far, the greatest number of nations achieving independence has occurred in my lifetime. It’s true. You can look it up. I am, of course, rather humbled by this knowledge. I don’t recall having much direct influence on this march to freedom but nevertheless, it has happened concurrently with my existence. I can only surmise that my life has always been a  beacon of hope to people in downtrodden lands.

I see a Nobel Peace Prize in the near future.

For the record, countries achieving independence since my birth are:

Togo
Guinea
Madagascar
Mali
Senegal
Ivory Coast
Niger
Cameroon
Togo
Madagascar
Democratic Republic of Congo
Somalia
Benin
Burkina Faso
Chad
Central African Republic
Republic of Congo
Gabon
Nigeria
Mauritania
Sierra Leone
Tanzania
Uganda
Burundi
Rwanda
Algeria
Kenya
Malawi
Zambia
Gambia
Zimbabwe
Rhodesia
Botswana
Lesotho
Mauritius
Eswatini (Swaziland)
Equatorial Guinea
Guinea-Bissau
Mozambique
Cabo Verde
Comoros
São Tomé and Príncipe
Angola
Seychelles
Djibouti
Namibia
Eritrea
South Sudan

Antigua and Barbuda
Bahamas
Barbados
Belize
Dominica
Grenada
Guyana
Jamaica
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Lucia
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Suriname
Trinidad and Tobago

Bahrain
Bangladesh
Brunei
Kuwait
Kyrgyzstan
Malaysia
Singapore
Maldives
Palestine
Tajikistan
Timor-Leste
Turkmenistan
United Arab Emirates
Uzbekistan
Yemen

Belarus
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Croatia
Czech Republic
Estonia
Latvia
Lithuania
Malta
Moldova
Montenegro
North Macedonia
Serbia
Slovakia
Slovenia
Ukraine

Fiji
Kiribat
Nauru
Samoa
Palau
Papua New Guinea
Solomon Islands
Tonga
Tuvalu
Vanuatu

Armenia
Azerbaijan
Cyprus
Georgia
Abkhazia
South Ossetia
Kazakhstan

 

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

 

Categories: history, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Flatbread From Somalia (Sabaayad)

Somali Appetizer

FLATBREAD
(sabaayad)

INGREDIENTSFlatbread-

2⅓ cups flour
⅔ cup wheat flour (another ⅓ cup later)
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons ghee or vegetable oil
1 to 1½ cups water
4 tablespoons vegetable oil (another 4 teaspoons later)
⅓ cup flour
4 teaspoons vegetable oil

SPECIAL UTENSIL

electric skillet

PREPARATION

Add flour, wheat flour, and salt to large mixing bowl. Mix with whisk. Add ghee. Mix again with whisk. Gradually add water to bowl. Knead flour and water by hand each time. Add water until dough becomes smooth and flexible. Let dough sit for 45 minutes.

Make 8 equal dough balls. Dust hard surface with ⅓ cup flour. Roll out dough ball into a circle 8″ wide. Spread ½ tablespoon oil evenly over dough circle. Fold edges of dough circle in so that four parts meat in the square. You should now have a square.FlatbreadDough-

Roll out square until it is again 8″ wide. (This gives the bread layers and makes it flakier.) Repeat for 7 remaining dough circles.

Set skillet to 325 degrees or medium. Place 8″ dough square in skillet. Let dough square cook for 1 minute or until dough square starts to puff. Flip the dough square and add ½ teaspoon oil evenly to the top. Cook for 1 minute. Continue to cook 1 minute per side until each side turns golden brown Repeat for the remaining 7 dough squares. Drain the golden brown flat breads of paper towels.

Serve warm with: fried eggs, honey, curries, or other stews

TIDBITS

1) The top picture on the previous page looks like a sock. The bottom picture on that page appears to be a sock puppet. These similarities are not an accident. There are an homage to the great Rome-to-Somalia olive-oil-for-socks trade.

2) This trade started in 31 BC after Caesar Augustus secured his position as emperor with his victory over Mark Anthony in the battle of Actium.

3) Rome desperately needed a new source of socks for its vaunted army. Without good socks, the legionnaires developed foot blisters. No soldier can march far with blistered feet. If the Roman legionnaires couldn’t march, they couldn’t catch the invading barbarian hordes before they looted and fired the Roman towns. Unfortunately, the long series of Roman civil wars, 83 BC – 31 BC had completely destroyed the once vibrant sock industry. Things looked grim. The Roman Empire was readt to collapse. The plays of Plautus, Terrance, and Maccius would have been replaced by barbarian reality plays.

6) Fortunately, in 18 BC, Primus Secundus Tertius, a goat herder set out from the tiny village of Perdiem in the southern Egypt to find a missing goat. He headed south, because all good goat herders know that goat only go missing in the south.

7) He walked for years looking for that goat. He was no quitter. Finally, he came across some villagers in Somalia. They were cooking lamb stew. The villagers didn’t give their real names upon meeting Primus for the first time. After all, Somalia is an anagram for Mo’ Alias.

8) While enjoying a delicious meal, Sam and the villagers engaged in pleasant conversation and swapped witty and urbane anagrams. Eventually, Sam handed his empty bowl to the villagers; his mother had raised him to always bring his dirty dishes to the sink. As he did so, he noticed a goat tag at the bottom of his bowl. It read, “Daphne, owned by Primus Secundus Tertius.” The villagers had killed his own goat. The fact that Daphne tasted great after being marinated in lemon juice and pepper only eased his rage a tiny bit.

9) With all the wonderful books deliberately burned in Alexandria’s magnificent library in 395 AD, it’s amazing and perhaps ironic that we have amazing that we have a partial, written record of the following conversation:

Primus: You killed my Daphne?
Villager #1: Who is this Daphne? No woman around here is called Daphne.
Villager #2: I think he means his goat. Roman goat herders like to name their goats Daphne.
Villager #3, Good Primus, are referring to the goat that was in this stew?
Primus: (Shows the goat tag.) I am.

10) The villagers, as was their custom, agreed to compensate Primus with ten pairs of socks. Primus was ecstatic. Emperor Augustus had promised to give a million denarii to any one securing a sock source for the empire. So Primus became fabulously wealthy, the legionnaires got their socks, and the empire became well defended again. It was only when the olive-oil-for-socks trade route got permanently disrupted in 476 AD, that Rome fell. Today, the production of socks is protected everywhere by an international treaty.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

Categories: cuisine, history, humor, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Chicago Cubs, The Greatest Threat to World Peace

The greatest threat to world peace is the Chicago Cubs. They last won a world series in 1908. Since then America has fought two world wars,  and other wars while not as big as these two, still replete with distressing levels of violence.

Since the last Cubs’ last World Series win our boys have fought in: France, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Germany, Italy, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia,  Russia, South Korea, North Korea, China, Philippines, Micronesia, Romania, New Guinea, Indonesia, Burma, Haiti, Santo Domingo, Grenada, Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan, USA (against the Japanese), Japan, Somalia, Vietnam, and Panama.

This doesn’t even count all the countries where our Air Force has fought nor all of our special ops. My apologies to veterans who fought in a country that escapes my feeble memory.

But the unassailable fact remains; America has been doing a heck of lot of fighting since the Chicago Cubs last won the big one. The conclusion is obvious. Because of the Cubs steadfast avoidancel of excellence, violence stalks the globe.  If ever there were a time for a global-prayer day, it is now. Pray for world peace. Pray for a Cubs Series win. It is the only way it will ever happen.

And did you know that the Louisiana Purchase of 1803 is closer to the Cubs’ last world championship than it is to present?

– Paul the Historian

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

 

 

Categories: history, humor, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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