Around the World in 80 Days, Day 48: A Nigerian Christian Comments on His Country’s Star Rating

People from all over the world write to us about any number of things.  It may be to thank us for our work or to pour out venom on it.  It may be to request resources or to challenge us in some way.  Regardless, I seldom have opportunity to respond.  But the email below was … Read more

Around the World in 80 Days, Day 39: Russia, Part 3 – Socialism, the Opiate of Godless People

This year, this month actually, is the anniversary of the Russian Revolution.  The Russian government is trying to capitalize on the fact by marketing tours of the country to the old communist guard who still revere the likes of Lenin and Stalin.  Zachary and I had included Russia on our Around the World in 80 … Read more

Around the World in 80 Days, Day 33: India – “Tea & Cricket”

India has always fascinated me.  Of all the countries that Zachary and I will visit on this expedition, India was the one I was looking forward to most.  Perhaps this is, in part, due to early in life exposure to stories of the Indian subcontinent.  Like other children of my generation, I saw Disney’s The … Read more

Around the World in 80 Days, Day 25: China By Way of Hong Kong: “One Country, Two Systems?”

Hong Kong.  The name is derived from Cantonese meaning “fragrant harbor.”  Perhaps Hong Kong smelled like potpourri when, in 1841, the English first amputated this city of more than 230 islands from China’s Manchu Dynasty.  But not now.  The fragrance is that of a locker room full of big sweaty men who’ve spent their afternoon … Read more

Around the World in 80 Days, Day 19: OCD? Tired of Democracy? Singapore is for You!

Amazing.  Utterly amazing.  Hyper-modern, hyper-clean, and hyper-rich, Singapore is the supermodel of countries.  So much so, that America, by comparison, looks like the frumpy, corpulent spinster who is past her prime but doesn’t yet know it.  Keeping with the metaphor, one Singaporean writer has compared this city-state to a date with a beautiful woman who … Read more

Around the World in 80 Days, Day 15: Japan, a Post-War Miracle and Model

Japan.  A country of law, order, duty, respect, cleanliness, tradition, an extraordinary work ethic, low crime rates, and a strong sense of family and national identity—what’s not to like?  This is a remarkable nation populated by a remarkable people. Japan is a great post-Second World War success story.  A feudalistic, emperor-worshipping, and militaristic society prior … Read more

Around the World in 80 Days, Day 9: Australia, Where Dads Are “Too Political”

Our last day in Auckland, New Zealand started with a bit of bad news: China, one of the countries we planned to visit on our global tour, was refusing to grant me a visa unless I signed a document promising not to write about the country.  Apparently, they expected a bad review.  I can’t imagine … Read more