What Else Is Out There

It’s a cold and rainy day here, so let’s go see what else is out there in the world. Gone are the days of poring through travel photo books — it’s all at our fingertips. The biggest obstacle seems to be knowing where to look. Here are some places I’ve come across recently.

The stone monuments of Enneri Zouarke, in Chad. Image from an online travel report (de). There are ancient rock carvings in this area, as well as in many other regions across Africa. By coincidence, less than an hour later I heard an interview with Marcus Bachmann of Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders), saying that Chad has reached to tipping point into an acute hunger crisis. MSF is shipping emergency food supplies there right now, but the crisis will probably not make the news in the West.

Seattle’s Gum Wall is becoming some kind of tourist attraction. The pointillistic effect of the colors is interesting, even if the chewed gum itself is kind of gross.

Here in Austria it’s an old joke that people from abroad get this country mixed up with Australia. It was a surprise to me to learn that there is such a thing as the Australian Alps (not as impressive as “ours”, of course, but still nice.) Image found here.

Photographer and travel blogger Matthew Kovacs pulls out some beautiful images of daily life in Syria, from just before the conflicts began. Some of the places are probably now rubble, and some of the people are probably now dead.

I would like to add here that the above photo (and several others at the link) is striking to me in that they show a normal, nice looking city full of normal people. Not that this should come as a surprise. But I really didn’t have an idea in my mind as to what Syria looked like, and I think many people in the West share this lack of an image. This picture could be from a street in, say, southern France, or Istanbul, or Sicily maybe. We are not really so different.

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