Tag: Crossing Borders

The Particular Anger of Powerlessness

Laos-Cambodia Border Photo: Hector Garcia via Flickr
(Creative Commons)

Lauren Quinn confronts a culture of bribery while crossing the Cambodia-Laos border

Read More »

Of Laws and Loopholes

Of Laws and Loopholes Photo: Christopher Vourlias

Christopher Vourlias just wanted to cross the border, but one man stood between him and the Congo

Read More »

Paris Hilton Channels Paul McCartney in Japan

Yep, the heiress followed in some famous footsteps today when she was denied entry to Japan because of a U.S. drug conviction.

As Gawker’s Jeff Neumann points out, she’s now a member of a rather elite travel club: “She joins Wings-era Paul McCartney and the Rolling Stones on Japan’s list of druggie deportees.”

I hope she enjoys the moment—judging by this music video, she won’t likely see her name alongside McCartney’s and Jagger’s again anytime soon.

Photos: Adventures in Airport Contraband

The New York Times Magazine offers up a selection of photos from Taryn Simon’s forthcoming photography book, “Contraband,” shot over five days at JFK. The seized items range from the predictable—pharmaceuticals, bongs, “mixed fruits”—to the truly bizarre: Cow-hoof bottle, anyone? (Via Kottke)

Mexican Border ‘at its Ugliest Right Now’

That’s the assessment of Mark Lacey in the New York Times. He appears to have visited Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez for his report.

[A]s I cross back and forth at some of the border’s most troubled points, I find that even a journalist faces scrutiny going both ways. American authorities grilling those entering the United States wonder just what an American could possibly be doing south of the border in this climate. And entering Mexico elicits surprise as well from the American inspectors who now regularly stop southbound cars, looking for gun traffickers and money launderers.

“You sure you want to go down there?” one of them said to me recently.

As I noted a few months ago, Tijuana’s Revolution Avenue, once hopping with American visitors, looks more like a tourist ghost town these days.

The Roads Home

The Roads Home Photo by Nicholas_T via Flickr (Creative Commons)

On a bi-coastal life amid the bridges of the Delaware River

Read More »

Que Lástima, Arizona

Que Lástima, Arizona iStockPhoto

The state's new immigration law puts more at risk than tourism dollars and tacos. Adam Karlin reports from the Sonoran Desert.

Read More »

Will Arizona’s Immigration Law Lead to a Travel Boycott?

It’s starting to. Some groups are already canceling meetings there. San Francisco supervisors are expected to vote today on a resolution that would go well beyond travel and cancel all contracts with companies based in Arizona.

And in a man-bites-dog kind of twist, Mexico has issued an alert for Arizona, warning that “any Mexican citizen could be bothered and questioned for no other reason at any moment.”

World Travel Watch: No Alcohol in Brunei, Air Strikes in Europe and More

Larry Habegger rounds up global travel news

Read More »

How to Remap the World

Parag Khanna believes eliminating arbitrary borders and redrawing the world map in the next ten years is a “moral, economic and strategic imperative.” His guiding star? The European Union.

Leaders seeking to respond to the global economic and underemployment crises should take a lesson from the world’s most successful instance of a subordination of arbitrary borders: the European Union. The E.U. is the world’s most peaceful multinational zone and its largest economic bloc, combining 27 countries, 450 million people and a $20 trillion GDP. The solution to the hundreds of lines that scar our political geography is to physically build the lines that connect people across them. If we spend just 10% of what we do on fighting over and defending borders on transcending them, the next decade—and the decades beyond—will be better than the last.

The success of the E.U. benefits travelers, too. World Hum contributor Eric Lucas explains.

World Travel Watch: Major Earthquake in Haiti, Road Blocks in Greece and More

Larry Habegger rounds up global travel news

Read More »

World Travel Watch: Fees and Visas in India and Argentina, Maoists in Nepal and More

Larry Habegger rounds up global travel news

Read More »

On the Move: ‘Climate Migrants’ in Bangladesh

World Hum contributor Joanna Kakissis reports for The World on the growing numbers of Bangladeshis displaced by a changing landscape. The story’s also available as an audio file. Here’s a sample:

[T]he farmers of Kalikabari are on the leading edge of what could be a great wave of migration. Studies estimate that the effects of climate change could force 30 million Bangladeshis from their homes by the middle of this century. Many environmental migrants are already showing up here—in Bangladesh’s capital, Dhaka.

Political Geography and the Jordanian Gerbil

Foreign Policy takes a look at a fascinating study that suggests political boundaries could have an impact on the development of animals living on opposite sides of the line. One of the test cases: Israeli and Jordanian gerbils. From the story:

A second study revealed that Israeli gerbils are more cautious than their Jordanian friends… The agricultural fields on the Israeli side of the border not only create a gulf between habitats and thereby cause an increase in the number of species in the region, but they also hail one of the most problematic of intruders in the world: the red fox. On the Jordanian side, the red fox is far less common, so that Jordanian gerbils can allow themselves to be more carefree.

(Via Kottke)

Astara: ‘The Tijuana of the Caspian’

The Atlantic’s Peter Savodnik has a fascinating, brief dispatch from the Azerbaijan-Iran border, where a small Azerbaijani town has become a sort of Sin City for Iranians looking to escape the strictures of the Islamic Republic for awhile. He writes:

Books, DVDs, fashions, and—most important—ideas that are inaccessible in Iran are ubiquitous in Azerbaijan. Iranians line up daily to cross the Astara River to buy and sell jeans, chickens, bras, laptops—and often sex and schnapps and heroin. This commerce, combined with cultural curiosity and shared Azeri bloodlines, has transformed Astara into the Tijuana of the Caspian.

The Day the Wall Came Down

The Day the Wall Came Down iStockPhoto

The wall fell 20 years ago today. Stefanie Michaels visited Berlin recently to hear a personal recollection.

Read More »

Did Airport Security Ruin Chicago’s Olympic Bid?

Did Airport Security Ruin Chicago’s Olympic Bid? Photo by David Paul Ohmer via Flickr (Creative Commons)
Photo by David Paul Ohmer via Flickr (Creative Commons)

Michelle Higgins ponders the impact of U.S. border control policies on Chicago’s failed bid for the 2016 Summer Games. For my part, I suppose that could have been a factor—remember the visitor shortfall in Beijing after China tightened its visa restrictions—but beyond any specific considerations, I’m just not sure about the assumption that 2016 was Chicago’s to lose. After all, the United States has already hosted the Olympics eight times, while Rio’s winning bid will mean the first Games ever on South American soil. It’s about time, isn’t it?

Travel Song of the Day: ‘Crystal Frontier’ by Calexico

U.S. Senate Encourages Domestic Travel to Canada

Canadian Rockies on US Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works website Screenshot of the Environment Of Public Works website
Screenshot of the Environment and Public Works website

The Washington Post embarrassingly revealed how the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee recently tried to promote domestic summer travel to the Rockies on its website, using a picture of Lake Louise—which happens to be located in Canada. When the Post questioned committee members about the contradictory image, both parties denied a deliberate attempt to promote foreign travel, pointing fingers and ultimately admitting to using a hasty “placeholder” photo, which has since been removed.

This is in no way related to past examples of the U.S. attempting to annex Canada for strictly promotional purposes.

New Border Wall Going Up Between Mexico, U.S.A.

This time, according to The Onion, it’s the Mexican government that’s building a wall, and the move is going ahead despite fears for the tiny guitar, novelty sombrero and three-foot tall plastic margarita cup industries. Get all the details in this (sub-titled) video report:

Read More »