04 August 2006

On hazards of modern tourism

There is no doubt that the modern means of transportation and communications reduced the size of our globe into something easily manageable for a tourist. Our unquenchable thirst to know, while living in a point A, what it is exactly that they eat, drink and listen to at the point B, made the globe even smaller. Albeit much more polluted and dirty.

In the majority of the cases, though, we rarely learn anything from our intrepid traveling to all these foreign points. We prefer to eat at the same junk food eateries we frequent at home, get drunk on the same beer/wine/vodka we prefer to anything else and listen to the good old iPod that is faithfully stuck in the same pocket.

So, the only thing that is really different in our overseas jaunts is the variety of local hazards. Instead of being mugged in Central Park (NYC) or boinked on a head by a blunt object held by a footie hooligan in London or crashed into by an irate driver on an Israeli highway, you get eaten by a Bengali tiger or bitten by an African green mamba or just catch HIV after a romantic evening in Thailand. Whatever.

Not so with our Persian friends. Instead of sharing the fate of other garden variety tourists, they prefer hazards of a different type:

IRAN'S involvement in the Middle East crisis emerged last night after four of its soldiers were killed fighting Israel in Lebanon.

The elite Revolutionary Guards' bodies were ferried in secret from the frontline.

It was damning evidence Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is deeply involved in pulling the strings in Hezbollah's war with Israel.

And did I mention that most of tourists do not learn much from our travails? It is definitely not so with this special brand of tourists from Iran: they do learn. Lately they have decided to move from the, how to say it, reactive death in Lebanon as described above, to a proactive version:

Iranian news agency claims expeditionary force of suicide bombers sent from Tehran via Syria to Lebanon. Its goal: To wreak havoc near military, civilian targets, trigger civil war in Lebanon.

Is Tehran stepping up its involvement in the Israeli-Lebanese confrontation? Iran is set to send the first group of suicide bombers to Lebanon on Wednesday, the Iranian news agency ILNA reported.

The expeditionary force, dubbed by the Iranian regime as "Loyalists of Islamic Justice," will be the first ever to be sent to Lebanon. According to the report, the force is compiled of seekers of the Shahadah (death for the sake of heaven), who are set to depart from Tehran after the noontime prayer on Wednesday.

It is really laudable, how Iran is contributing to the well-being of their Shia Muslim brethren all over the world, solving the population explosion (no pun intended) problem at the same time.

Maybe, just to streamline the problem and save all that back and forth shipping expenses, these "Loyalists of Islamic Justice" could blow themselves up where they are? More efficient all around, I think.

As for me - put to a choice between an encounter with a pissed off Golani soldier and a green mamba, I would go for a green mamba, thank you all the same.

Why have I put a picture of a green mamba here? Don't rightly know - I guess I just like the critter.

Cross-posted on Yourish.com