The Only Place I Want To Be...

✍️ 🕑 Circa Halloween 2015 • Tags: eta daysteleferik ridesBatumiGeorgiaborder crossingsseasBlack Sea • Places: Batumi

(Technically this is a Tuesday and not a Thursday, but you know... writing posts on time is hard stuff, eh?)
Fishing on the Black Sea
Fishing on the Black Sea

I've felt really enthusiastic about travel for about as long as I can remember, but it's only a bit more recently that I've felt as enthusiastic about solo travel. My first trip entirely by myself, where I wasn't planning on meeting anyone, was in the late days of October 2016.

Somewhere inside of me is an urge to see how far I can go. To push a boundary, to cross a line, and consequently to experience something, or to be changed in some way. The fact that this isn't a particularly relevant way to make choices, and can often lead to prioritizing things that might be... subpar decisions, is beside the point.

But, I can tell you that this... curiosity, if you will, meant I was not able to keep myself from buying direct bus ticket from Tokat, Turkey to Batumi, Georgia as soon as I found out such a thing was availible.

Your Peace, Our Goal

✍️ 🕑 Early September 2019 • Tags: airlinesAir PeaceLiberiaMonrovia • Places: Monrovia International Airport

This Thursday's post is a throwback, in which I review a round-trip plane trip from earlier this year. Does it sound thrilling? If not, then allow me to introduce you to the airline.

Air Peace is a Nigerian Airline, whose operations are currently constrained to West Africa, but whose ambitions are much larger than that. As of recent, destinations like Dubai and Beirut have been added to their website, which indicates some serious expansion beyond being a West African airline. Moreover, they have publically discussed planning to fly to even more far flung destinations, like London and Houston.

Air Peace does use older planes, and yes, they have been criticized for having poor safety standards amid a flurry of minor incidents in 2019.

Allen Onyema, the CEO, replied in a lengthy phone intevriew with a YouTuber that Air Peace doesn't have a problem because our pilots don't want to die.

Talk about reassurance!

Lastly, and perhaps most topically, Onyema has recently been accused of money llaundering by the U.S. government. Allegedly, he moved "more than $20 million from Nigeria through United States bank accounts in a scheme involving false documents based on the purchase of airplanes" by pretending to buy things through various shell organizations.

Though I cannot speak of the allegations one way or another, I can tell a search for Mr. Onyema on twitter will retrieve many passionate responses, mostly arguing for the CEO's innocence with various explanations of why he has been framed. Onyema plans to vigorously defend himself against the accusations.

So, with that out of the way, maybe you're marginally more interested in my flight experience with this airline. Maybe?

Wednesday Web Round-up (December 18, 2019)

link roundupoilpublic transitSyriaKazakhstan

Where am I on the internet? What am I reading? Link-roundups are a chance for me to compile some of that information togther. The articles may not directly match my perspective, but they do raise interesting questions.

This roundup's articles are on big tech's love affair with big oil, ethical quandries of western tourists visiting Syria, and whether big companies should be able to buy naming rights to mass transit stations...

Hello, World

site updates

Six years ago, I started writing a blog called Steve in Turkey.

My primary goal was to document my first experience studying abroad, or even just spending time in a country outside of North America.

Realistically, though, I had a few more important priorities in mind.

I needed to assuage my mother's anxieties, document countless waffle photographs, and occasionally post something.

Well, that was then and this is now. My blog has changed, and my goals have changed as well...