We’ve been hearing about crime near the Mexican border for years now, but one of the most recent spates of crime is a bit different from the rest. A blonde woman who wears all black has allegedly been killing bus drivers who have sexually assaulted female passengers. Ciudad Juarez has long set the scene for brutal crimes against women and some women’s advocates aren’t surprised by the avenger’s actions. Two bus drivers were killed over the last week and the killer sent a message to news outlets claiming responsibility for the deaths.
“You think because we are women we are weak, and maybe we are, but only to a certain point,” states the message, according to the Los Angeles Times. The message goes on to say, “We can no longer remain quiet over these acts that fill us with rage. And so, I am an instrument who will take vengeance.” Bus drivers in Ciudad Juarez are terrified of the woman, who signed the letter “Diana, Huntress of Bus Drivers.”
Purchased for 2.5 million euro by a Turkish ship recycling company and taken to a scrapyard on the Aegean Sea coast of Turkey, the cruise ship will be stripped for metal and parts, as a renovation of the 42-year-old ship would have been too costly.
On the Aaron Spelling comedy, the Pacific Princess sailed between California and the Mexican Riviera from 1977 to 1986, with cruise director Julie, bartender Isaac and Captain Stubing at the helm. The actual ship had been decommissioned years ago and was languishing in Italy’s Genoa port, after sailing for Princess Cruises until 2002 and later Quail Cruises.Take a photo tour of the ship in its glory days here.
It may be a cliche, but it’s true: if you want to get off the beaten path when you travel, at some point you’re going to have to take a long-distance bus ride. Even if you’re not a backpacker, some destinations are accessible only by the most inconvenient of methods. I’ve traveled by bus, Land Rover, bush plane, horseback and canoe, and while not always comfortable, I take great delight in using alternative forms of transit.
If the idea of taking the bus gives you the heebie-jeebies, be aware that it’s primarily bus travel in the U.S. that sucks. I’ve yet to have an experience on Greyhound (it’s called the “Dirty Dog” for a reason) that wasn’t totally jacked up. There’s always a toilet overflowing, an addict nodding out and drooling on your shoulder (true story) and a guy who can’t stop screaming into his cellphone or having a conversation with himself. But I love long-haul trips in developing nations, no matter how janky the ride. It’s the best way I know of to see and experience a country. It’s cultural immersion at both its most infuriating and its best, but I’ve yet to have a bad experience with regard to fellow passengers.
There are, however, some key items you’ll want to bring with you. I speak from painful/mortifying experience. Read on for what you’ll need for any bus journey lasting more than a couple of hours (bear in mind that in many parts of the world, you can’t rely upon bus timetables; I recently took a four-hour trip in Paraguay that turned into 11 due to monsoonal flooding. And there was no bathroom on board). Bringing snacks and extra water is crucial; usually vendors will come on board during stops, but you should never rely on this.
1. A blanket or ultra/microlight sleeping bag
You’d be surprised how many clapped-out buses crank the AC. If you get cold easily, 14 hours of that might render you nearly hypothermic. Conversely, if you’re sensitive to heat and in a tropical country, bring along a packet of Emergen-C or electrolyte chews (I love Honey Stingers and coconut water) and something to protect you from the sun.
Trust me, if you’ve ever suffered from gastrointestinal issues while on a long bus trip, you’ll do anything, anything, to ensure it never happens again. That said, don’t let fear deter you from trying all those great street foods. I’ve learned, however, to dial down the gluttony before a lengthy journey. Ladies, I’ve also had to deal with a UTI on a bumpy 14-hour ride through rural Mexico. Pack your first-aid kit accordingly.
3. Toilet paper
See above; if you’re lucky enough to even be on a bus with a toilet, don’t count on it being well equipped. Also be prepared for pit stops on the road, whether by your necessity or someone else’s. TP is also great to use as a tissue, as an impromptu washcloth, or to wipe that weird goo off of your shoe from the aforementioned pit stop. Hey, I’m just reporting the facts.
4. Sleep aid
Even if you don’t suffer from insomnia, you may want to bring along something to help your slumber on overnight trips. Rutted-out roads, blaring DVD players, blasting radio, crying children – sometimes all at once will make you glad you have an ace in the hole. If nothing else, bring ear plugs.
5. Baby wipes and/or antibacterial gel
You’ll be grateful for these on sweltering rides, especially when the windows are jammed open and you’re dealing with noxious clouds of carbon monoxide or dust. Also useful after aforementioned bathroom runs, and before snacking.
1. It’s Secure
Once you make it past security, an airport is probably one of the safest places you can find yourself. There’s not even a pocket knife in sight.2. Free Amenities
If you play your cards right, you could end up at an airport with free Wi-Fi, power outlets, filtered water stations and more. But that’s just at run-of-the-mill airports. Some of the best airports have exercise classes, art exhibitions, libraries, movie theaters, pools and golf courses to stay entertained. Some also have comfy recliners, sleeping pods and even showers. If all else fails, at least you’ll always have access to a bathroom.
3. Unmatched People Watching
Anyone who’s spent a long layover at an airport can tell you sometimes you don’t even need a gadget to stay entertained. Airports — especially international ones — are like a microcosm of the entire human race (and all its eccentricities). Who knows, you might even end up finding a date while you camp out.
4. Options, Options, Options
One of the reasons we love airports is because many of them provide a gastronomical free-for-all. It’s possible to sample a wide range of restaurants, including national chains and local eateries. Plus, where else can you get a beer at 6 a.m. and coffee at midnight?
5. Duty Free Shopping
Essentially, living in an airport is kind of like living in a shopping mall. (And if you have an international ticket, it’s a tax free shopping mall.) From travel-size toothbrushes to Jimmy Choo shoes, pretty much everything you could ever need (or want) is up for sale.
From sewer tours in France to “ghetto tours” in New York, there’s no shortage of strange excursions out there. An amusement park in Mexico, however, may have the most unusual outing yet: Parque EcoAlberto is bringing in tourist dollars – and teaching Mexican youth a lesson – by simulating the experience of fleeing across the U.S.-Mexico border.
According to PBS, the nighttime-only attraction aims to dissuade immigration by teaching Mexican citizens that attempting to cross the border is no walk in the park. For three hours, events unfold as realistically as possible, with masked guides shouting for participants to “get Moving” and a fake border patrol chasing them with flashlights and dogs.
The park, which also has hot springs and offers ziplining, is about 800 miles from the real U.S.-Mexico border in part of the indigenous HñaHñu community. According to the news outlet, the community has lost about 80 percent of its population to the U.S., mainly to Arizona and Nevada.
“We try to help people so that they won’t leave,” a park employee who acts as a “coyote,” or person paid to smuggle people across the border, tells PBS. “It’s time to create some employment, to work with our own and regenerate everything, or at least what we can, even though it might be slow going.”