This is a favorite joke in Yemen: A car full of terrorists has to stop at a police checkpoint.  An officer leans in and asks, “Where are you going?”  They reply, “We’re going to attack.”  So the officer waves them on.

    Pretty funny, eh?  That’s the Yemenis for you.  Not just funny but kind of cracked.  That’s why I like them.  And the biggest wackos of all are in Ataq.  It’s a place as old as the Bible.  It was near here that Joshua slew Horam in the hills of Lachis.  But Ataqers don’t hold a grudge.  Forgive and forget, you know?  We can all get along.  Hey, smoke some qat.  It’ll flip your wig!  Even the pilots who fly into Ataq on the regional airline, Air Ghaban, are smoking or chewing qat.  They swear it helps them fly better.

    What makes Ataqers so weird is that they live in a B-movie bubble.  The town is a popular location for low-budget movies because it’s incredibly cheap to shoot in, and there is a huge area north of the town where production crews can do anything.  Practically all the locals are wannabe performers of some sort, so there is no shortage of extras.  As soon as you arrive at the airport, you’re passing a corridor full of buskers and impersonators.  There’s even a snake charmer with a broken plastic flute and a rubber snake, who pauses frequently to tell jokes from old American TV shows. 

   My host was Fadi (“Don’t call me Fatty”) Ayoub, who owns the Hollywood Joke Store.  He claimed to be my biggest fan in Yemen.  He swears there are readers in Yemen who remember me from my advice columns in Rustler, which are major collector’s items and almost impossible to find outside of Canada.  It’s remarkable that any copies ever found their way to Yemen!

    Fadi drove me around the town, which didn’t take long, because it’s a small place.  He showed me the area where movies are made, and then we drove by the big amusement park on the south side of town.  It’s modeled after what Yemenis have seen of amusement parks in the movies.

    “We’ve got film people coming here from all over the world,” Fadi explained in perfect English.  “Europe, Russia, Australia, Asia, and even Israel.  So far, the biggest movie ever made here was a production by Golan and Globus called Die, Caveman, Die!, starring Hulk Hogan.  It was never released in North America, at his own request.  But now we’ve got something really big coming, and keep this under your hat for now, because Spielberg hasn’t made it official yet.  The sequel to E.T. is going to be filmed here!”  (Okay, so don’t tell anyone.  It’s a secret.  The E.T. sequel is going to be filmed in Ataq, Yemen!)

    Fadi was eager to introduce me to another Crad Kilodney fan, Armin Schroecker, Manager of the Ataq Hilton, which is the only hotel in Ataq and one of the few buildings with flush toilets.  (Yemenis regard flush toilets as strange.  They wonder, “When you flush, where does it go?  Does it just disappear?”  Which is exactly what I wonder about the taxes I pay to Ottawa.)  My room at the Ataq Hilton was comfortable, but it had an oddly institutional style.  Armin explained why: “Everything is bolted down.  Everything is unbreakable.  With film people, you expect the worst.  The ones we get here are crazy.”  Guests in Ataq have to buy a TV at check-in if they want one.  If they don’t destroy it, they get their money back. 

    Fadi took me to the Hollywood Diner for lunch.  (Ataq is full of places called “Hollywood” something.)  It, too, was modeled after what Yemenis have seen of American diners in the movies, and the only food served is hamburgers, french fries, apple pie, and coffee.  Yemenis go there, but there’s no Yemeni food, because they don’t want to look low-class in front of visitors. 

    Speaking of visitors, there were two movies being shot in Ataq while I was there — a Latvian movie about zombies who terrorize a secretary on vacation in the Mojave Desert, and a Taiwanese movie about schoolgirls being kidnapped by aliens for breeding purposes (which has to be a comedy, because everyone knows aliens only abduct white people).

    Fadi’s joke store stocks mostly masks and costumes, as well as toys and novelties related to movies.  He is extremely fond of American sci-fi and monster movies from the 50’s, as are most Ataqers.  They regard such movies as the pinnacle of culture.  Their favorite movie is It Conquered The World.  Their second-favorite is Them.  Their favorite actress is Beverly Garland (good choice!).  She’s a goddess in Yemen.  Their favorite actor is — get ready for a surprise — Whit Bissell.  As for comic personalities, their two favorites are Zacherley and Soupy Sales (incredible!). 

    I had to buy something from Fadi’s store just to be gracious, so I bought a box of toilet targets with a picture of Velupillai Prabhakaran.  He gave me a good deal — $6 for a box of 200.  “I thought they were targets for shooting,” he said.  “But my customers said they were too small.  I only realized too late that they were for pissing on.”

    The one thing in Fadi’s store that isn’t fake is guns.  Nobody sells fake guns in Yemen.  The very idea is absurd to them.  Why buy a fake gun when real ones are cheap and available everywhere?  Every store in Ataq sells guns on the side.  I saw guns in a bakery, a shoe shop, and even a laundry. In fact, when Fadi introduced me to the laundry owner and said I was from Canada, the man offered to give me a gun so I could shoot Indians.  “You kill Indians!  Make Canada better country!” he said.  I had to decline politely.  Fadi explained to me afterwards, “Yemenis think Indians are very bad, and they don’t understand why Canadians tolerate them.  They’re all drunks, they’re good for nothing, and no matter how much money you throw at them or how much you kiss their asses, it doesn’t make any difference.  They just go on being a big drain on Canada.”  I said some Canadians would agree.

    The amusement park that I mentioned earlier is strictly for thrill-seekers.  The mechanical safety of the rides is, shall we say, hit or miss.  They give you a helmet and a kind of protective vest, and you ride at your own risk.  The Fun House is pretty cool, though.  Instead of mechanical monsters popping out of the walls, real men with knives jump out at you.  They’re all wannabe actors, so it’s okay.  No one has ever been killed, although there have been a few minor injuries.

    There is really not much else noteworthy in Ataq.  Don’t try to talk to the women.  They’re not allowed to talk to strangers.  They can’t even work as extras in movies.  And, of course, they’re all wrapped up like mummies because of sharia law.  And they actually prefer it that way.  As for other culture, there isn’t any — just what relates to movies.  Come to think of it, if it weren’t for the movie industry and American influence, Ataq would be just another miserable Muslim shithole.

    When I returned to Toronto, an immigration officer at the airport asked me where I’d been.  I told him, “I went to Ataq, Yemen” — after which I spent two hours being interrogated by the RCMP.  Fucking dumbass Canadians!

    Recommended vaccinations: bubonic plague, Leishmaniasis, idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura.

    Copyright@ 2009 by Crad Kilodney, Toronto, Canada.  E-mail: crad166@yahoo.com

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    You’ve already been to Bangkok.  In fact, you’ve been seen too much there.  They know what you are.  Now you’ll have to find another place to fulfill your sick needs.  Fortunately, I know of such a place: Quetta, Pakistan.  You can get whatever you want there.  It’s a Sinner’s Paradise!  And it’s still in its early days, so prices are modest. 

    They love Westerners in Quetta — especially Americans.  Just stroll around the bazaars and speak loudly with an American accent, and, like magic, bearded men will step out of the shadows and offer to take you for a long drive in the country, no charge.  Now that’s hospitality!

    This pro-Western attitude can be traced back to 1990, when former CIA Director Admiral  Stansfield Turner took a side-trip to Quetta while on vacation.  Walking around town looking for fun, he went into a karaoke bar, got rather drunk, and stood up and gave a spectacular rendition of Maybellene, by Chuck Berry.  Quetta has never been the same since.

    Because of my literary reputation as the funniest living writer in the English language, I was shown around the city by the Mayor, Maqbool Ahmed Lehri, who is the author of a short book, Approved Jokes For Muslims.  Maqbool, as he prefers to be called, explained that since 2000, Quetta has been the “sister city” of Grand Island, Nebraska, which has a large Paki community and an identical climate to Quetta’s.  Mayor Ken Gnadt of Grand Island, who was into multiculturalism, proposed the arrangement and made the trip to seal the deal.  He and Maqbool got zonked on qat and ended up in the only good whorehouse at the time.  “America should know about this place!” burbled Gnadt enthusiastically, and Maqbool decided then and there to develop Quetta as a place for decadent Westerners to have fun.

    But what about strict Muslim standards, and sharia law, and all that  repressive stuff?  “That’s in Islamabad and some of the hick towns,” says Maqbool.  “Quetta is modern.  Sure, there are some radicals who scream about sin, but you get that in the West, too.  Most people ignore them.” 

    I was lodged in a penthouse at the Hampton Inn & Suites, managed by Neville Ira-Gould, a former Israeli paratrooper, whose family controls a kitchen utensil conglomerate.  A keen businessman himself, he made a fortune on the Karachi Stock Exchange on a company that processes sheep manure into biofuel.  The Hampton may not be the biggest or most luxurious hotel in Quetta, but like all the Hampton hotels, you get excellent value, and the beds are sized for normal people, not ugly, dwarfish Asian minorities.

    Mayor Maqbool drove me around in his limo and showed me Jinnah Road and the Shahrah-e-Zarghun, which are one big entertainment district, heavy on sex but well-lit, safe, and with a good crowd of well-dressed people.  This is civilization!

    But first, a few drinks to get primed.  Noor’s Pub on Jinnah Road is a lively place.  The drinks are strong, everyone smokes, and a satellite TV brings in English soccer games.  Noor Muhammad is the owner — a congenial fellow who tells coarse jokes in several languages.  He loves Jews and Americans.

    The slot machine in Noor’s isn’t reliable, so go across the street to the Gaddha Casino, which is run by a Japanese expat named Makoto Hirata.  “I was an accountant for a Tokyo bank, but I got bored, so I embezzled a lot of money and came to Quetta.  They don’t extradite people in this country, so there’s a whole community of Japanese here who had some reason to get away,” he explains.  The Pakis are still learning the casino games, so for now the clientele is mostly Western.  Poker and slots take up most of the floor space.  A Jap named Shuichi Mogi got very drunk and very lucky while we were there, but he was a friend of the owner, so it was okay. 

    Maqbool took me to Domenico’s, a pretty good Italian restaurant on the Shahrah-e-Zarghun, owned by Domenico Raccuglia.  It’s a gathering place for Italian expats, the same as with the Japs, if you get my drift.  (Maqbool wanted to take me to a Pashto joint where they served sheep brains, a favorite dish in Quetta, but I wasn’t brave enough for that.)

    Next, it was on to the hookers at the notorious Nawab Club, run by Abdul Qadir Kasi (“Casey” to his friends), who claims to have absolutely any type of woman you want.  Maqbool went off with a slutty Russian babe (“My god-daughter”), and I had an encounter with a tiny Indian girl whose parents had been eaten by a tiger in the picturesque village of Ludhiana, where nose flutes are made.  The standard price in Quetta is $30, and you can’t even buy a carton of cigarettes in Canada for that.

    We didn’t go into Quetta’s foremost gay club, but I’ll mention it because Quetta is very gay-friendly.  It’s called Bottoms Up, and it’s run by el-Farouk Khaki, who is also a city health inspector.

    The big event of the year in Quetta is the annual Erotic Film Festival, which runs for two weeks in September.  This year’s guests will include Jenna Jameson, Asia Carrera, Jesse Jane, Stephanie Swift, Jessica Drake, Inari Vachs, and Shayla LaVeaux.  Last year’s winner in the documentary category was Ron Mann’s Chinese Squid Women, a hard-core film about women having sex with squids (still banned in Canada).  Ron Jeremy, who was one of last year’s presenters, arrived late because he couldn’t read his own handwriting and flew to Quito (Ecuador) instead of Quetta.  One of this year’s presenters will be Al Gore.  Several media events will take place at the Hampton Inn & Suites, as always.

    Quetta’s porn shops are open all night.  They’re all up and down the Shahrah-e-Zarghun on both sides, just like 42nd St. in the old days (but much cleaner).  There are a lot of locally-produced DVD’s in Urdu and Pashto with no subtitles, and this is bizarre, extreme stuff that probably doesn’t exist anywhere else in the world.  I recognized a well-known TV evangelist from the U.S., and I won’t tell you who.  Blow-up dolls of Hillary Clinton with gigantic tits are one of the hottest items on the street.

    But there are also wholesome things to do and see in Quetta.  There is the Pakistan Hockey Hall of Fame, which proudly displays a signed photo of Greg Neeld, who now manages a company called Hawkeye Gold, which is the worst piece of shit on the Canadian Venture Exchange (ticker symbol: HKO).

    There is a theme park called Terror Land, where you can shoot paintball guns (Commandos Vs. Taliban), drive a go-cart through a simulated mine field, and blow up a bus full of people. 

    The Prophet Mohammed Racetrack was closed during my visit, because of some sort of horse disease, but it should be back in operation sometime this summer.

    Nature lovers will want to spend an afternoon at Hanna Lake, not far from Quetta.  It has a monster like the Loch Ness monster.  I didn’t see it, but many people have.  It was seen as recently as March of 2009 by Lindsay Lohan, who was on a photo shoot for Revlon.  An elevated viewing platform also allows you to watch crocodiles feed on sacrificial goats thrown into the lake by devout Sufi mystics from the colony at Turbat.

    The morning of my departure, Maqbool took me to a Jewish bagel place for breakfast and got me stoned on a poppy seed bagel.  He thought it was a good joke.  “Opium comes from poppies, right?” he explained.  “Your poppy seeds in the West come from a different variety of poppy, so you don’t get stoned.  Here we use the true opium poppy for the seeds, so the bagels give you a great high.”  Wow, they are so way ahead of us in Pakistan!

    As he dropped me off at the airport, Maqbool remembered I lived in Canada.  “Do you know Ujjal Dosanjh?” he asked me.  I said I didn’t know him personally.  “Well, if you ever meet up with that miserable low-caste prick, you tell him that if he dares to set foot in Quetta again, I will personally kick his wog ass back to India, where he belongs!”  Okay, whatever.

    Recommended vaccinations: Schistosomiasis, Chagas disease, sheep and goat pox.

    Copyright@ 2009 by Crad Kilodney, Toronto, Canada.  E-mail: crad166@yahoo.com

    Tired of spending your hard-earned vacation money on some popular destination, only to find out that it’s so yesterday?  Wouldn’t you like to be in the avant-garde for once, instead of bringing up the rear on a pokey donkey, as always?  Well, now you can!  There is a place that is not yet on tourists’ radar but will be before long.  That place is Snuol, Cambodia (or, as it is also called, Angk Snuol). 

    Conan O’Brien calls it “the most brilliant unknown vacation spot on earth.”  And you will, too.  Happy Cambodians are eagerly awaiting your arrival.  They love Westerners.  Angelina Jolie found her first adopted baby in Snuol.  And now Madonna says that Snuol is her next stop if things don’t work out in Malawi.  They’re in the know!

    You’ll fly to Kratie and then ride south by bus on Highway 7 about fifty miles to Snuol.  (Keep your camera ready for the fabulous Temple of Golonka, half-way along, on your left.  It was one of the locations used in the 1970 movie Horror of the Blood Monsters.)

    If you could float above Snuol and look in all directions, you would see an amazing array of environments: to the north, forested hills of cedar, mahogany, and baobob; to the east, endless fields of artichokes, pumpkins, strawberries, barley, and beets; to the south, a wind-swept mesa populated by penguins; and to the west, a painted desert of cacti, vultures, and gila monsters.  The area around Snuol is a zoologist’s dream, hosting many rare species, including the flying moose squirrel, the red elephant goldfish, Swanson’s screaming bat, the pink-nosed iguana, the tiger anteater, the worm hawk, the trumpet-eared monkey, the Mimico diving giraffe, the Hungarian zipper snake, the Corinthian warthog, the barking sand toad, the gunga viper, the buzzsaw moth, the wild buffalo chicken, Hondo’s chameleon mole, Corman’s monster crab, and the blue-speckled burping manatee.  Exotic fauna are too numerous to list, but visitors will not want to miss the Snuol Museum of Slime Mold, which was established by a generous grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

    On the outskirts of Snuol, Donald Trump will be breaking ground later this year on a 50-story condominium/hotel/casino complex, which will be the tallest building in Cambodia.  Until that’s finished, you can avail yourself of the more-than-satisfactory amenities of the Park Inn, Snuol’s only hotel.  Manager Betty Liu was hired in 2006 to clean the place out after the Giant Spider Invasion and now confidently promises, “No spider you will see, or your room it will be free!”  Liu is an enthusiastic booster of Cambodia: “Very honest country.  Very progressive government.  No corruption.”  Rooms at the Park Inn are only $55 U.S. per night.  Cheap!

    Snuol people are friendly.  And most of them speak some English.  But you’ll make a really grand impression on them if you use these handy phrases in Khmer:

    “I am happy to meet you.”  (“Choi ch’kai anh.”)

    “It is very pleasant here.”  (“Choi k’det anh.”)

    “I am looking for the toilet.”  (“Choi k’doi anh.”)

    “I will see you later.”  (“Choi mai misa pang.”)

    “Thank you.”  (“K’daw.”)

    “You’re welcome.”  (“K’doi.”)

    “I would like this one, please.”  (“K’doi mai vi’en.”)

    Don’t be surprised to see warthogs on the streets.  (I’m referring to the common Cambodian warthog, not the rare Corinthian one.)  People have been feeding them for years, so they have lost their fear of people and now walk into town, expecting to be fed.  But don’t feed them!  There is now an ordinance against it. 

    Snuol’s great urban myth is the existence of videos of women having sex with warthogs.  Some people say they were produced by the Khmer Rouge to raise money.  Others say they were produced by friends of former King Sihanouk.  And still others say they were produced by officials of Hun Sen’s Cambodian People’s Party (an allegation they hotly deny).  Almost everyone swears these videos exist, but no one claims actually to have seen one (perhaps because there are very few VCR’s in Snuol). 

    Well, even if you can’t feed the warthogs or watch videos of warthogs fucking women, you can at least eat warthogs — at The Tusk, one of Snuol’s restaurants.  The owner is an American expat, Justin Franchi Solondz, who is a self-taught cook.  The food is, shall we say, interesting.  The “warthog with truffles” is served with a gravy containing brown clumps that we sincerely hope are the truffles, or at least some kind of mushroom.

    Oddly enough, all the restaurants in Snuol are run by non-Cambodians.  The Oriental Garden (pretty good mainstream Chinese) is run by Harris Dempsey Ballow.  Bagelicious (Kosher, fair-quality, cheap) is run by Chaim Yehuda Reich.  Seventh Heaven (good but overpriced soul food) is run by Odowa Roland Okuomosa.  The Olive Tree (Italian, not the best) is run by Juris Teteris.  Khmer Pizza, run by Fernando  Grijalva, is reasonably good, but avoid any toppings that are still moving before they hit the oven.

    Snuol’s most unusual attraction is the Elvis Park — a large, complex maze of hedges with statues of American music stars scattered throughout.  It’s an odd collection.  In addition to Elvis Presley, you will find the Everly Brothers, Black Sabbath, the Beach Boys, Ricky Nelson, Chuck Berry, Alice Cooper, Neil Sedaka (a god in Cambodia!), the Supremes, Eddie Van Halen, Bobby Darin, the Big Bopper, Bill Haley, Johnny Cash, and Frank Zappa.  (Rumor has it that Adam Lambert will be next!)

    I met Kem Sopranei, Cambodia’s leading Elvis impersonator, who comes home to Snuol between big-city gigs.  He’s an e-mail pal of Miley Cyrus and Julianne Hough.  He wants them to come over to Cambodia so he can fuck them.  “You Westerners have a strange misconception about Asian women,” he insists.  “You think they know all these secret sexual techniques.  They don’t.  They’re duds compared to American women.  American women are the best at every sort of sex.  Cambodian women are only good for cooking.”  An expert speaks!

    The Mayor of Snuol, Parthasarathie (“Call me Perry”) Kapoor, took me on a terrifyingly high-speed motorcycle ride into the country to show me the fields of artichokes (Snuol is the artichoke capital of Asia).  We also stopped to look at Angelina Jolie’s estate, which is vacant most of the year but nevertheless well-maintained by admiring volunteers.  Perry is a fearsome card player, by his own account, and he claims to have cleaned out Heng Samrin and Chea Sim, two high-ranking officials of the Cambodian People’s Party, in an all-night poker game.  They threatened to have him killed, but he’s sure they didn’t mean it.  (Perry also confided to me that he had made a great deal of money investing with Bernard Madoff.  And where is it now?  In a bank in Panama.)

    Don’t go home without loading up on Cambo Cigarettes.  They are excellent and very cheap.  I smoke them, and so should you.  Give them to your children, too.  And if you’re returning to New York City, you can shove a pack up Michael Bloomberg’s ass.

    For now, Snuol is the cheap and brilliant vacation — cheaper than anything advertised in the Travel section of your newspaper.  But once the word gets around, it’ll cost more, so don’t wait!

    Recommended vaccinations: Hanta virus, Zabunga virus-A, swine pseudorabies.

    Copyright@ 2009 by Crad Kilodney, Toronto, Canada.  E-mail: crad166@yahoo.com

    Ten years ago, if you had told a travel agent you wanted to go to Darfur, he would have given you a clueless look.  This western region of Sudan was unknown to the traveling public.  Today it’s one of the hottest, trendiest tourist destinations on earth.  And the Number One go-to spot in Darfur is the beautiful, vibrant city of Nyala.

    A huge surge of opportunity-seekers has transformed what was once a modest, dignified little town into a colorful urban spectacle, spreading out in all directions beneath the warm, benevolent African sun.  Its skeptics have been silenced, its believers vindicated.  Nyala is a city on the move, generating excitement and eliciting the awe and envy of an entire continent.

    As you approach Nyala’s international airport, which handles sixty flights a day to and from all points of the compass, you are struck by the dramatic development radiating outward from the “Old City” — freeways, shopping centers, condos, commercial high-rises, luxury estates, rich fields of grain and vegetables, orchards, cattle and sheep ranches, and the Water World theme park.  Maybe not Paradise, but darn close!

    Tourism is very important to Nyala, of course, but the economy is diverse.  The city boasts the largest call center in Africa, serving such clients as IBM, British Airways, Pfizer, Hudson Bay Master Card, Domino’s Pizza, and Humiliation PhoneSex (West Bromwich, U.K.).  Manufacturing spans the spectrum from hockey pucks to rocket engines.  And Interstate Bakeries recently opened the largest bakery in Africa, from which it supplies the whole continent with Wonder Bread and Twinkies.  Africa is in the Southern Hemisphere, which is one of the two most popular hemispheres in the world.

    All the hotels are good by Western standards, but the best by far is the Sheraton Centre.  Manager Tony Dunn, former bass player for the Flaming Monkeys (U.K.), loves to talk about the celebrities who have stayed there.  “One of my chambermaids surprised Martin Clunes in bed with Miss Sudan of 2007, Deborah Nyameer Nyuon.  He claimed he was helping her look for a contact lens!”  According to Dunn, the beauty queen has big tits but probably does not engage in sex with dogs or severe ass whipping.  He has equally interesting gossip about William Shatner, Senator (now V.P.) Joseph Biden, Barry Bonds, Fran Lebowitz, and Ivana Trump (with whom he went skiing on nearby Mt. Gahbah).  Other famous guests have included Chinese pop stars Liu Yifei, Cai Yilin, Li Yuchun, Tang Jiali, and the group S.H.E., Bollywood stars Bobby Deol, Sunil Shetty, Madhuri Dixit, Arjun Rampal, Diya Mirza, and Raveena Tandon, British fashion designers John Galliano, Rhona Nampijja, Stella McCartney, and Hussein Chalayan (gay), French film stars Andy Gillet, Karine Viard, and Emmanuelle Beart, international arms dealers Jean Bernard Lasnaud, Leonid Minin, Monzer Al Kassar, and Sarkis Soghanalian, Russian mafiosi Marat Balagula, Viktor Bout, Vitali Dyomochka, Vyacheslav Ivankov, Vladimir Kumarin, and Boris Nayfeld, German politician Katina Schubert (dyke), strippers Kayla Kleevage, Candy Cantaloupes, Justa Dream, Tiffany Towers, Fantasia, and Minka, and Toronto Star publisher Jagoda Pike, who does not fuck dogs or suck big, black dicks.  Rooms at the Sheraton Centre run from $175 US to $500 US per night, and the maid leaves a complimentary Yorkie Bar on your pillow every morning.  The beds are all equipped with orgasm climax handles, which are exactly like coffin handles.

    The better restaurants in Nyala include Jahanshah Javid (Korean-Mexican fusion), Koss Umak (traditional Sudanese), Zag’s (burgers), and The Manyak (homosexual art food).

    The most popular nightclub in town is the Dromedary Club, where women with big breasts wearing minimal bras and panties are catapulted into a big net.  The “wardrobe malfunctions” are inevitable.

    The Sexy Car Wash is another attraction of this broad-minded city.  Drivers pay $25 to have their cars washed by naked women covered in soap, who crawl all over the car and spread their pussies on the windshield, while the driver sits inside and masturbates.  This was the inspiration for the popular Italian TV show Sexy Car Wash.

    The Water World theme park is made possible by the large underground lake far beneath the bedrock of the city.  In addition to surfing and water-skiing, the park features a long, twisting water slide well-suited to women with big breasts and skimpy bikinis.  By the time the slider has reached the bottom, she is completely naked and will be reaching for one of the big penis-shaped flotation devices.  Another pool allows naked women to ride on very tame lemon sharks.  The rough texture of the shark’s skin encourages the woman to hump herself to orgasm.  There is also a ride for daredevils that simulates the experience of waterboarding, as practiced at Guantanamo.

    On the outskirts of Nyala is the biggest campground in Sudan.  It’s always full, mostly with native Sudanese, who love the outdoors.  You’ll notice that they are all remarkably slim — a reflection of their self-image as fashionable and health-conscious.  There’s plenty of parking space for trailers and RV’s, and all the comforts Westerners prefer.  But don’t be afraid to go on foot and camp like a Boy Scout.  You can fish for trout in the streams and hike through the only forest of pine trees in Africa.  One other thing: nude sunbathing is permitted!

    Every November, Nyala gears up for the Sudan 1000 car race.  The best drivers from around the world compete in this challenging event, which begins in Nyala and finishes in Port Sudan, a thousand miles away.  This year’s participants will include Mario Andretti, Mario Moraes, Danica Patrick, Scott Dixon, and last year’s winner, Oriol Servia (who almost spun out when he swerved to avoid a pygmy hippopotamus, which is a protected species).

    Nyala is justifiably proud of its South Darfur State University, whose football team, the “Fighting Camels,” have won over forty consecutive matches in the East Africa Division 1.  Team captain Ibrahim Kanteeth has a 12-inch cock that has been photographed for medical textbooks.  The university also boasts the Asbat Al-Ansar Centre For Islamic Peace Studies, a graduate program in dishwasher repair, and the world’s largest collection of scorpions.

    The more serious, contemplative visitor will enjoy a tour of the centuries-old Sheikh Muti Monastery, where ascetics and mystics once sat in the underground vaults to commune with God and purify their souls.  This experience is now yours.  You will be left in complete darkness, with nothing to eat or drink, and foul air for eight hours.  On the way out, you will be given a souvenir t-shirt with the logo “Muti.”  The cost for this experience is $40 US.

    Want to see more of the Dark Continent in luxury?  Take the Sub-Sahara Express train from Nyala to Timbuktu, Mali.  The trip features gourmet meals, a bar, a casino, a lingerie fashion show, and Russian hookers who are into anal and oral sex.

    Recommended vaccinations: West Nile Virus, Rift Valley Fever, polio.

    Copyright@ 2009 by Crad Kilodney, Toronto, Canada.  E-mail: crad166@yahoo.com

    What do you think of when you hear “Afghanistan”?  If you’re like most people, you probably think of mindless death and destruction, suicide bombers, roadside bombs, terrorists, the Taliban, Muslim fanatics screaming “Death to America!”, poverty, ignorance, disease, filth, backwardness, and stupid, barbaric men beating, mutilating, and murdering their women because they want to enroll in a typing course.  Sure, all of that does exist — but mainly in the south.  The northern part of the country is very different, which is lucky for you because that’s where you’re going.  That’s right.  You’re heading for the exotic city of Qonduz — the Jewel of Afghanistan, the Gateway to the North, the City That Never Sleeps!

    Just make sure your travel agent doesn’t send you to the wrong place.  Qonduz is also spelled Konduz, and it is not to be confused with Kondoz or Kunduz, which are also in the north but are different places.  You have to book your flight on Ariana Afghan Airlines (“We Make Every Flight An Adventure!”), because no one else flies to Qonduz.  Ariana won’t fly you to Kondoz or Kunduz by mistake, because those cities don’t even have airports, and the pilots are not going to commit suicide by trying to land there.  The suicidal ones are screened out in the job interview.  Or let’s hope so.

    Qonduz used to be a shabby little dump stuck in the 12th Century, but thanks to the presence of American and NATO forces, it has been pushed ahead into the 20th Century — like roughly the 1970’s.  So they’re still behind us but only by a little.  Yes, you will still find a lot of hairy men in sandals working in dirty little shops, but now you will also find modern buildings, nice stores, bright lights, fast food, and normal urban entertainments — including alcohol, gambling, and prostitution.

    There is only one really good hotel — the Radisson Plaza Admiral Qonduz, or “R.P.A.” for short.  It’s an absolute magnet for NATO troops on leave, because it has all the modern amenities, and every room costs $100 U.S. a night, regardless of the number of occupants.  So it’s Party Central!  Manager Dermot McKeown, a transplanted Londoner, is an enthusiastic booster of the new Qonduz.  “This place is more exciting than London and much safer.  Qonduz is jumping twenty-four hours a day, and you can go anywhere any time and not have to worry about getting robbed, shot, or blown up.  Qonduzers are wonderful hosts.  They love Westerners and will pick up tourists spontaneously and say, ‘Hey, you American?  I show you good time!'”

    The fellow who decided to show me a good time was a taxi driver named Ahmad, who was on his day off but offered to drive me around for a few dollars.  We stopped briefly at the Labour Exchange, where people seek any sort of work.  At the men’s exchange (there is a separate one for women), there were mostly poor, young boys.  Ahmad asked me if I liked boys, and I said no.  (It was here, by the way, that Ellen DeGeneres and her partner, Portia de Rossi, “rescued” a deformed 8-year-old boy named Yama, whom they adopted.)  The women’s exchange is largely for girls seeking employment as domestics, although they are mostly picked up by foreigners as daily “companions.”

    The Duck Pond is located in the city’s park.  It has ducks but no fish.  Old men “fish” for the ducks using simple fishing rods and pieces of bread.  If a duck is stupid enough to get hooked, it gets strangled on the spot and is then taken home and eaten.

    The city has an 18-hole golf course, which Tiger Woods has described as the most challenging course he has ever played, thanks to unexploded ordnance in the ground. 

    Qonduz also boasts the world’s second-smallest library, and a museum of amputated limbs.

    The selection of restaurants includes all the familiar Western fast-food chains, which are run according to Western standards, so they have proper toilets and no rats.  The local Afghani eateries must be treated as “high-risk” by Western visitors.  These places have unusual smells and have never seen a health inspector.

    Culinary “fusion” is provided by the popular Lentil Heaven, which offers a variety of Western foods smothered with lentils, such as lentil burgers, lentil tacos, and lentil pizza.  The place is owned by Michelle Obama, wife of President Barack Obama, through her private holding company, Bamco.

    Every great city has its naughty district, and Qonduz is no exception.  Its naughty district is the Batouti Bazaar (or just “Bazaar”) — formerly an area of humble shops and street stalls but now a glitzy circus of bars, cinemas, casinos, and strip clubs.  There is a highly visible contingent of hookers — all Russian. 

    The most notorious attraction in the Bazaar is a raunchy club called the No-Go, which features a woman who has sex with squids.  Her name is Nadira, but she, too, looks Russian.  She’s hot-looking and has big tits.  She comes out naked, in high heels, she lies down on this mat, and an assistant places squids on her body.  Nadira then writhes and moans and pretends to be having sex with these squids, which are sucking her breasts and pubes — sort of like Bela Lugosi pretending to struggle with the giant octopus in Bride of the Monster.  The audience is supposed to believe that the squids are alive and are actually sucking her body.  Rush Limbaugh was in the audience when I visited, and I went over to him and asked him why he was there.  He said, “I’m trying to understand how these people think!”

    Across the street from the No-Go is a strip club called Jihada-Dada, which is always packed with soldiers.  Diamanti Damons was headlining there for an entire month.

    Qonduz has a rodeo every October.  It’s called the Qonduz Stampede.  Afghani cowboys lasso donkeys, ride them, and then shoot them.  The kids love it.

    Be sure to make time for a day trip across the border to Tajikistan to visit the Tigrovaya Balka Nature Reserve, where many endangered species of wildlife are protected.  It was here that Dennis Rodman, while on an errand for Donald Trump, identified a Chongawarry fruit bat — a species thought to be extinct.  For this contribution to science, Rodman was awarded the Tajikistan Conservancy Medal.

    Tourists in Qonduz need U.S. dollars or euros.  No one wants the Afghani currency.  Your credit cards should be used only when necessary; otherwise, best keep them out of sight.  There is also an informal barter system, so bring a supply of women’s panties, chewing gum, cigarettes, sunglasses, and guns.

    The climate is cold in the winter and hot in the summer.  Spring and fall are pleasant.  However, Qonduz, unfortunately, is directly in the path of migrating locust swarms, which happen occasionally in the spring and fall (but they only last for a day).

    Recommended vaccinations: anthrax, dengue fever, mouse typhoid.

    Copyright@ 2009 by Crad Kilodney, Toronto, Canada.  E-mail: crad166@yahoo.com

    The lush city of Oymyakon, the “Garden of Siberia,” welcomes the traveler like a ripe concubine parting her legs for the conquering hero returning from his epic journey to lands unknown, raping, killing, and looting.  Take her, traveler, for she is all yours!  Do with her as you wish!  She will never complain, nor will her beauty fade!

    Ivan the Terrible planted his flag on her velvety flank in 1582.  She was fought over by the Cossacks and Koryaks.  She was celebrated in literature by the great Maxim Gorky.  And the Swedish explorer Baron Nils Nordenskjold had to be dragged away forcibly from her by his men to return home.

    Today, Oymyakon is a happy and peaceful city, enjoying its status as a tourist destination for adventurous souls searching for something different.

    Most sources describe Oymyakon as a very cold place, but this claim is disputed by its mayor, Vladimir Zaebanyi, a colorful fellow who dresses like an English aristocrat, drives a Ferrari, and owns a large herd of goats.  “It’s all Western propaganda,” he insists.  “All the jokes about Siberia being so cold.  It’s a huge exaggeration.  Everything’s relative, after all.  Yes, someone from California would say it’s cold, but to us it is brisk and refreshing, and we like it.  There is a natural hot spring nearby, which contributes warmth.   The summer is very pleasant.  You don’t need a coat.  The winter is invigorating.  We like to get out and enjoy it, just like you Canadians.  We ski, we hike, we play hockey, we fish through the ice.  And you can see the aurora borealis on many nights.  It’s breathtaking!”

    The principal item on the mayor’s agenda is the construction of an international airport, which he says would increase tourism ten-fold.  The government is considering it.  For now, travelers must fly to Yakutsk and then take a bus to Oymyakon.

    The city’s only hotel is the InterContinental (formerly known as the Hotel Oymyakon).  Its manager is Pascal Forotti, a Frenchman who visited Oymyakon in 1990 and fell in love with it.  “Many celebrities have visited here,” he says.  “We have a gallery of framed photos over the bar.  Frankie Avalon and his wife, Kathryn Diebel, spent their honeymoon at the old Hotel Oymyakon in 1963.  And Burt Reynolds and Dinah Shore stayed here in 1972.  And last year, Paris Hilton was here for a week.  She brought her chihuahua.”

    A 5-day package at the InterContinental will cost you a very modest $400 U.S. per person.  Amenities include a swimming pool, exercise room, indoor squash court, conference rooms, satellite TV, and an underground walkway to the Nedotrahanaya Department Store and Promenade, with its upscale boutiques.  Beautiful (albeit pricey) Russian escorts are also available 24/7 — a must for the business traveler!

    The city has a reputation for excellent food.  The Siber Restaurant, on Ebanutaya Plaza, is the place for haute cuisine.  Chef Yuri Ebanko, who was trained at the prestigious Ukrainian Academy of Culinary Arts, is known for his sophisticated interpretations of local ethnic delicacies, such as pan-fried reindeer testicles, deep-fried reindeer dumplings, rare Siberian truffles, and steamed salmon from the nearby Indigirka River.  A typical meal at the Siber will run you about $30 U.S. per person.  The more budget-minded can eat cheaply and happily at Ivan’s Pizza or Irina’s Bar-B-Cue, both on Avenue Volov.

    For an unpredictable shopping adventure, you have to go to the quaint Doroga Losinogo Govna, a bohemian or “poor man’s” district.  Anyone with anything to sell simply sets up a table in the street, which is blocked off to traffic.  Cartons of American cigarettes, videotapes, DVD’s, electronics, Swiss chocolates, toys, clothing, hand-crafted jewlery, paintings, steaming pots of soups and teas, sausage on a bun, stuffed birds, shrunken heads, car parts, used appliances, housewares, guns, patent medicines, busts of Elvis, scuba gear, pornography, antiques, military paraphernalia, and countless other surprises compete for your attention and your money.  Meanwhile, buskers, magicians, dancers, street artists, and people sticking needles in their bodies perform for audiences.  Some of it is not entirely legal, but it’s a summer tradition, and as long as no one makes a formal complaint, the police look the other way.

    The business district is reassuringly normal, with well-dressed people carrying briefcases going in and out of modern office buildings.  The city is becoming an increasingly important financial center.

    Oymyakon’s most notable landmark is the “Boy On The Bear” — a marble statue depicting a native boy riding atop a large white bear.  According to an ancient legend, a boy was confronted by a ferocious bear while picking strawberries.  He bravely offered the bear some strawberries, which the bear ate from the palm of his hand.  The bear became friendly, and the boy climbed on its back and rode into the forest.  People throw coins at the statue for good luck.

    The Oymyakon Strawberry Festival runs every August at the Prospect Dohloi Sobaki, the local farmers’ market.  It’s largely an excuse for people to get drunk on the local strawberry wine and dance in the streets.

    A recently-built amusement park draws many visitors, although, it, too, is only open in the summer.

    The nature walk is a year-round recreation, however.  Oymyakoners say it keeps them fit.  The natural beauties of the countryside change according to the season, but bring your camera regardless.  A well-marked path takes you along the banks of the Indigirka, and through fields, forests, and hills.  The strawberry fields are lovely, as are the many flowers and plants, some of which are found nowhere else in the world.  The bird population is highly seasonal, ranging from multi-colored species to magnificent birds of prey.  Migrating musk-oxen can sometimes be viewed at a distance.  The hauntingly beautiful and mysterious bat cave is not to be missed.  Oymyakoners are proud of these natural beauties and will never allow them to be spoiled by urban development.

    All major currencies are accepted in Oymyakon, although exchange rates may vary.  Watch out for dishonest taxi drivers who overcharge the inexperienced tourist.

    Recommended vaccinations: smallpox, hepatitis (A, B, and C), Kamchatka tick fever.

    Copyright@ 2009 by Crad Kilodney, Toronto, Canada.  E-mail: crad166@yahoo.com