This post was first published in my old travel blog, Erudite Traveller on 20 December 2017.One of the things I obsessively prepared for during the planning stage of my Silk Road 2017 trip was how to cross to Turkmenistan, a land-locked country with border crossings from Iran, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan. In the end, I opted to cross the Iran-Turkmenistan border in Sarakhs, a city straddling the two countries. Getting through the border between the two countries was a surreal experience. The brown and desolate winding mountains and sand dunes in the Iranian side, despite the presence of giant trucks,
This post was originally published in my old travel blog, Erudite Traveller on 05 December 2017.Mashhad, Iran’s spiritual capital and second largest city is located more than 900 kilometers to the northeast and borders Afghanistan and Turkmenistan. This made Mashhad the perfect entry point to my next destination: the ancient Achaemenid satrapy and Seljuk Turk citadel of Merv (Margiana), Turkmenistan. Although not a usual tourist destination for foreigners and non-Muslims, Mashhad is actually a famous site for Shia Muslims worldwide. Devotees flock to Mashhad’s Imam Reza Shrine by the millions during Muharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar, especially
It’s very rare for one product to embody most, if not all, the ideals of a wise and ethical consumer: sustainable, economical, empowering, and socially responsible. I’m talking, obviously, about the wonder that is the menstrual cup. A menstrual cup is a small cup made with latex or silicon inserted into the vaginal canal to catch your period. Unlike tampons and sanitary pads, menstrual cups do not absorb blood but collects them. This means you can use your menstrual cup longer each time. Unlike tampons and sanitary pads that have to be replaced every four hours (depending on how
This post was first published in my old travel blog, Erudite Traveller on 22 November 2017.It was in Kang Village in Mashhad, Iran, that I learned how to say no five times before accepting offers of food and drinks. Taroof, the Persian custom of civility and deference, can be a landmine in local – foreigner relations. Persians make offers that they expect will be refused. Its basic component is politeness; by a complicated dance of offers and refusals, people show their respect and deference to one another. Accept offers too early and the offerer will be put on the spot
Hands down, of all Philippine online trading platforms I have used and/or seen, FirstMetroSec Pro is the best. It outstrips all other Philippine trading platforms by a mile. I had the chance to use FirstMetroSec Pro since the beginning of April and what I have seen so far impressed me. I’ve been comparing it to other local platforms – I have AB Capital Securities and BPI Trade and watched a lot of COL videos and tutorials in Youtube – as well as with US downloadable and web-based platforms like TD Ameritrade’s Sink or Swim and the ones I used
Last year when my cousin was preparing to enter college, I compiled a list of scholarship programs in the Philippines to help pay for her fees and other expenses and to make her resumé attractive to future employers. When she got into the University of the Philippines where they don’t have to pay any fees, I totally forgot about it until the other week. I’m sharing this list of corporate scholarship programs in case you or anybody you know needs help paying for college. This post is solely for scholarship programs sponsored by private companies and rich people foundations.
I knew that my trip was off to a roaring start when my Thai Airways plane en route to Tehran announced that alcohol is to be served less than an hour into the flight. I have sworn off alcohol due to my fear of hangovers but decided to join in on the fun. Alcohol is strictly prohibited in Iran; who knows when I will have it next. Later in the trip, I had dinner in a restaurant along Valiasr in Tehran’s downtown district which listed mojitos (peach and mint) on the menu. My enthusiasm was doused when I was informed that
A lot of people are so excited to grow their money that they just jump into the game without proper planning and without laying a strong financial foundation that will ensure investing success. I know a lot of people (not excluding myself) who will immediately find a way to “invest” as soon as they have some spare money, without proper planning and due diligence because they want to grow their money right away. This is usually how people become victims of investment scams, become cash cows for the fat commissions paid to unscrupulous financial agents who take advantage of people’s
This post was originally published in my old travel blog, Erudite Traveller in 2017. “It’s Ashura,” my guide said, surprised and confused when I asked why there were so many people on Tehran’s streets close to midnight. She probably assumed that I knew that I will be in her country during a religious holiday. I didn’t. I wasn’t prepared to travel in Iran on Ashura. Ashura, or the tenth day of the Muharram (the first month in the Islamic calendar), is considered one of the most important religious holidays for Shia Muslims. Iran is a Shia-majority country. Not knowing it
Those of us outside of the USA can only wish on the sidelines when Americans and those who have access to the US securities market talk about their plans on investing in some famous blue chip and/or tech stock or how they plan on putting their retirement money in a low-cost index ETF like the VTI (Vanguard Total Market ETF). Well, I’m not about to just read about these amazing investments and be content with my lot in life. So I scoured the web and intensely researched how I, too, can invest in the USA even though I am a
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