Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Somali pirates attempt attack on Dutch warship (and no one gets hurt)

Today, Somali pirates foolishly attacked a Dutch worship. The heroic Dutchmen beat back the attack, flew over to the mothership “finding ammunition and rocket-propelled grenades on board… The two skiffs were destroyed and the pirates were set free on the mothership after it had been cleared of weapons.

Now, why did the big-hearted Dutch release the pirates? In olden times, they (the pirates and not the Dutchmen) would have been all hung on the gallows until dead. Right now, losing the weapons and skiffs is only the price of doing business for the pirates. They will use their multi-million dollar ransom to buy newer and better equipment. Of course, the pirates in the olden times were not poor fishermen deprived of their livelihood. Wait a minute? Who were they? Knights of the Garter? Prosperous bourgeois? Rich intellectuals who spent time writing for the Open Salon? The excuse of poverty will never justify robbery and mayhem.

Without an effective deterrent, the pirates will continue to multiply, no matter how many flying Dutchmen, armed to the teeth, would roam the seas.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Paradise hotel in the Bahamas

After reading some reviews at Tripadvisor, I didn't want to go to Atlantis, which is situated on Paradise Island in the city of Nassau, Bahamas, but it was much better than I thought it would be. We arrived on February 24 after a 12-hour trip (missed our connection in Philadelphia because of the weather). The hotel was overly expensive--$1500 for 4 nights in the cheapest room not counting food, transportation and entertainment--but otherwise enjoyable. The service was good, the staff helpful (except for the casino bar) and the water attractions amazing. I was worried about crime, but I haven’t seen any signs of trouble. I stayed at the Beach Towers, so the view wasn’t great, but still I saw palm trees from the balcony while they were having a snowstorm in New York. And of course, I couldn’t get into the water back home unless I used a bathtub. Aquatic life was a must-see. Some of the water attractions, such as the Dolphin Cove were expensive, $120/person, but most were free. Turtles, sharks, stingrays, all kinds of fishes. So, not quite paradise one earth, but a good destination for a short winter break.