Friday, January 30, 2015

Kazakhstan Car Nut Interview

From regular commenter Sanchez. Thanks, man!

1. Russia and China are both trying to influence Kazakhstan economically. Who is winning? Who will win?

Both countries have their influence over my country and I am sure both are winning in their own way. Russia has political power, our government's support and big market almost exclusively used by Russian companies. China has shares in oil business and other natural resource extracting projects so they get them at a very good price.

2. What are some wonderful things about your country that the West does not know about?

Kazakhstan nation divided in three big groups - Southern, Western and Northern. This division comes from Kazakh tribalism. Kazakhs have three big divisions called "zhuz" - Great zhuz, Middle zhuz and Junior zhuz (South, North and West respectively). Each of these groups is slightly different and has cultural / mentality differences which quite often can be seen through communication. 

Often people from one division / part of the country think they are the best ones and behave arrogant. Also sometimes this way of thinking can be crucial when you are getting a job, etc. But most modern people think that this system should be an anachronism and just a part of history.

Also, Kazakhstan is multinational. During years of WW2, factory evacuations from Ukraine / Russia, years of Soviet collectivization, people of different nationalities moved to Kazakhstan (Kazakh SSR at that time). So it is a melting pot quite like USA with every nation having influence on today's Kazakhstan culture.

3. I read that Russia is building a cosmodrome in the Russian Far East. Is the Baikonur Cosmodrome in danger of closing?

I will try to describe with my poor knowledge of subject. As far as I know the best trajectory of rocket launch is the one closest to equator. So even if Russia builds cosmodrome in Siberia or Far East, Baikonur still will be the best option. They are building this new cosmodrome to be more independent if there will be a tension in relationships between two countries which is very unlikely in the near future. Just my opinion.

4. Kazakhstan is an oil-rich country. How is the country handling the low oil prices? Is the oil in your country cheap to extract like Saudi Arabia?

Again poor knowledge of subject. Oil here is not as cheap to extract as in Middle East but very profitable. Some oil projects suffer from poor engineering such as Kashagan where oil extraction was postponed by one or two years because it needed reconstruction before it even started working.

Petrol prices have dropped by 15% approximately in past 2-3 months. But they should have been dropped even more.

5. If someone wanted to travel to your country for fun, where would you recommend that they visit?

Definitely Almaty city. I love it. It has very cool fusion of West and East, Capitalism and Soviet Communism legacy and is very green. Mountain view from the city is a sight to see. Nature surrounding Almaty is the most lavish and picturesque in entire country. 

Also Caspian Sea region for surreal landscapes and Altay mountains region in Eastern Kazakhstan. I have not been there to be honest but very eager to see.

Nature in Central region where I am from is scant. It is mostly plain steppes. But they have this very unique feeling to them and would be essential to visit to understand Kazakh culture I think.

For architecture I would suggest to go to... Uzbekistan. Which I also have not been to but it is one of my top destinations to go. Remember Kazakhs are nomads and mostly lived in moveable houses called "yurta". So not many historical buildings and even most of those are not as beautiful as those in Uzbekistan. 

6. What are popular cars now in Kazakhstan, in the cities and in the countryside?

Toyota is considered by many to be Kazakhstan national car. Corolla, Camry, Prado, Land Cruiser, RAV4, Lexus GS, ES, LS, RX, LX, GX of all generations are extremely common here.

But Hyundai and specially Kia are becoming very popular thanks to Kazakhstan assembly. They assemble all types of Kia here: from Picanto to K9 Quoris, from Cerato Coupe to Mohave.

Mercedes is another very popular car brand. Many W124, W201, W202, W210, W211, W212, W140, W221. G-Wagen is some kind of cult here. 

Other popular cars are BMW E34, E38, E39, all gens of X5, Audi 80, 100, A6, Mitsubishi Lancer, Outlander, Pajero, Delica, Chevrolet Cruze, all gens of Golf and Passat, Skoda Octavia, Superb.

And of course all models of Lada.

In countryside you will see lots of Nivas, UAZ and old Moskvitch / AZLK cars.

7. What is the state of car culture in your country now?

Many young guys are quite obsessed with cars. It is not only commute instrument but also a status sign, a good friend, an investment. All in one at the same time.  So car culture is present I would say.

There are not many car exhibitions or events going on. But there is development of motorsport. They showed 2014 Moto GP and F1 seasons last year on TV. There is a new race track near Almaty which is suitable for major International race series except for F1. Kazakhstan racer finished 9th overall in 2015 Dakar. Red Bull did Formula 1 show with David Coulthard in Almaty last summer. 

8. What kind of cars have you owned?

My first and only car so far - Mitsubishi Lancer X 2.0 CVT.

9. Tell us about your diecast collection. How many cars do you have? What scale? Any themes?

I have scale car models in 1:43, 1:18 and 1:12 scales. My main focus is 1:18. The collection was growing very fast to the point it has become sort of hoarding. I am focused now and selling little by little. More than 150 models in all scales at the moment.

My main theme is motorsport. Most of my collection in 1:18 is 1950 - 1990 legendary race cars.

In 1:43 I have renntransporter theme and Safari rally theme.

Quite a few models that don't fit any theme.

10. Why do you love cars?

As many big questions I can't just answer it. As long as i can remember I was a car nut. From the age of 4 or 5 I have been reading car magazines / catalogues. I want to work in car industry.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

288GTO on Bonneville Salt Flats

Was chatting about this summer's trip to Bonneville tonight...

Stupid Nissan Murano ad

I'm so happy that Nissan used our wedding song Ain't That A Kick In the Head to sell the Murano.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Hooniverse and TTAC today

The frequency of posts here will drop for a while. You are encouraged to check my Twitter feed as that is where most of the activity will be.

On Hooniverse today, I asked the readers what my dog sitter should replace his dying 940 Turbo wagon with.

And over at TTAC, editor-in-chief Derek put up a post about the Isuzu Impulse featured on BAT.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Obama watches crazy Indian motorcycle stunts

No wonder Pakistan and China are scared. These guys kick ass and take names.

Skip to 20:45.

Mubarak and Modi pinstripe suits

These confident men had their names embedded into their pinstripe suits.

Mubarak 2011:

Modi 2015:

Snow day

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Japanese culture and ISIS kidnappings

Here is an eye-opening look into how the Japanese public perceives the kidnappings in the Middle East. One social worker even opined that the shame the kidnapped aid workers experienced once they returned to Japan was orders of magnitude worse than the trauma they experienced while being held in Iraq (back in 2004).

Boeing 747SP

The Oman post from yesterday led m4ff3w and rchen to school me on the 747SP.

From Wikipedia:
The Boeing 747SP is a modified version of the Boeing 747 jet airliner which was designed for ultra-long-range flights. The SP stands for "Special Performance". Compared with its predecessor, the 747-100, the 747SP retains its wide-body, four-engine layout, along with its double-deck design, but has a shortened fuselage, larger tailplane, and simplified trailing edge flaps. The weight saved by the shortened fuselage permits longer range and increased speed relative to other 747 configurations.
Known during development as the short-body 747SB, the 747SP was designed to meet a 1973 joint request from Pan American World Airways and Iran Air, who were looking for a high-capacity airliner with sufficient range to cover Pan Am's New York–Middle Eastern routes and Iran Air's planned Tehran–New York route. The aircraft also was intended to provide Boeing with a mid-size wide-body airliner to compete with existing trijet airliners.
The 747SP first entered service with Pan Am in 1976. The aircraft was later acquired by VIP and government customers. While in service, the 747SP set several aeronautical performance records, but sales did not meet the expected 200 units, and production ultimately totaled 45 aircraft.

It reminds me of a short wheelbased Phaeton.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

List of 50 most violent cities in the world (2014)

This is from a Mexican think tank. I don't know the methodology, but how can Middle Eastern and North African countries/cities in civil war not be listed?

I've added commentary in (parens).

Position City Country Homicides Population Rate
1 San Pedro Sula Honduras 1,317 769,025 171.20 (Poor Honduras)
2 Caracas Venezuela 3,797 3,273,863 115.98 (Is anyone surprised that Maduro is still in power?)
3 Acapulco Mexico 883 847,735 104.16
4 João Pessoa Brazil 620 780,738 79.41 (Where?)
5 Distrito Central Honduras 928 1,195,456 77.65 (43 out of the 50 cities are in Latin America)
6 Maceió Brazil 733 1,005,319 72.91
7 Valencia Venezuela 1086 1,527,920 71.08
8 Fortaleza Brazil 2,541 3,818,380 66.55
9 Cali Colombia 1,530 2,344,734 65.25
10 São Luís Brazil 908 1,403,111 64.71
11 Natal Brazil 931 1,462,045 63.68
12 Ciudad Guayana Venezuela 536 862,720 62.13
13 San Salvador El Salvador 1,067 1,743,315 61.21
14 Cape Town South Africa 2,244 3,740,026 60.00 (South Africa, represent!)
15 Vitoria Brazil 1074 1,884,096 57.00
16 Cuiabá Brazil 467 827,104 56.46
17 Salvador (y RMS) Brazil 2,129 3,919,864 54.31
18 Belém Brazil 1,130 2,129,515 53.06
19 ST. Louis USA 159 318,416 49.93 (First of 4 US cities on the list)
20 Teresina Brazil 416 840,600 49.49
21 Barquisimeto Venezuela 601 1,293,693 46.46
22 Detroit USA 309 688,701 44.87
23 Goiânia Brazil 633 1,412,364 44.82
24 Culiacán Mexico 384 910,564 42.17
25 Guatemala Guatemala 1,288 3,074,054 41.90
26 Kingston Jamaica 495 1,219,366 40.59 (So the list is 43 L.A., 4 US, 2 South Africa cities, and Kingston)
27 Juárez Mexico 538 1,347,165 39.94
28 New Orleans USA 150 378,715 39.61
29 Recife Brazil 1518 3,887,261 39.05
30 Campina Grande Brazil 153 402,912 37.97
31 Obregón Mexico 120 318,184 37.71
32 Palmira Colombia 114 302,727 37.66
33 Manaus Brazil 749 2,020,301 37.07
34 Nuevo Laredo Mexico 142 406,598 34.92
35 Nelson Mandela Bay South Africa 402 1,152,115 34.89
36 Pereira Colombia 162 467,185 34.68
37 Porto Alegre Brazil 1,442 4,161,237 34.65
38 Durban South Africa 1187 3,442,361 34.48
39 Aracaju Brazil 312 912,647 34.19
40 Baltimore USA 211 622,104 33.92
41 Victoria Mexico 117 345,080 33.91
42 Belo Horizonte Brazil 1,926 5,767,414 33.39
43 Chihuahua Mexico 289 868,145 33.29
44 Curitiba Brazil 587 1,864,416 31.48
45 Tijuana Mexico 502 1,678,880 29.90
46 Macapá Brazil 129 446,757 28.87
47 Cúcuta Colombia 183 643,666 28.43
48 Torreón Mexico 330 1,186,637 27.81
49 Medellín Colombia 657 2,441,123 26.91
50 Cuernavaca Mexico 168 660,215 25.45


Oman's pending power vacuum

On the same day this week, Saudi Arabia's king died and the president of Yemen resigned. Neighboring Oman is also going to lose its leaders soon. Its sultan has been laid up in a German hospital for months. The benevolent dictator has no children so there is no clear successor. The process for picking the next leader is wild. His family has three days to pick a replacement. If they can't come to a decision, an envelope containing the current sultan's choice is opened. That person becomes the next sultan.

I recently read a book on the countries of the Indian Ocean and was surprised to learn that Oman had colonies from Zanzibar to Gwadar in Pakistan.

One question: What's that bubble on top of his plane for?

Here are a couple of articles about the sultan:

Citroen DS trunk mystery solved

Thanks to Ed (Belgium). He says:

I know what is in the DS trunk, I had read it somewhere: it is the weekly pay envelopes. The DS with a safe in the trunk was used to deliver the worker's pay in cash directly at their workplace. You can see the wooden cases are marked "Nanterre", "Asnières", ... different Citroën premises in the Paris region. 

Volvo V50 v. Alfa 159 wagon

I've put on around 8,000 miles in the six months that I've owned the V50. I have really enjoyed it. It's quick, utilitarian, and solid. And I got such a good deal on it, I think I can put on another 20,000 miles and still break even if I were to sell it.

I only have a few quibbles. For some reason, there is a slight brake dust build-up on the rear wheels but none up front. I also wish my car had iPhone/iPod integration and Bluetooth. Ed (US) once posted a DIY solution, but it looks daunting, considering it took me over an hour just to replace a headlamp bulb.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Amazing archer

Holy shit, this guy is good.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Conservatoire Citroen photos

I am so excited. I'll be there in less than three weeks. I found this album on Flickr and here are my favorites. There are over 300 Citroens there.

Crushed XM.

Gift shop.

Original 2CVs.

2CV from my favorite Bond film For Your Eyes Only.

No idea what this is.

What's in the trunk?

I should know what this is, but I don't.

I've always wanted to see one of these Wankel-powered M35s.


So many variations.

This SM is probably the greatest car ever made.

They even have Chinese Citroens.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Drone operator interview

Here is a 9 minute podcast about a disillusioned US Air Force drone pilot who killed over 1,000 people in the Middle East and North Africa.

Back in 2010, I was feeling blue and so I took a solo road trip up Highway 395 from the Mojave Desert up to Reno. I celebrated in Reno by having lunch at a Basque restaurant. It was famous for its picon punch. I had one, and another, and another,... By the time I walked out of there, it was 10 p.m., I had made two friends, joined their NASCAR fantasy league, and learned a bit about drones. You see, one of the two guys I met was a contractor and built the control center just outside Reno for the drones used in the War of Terror.

ISIS and Japanese hostages

I guess it was inevitable. East Asian ISIS hostages. The poor man on the left is apparently a journalist who went to Syria last year to look for the poor man on the right. Just look at their facial expressions.

Japan gave $200m to fight ISIS. In turn, ISIS wants $200m from Japan in exchange for these two hostages. It will be interesting to see if Japan will pay and whether ISIS will execute the men regardless.

And it may be inevitable that at some point, there will be Mainland Han Chinese hostages. Just imagine what ISIS would do to them for the government's treatment of Uyghurs. How will China react? Would it retaliate? How would it retaliate?

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

West African border crossings

Definitely more chaotic than any Central American crossing.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Exile Destinations, Part 18

171. Togo— 0
172. Tonga— 0
173. Trinidad and Tobago— 0
174. Tunisia— Saudi Arabia
175. Turkey— 0
176. Turkmenistan— 0
177. Tuvalu— 0
178. Uganda— Saudi Arabia, Tanzania, Kenya
179. Ukraine— Russia
180. UAE— 0

Tally thus far:
7x = France, U.K.

4x = Brazil, U.S., U.S.S.R./Russia

3x = Egypt, Netherlands, Nigeria, Panama, Saudi Arabia

2x = Guinea, Ivory Coast, Morocco, Portugal, Senegal, South Africa, Venezuela

1x = Australia, Austria, Belarus, Benin, Costa Rica, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guatemala, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Libya, Mexico, Paraguay, Pakistan, Qatar, Singapore, Somalia, Spain, Switzerland, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, UAE, Uganda, Uruguay, Yemen, unknown, unknown, unknown

Make your own Cup Noodle

In defense of Beavis & Butthead (and Mike Judge)

I'm halfway through Marc Maron's interview of Mike Judge on Maron's WTF podcast.

First, Judge tells Maron that his first car growing up in Albuquerque was a 1959 Datsun truck (with a crank starter). I found a video of such a truck on YouTube. Jump to 1:36 to see it.

But more importantly, Judge talked about Beavis & Butthead. My friend Eric and I watched these two nimrods all the time in high school. Of course, they were so funny because we could relate to them. In fact, to this day, Eric still calls me Beavis.

There was a lot of controversy when the show aired on MTV. The public blamed the show for a 5 year old child who set fire to his mobile home, killing his younger sister.

Judge gave the full account during the podcast. A single mother went on a date and left her two young kids at home. When the police was about to arrest the mother for negligence after her daughter's death, she blamed it all on Beavis & Butthead. In fact, the boy had never watched Beavis & Butthead; their trailer park did not have cable; and he had set another fire a year prior, before B&B's premier.

Another one of Judge's works came to mind last week. Idiocracy.

Why did that movie come to mind? Because this was on Speaker Boehner's official Congressional website. Gods help us.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Febo Dutch snacks

I would totally eat this crappy food.

PTSD dog ad

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Azerbaijan car nut interview

The one thing that I am most proud of with this blog is its readers. As a geopolitics and car nut, I love the fact that it has attracted a diverse group of smart, well-read, well-traveled, and open-minded car enthusiasts. Today, I want to share an interview I did with regular commenter Tarlan. Before this interview, I knew that Tarlan is from Baku, Azerbaijan; works in the oil industry; and loves cars. I guarantee that you will find his background interesting and that we have all underestimated his passion for all sorts of strange and unique cars.

Tarlan, thank you for sharing!

1. What was life like in Soviet-era Azerbaijan?

Life in Soviet Azerbaijan wasn't too much different from any other Soviet republics. For me, it was the most happy time of my life as I was a kid, spending life with my family. Just as it is all over the world, your teenage time is the best time of your life. My family lived in Baku when I was a teenager and life was beautiful.

2. Has there been any recent progress with Nagorno-Karabakh? What do you think the permanent solution should be?

Jim, I am an Azeri citizen, a reserve lieutenant of the Azerbaijani armed forces, so I couldn't be independent on this issue. Last year an Armenian helicopter was brought down by our military forces, and that doesn't help the progress.

3. Will an F1 race take place in Baku?

Definitely. Unlike his father who was an ex-KGB general, our existing president Ilham Aliyev is a playboy. He loves good restaurants, horses, cars, and races. He still enjoys driving his Maybach and Toyota Land Cruiser by himself from time to time. I'm pretty much sure that inviting F1 to Baku was his personal idea and it's definitely going to happen in 2016.

4. Azerbaijan is an oil-rich country. How is the country handling the low oil prices?

The petrol price in Azerbaijan is $2.90 per U.S. gallon. This price is fixed and the same for all petrol stations around the country. This price has not changed in the last 2 to 3 years. 

5. During the Soviet era, what cars were popular in Azerbaijan?

Of course the most popular car in Soviet time was the Lada. The most expensive car available on the market was the Volga GAZ 24. My father bought one in 1988 for 16,000 rubles which was almost $10,000 at that time. Bigger cars like the ZIL or Chaika could not be purchased with money. 

6. What are popular cars now in Azerbaijan and Baku?

There are three main sources for used import cars in Azerbaijan: 1) Germany through Georgia for 5 to 6 year old Mercedes, BMWs, Opels, Audis, and Volkswagens. 2) UAE (mostly Dubai) for SUVs and 2 to 3 year old upper middle class sedans. 3) Japan for middle class European and Japanese cars converted to right hand drive. 

Almost all the brands have dealerships in Azerbaijan, starting from Lamborghini, Bentley, and Rolls-Royce down to cheap Chinese, Iranian copies of Peugeot, and Russian Ladas.
The best sellers are Russian Ladas and Korean Hyundais and Kias. I'm sorry that I couldn't find any statistics in English regarding our car market but I know that the Hyundai dealership sells around 100 cars per month just in Baku.

7. What is the state of car culture in your country now?

Unfortunately, driving culture is too low on our roads. Hundreds of illegal taxis are parked all over the streets creating many parking and access problems for both pedestrians and cars. Although I agree that the easiest way to earn money is to buy a 15 year old Mercedes W201 or something similar and wait on the side of the road for a customer, there are plenty of ways to find a job on many construction sites all around Azerbaijan. We are expecting a few big projects in the near future and a lot of preparations are going on now, e.g. F1 race, European games, road reconstruction. 

8. What kind of cars have you owned?

My car ownership history is a little bit complicated, Jim. I have always been interested in cars, racing, etc. I studied in Azeri technical university in the management of auto transport during the late Soviet period and my first job was as a sales representative for the first Mobil lubricants dealer in Azerbaijan. 

I bought my first car in 1994, for $400. It was a ZAZ 968 with an air cooled V4 in the back. That was my first car and I transferred a lot of my theoretical knowledge about cars and engines to practice (I managed to change the pistons twice in 2 years) Then, my father became the head of the Renault dealership in Baku and I started to buy all sorts of Renaults just because I had easy access to spare parts and service facilities. At this time, I drove an R12, R9, R21, R19, R5 Baccara, and Renault Laguna. The R5 Baccara is a crazy car, Jim, and I still love it. 

Then, in the late 90s, I started to work in the oil and gas business and most of the time the company provided me with big SUVs like the Pajero I, Hyundai Galloper, and Jeep Grand Cherokee. At the same time, I owned a 1988 Land Rover Discovery, Dodge Spirit, Hyundai Santa Fe and Tucson as my family cars. 

For the past 4 to 5 years, I didn't change many cars but I still had big trucks at my job (Nissan Navara, Toyota Hilux, or Mitsubishi L200) and a small Peugeot 206 and Infiniti QX4 for my family. 

And, of course, my dream came true last year when i bought a 2001 Jaguar XKR convertible. (Editor: There will be a separate story about that.)

9. What would you like to tell people who do not know much about your country? How would you describe your country?

Azerbaijan is a good example of an authoritarian petrocracy with more than 100 years of Russian impact making for a strange mix of Shia Islam and Communist world outlook. I'm still a part of this system and I love it. I'm not alone, and there are a lot of people from different stratum of the population who think almost the same as me. But in general, our people are friendly and naive towards foreigners as are most people form the Middle East and the Caucasus.

10. Why do you love cars?

I partly answered this in response to Question No. 8. I can add that the love came from my father. He was not only a great enthusiast of cars but also participated in the development of the injection system (revolutionary system at the time) for the Soviet ZMZ engine which was mounted on later models, like the GAZ 31.

Cars on display at Hotel de Goudfazant in Amsterdam

Was watching Esquire's The Getaway in Amsterdam starring Seth Meyers and his brother. The eatery has cool cars on display while you eat.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Exile Destinations, Part 17

(Preface for new readers: I look at leaders who fled their countries from 1975 to the present, ten countries at a time. As you can see, France and the U.K. are popular places for deposed leaders.)

161. Sudan— Egypt, Egypt
162. Suriname— Netherlands, Netherlands
163. Swaziland— 0
164. Sweden— 0
165. Switzerland— 0
166. Syria— 0
167. Tajikistan— 0
168. Thailand— U.K., U.K.
169. The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia— 0
170. Timor-Leste— 0

Tally thus far:
7x = France, U.K.

4x = Brazil, U.S.

3x = Egypt, Netherlands, Nigeria, Panama, U.S.S.R./Russia

2x = Guinea, Ivory Coast, Morocco, Portugal, Senegal, South Africa, Venezuela

1x = Australia, Austria, Belarus, Benin, Costa Rica, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guatemala, Italy, Japan, Libya, Mexico, Paraguay, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Somalia, Spain, Switzerland, Togo, Tunisia, UAE, Uganda, Uruguay, Yemen, unknown, unknown, unknown

My Reading Rainbow tweet

My post on the Top Gear Patagonia special

is on TTAC. One commenter called me "lower than Fox News". Tough crowd!

Monday, January 12, 2015

The Catholic Church's 15 ills, according to the Pope

1. Feeling immortal, immune, indispensible.
2. Excessive activity.
3. Mental and spiritual petrification.
4. Overplanning and functionalism.
5. Bad coordination.
6. Spiritual Alzheimer's.
7. Rivalry and vainglory.
8. Existential schizophrenia.
9. Gossip and chatter.
10. Deifying leaders.
11. Indifference.
12. The funeral face.
13. Hoarding.
14. Closed circles.
15. Worldly profit and exhibitionism.


Saturday, January 10, 2015


Tomorrow's unity rally in Paris will be wonderful. It will be interesting to see which world leaders will show up. Dozens will be there, including Israel's Bennett and Liberman. How will be the Arab/Muslim world react to their presence?

Renault Avantime short doc

Here is another Matra project. Think of it as an Espace for empty nesters.

Here is an ad for the Avantime, which only sold 8,000 units.

Renault Espace documentary

All the footage yesterday from the hostage situations and geared up cops has me thinking about the Renault Espace. This excellent video describes the monospace's creation and evolution. I had no idea that Matra had such a critical role in the van.

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Exile Destinations, Part 16

(Preface for new readers: I look at leaders who fled their countries from 1975 to the present, ten countries at a time. As you can see, France and the U.K. are popular places for deposed leaders.)

151. Sierra Leone— Guinea, U.K., Guinea
152. Singapore— 0
153. Slovakia— 0
154. Slovenia— 0
155. Solomon Islands— 0
156. Somalia— Nigeria, Yemen
157. South Africa— 0
158. South Sudan— 0
159. Spain— 0
160. Sri Lanka— 0

Tally thus far:
7x = France

5x = U.K.

4x = Brazil, U.S.

3x = Nigeria, Panama, U.S.S.R./Russia

2x = Guinea, Ivory Coast, Morocco, Portugal, Senegal, South Africa, Venezuela

1x = Australia, Austria, Belarus, Benin, Costa Rica, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Guatemala, Italy, Japan, Libya, Mexico, Netherlands, Paraguay, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Somalia, Spain, Switzerland, Togo, Tunisia, UAE, Uganda, Uruguay, Yemen, unknown, unknown, unknown

Tesla Model X photos

From Rchen, who took them at CES.

A photo posted by Rich Chen (@rchen) on