Category Archives: Uncategorized

Pool training, 11/21

The advantage to being a no-talent beginner freediver is that you improve steadily yet incrementally, so you’re always setting new personal bests. Today I did a new PB in DYN (i.e., “dyamic”, which means swimming for distance in a pool on … Continue reading

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The journey inward

I recently took up freediving (diving underwater on a single breathhold). It’s a fascinating activity for so, so many reasons and teaches you a lot about your physical and mental capabilities. I started out with zero natural talent (indeed, the AIDA … Continue reading

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Whale shark!

Seen last Sunday from the boat near El Gouna on the way to a scuba dive (my new–very new–passion).  The Dive Master has been working in the Red Sea for seven years and had never seen one before, so there … Continue reading

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Is Egypt safe for tourists?

Taking a break from my Iran-blogging to respond to travel writer Matthew Teller’s post, “Is Egypt safe for tourists?.”  I agree that Egypt is more or less safe for tourists and that Cairo is “no scarier than any other big city … Continue reading

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More on zor khaneh…

…from an academic perspective. I have a book called Being Modern in Iran, which I bought at the Cairo Book Fair this year; I was leafing through it the other day and happened upon this quotation: In some ways, the importance … Continue reading

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Zor Khaneh

In Urmia, my first stop in Iran, I was taken to the “zor khaneh,” or “the house of strength” — a traditional Iranian body-building club.  At first I couldn’t really understand why my companion was taking me there, but admittedly, … Continue reading

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Van to Shiraz

This was my route, by the way.  (Google Maps insists on putting an additional blue line from Yuksekova to Urmia through Khoy, but I didn’t go that way.) Iran is massive.  I covered a lot of ground.

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