Nice one, Nur-Sultan

by Rashmee

Posted on October 31, 2020


‘Very nice’, Kazakhstan. It’s a master stroke. The country has adopted Borat’s catchphrase – “Very nice!” – for a new tourism campaign. That’s a much smarter move than back in 2006, when the Kazakh government expressed its fury – very expensively too, via adverts in American newspapers – about ‘Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for … Continue reading “Nice one, Nur-Sultan”

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Have haute hazmat, will travel

by Rashmee

Posted on July 17, 2020 / The Focus


Masks or face coverings of some sort are soon going to be mandatory in stores across England. In the US too, some prominent retail brands now require customers to wear face masks in their stores. Think Walmart, Starbucks, Best Buy. Now, the world of fashion is thinking of another defence against the coronavirus — the hazmat travel … Continue reading “Have haute hazmat, will travel”

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Mars is the new moonshot. Here’s why

by Rashmee

Posted on July 14, 2020


Some are calling it “the summer of Mars”. Three missions from three different countries are headed for the red planet within a month. The US, China and the United Arab Emirates – a very new player in planetary exploration – are launching Mars missions. Why, one might ask, considering Mars is considered to be the … Continue reading “Mars is the new moonshot. Here’s why”

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The post-pandemic hotel

by Rashmee

Posted on June 22, 2020 / The Focus


Victorian-era Paternoster lifts, touch-less check-in, app-activated handle-less door locks, robot cleaners and in-room gyms. The novel coronavirus will change the hotel in ways no one would have thought before the pandemic hit. That’s the the post-pandemic hotel visualised by The Manser Practice, an award-winning British architecture and design firm that has designed several hotels including … Continue reading “The post-pandemic hotel”

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Corona-alliances, travel corridors and air bridges: taking a flight is no longer business as usual

by Rashmee

Posted on June 17, 2020 / The National


While there is neither vaccine for cure for Covid-19, international travel is tentatively resuming in a strange new world of bubbles large and small, air bridges, green lanes, negotiated corridors and colour-coded zones. The cartographical features of the new travel order are not yet set but it is safe to say they will be unique. … Continue reading “Corona-alliances, travel corridors and air bridges: taking a flight is no longer business as usual”

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Bubbles, air bridges, green lanes: Travel in a post-pandemic world

by Rashmee

Posted on June 6, 2020 / The Focus


It is a truism that the pandemic will change travel. How we travel, of course, but also where. Until there is a vaccine for SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes the covid-19 disease, international travel is set to resume in a strange new world of “bubbles”, “air bridges” and “green lanes”. What might the cartographical … Continue reading “Bubbles, air bridges, green lanes: Travel in a post-pandemic world”

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When China sneezes, the world takes to its sick bed

by Rashmee

Posted on February 23, 2020 / The Arab Weekly


Regional tourism may suffer the debilitating effects of Covid-19, which can be passed through the air. The MENA region’s first confirmed coronavirus deaths ­— two Iranians in the holy city of Qom — are reminders of a two-pronged reality: the world is increasingly linked and it has a growing reliance on China. In the 19th … Continue reading “When China sneezes, the world takes to its sick bed”

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Like Mark Twain in ‘Innocents Abroad’, we went to the Holy Sepulchre

by Rashmee

Posted on December 18, 2019


  So, like Mark Twain in ‘Innocents Abroad’, we went to the Holy Sepulchre near Jerusalem’s western gate. Unlike Twain, we first stopped at The Garden Tomb, which is on Nablus Road, and no more than 15 minutes of uninterrupted walking time away from the Holy Sepulchre. There’s a reason Twain didn’t go to The … Continue reading “Like Mark Twain in ‘Innocents Abroad’, we went to the Holy Sepulchre”

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Donna Leon’s ‘Acqua Alta’ paints a pretty good picture of high waters in Venice

by Rashmee

Posted on November 13, 2019


I was at work today when I read about Venice under water, its walkable streets flooded, tables and chairs set out for touristy aperitifs bobbing along alleyways, and the gangways of hotels along the Grand Canal washed away. It’s the “acqua alta” or high waters, but an exceptionally intense one. This one has peaked at … Continue reading “Donna Leon’s ‘Acqua Alta’ paints a pretty good picture of high waters in Venice”

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Thomas Cook found the age of Empire easier than the age of Expedia

by Rashmee

Posted on September 23, 2019 / Quartz


Today, the head of the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority tried to put the collapse of Thomas Cook, the world’s oldest travel company, into context. Deirdre Hutton told the BBC that the 178-year-old company was “operating on brochures whereas everyone else has moved on to barcodes.” Is that really what caused Thomas Cook, after so many … Continue reading “Thomas Cook found the age of Empire easier than the age of Expedia”

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Rashmee has lived and worked in several countries in the past decade, including Afghanistan, India, Haiti, Tunisia, the UAE, US and UK