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What travel destination most scares you?

Well, if Taipei 101 ever does a "Wonderful World of Spiders" exhibition, you can be sure I’ll be as far away as possible.

Any comments on the Rwanda Hutu Tutsi Genocide of 1994?

Talk about unfortunate nomenclature! Now there was a genocide in desperate need of rebranding. I mean, with names like "Hutu" and "Tutsi", it was the least seriously-taken act of mass slaughter since Dada declared war on the muumuu.

That said, the genocide is an excellent example of how racism and conspiracy theories can really screw things up for a region.

The United Nations (particularly the US and France) dropped the ball heinously, failing to act despite obvious warning signs. The combatants’ (to Anglophonic ears, anyway) absurd names, their skin colour and the lack of oil paralysed those who should’ve stepped in to halt the insane murder of hundreds of thousands. It was one of the most damning indictments of Western foreign policy and—whether the UN eventually goes the way of the League of Nations or not—should always be remembered as the greatest catastrophic failure of late 20th century diplomacy.

Kudos to Canada, though, for stepping in when they did. If ever I decided to move to another country, Canada is at the top of my list; the whole Quebec thing aside, they’re the one country I feel has got their act together enough to make me proud to be a citizen.

What are your most impressive travel stories?

I like the ice cream cake story myself, but I actually haven’t travelled all that much, unless you count domestically. And most of my stories are quirky, not impressive.

Examples include: how I almost suffocated from cat farts on a trip to the NSW South Coast, became infatuated with the tour guide at Ranger uranium mine, had my tent shredded at a caravan park at Airlie Beach by an irate possum, helped my friend persuade a Canadian telephone operator that he (my friend, that is) was being sexually assaulted by a camel, was mistaken for a professional wrestler at JFK International Airport, built a snow-iguana in Central Park, took a two-hour bus trip to play a videogame in Pasadena, bluffed some Spanish-labelled "flu medication" that I’d bought in Mexico back through Customs (it was totally legal—I was just itching to get home and didn’t want to have to lecture some Customs guy on neurochemistry) or almost died of hypothermia after getting drunk and thinking that swimming in a motel pool in Port Stephens at 3am in the middle of July would be refreshing—despite the two feet of fog that rolled over the water’s surface.

But they’re a bit too varied and long to detail here.

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