To say that today was a life-altering one for me that I'll someday look back upon with extreme joy or utter dismay would be an understatement. Without venturing into the details of the travel forum I attended, let me jump to an anecdote told to the participants by Tony Wheeler, the founder of the Lonely Planet publishing house, one of the anointed travel luminaries at the event. True, I too didn't know his name before this morning but learning of his adventurous life as the pioneer of millions of backpackers who followed in his trail, I am a fan. After all, watching the Lonely Planet TV series hosted by Ian Wright on Discovery was the sole reason I was bitten by the travel bug. Here's one of the many hilariously interesting incidents that he shared.
On a recent trip to Iran, he had a chance to get so sloshed with beer that he woke up with a bad bad hangover. He asked the youngsters who he had shared a drink with about how they managed to sneak the 'haraam' beer into the strictly Islamic republic of Iran. Funnily enough, it seems that the Mujahideen convince the Ayatollah's men that they are importing weapons for the Jehad against the 'kafirs'. Inside the crates of weapons though are bottles and cans of much appreciated Turkish beer which they sell for a neat profit to needy, fun-loving youngsters. Now at long last, here's a kind of corruption I don't have any objection to!