5. You no longer need to carry a translation app on your phone. If there’s someone to speak with, they’ll have one on theirs.
7. A white male travelling alone in interesting places, will always need to disprove they are a spy. Thanks Hollywood.
8. It is easier to deflect demands for a bribe when your paperwork is in order.
9. The art of successful borderland travel is to know when to pass through (and be seen by) army checkpoints and when to avoid them.
10. Borders are permeable.
11. There are parts of the world where empires go to be bloodied and die.
15. Everything is fine, until that exact moment when it’s obviously not. It is easy to massively over/under estimate risk based on current contextual conditions. Historical data provides some perspective, but it usually comes down to your ability to read undercurrents, which in turn comes down to having built a sufficiently trusted relationship with people within those currents.
20. When a fixed price culture meets a negotiation culture, fun ensues.
40. In order to size up the tribe/sub-tribe you’re part of, any group of young males will first look at the shoes on your feet.
50. The first time you confront a leader, never do it in front of their followers, they’ll have no way to back down.
56. To what extent does cultural continuity, and societal harmony comes from three generations under one roof?

61 Glimpses of the Future (via Kottke)