Seething since 2000*
[ ] is a land of contrasts. With a long and colourful history, [ ] is an ideal destination for hardened travellers as well as those seeking some of the simpler comforts in life. While life in the cities of [ ] is fast-paced, unsurprisingly enough once you reach the rural areas things get a little more quiet.
[ ] is a democratic nation but in recent times the validity of election results there have been disputed. Despite these political issues, [ ] remains a great place to visit at any time of the year. This is due to the fact that [ ] experiences four distinct seasons.
The people of [ ] are as a rule friendly although travellers have reported difficulties getting to know the locals. This is hardly surprising, as it is virtually impossible to quickly get to know well someone you knew nothing about only yesterday.
The main social unit of [ ] is the family. Children and old people are treated with the same kind of patronising respect, sometimes mistaken for kindness. In between, adults love and hate each other in equal measures. Men are often characterised as hard-working and lacking pretension, while women are still regarded differently.
Indeed, one of the main criticisms levelled at [ ] in recent times is that women there continue to be discriminated against, whether it be in terms of employment, income, education or the division of roles within the afore-mentioned beloved family unit.
Despite this, some advances have been made. Married women can now access the state-sponsored Intranet as well as various local social networking sites, and eventual access to the worldwide web is planned for 2015.
[ ] was once regarded as a third world nation but over the past six millennia its GDP has grown and its economy has diversified. Where once people lived a subsistence lifestyle in small rural villages, now the majority of the population lives in the vast slums of the capital and largest city, [ ].
Sanitation and hygiene continue to improve, and deaths from unsafe medical practices have now peaked. Crime in [ ] ebbs and flows, and while we would never advise walking alone at night through impoverished districts, we do recommend quick jogs during daylight hours.
Public transport is non-existent, although this may change, sometime. Electricity is unreliable at best, although income from the country’s massive fossil fuel reserves should begin to flow through to government coffers within the next decade.
While citizens of neighbouring countries enjoy the benefits of the recent resources boom, people in [ ] continue to languish in poverty. Tourism is seen as one of the few options available to poor people, who are as a rule courteous to visitors and more than happy for what little of their culture remains to be prostituted or placed on display.
Citizens of most countries require no visa when visiting [ ], although of course a valid passport is required in order to enter or leave the country. As for the local language, UNESCO reports that it is now spoken by just a handful of political prisoners holed up in an unsavoury jail on an island off the north-west coast.
Official pronouncements are commonly made in error-riddled French, while most towns and villages remain stubbornly and functionally illiterate. As a result of the widespread use of pictograms and cartoons to communicate subliminal messages, most people have no reason to speak at all.
Television and radio are both strictly monitored and news from outside the country is heavily censored by the state-run media, which is renowned for its sensationalism and innaccuracy. Thankfully, soap operas continue to flourish.
Children under the age of eighteen receive no formal education, but are provided with sandals and styrofoam chunks to use as toys, when time permits. [ ] observes very few national holidays, as the working year runs for three hundred and sixty two days.
Travellers wishing to visit [ ] should bear these factors in mind when deciding when and where to go. As always, please be sure to consult our website for up-to-date details of political assassinations, torture, extraditions, kidnappings, armed rebellions, massacres and rapes.
Above all, be sure to consider making your visit to [ ] relatively soon, as there is no guarantee that it will exist at all in a year from now.
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