House Hunters International, Algiers: Episode 4, "A Year Later, Still So Many Questions"

Wednesday, August 13, 2014 | Algiers, Algeria (map)

Landlord and would-be D.I.Y. superstar Aziz with his triplets, on a visit to my terrace earlier this summer.
A year has passed since I finally quit squatting with a colleague and move into my own apartment in Algiers—only to encounter a series of comical early misadventures. (If you haven't yet, be sure to read Episode 1: "It's Worth It for the View", Episode 2: "MacGyver's Revenge", and Episode 3: "Is It Over Yet?").

There was never supposed to be an "Episode 4". But to this day, circumstances at my humble abode somehow continue to prompt some uncomfortable questions—including, most often, "What the hell am I doing here?"

* * *

Back in November, shortly after finishing the third installment of this series on the joys of renting in Algiers, I packed my bags for a week back home in the US. My timing was good, as here in Algeria the winter's first rains were just starting outside.

Oh, and also inside.

Dalmatian Sensations: Observations from a Croatian Vacation

Tuesday, August 12, 2014 | Korčula, Croatia (map)

Croatia's Dalmatian coast is supremely relaxing. Above, Korčula town.
Coming from Algeria or anywhere else, you can do a lot worse than ten days on Croatia's Dalmatian coast. Here's why: