Wednesday, 2 October 2019

It's the age of Asia ...

Okay, okay. Apparently, yes. It's got something to do with passports. I'm not sure I understand it. The PR email, I mean. 'Let the readers have a look at it, boss.' Oh, okay.

As the global economy transforms and centers of power shift, Asia's dominance appears to be unfaltering. Entering into the final quarter of 2019, Japan and Singapore retain a firm hold on first place on the Henley Passport Index, each with a visa-free/visa-on-arrival score of 190 out of a maximum 227. For most of the index's 14-year history - which is based on exclusive data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) - the top spot has been held by a European country or by the US. However, this shifted dramatically in 2018, with Asian countries now firmly established as world leaders when it comes to both global economic activity and global mobility.

Does that make any sense to you, dear reader(s)? 'Well, people can travel with ease to these places, boss. That's all they're saying.' Yes, I suppose so, Voice.

With visa-free/visa-on-arrival scores of 188, Finland, Germany, and South Korea remain in 2nd place, while Denmark, Italy, and Luxembourg are in 3rd place, with citizens of those countries now able to access 187 destinations worldwide without requiring a visa in advance. With a score of 184, the UK and the US remain in joint 6th place - the lowest position either country has held since 2010 and a significant drop from their 1st-place ranking in 2014.

And does any of this matter? 'Well, you don't care, boss. You don't travel.' That's right. I only travel in my mind, man, to other realities, like. And that's all I need. Only the unimaginative actually need to get on a plane. 'Ha! Don't be horrible!' Sorry.

Let's hear from Dr. Christian H. Kaelin!

Dr. Christian H. Kaelin, Chairman of Henley & Partners and the creator of the passport index concept, says: "Our ongoing research has shown that when we talk about 'passport power', we are discussing more than simply the destinations a holder can travel to without acquiring a visa in advance. Often, there is a strong correlation between visa freedom and other benefits such as business and investment freedom, independence of the judiciary, fiscal health, and property rights."

Oh, I see. It's good for business and investment freedom. I suppose my readers will be interested then. 'They love all that!' Of course they do! They can't get enough.

Okay, okay. Our Christian wants to talk about Brexit now, BUT(!) ... no, no, no. NO - !!! I'm sick of it!



Anything else? You better believe it, something else! Listen! I woke up at half five this morning with a new tune in my head. Half a minute of it! So, I had a mug of coffee, then I picked up my guitar and wrote another section to take it to the one minute mark. That bit came straight away - I mean, as long as it took me to play it. I found the chords, too. It's in the key of A. I only need a chorus now. / This is the way I like to work! No fuss. No heartache. Are you digging me on this, kook(s)? Oh, I hope so.

What else? Is there, uh, anything ... more else? 'Ha! Your readers are insatiable, boss!' Yes, I know.

I know.

Right, my lovely kook(s). Let me be honest for a moment. Yes. Christ. There's definitely something mystical going on in my life. The rest of the musical dream was pretty amazing. I won't tell you, but ... just when my future is looking really bleak, I get shit like this happening. It's crazy.

There's got to be a reason.

And ...

There's got to be a meaning to it all.

You dig?


Ah, later(s), crocodile(s)!

Oh, no more personal talk. I'm serious. That's it!