🐱 Meows, Moos, and More in Pipeaway Newsletter #126

Pipeaway travel newsletter #126; AI image by DALL-E.

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Happy New Year!

Well, if you are in the countries of South or Southeast Asia, at least! Before the rainy season arrives, locals celebrate Songkran. The water festival in Thailand is probably the splashiest spectacle.

If you want to see how they welcome the Khmer New Year, check out my wet video from Cambodia! This year, locals revived the centuries-old tradition of racing oxcarts, which are slowly being pushed out by tractors and modern machinery.

Croatia has its own, equally endangered oxen breed called boskarin. This large animal lives in Istria, exactly the region where “the big boy now” sold his cow. If the lyrics don’t sound familiar, they come from Baby Lasagna’s Rim Tim Tagi Dim, my country’s serious contender for the best Eurovision song this year.

While it’s among the favorites to win the title, I guess we should be lucky that Chechnya, which banned “too fast music” last week, cannot vote on Eurosong. We should be also sad that Mexico can’t cast votes, as they just protected 19 cats roaming the presidential palace.

Both music and cats are extremely important to Baby Lasagna, but his song is about a serious topic – the demographic changes that shaped (not only) Croatian reality. Young people are pressed to look for a better life somewhere else, it’s an exodus many countries can relate to.

Just recently, I got the sad news that my flat rental in Zagreb was canceled. The economic changes in the Croatian capital are quite obvious. Rents have skyrocketed, and I sadly don’t see myself staying here in these circumstances. I will have to look for other options myself.

“Before I leave, I must confess” that the little furries are the stars of our current #top4theme X-challenge too. My favorite is the cat on the Greek island of Amorgos looking at the nude “influencer in the wild” doing yoga on the beach.

Bye Mom, bye Dad! Meow, cat, please, meow back! Don’t cry, just dance! Rim-tim-tagi-digi-dim-tim-tim!

Find this in today’s newsletter:

  • Words: Escalating the situations.
  • Images: Peekaboo with Sun, spring, and smoke circles.
  • Numbers: Major security breaches and minor adventures.
  • P.S.: Delayed departure? Damaged baggage?

Have a meowtastic week!

Ivan Kralj        


Surreal imaginary pool villas in Greenland (on an iceberg) and Utah (on mountain cliff), AI images created in Midjourney by Maria Dudkina (@sunt_mrr).


AI Transforming Facebook to Fakebook

For an exercise, I asked an audio AI to whip up a Rammstein-style song on “Rim Tim Tagi Dim” topic (Baby Lasagana is too new to be a reference) – hear the non-edited version. It’s amazing what artificial intelligence can do in seconds. But it can also be used by villains. Scottish bank TSB found that a third of 2023 ads on Facebook’s Marketplace have been scams, and that didn’t even take into account AI for flooding our feeds with more fake news than a tabloid on steroids. Read our deep dive on AI-generated spam & scam on Facebook, and learn how to protect yourself!




UNESCO announced 18 new additions to its Global Geoparks list. From Croatian karst lakes in Imotski to sandstone columns of Meteora in Greece, now over 200 locations have the title. On the other hand, Stonehenge is at risk of losing its World Heritage status due to a controversial tunnel construction project under the prehistoric monument.


Sagrada Familia, the monumental church in Barcelona, should be finished by 2026, just in time for the 100th anniversary of the architect Antoni Gaudí’s death. TikTokers have no reason to celebrate, as their favorite videos on the escalators of the church’s metro station are now banned.


Dublin Airport, which recently made headlines for announcing to stop blessing planes on Christmas, raises eyebrows again. Their security staff asked a female passenger who went through a mastectomy to remove an artificial breast in public, for an additional checkup.




For the next eclipse, you’ll have to wait 16 months. So if you missed the one passing over North America, or maybe someone attempted to block you from experiencing it, check out the photographs here. Try not to envy the lucky ducks who skied under the black hole Sun!


Spring has sprung, and it’s not just the bees buzzing with excitement. As a cherry on top, Japan’s Sakura season has reached its peak; check out the pink picnics in Tokyo. In Europe, it’s tulip mania in Keukenhof, the flower rainbow of the Netherlands. In California, flower tourism centers around golden poppies’ superbloom.


Can you puff circles when smoking a cigarette? Even as a non-smoker, I did challenge myself with learning the vaping trick once, but it’s bloody hard. Well, apparently not if you are Mount Etna.



40 %

The percentage of U.S. flyers who now consider the type of plane when flying. That info is currently more important to them than the airline (36%). The caution has grown after a series of safety incidents with Boeing, the most recent ones including a toilet flooding the aisle, and a plane losing an engine cover. The Harris Poll also tells us that, after the disturbing events, 47% of passengers say they will more likely wear plane seatbelts even when not required.


The number of people who tried to get past the TSA security checkpoints in 2023, without proper documents or screening. That’s a tenfold jump from the previous year. In the most recent security breach, on a Delta flight from Atlanta to L.A., two stowaways were escorted off the plane pre-takeoff. But after landing, three more passengers without legitimate tickets were found on board.


The age of Mildred who, despite being on this planet for over a century, now has to travel like an unescorted minor. Funny story.

AirHelp logo.


Turning Travel Tribulations into Compensation Celebrations

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Ivan Kralj


Award-winning journalist and editor from Croatia

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Mapping the extraordinary since 2017.


Pipeaway is a travel blog mapping extraordinary people, places and passions.
Founded and run by Ivan Kralj, Croatian award-winning journalist and editor.
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