Friday, July 20, 2007

The New 7 Wonders of the World

On July 7, 2007 (07.07.07) the New 7 Wonders of the World were announced, after the first ever global election. Here is the list:

  1. The Great Wall, China

  2. Petra, Jordan

  3. Christ Redeemer, Brazil

  4. Machu Picchu, Peru

  5. Chichén Itzá, Mexico

  6. The Roman Colosseum, Italy

  7. The Taj Mahal, India

Personally, I have been to two (Christ Redeemer, Brazil and The Roman Colosseum, Italy), but you can be sure the others are on my list!

By the way, the Great Pyramid of Giza is the only wonder remaining of the original Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

It's a wonderful world we live in. Now get out there and experience it!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

A Moment to Mourn

(Sao Paulo, Brasil) Having just recently been through Sao Paulo's airport 3 times, and also having been affected by the numerous air traffic controller strikes and cancelled flights while in Brasil, I would like to take a moment to reflect on the lives lost in the terrible plane crash that happened there yesterday.

The President, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, declared three days of national mourning for Brasil’s second major air disaster in less than a year.

More information can be found here:

Friday, July 13, 2007

Come to Jesus!

(Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) When one thinks of Rio, one automatically thinks of Christ the Redeemer (Cristo Redentor), the statue of Jesus that stands atop Corcovado mountain, overlooking the city. In a city of extremes, it is the ultimate irony: blessings upon a city proud of its reputation for lasciviousness.

"The Christ" is located 2,300 vertical feet above the city, in the Parque Nacional de Tijuca, which is an urban rain forest. Another extreme: only in Rio can you go from the concrete jungle to the tropical jungle within a few minutes.

It has just been announced that Christ the Redeemer is one of the new Seven Wonders of the World, which was voted on by more than 1 million voters.

So, after you are finished with all of your partying in the city, come on up to Jesus. He will redeem you! Trust me. Millions (as in almost 12 million) of Rio's inhabitants do.

Jesus turning his back on me.

Amen, and Adventure On!


Sunday, July 1, 2007

When it Rains in Rio

Between me getting my Brazilian visa only one day before departure and my travel companion Hana “Lil’ Crooked Legs” Krivonozkova (a literal translation of her Czech sir name) being majorly delayed by a security breach at LAX, we barely made our flight from NYC to Brazil. We are off to a rocky start. We arrive, after 15 hours of flight time, and get on a local bus. Within 10 minutes it breaks down. Right next to the most violent favella (slum) in the city. Nobody on the bus seems to mind or care about the half an hour wait for our bus replacement. Welcome to Rio! Did I mention that it starts pouring down buckets of rain? We slop all of our stuff to the hostel, and finally, after 24 hours of vigilance, get to put our bags down. Phew!

Two idioms come to mind: “When it Rains it Pours”, and “When in Rome (Do as the Romans Do)”. So, what to do when it rains in Rio? Make like a local, and party till the wee hours! And then sleep in until about 2pm or so.

We did manage to make it to Sugarloaf Mountain, one of Rio’s finest attractions, before sunset one day. The lousy weather persisted, but made for some very dramatic photos. A couple of hours later, and night is back. Time to repeat the ritual.

Ritual for When it Rains in Rio:

-Sleep in till afternoon.
-Get up and do something in the few hours of daylight remaining.
-Take a siesta.
-Get ready for a 10pm dinner.
-Hit the local clubs around midnight.
-Arrive home at an unmentionable hour.
-Repeat until sun shines. (At which point you will be advised to wake as early as possible and head to the nearest beach.)

Adventure On!