10 Things I learned in Brazil.

This seems a little more dramatic than it needs to be, as I was in Sao Paulo for one night only. And that is not a sold out Broadway show. Not yet anyhow.  It’s just me being wisk away across the Atlantic in a metal tube for one meeting and then flying back the next day.

But like anything in life there is always lessons to be learned.  Here goes.

  1. Your passport will be checked at least three times from the time you disembark up to an excluding customs. Maybe it’s my face. 
  2. No-one checked my yellow fever certificate which means my emcounter with a HUGE needle, in a smellly clinic, was all for nothing.
  3. Traffic is horrendous. People walk around with carts selling snacks, thus providing additonal things motorists have to avoid on a never moving freeway.
  4. Woman do not strut their stuff in g-strings like they do in all the travel brochures of Brazil. They do drive taxis though. But fully clothed.
  5. Public urination is frowned upon even though the canal smells like a urinal during the October fest. A cop will verbalise his disgust in Portuguese even if you have a medical condition and would die if you hold it for another second.
  6. People consume so much meat that if you dare to witness a full sitting, you are definately going to end up with a gout attack or something worse. It has to be a vegetarian’s worst nightmare.
  7. Some areas of the city has a putrid smell that can only be described as the underarm pit of a hoarder-cat-lady who belongs to a cult that considers personal hygiene a cardinal sin.
  8. Caparinho is a lemon-vodka based drink so sweet, it strips the fluoride from your teeth whilst attempting to finish it. It contains approximately 1,634,298 calories. Per sip.
  9. It takes a taxi one hour and forty five minutes to get from the hotel to the airport at the speed of a dying snail. I already mentioned the traffic didn’t I?
  10. And that’s all folks, it was a quick visit.

This is Turkey

Yes, I’ve been busy. Getting back to business in another foreign country.

Disembarking in Istanbul, the only thing resembling a Turkey was the fat, bearded policeman who took my passport. The one who escorted me to a little room where he put on a pair of rubber gloves and made me very nervous. My heart raced. And not in a good way. I haven’t gone for a prostate exam so I wasn’t comfortable with  a full body search. He also asked me if I was carrying dollars, which seems to be the universal currency for a bribe. Unfortunately I didn’t have any on me. I was finally let go, after he fumbled my neatly folded clothes into one big mess. I didn’t complain. Turns out I was the random spot check of the day. He wasn’t corrupt after all…

It’s obvious that I have the face of an international fugitive or a drug lord. Or both. Maybe I should get rid of my goatee. Continue reading

Laugh with me #4

Here is another clip that not only tickled, but assaulted my funny bone.  I also makes me love the concept of a dash cam.  He has giving new meaning to the concept of “a delayed response”.

commitment fail

I agree that the best thing would be to run away and hide.  This guy is a danger to himself.  Maybe he should quit drinking whilst he’s at it.

A tram nearly killed me

Now where was I?  Oh yes bad comedy in Sydney. Seeing how someone dies on stage is never pleasant, even if the sicko made a rape joke. On second thought, he should have been skinned alive.

The rest of my stay in Sydney was pretty uneventful when you consider all the residents stay at home on a Tuesday night.  It is only the lonely travellers strolling the street like a lost zombie, trying to find a decent place to eat.

It is always funny how the hostess of a restaurant looks surprised when I ask for a table for one. Imagine if I asked her for an extra setting and some consideration for my imaginary friend Angelique, the jewish hippo in a leapordskin tutu. Continue reading

How a One Direction concert became the best thing about my weekend

I’m back and can proudly proclaim that I am a Dad who survived a One Direction concert.  I’ve been there, done that and Princess got the t-shirt.  They didn’t have my size, which is theresnofriggenwayimwearingthatshit.

“How was it?” everyone’s asking.  It was loud.  Very loud.  Extremely loud.  Loud enough to wake the dead and make them wish they hadn’t.  Loud enough to make me wish I was dead.  Or in a temporary coma.  Or moderately deaf.  Loud enough to make me want to rip out the voice boxes of the two girls that sat next to me.  I didn’t realise woman could scream that loud.  OK, actually I do, but that is entirely different blog.  The supersonic boom that echoed through the stadium left a ringing that is still evident two days later. Continue reading

My nemesis makes me feel like an idiot. Everyday.

And what’s even worse is that my nemesis is an inanimate object.  Technically, the subject of my dissatisfaction is the absence of an inanimate object.  Confused?  I’ll assist by rephrasing my title.

“The absence of matter creates a volatile situation that showcase, not only my inability to control my emotion but also the fact that I have a limited intelligence coefficient.”

Or in plain English…

There is a frigging pothole on my way to work and I have a knack for driving through the damn thing every single morning! Continue reading

Smiling doesn’t kill you.

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The happy virus on a stick
http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

It takes more muscles to frown than to smile…And that my friends is bull shit.

It’s all a lie, spread by irresponsible happy prophets.  (At least according to the Wikipedia page on the subject.)  If it was true, like I believed it to be until 10 minutes ago, it would have been a great opening sentence for setting the tone of this post.  Instead I’m now at a loss for words due to my own ability to Google.

However.

Did you know a smile is more infectious than the common flu?  Try it and you’ll see.  Even a fake smile will result in a reaction of the person you are presenting it to.  Granted you might not get a smile in return, maybe an uncomfortable expression or someone suddenly seeking fallen cash on the pavement.  Fact remains, a smile causes a reaction.

It’s proven that only tormented serial killers will look you straight in the eye without any glimpse of a soul, after you smile at them.  If that happens run.  For if you don’t run, fast, you mind end up seeing a sadistic version of your smile when you wake up a few hours later in a small dark room. *shivers*

I was driving to work and due to some annoying construction taking place on route; they’ve placed traffic policeman to guide the traffic in a more orderly fashion.  This is to prevent the impatient motorists amongst us from swearing, flipping the bird, resulting in random beatings with sticks and shit.  As I was passing cop #1 he had the expression I see every Monday morning in the mirror.  In essence he was wearing a huge question mark, or like I call it a WTF-facial.  Let’s just say he wasn’t one of the shiny-happy people REM wrote about in their hit song.

Then I passed Cop #2.  He had the same job, the skillful art of routing traffic safely, but he seemed to have had it all that morning.  He was jumping and waiving and basically having a jolly good time, just like that fat guy in the red suit who visits all the kids in the world at least once a year.  But what really got my attention, besides the physical antics of the Cop on meth, was his smile.  Dishing one to every passing motorist, and it was infectious.  I smiled too.  And so did the girl in the car behind me, as I was checking her out watching her in my rear-view mirror.

I arrived at work, with the smile still firmly imprinted on this semi-handsome face of mine, which went from a 6 to an 8 just because I was showing some teeth.  I walked into the office, well basically skipped, and smiled and greeted everyone happily.  Most people just froze in their seats or dropped papers, totally taken aback by my jovial entry into the realms of work.

To clarify, I’m not a morning person, so even though my eyes open at 5 and I train for an hour, I still only wake up at 7 after my first cup of coffee.  My personality kicks in around nine, on a good day.  I have become accustomed in isolating myself from social interaction during mornings, not wanting unnecessary confrontation whilst my sense of humour is settling in.

But this post is not about me, it’s about smiling.  It’s about that amazing superpower each person on earth possess, almost like a happy virus of sorts.  A virus most people would kill to be infected with.  So I challenge you, go out and use that superpower of yours, find your closest victim, as it only takes 12 facial muscles to do. (frowning takes 11, hence my opening comments)

And here’s the fun part, smiling doesn’t kill you.

Everyone does it

Travelling to work on this bright, sunny Monday morning, something occurred to me.

It might have been hearing Brandi Carlisle soaring through “The Story” or the impatient driver who hooted at the pedestrian, crossing the street a little too slow.  It may have been the countless cars manoeuvring through traffic lights and stop streets, congesting MY way to work.  Why can’t people find their own routes to drive on? Yeez.

In all these cars there were people, big and small, fat and tall, male and female.  All of them, just like me, with a life, a purpose and a destination.  Rushing somewhere to catch the clock and be on time, for work, for school, for whatever.  All of us are doing it, some with more success than others, but we are all trying our best to make a living.

Each of those people driving around has a favourite song, one that will make them pump up the volume.  They all have a movie that they can watch over and over again.  They have a favourite meal, combined with that special movie, creating a perfect night out.

We all have a birthday, and a fond (or not) memory linked to each one.  We are all somebody’s children and hated our parents at some point.  Most of us are parents and we will end up doing something that will annoy our kids.

We all worry about finances, budgets, the economy and the rising cost of living.  We all have to work. (But that’s Eve’s fault 😉 )  And we all have to eat, drink and wear clothes. (At least in public.)  We all need a roof over our heads to protect us against the cold and the rain and the other tantrums of Mother Nature.

We all have good days, bad days and a few  I-want-to-murder-someone days.  We all need Diamond days.

We all laugh, we all cry, we all want to find love and all of us need to be loved.  We all have feelings, experience emotion.  We all need joy and we all feel sad.  Most of us have friends and families we cherish.  We all experience loss and grief during our lifetime.  We were all born, we all grow up and we will all die.

In a nutshell, every living person on the face of this planet are only human.  Mortals rushing through life and fighting for our little piece of heaven, a small place to catch a glimpse of the sun.  Even just five seconds of fame.  We all do it.  We all live.

Every single person you see driving or walking or jogging or complaining or laughing or crying has their own story to tell.  Each one fights their own battles, carries their own burdens and worries, are chasing their own demons, hiding skeletons in closets.  (Some even get out of closets.)  But they all seek happiness and serenity and peace and joy.  Striving to be the best that they can be.  Just like you and me.

So how about cutting other people a little bit more freaking slack, why don’t you?  How about showing the littlest, tiniest bit of compassion?  How about re-adjusting your own tolerance level and patience threshold?

Even if it is just for today.  Just imagine for a moment, if everyone does it.