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DIVERSIONS


Hacking Brazilian Culture: Magically Transform Your Dear Brazilians into Prompt, Respectful People

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Stop Prioritizing Locals Over Travelers: A Nomad’s Manifesto

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Tinder: More Useful to Travelers than Couchsurfing or Google Maps?

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Why do Brazilians act the way they do? We don’t know either. But over our decades of dealing with them, we have discovered some strategies for turning our favorite Brazilians into (slightly) more respectful, prompt, and reliable people. We’re not going to claim that you can wave your hands over your favorite Brazilians and turn …

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How interesting was Michael Barbaro’s podcast today? Would he deploy his now-trademarked catch-interjection? First, he had to ask a question. “That’s a really interesting question,” responded his guest on queue, followed by measured background from a slightly left-leaning perspective but also acknowledging the truths of the right, as related tangentially to some batshit crazy thing …

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Pétanque (a.k.a. boules) is the French cousin to lawn bowling or bocce, once removed from horseshoes, twice removed from darts. Depending on your perspective, it’s a game of rigor and strategy, or else of standing around and drinking Ricard (a.k.a. pastis, an anise-flavored spirit) or rosé. So we’re somewhere on the midpoint here between chess and beer …

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“Of course locals should take priority over those traveling through,” says a friend, vis-a-vis city politics. Really? Her assumption is widely shared, even among the most loving, lefty, freedom-and-equality-for-all humanists. So it seems like a good time to question it a bit. Here’s How We Mistreat Nomads I get bored with new claims of victimization; oh how groups …

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Tipsy Pilgrim on using Tinder for travel

Road-Tindering gets you into the coffee shops, pants, and hearts of the locals, sure. But the app can also lead you to truly weird adventures in lovely spots that you’d never have found in hours of searches through forums and travel sites. So it is that this rogue nomad has signed up on Tinder — you know, for research purposes, and not due …

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Samba de gafieira — Brazil’s groovy answer to tango — is a flashy, complicated dance that lends itself to spectacle. There are many videos of performances by outrageously talented professionals online, but this is not one of them. These dancers are talented, but this is not a formal performance with all of the flashy silliness that …

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This is Bebeto‘s “Segura a Nega” performed by Clube do Balanço. It is one of the greatest samba rock songs ever performed, and if you have a less-than-perfect command of spoken Brazilian Portuguese, you may be wondering what the hell the lyrics are about. I offer here my translation; the emphasis here is on accuracy in meaning and achieving a …

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NASA and others make travel porn for those feeling constrained by our solar system.

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  The best adventures in foreign lands usually involve locals who have a couple of generations on me. They didn’t learn to dance from MTV, and they haven’t taken up the lowest-common-denominator drinks wrought on the world’s youth by globalization (Heineken, absolut, mojitos, cosmopolitans). These are the locals with stories to tell, cultural wisdom to share. The lame cell-phone photos above …

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Catalan statehood is in vogue, which leads many to ask: What makes Catalans so different? This blog has previously covered Catalans’ vermut for breakfast, super-hot girls in bad haircuts, screwy sounds, etc., etc., etc. — we’re huge fans. But more than anything, it’s Catalans’ glorification of excrement that proves that they are a truly singular people who deserve their own passports …

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The route from masturbatory mapmaking to viral meme to mainstream media coverage

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It’s late at night, you’re a gentleman dung beetle, and you’ve packed together a delicious ball of shit. Now, for safe-keeping, you’d like to roll it far, far away from the other feasting critters at the dung pile. If you can do that, you just might be able to convince a lady dung beetle to fuck …

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Eating in Paris should be all about small, charming restaurants; exquisite chocolates; and bohemian bars — not the standard tourist nightmare of snarling waiters, seven-language menus, and bland food.

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Pauistanos (folks from São Paulo city) are known for being all about stress, fine eating and money. Their street carnival takes a bit of a back seat. The Tipsy editorial board, however, loves to rock the backseat. We took a jaunt down to Sampa during its carnaval, and a few locals showed us their moves.  

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Turn to the Kanun, the oral tradition of Albanian law that was codified in the 1500s and whose roots go back possibly to the Bronze Age. First set down in print and published as a handy reference in the early 1900s, it provides guidance on, for example: The etiquette of dinnertime sheep debraining An appropriate …

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The fine folk of Normandy have a solution: the trou normand, or Norman break. In the midst of a decadent, endless-course meal (especially during holidays), les normands are known to take a pause with a small glass of the region’s aged apple-juice brandy, calvados. This supposedly helps to reset digestion and enables one to take …

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The Comédie Française, the oldest national theater in the world, is an actor-centered company that has produced some of the world’s greatest talent (e.g. Adrienne Lecouvreur, Sarah Bernhardt, Jean-Louis Barrault). It has not, however, always succeeded on its merits alone: Year Action Result 1680 Louis XIV combines the two extant acting companies to create the …

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