Annoying Things To Say To Stewardesses

Annoying Things To Say To Stewardesses

“A little girl turns to the stewardess as the plane is taking off and says,”When are we going to get smaller?” Anon

I can’t get this window to open.

Can you get me a blanket and a pillow?

I didn’t get upgraded because I’m too pretty. Flight attendants hate pretty girls.

Can you help me find the box cutter in my carry on luggage?

I’ll have a water and two sleeping pills.

I was using my cigarette lighter in the bathroom because I couldn’t see.

I have no idea who left this crackpipe in the bathroom.

How much more time do we have?

Can we lower the engine noise?

Am I going to make my connection? (like they know)

You went to college?

How is the pilot feeling today? Happy, sad, suicidal?

So are we just going to see clouds?

And my personal favorite. Could you help me put this heavy bag in the overhead compartment? (I heard a stewardess tell a 90 year old woman that if she couldn’t carry her luggage she should not be traveling.  I had “blood in my eyes”)

Fly safe

,JAZ

Ten Reasons To Go To Brazil

Ten Reason To Go To Brazil

“I can choose either to be a victim of the world or an adventurer in search of treasure. It’s all a question of how I view my life.” Paulo Coelho (yes he is Brazilian)

1. The beach – there are over 1500 beaches and five hundred islands.

2. Amazon Rainforest and Eco Tourism –  It is important to support and help preserve our environment in a responsible way.

3. Sao Paulo Street Art – It’s my thing.

4. It is the home of the acai berry.  If you live anywhere that is health trendy like LA, acai is the food of the moment. It comes in a bowl or in a drink as far as I can tell. No one really knows why it is healthy – kind of like the chia seed. You order it at a trendy expensive juice bar in a voice that sounds like you just know. I’m shallow like that. I’m going to learn the  Brazilian way to pronounce it as well so I can correct all the wannabe healthy people.

5. Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio De Janeiro. It’s one of those iconic Brazilian symbols that I always see in photos and movies and wonder if I will ever be there.

6. It’s another one of the best coffee in the world countries. Those are my favorite.

7. I can practice my Spanish. I mean because I will have the time. They speak Portuguese in Brazil. The languages sound similar to us because they are romance languages and not English. I am hopeful that as in any country but America people speak more than one language and Spanish will be one of them. Otherwise I will rely on my third language of hand motions and charades.

8. I’m not a big drinker but I do love Caipirinhas which happens to be the national beverage of Brazil. It is made with cachaca a sweet Brazilian rum made from sugar cane, lime juice and more sugar. I feel as with all cheap liquor now, the market is changing and when I get to Brazil there will be many premium cachacas to try.

9. Capoira combines dance, martial arts, music and acrobatics. It is known for quick and complex moves, using mainly power, speed, and leverage for a variety of kicks, spins, and highly mobile techniques. It was started as a fighting technique between African slaves who were forced to fight each other. They found a way to make dance like fighting.

10. The yellow soccer jersey. My first live professional soccer game was in Buenos Aires and I have been hooked ever since. Though they lost the World Cup on their home turf and were humiliated by Germany, they have still won more World Cups then any other country. It is the “o pais do futebol.” – the country of futbol.

Tenha Uma Boa Viagem,

JAZ

JAZ

Can You Blame Your Parents If You Turn Out To Be A Terrorist?

Can You Blame Your Parents If You Turn Out to Be A Terrorist?

“Honestly, if you’re given the choice between Armageddon or tea, you don’t say ‘what kind of tea?” Neil Gaiman

Parenting is the one job that anyone can do. There is no age requirement, training or qualifications necessary. As human beings, we bring our pasts, fears and our baggage into our children’s lives. We give up our dreams, desires and independence and put our children’s needs before our own. We try our best to shelter them from harm and point them in the direction of morality and compassion.

We can only steer them toward the good and hope they don’t get caught up in the bad. We wish that they will find their path. I think we do the best we can with the resources we have. Whether it is nature, nurture, hard work, inherited, genetic or environmental,  most of us just get on with the job of being parents.

There are many people walking around with diagnosed and undiagnosed mental illness. When a teenager or young adult commits a horrifying act many times on themselves as well, it does not always turn out to be a kid from divorce, single parents, violence or abuse.  All parents have moments where they lose their tempers, say things they regret, and create unloving situations that they want forgiven. There are some evil parent stories out there but most are not like this. Are kids just born hardwired? Or were they good and something just set them off?

Every one of us has the capacity to make good and bad choices. Do you love and protect your child no matter what or do you take a harder line when you see them acting out?Times change people. I believe we are all hardwired.  Dysfunctional, abusive and broken families always make a kid with problems worse. Our choices are ultimately who we become. When I see a teenager/young adult open fire on a school or mall, a suicide bomber or a terrorist, I always think, “that’s somebody’s kid.”

Fly safe,

JAZ

Ten Not Tourist Things To Do In LA On A Sunday

Ten Not Tourist Things To Do In LA On A Sunday

The worst thing about being a tourist is having other tourists recognize you as a tourist.” Russell Baker

I love reading these lists about countries I am visiting and hope you will find this one helpful.

Venice Beach and Abbot Kinney

Venice of America” was created as a beach resort in 1905. The first grounds came complete with an aquarium, bath houses, and an amusement park. Developers dug several canals to drain the marshes. As the infrastructure and buildings crumbled in the 1950’s, the odd characters and artists found their way in. That mentality continued to the present, making Venice a melting pot of cultures, art and attitudes. The path and boardwalk along the beach with is vendors, restaurants, street performers, weightlifters, artists, tattoo artists, skaters, bikers and graffiti art make it great for people watching.

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Abbot Kinney is one of the trendiest streets in LA right now. The downside is the overabundance of hipsters and horrible parking. It’s great to hang out, eat and shop. My favorite Abbot Kinney restaurants are Gjelina (http://www.gjelina.com) and The Tasting Kitchen (http://www.thetastingkitchen.com)

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LACMA and La Brea.

Since they redid LACMA, (LA County Museum of Art http://www.lacma.org) several years ago, it is a cool, interesting space to spend a Sunday. Catch the latest exhibit, collection, film, or do a family activity with the kids. Sit in the courtyard and have a drink or coffee and plan your visit. I like to have brunch at one of the La Brea restaurants, Republique (http://republiquela.com) or The Sycamore Kitchen (http://thesycamorekitchen.com). If you are a mall person The Grove (http://www.thegrovela.com) is nearby as well.

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Rose Bowl Flea Market In Pasadena

The super gigantic Rose Bowl Flea Market takes place rain or shine on the second Sunday of each month at the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena. There is a plethora of vintage items and vendors. It is great for people watching – the hip, the beautiful, the cool and the very strange are all shopping for that perfect find. I think the days of finding something really valuable are probably over but it is definitely the place where LA hipsters go to furnish their living spaces. It’s funny to see people grabbing things you grew up with and wondering if you shouldn’t have given them away back then. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

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Ride Your Bike From Santa Monica To Manhattan Beach .

The bike path runs along the Pacific Ocean from Pacific Palisades to Torrance. It is 22 miles (35 kilometers) long. It’s good to pick it up in Santa Monica and ride through Venice, Marina Del Rey and Playa Del Rey. Manhattan Beach is the quintessential LA beach town.  It is what you expect a California beach community to look like when you move from the East Coast. The Beach Boys hung out here when they were young and it is credited to be the birthplace of beach volleyball ( now an Olympic sport). They have some really good restaurants. I like to go to MB Post (http://eatmbpost.com) and Fishing With Dynamite (http://www.eatfwd.com).

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LA Dodger Game.

Baseball has always been a metaphor for America. The LA Dodgers (http://losangeles.dodgers.mlb.com/index.jsp?c_id=la) have been a symbol of Los Angeles since they moved from Brooklyn. Dodger Stadium opened in 1962. It was built on the controversial Chavez Ravine, overlooking the city making it one of the most beautiful settings for a baseball stadium. It is a really fun Sunday thing to do – watching a game and eating Dodger dogs.   The “Dodger dog” is a 10” frankfurter sold at Dodger Stadium during the games. It is probably not the best hot dog you will ever eat but it feels like it is when you are there.

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The Annenberg Space For Photography

Photography is my newest obsession and I just love this place. They have interesting exhibits and great lectures. It is located in Century City and admission is free. I often drop by for an hour and usually see the exhibits more than once. (http://annenbergphotospace.org)

It located near Century City Mall and you can run in and do some shopping and get some food. My new favorite Chinese restaurant is located here. It is called Meizhou Dongpo and is the first American outpost of a very successful chain restaurant in China which started in Beijing. They became famous because they catered the food in the Olympic village in 2008. Everything I have had there is delicious. I always look forward to eating there.

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Malibu

Malibu is very relaxed on a Sunday. Walk on the beach. Watch the surfers and birds at the lagoon. Have brunch at the Malibu Beach Inn (http://www.malibubeachinn.com), Malibu Farm (http://www.malibu-farm.com) or Nobu (http://www.noburestaurants.com/malibu/experience/). (Nobu)

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Walk around the shopping centers with their new stores. Maybe you will run into Caitlyn Jenner. I love the Malibu Farmer’s Market on Sunday as well. They have some great locally grown items. Sometimes I get fresh bread and cheese and make that a meal with all the samples they give you. Other times, I have one of the meals that they are cooking. As with all farmers markets, the best produce is in the morning and the best deals are at the end of the day.

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Music Center

Growing up in NY, I love theatre and ballet. I’m a regular at the Music Center downtown (http://www.musiccenter.org) . Traffic in LA has gotten so awful that I usually go on a Sunday. I have brunch at a new downtown restaurant or go back to one of my favorites. Anything from chef Joseph Centeno – Baco Mercat, Orsa and Winston, Bar Ama or Ledlow always works for me (http://bacomercat.com). (Disney Hall)

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The Music Center is one of the largest performing arts complexes in the US. It includes the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, the Ahmanson Theatre, the Mark Taper Forum and the newest building Walt Disney Hall designed by Frank Gehry. The center is home to ongoing community events, arts festivals, outdoor concerts, participatory arts activities and workshops, and educational programs. When I don’t stop for lunch I grab Tina’s Tacos and sit outside and watch people run in and out of the fountain. (Dorothy Chandler)

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MOCA and The Geffen Contemporary

The Museum of Contemporary Art (http://moca.org) is right down the street from the Music Center. It’s fun to come down and see an exhibit after having dim sum in Chinatown. The best things in Chinatown are the art galleries where young LA artists show their stuff. You can still buy cheap made in China gifts and check out the herb stores with their dried mushrooms, tea leaves and goji berries. Every displaced New Yorker gets a favorite Chinatown restaurant when they move out here like they had in New York. You will hear a lot of New York accents on Sunday nights. Mine closed.

The Geffen Contemporary, which is MOCA”s very large exhibition space, always has interesting exhibits and is in Little Tokyo. I like to have sushi there and walk around the malls. It feels like Japan. I like Sushi Gen but I don’t like the lines. They open at 1115 if you get there early you can avoid the queue. (http://sushigen.org) Café Dulce in Japanese Village Plaza is the place for donuts afterward.

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Early movie and dinner

No matter where I have lived, my favorite thing to do on Sunday is always an early movie and dinner at a local restaurant. My usual movie theatres are in Westwood which means Lebanese food at Sunnin (http://sunnin.com), Italian food at Palmeri in Brentwood (http://www.palmeriristorantespa.com)  or the new Ingo Diner in Santa Monica (http://www.ingostastydiner.com).

Fly safe,

JAZ

I Know This Is A Travel Blog But My Dog Died

I Know This Is A Travel Blog But My Dog Died

“Dogs have a way of finding the people who need them, Filling an emptiness we don’t even know we have.” Thom Jones

I know that this is a travel blog but Basquiat was my first dog. He was black, part French, slept in a box for a minute, and looked like he had short dreadlocks. He reminded me of an artist I liked, Jean Michel Basquiat during his short dreadlock, sleep in a box period. He was my empty nest dog. I was having lunch near a pet store and walked in and a little black puppy came up to me. I thought he was saying “Hi I’d like you to be my owner,“ so I bought him. What I now know was that he was saying ”Hi, I’m in charge here.“ And that has been our relationship for the past nine and a half years. I thought dogs were supposed to live longer than that.

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He seemed to be everything a dog should be – loyal, friendly, good-tempered, grateful and smart – very smart. He understood a lot of words. I think he got my jokes. Though like my kids, he appeared to be deaf when he did something wrong.

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He was affectionate and a hugger. When you took him in the car, the first thing he did was hug the driver (whether it was me or someone we didn’t know) He would put his paws around your neck and say thank you for taking me in your car. He would bark when he had something to say. He believed he could talk.

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My son had just moved back from college when I got him and so he adopted the lifestyle of a 21-year-old. He woke up between eight thirty and ten thirty AM. He had his first meal at three and his second at 11pm and went to bed around two. I could never break him of that long after my son moved out. He was not an eater. He preferred to be hand fed or eat people food. Basquiat would go on a hunger strike like Gandhi but with a lot more drama till he got what he wanted to eat. I always caved first. He liked fresh water. If it wasn’t fresh he would stand at the bowl and bark. He was afraid of drowning. If a water bowl was too big he wouldn’t drink from it or he would stand too far away to get any water. Basq’s best friend was Ernie next door. I never saw him play with another dog the way he played with Ernie. They had a real bond. I didn’t know animals could be best friends. I thought that was only in Disney movies.

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Dogs love you unconditionally. They don’t see your neuroses, flaws, disabilities or any of the other things that cause the judgment that the human brain does. I think that dogs see into your heart and make their decisions from there. My dog’s love and support has gotten me through a lot of tough times. It will be difficult to get through loss without him. He was around for a lot of changes in my life.

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The hardest thing about loving a dog is his life span. In that short time they live in the moment, always give a hundred per cent and make you feel that you are their reason for being. I will miss him terribly. I will miss his dramatics of acting like he will never see me again every time I leave the house without him. I will miss him coming to greet me at the door every time I come home like I have been away for weeks. I will miss our imaginary conversations. I have a good dog voice for him. I will miss being the focus of his love, faith and trust. His only fault was that he lived too short of a time.

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He had a great life. He was a bit spoiled and well taken of especially when his heart began to fail. When I die, I want to come back as the first dog of a woman who’s youngest child has just gone off to college.

Fly safe Basq

JAZ

Killing Cecil The Lion In Africa

Killing Cecil The Lion In Africa

“Until we have the courage to recognize cruelty for what it is — whether its victim is human or animal — we cannot expect things to be much better in this world. We cannot have peace among men whose hearts delight in killing any living creature. By every act that glorifies or even tolerates such moronic delight in killing, we set back the progress of humanity.” Rachel Carson

There is a scene in the movie Dances With Wolves that I always remember. The “savage, wild Indians” come across many rotting dead buffalo killed by the white men. They stare in sadness and disbelief because they only killed an animal for food, took as much as they needed to survive and used every part of the animal. Killing them for any other reason was shocking to their culture.

I don’t understand killing unless it is in self-defense or for survival. To lure an animal out of a protected game park, for the reason of killing him slowly and painfully with a bow and arrow, and following him for forty hours to finally shoot him sounds diabolical.

Sport hunting is a violent form of recreation. I don’t get it. Why is it fun to kill innocent unsuspecting animals who have done nothing to you? Hunting has contributed to the extinction of species, disrupted migration and hibernation patterns, devastated animal communities , caused hours of unnecessary pain and suffering to animals before they die, and broken up families.

When the leader of a pride of lions is taken out as a trophy, the current pride must find itself a new male lion to fill this now empty role. When the new male lion comes in, he will systematically kill every lion cub that the old male lion produced, ensuring the future of the pride is his own lineage. If you are taking out male lions from prides even on a one per year basis, it’s not hard to imagine how cubs would have a hard time flourishing.

Big game hunting in Africa is trophy hunting, It contributes nothing to the African community development and seems to be about feeding the egos of the hunters. We are the only species that tortures and kills for amusement. Animals are being killed with devices such as guns and bows and arrows that they have no natural defenses against. If it is really about the beauty of a dead animal head on your wall, next time take a photo of a live one instead.

I heard that the American dentist was in hiding. He has become the prey that the predators are looking for. As he well knows, a man on a hunt is an animal to be feared.

Fly safe Cecil,

JAZ

Vomit Down And Other Things I Have Learned From Traveling

Vomit Down And Other Things I Have Learned From Traveling

“I had an inheritance from my father, It was the moon and the sun. And though I roam all over the world, The spending of it’s never done,” Ernest Hemingway

Friends and traveling companions will appear along the way when you are traveling alone. With the magic of fb and instagram you will always know what they are having for lunch. (Japan)

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Scan your credit cards and IDs and send them to yourself. They will be easy to replace when lost.

You will sometimes run into travelers who will give their country a bad name . If it is one that you have not been to before, know that there are always others who will restore your faith in that country. (Turkey)

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There are a lot of McDonald’s in the world. If you are in a McDonalds country they are probably not fighting a war. there is a correlation between peace and the golden arches. (Russia)

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Traveling helps you find out what you are capable of. Whether it is flying on a tiny plane, going in a squat toilet that looks like it hasn’t been cleaned in…..ever, eating fried bugs, picking coffee beans with the branches smacking every part of your body or eating in a restaurant alone. (Mexico “chapulinas”  fried crickets)

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I am shocked at the level of corruption in most developing countries. Even if it is technically a democracy, most nations are run by and for the benefit of those who control the institutions of power. Political killings, bribery, extortion and kickbacks are the norm in many countries.

Pack as light as you can. I am a work in progress.. (Finland)

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It is the twenty-first century and most people in the world are living in it. You can visit a tribe in the jungle or mountains to have an “authentic” experience. But cultures have always changed as new ideas, religions, technologies sprang up and different cultures mingled and traded with each other. Today is no different. (Panama Embera tribe)

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When on a boat in rough water, vomit down. (Tasmania, Australia)

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People of the world do not seem to hate Americans – even in countries where you think they might. They may hate our government and our politics but they are as curious about Americans as I am about them. (Myanmar)

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When they tell you not to drink the water in a country – don’t do it. This includes ice, and washing fruits and vegetables. (Thailand)

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The hype of a destination can sometimes set you up for disappointment. Go anyway but I find it is the surprise places that I didn’t know too much about that I remember – except Machu Picchu – that lives up to the hype. (Peru Machu Picchu)

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Remember to call your bank and credit card companies before you leave.

Usually the American media portrays things as much worse than they are. The media makes us scared of the world and we shouldn’t be. Be cautious if you are going somewhere that is in the news but chances are that by the time you get there it will be over and they will still be reporting it. Always check the BBC they are much calmer. This has happened to me in Budapest, Bangkok, Myanmar, Colombia, Cuba and Cancun. So far it has been fine when I got there. (Cuba)

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Traveling with friends and family make amazing memories, traveling on a tour is safe and you learn a lot, but traveling alone is more eye-opening and you have adventures. (Viet Nam)

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It’s ok to be a tourist sometimes. There are some tourist attractions that you should see.(China, Great Wall)

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You can find the internet almost anywhere. I have watched them laying internet cables high in the mountains of Argentina. I have used it in Myanmar before they were supposed to actually have it. I have seen remote villagers holding their cell phones in the air for a signal. (Tibet- photo Helen Mackinnon)

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Most people you meet in the world have a  desire to travel. There are finances, fears and excuses but everyone I meet tells me unasked about a place they hope to visit one day. I think the wish to explore and see new things is fundamental to the human experience. (Colombia)

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Fly safe,

JAZ