Dismantled Brazil Could Still Finish 3rd


Well, I didn’t predict the winner – I had Brazil.  But I did predict that the losing team would score 1 goal.  You see, I had Brazil beating Germany 2-1.  I never imagined that in a semi-final World Cup game a team would/could score 7 goals. 7 goals! Germany completely dismantled Brazil with seemingly little effort, scoring 3 goals in 3 minutes and 5 goals total in the first 29 minutes.

I happened to be watching the game in Rio in the comfort of a friend’s apartment drinking sangrias (fittingly so it turns out). And good thing, because if I had been down by the beach drinking caipirinhas watching the game on one of the Jumbotrons set up on Copacabana beach, just down the street, who knows what might have happened to me.  I’m not saying I would have been attacked or anything, but I do look more German than Brazilian and don’t speak Portuguese. And trust me, the vendors make a beeline for me at the beach, marking me as both a tourist and a probable gringo with dollars. No one has yet to ask me, “Alemao? or “Sprechen Sie Deutsch?”

The game was an embarrassment to watch and I am sure an embarrassment and shock to all in the soccer community, Brazilians and Germans alike.  A 6 goal differential is the largest defeat a host country has ever suffered in a World Cup game and 7 is the most goals ever scored in a semi-final game.  And it’s too bad it happened in the way that it did.  Brazil had two men down essentially – star Neymar and captain Silva…but they did have the home field advantage with the support of the entire soccer crazy nation.  Soccer is a religion here.  An addictive drug one could say that keeps the masses distracted from the many problems Brazilians face from wealth inequality to corruption.

Whether Brazilians will forgive their team for their pitiful performance remains to be seen.  Many left the stadium before the first half even ended.  After the game, some of the players and the coach apologized to the fans and the country.  Players were praying on the field as if asking god for forgiveness for their sporting sins. The Brazilian team can only hope for a victory against the loser of the Holland and Argentina match – certainly no small feat.  It would be a consolation prize that could help heal the damage that Germany inflicted and restore the people’s pride and faith in their national team.

Brazil Can’t Possibly Lose, Can They?


Futbol reigns supreme in Brazil. The national team known for its jogo bonito (beautiful game) has advanced to the semi-finals to play Germany, a team they last played and lost to in an international match in 2011.  They are 9-0-1 in their last 10 games and have won 42 straight home games since 1992.  Germany on the other hand has a record of 7-0-3 in their last 10 games and has the distinction of being the first country to reach 4 World Cup semi-finals in a row. But can they win? The last time they made it to the finals in 2002, they played Brazil and lost.  They last won the World Cup in 1990, defeating Argentina, a rematch that is theoretically possible.

Notwithstanding the history, the European, Latin American showdown should be close. Germany remains reasonably healthy, having lost only one player to injury, defender Shkodran Mustafi. Brazil on the other hand will be playing without two of its starting players, Neymar, who fractured a vertebra in the game against Colombia and Silva who was served a one game suspension in the same match. The fact that two of Brazil’s most important players are out may neutralize Brazil’s home field advantage in today’s match in Bello Horizonte, Brasil. May, but will it?

One cannot underestimate the power of the home country advantage and I certainly won’t. In the 19 previous World Cups played, the host country has won 6 times.  And that kind of advantage for a powerhouse may be very difficult for Germany to overcome. France was the last host country to win the World Cup back in 1998.

On a personal note, I have the good fortune to be in Rio and to have the option of watching the game where I am staying with family and friends or to go the beach just down the street and watch it with fans who worship soccer as if it were religion. Watching it on the beach would be nice, especially if Brazil wins, but I prefer the comfort of a couch and a big screen TV, as opposed to the sand and a jumbotron screen.  To be honest, being more of an introvert, I don’t much like crowds, especially ones where alcohol and fireworks are combined.  And I am a bit of a wimp too when it comes to celebratory cannon booms and displays of fireworks that have loud reports.  It all reminds me too much of war and suffering. Of course, soccer is a kind of war, and teams in this tournament have used violent physical contact as a weapon to weaken the opposing team, as Brazil knows all too well.  And like war, the losers will suffer.

My prediction:

Brazil 2 Germany 1

Don’t Drive in Rio


Driving in Brazil is ill advised for a number of reasons. First, the streets are a tangle of twists and turns that only local motorists, bikers, taxi and bus drivers can competently navigate. Second, while it might be possible to drive on the long boulevards, tourists, bicyclists and vendors make the proposition tricky. Pedestrians and tourists going to and from the beaches put themselves at risk as they cross the bike paths and the major boulevards particularly Avenue Atlantica from Copacabana, Avenue Vieira Souto from Ipanema or Avenue Delfim Moreira from Leblon. There are speed limits posted but they seem to be rather more like suggestions than law. From what I have seen, buses and taxis will not slow down if you are in their path, even if you are in a walkway, so it’s better to turn back than to try to assert your pedestrian rights. Drivers may view you as more of a nuisance like a pigeon than as a human being with inalienable rights. Third, if you are still not convinced that driving is a bad idea in Rio, consider this: gasoline costs 3.99 a liter. That to American ears may not sound so bad. 3.99 is just a little bit more expensive than in the States, right? Wrong. We are talking 3.99 Brazilian reals a liter, not dollars a gallon. Let’s do a little math here: 1 Brazilian real = .45 U.S. dollars, so that’s $1.80 U.S. a liter. The average size fuel tank for a small car, like the Volkswagen Gol in the picture above (Golf in the U.S.) is about 50 liters so 50 x 1.8 = $90 U.S. to fill up vs. about $50 to fill up in the States. Quite a difference.

Gasolinera RioIf I’ve convinced you not to drive, what are the alternatives? Why not reduce your carbon footprint and walk or ride a bicycle? The amazingly beautiful beach areas including some of the hills and many parks are easily accessible by foot from where you would likely be staying. If you want to venture away from the beaches as we did when we went to Sao Cristovao, try a city bus. But fair warning: the buses are not like they are in the States and in other major Latin American cities I have visited. They look similar. The fares are reasonable – a buck or so a ride. But the ride is another thing. Hold on to something, because the bus drivers don’t mess around. They drive those Mercedes and Marcopolo buses like sport cars, taking turns at top speed and braking for nothing except to stop at the stop light or bus stop. Time is money apparently. The roads in Rio are rough in places and the suspension, at least on the bus we took, was not tuned for a smooth ride. I felt like I was on a roller coaster on a track full of speed bumps or humps as they are also sometimes called. I kept telling myself that the driver was a professional and knew what he was doing, but there were moments when I was not so sure.


Out of the Frio and into Rio


We’ve been in Rio de Janeiro now for three days and it’s beginning to feel like home and literally will be our home for the next 3 weeks, thanks to our dear and gracious friend who is letting us stay at her spacious apartment in Copacabana. After experiencing the fall like months of June and July in Chile and Uruguay, my body finally gets to experience the summer it expects in July, and ironically, July is one of the coolest months of the year in Rio de Janeiro, with average temperatures of around 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

If there is a heaven on earth, Rio might be the location – tropical breezes, world class beaches including Copacabana, close to where we are staying, and Ipanema, made famous in a song, that face the fierce Atlantic Ocean surrounded by majestic hills or morros as they are called in Portuguese. The view of the city and the beaches from atop the morros is simply breathtaking, with its main boulevard lined with white and pastel colored hotels and apartments and brown sandy beaches for as far as the eye can see.  The contrast between the white foam and brown beach at certain angles looks like a giant cup of coffee con leche or as the Brazilians say, cafezinho.


In our first three days, we walked a considerable distance on the famous and clean beaches of Rio and through several neighborhoods in and around Copacabana with its unique and diverse architectural styles, and beautifully landscaped city parks, and walkways. We have encountered pavilions overflowing with music, soccer fans, and general merriment and felt the special spirit and pride of the place that defies description.



Uruguay Travelogue Day 6: Colonia del Sacremento


On Monday, we took a “luxury” bus out to Colonia del Sacremento, about 2 and a half hours from Montevideo. We’ve gotten around the city almost entirely on foot and bus. The buses have been a cheap and reliable mode of transportation for the most part. Some of the buses, which you pay a little more for have padded seats and are more spacious. The less costly buses are generally more crowded and have plastic seats. You might be more comfortable standing unless you have a padded butt that can absorb the bumps. As the buses fill with people, they push to the back where everyone has to eventually exit which means if you are standing, people who need to get off will have to squeeze by you and there’s simply no place for you to go when you are being squeezed but into the people who are seated as you try to make yourself less present. But what annoys me more than anything is the fact that when you get onto the bus and pay, you get a ticket or some sort of receipt. I can’t fathom why the ticket is needed once you have paid and are on the bus. As far as I can tell, you can’t use it to transfer to another bus. The conductors don’t stop and inspect the tickets. I can’t imagine that people keep these receipts for tax purposes, but they might.  What do I know? When it comes to the ways of the Uruguayans, perhaps very little.

The charming resort town of Colonia del Sacremento reminds me a little of Cape Code in the wintertime. It feels as off the beaten path as Isla de Chiloe in Chile. And even though it is wintertime here, the place still had a number of tourists, some from Argentina and Brazil. Buenos Aires is only a 50 minute ferry ride from the port of Colonia.  The town has a lot of military history and apparently was something of a strategic outpost controlled at times by Portugal, Spain and Brazil and you can see both the Portuguese and Spanish influence on the layout of the town and in the architecture. One of the more eye pleasing objects was the lighthouse, completed by soldiers (not sure which country’s) in 1857, that one can climb for something like 20 pesos.


The town has many museums, restaurants, churches and shops that sell local art, handicrafts and clothing. There are beaches on the Rio de la Plata, areas for camping and picnics in Aaron del Anchorena National Park and there’s even a bullring.


But the highlight of the day was the restaurant we stumbled upon called Buen Suspiro which features local cheeses, wines, pastries, soups and entrees made with locally sourced ingredients.


It is located in the cellar of a home that must have been built in the 1700’s by the Portuguese, with low hung wooden beams. The cavernous space had a intimate charm with about 10 tables in all. Our waiter explained the menu, which consisted of several types of appetizers including the one we selected which contained 4 types of local cheeses from mild to strong, bread, a spicy jam, cheese bread squares and balls and dry salami.


We also sampled 6 different local wines – a Cuna Crianza Tannant Merlot blend, one of my least favorites of the 6; a Fripp Tannant, my personal favorite; a Cuna Reserva Riesling, a semi-dry white, with a zesty lime tang that keep the wine from being too sweet; a Cuna de Piedra Sauvignon Blanc; and two rose wines – a Cabernet and a Moscatel. I don’t like roses much so these were my least favorite of the lot.


For entrees, we had a squash soup and a vegetable and meat lasagna. We ordered a slice of dulce de leche cake – to die for – and a round of mate.


Our waiter explained to us how to prepare and drink mate, something we were not aware of even though we had experience drinking mate, Chilean-style, which is not as protocol dependent as the Uruguayan way and as our waiter pointed out, the Uruguayan way is not nearly as particular as the Argentine way.


And we ended the day with a 8 dollar bar of chocolate -always ask the price before you buy something- and a double cortado para llevar. And so it went on Colonia de Sacremento on this cold winter day.

Uruguay Travelogue Day 5: View from the Hill


On this Sunday, we bused over to the Market, an endless line of vendors hawking everything imaginable, shoes, belts, clothing, electronics, birds, fish, jewelry, bootlegged movies and software, futbol stickers, mate gourds and bombillas, fruit, vegetables, herbs and spices and more. It was quite the scene, really, especially on Sunday, replete with shoppers sporting mate gourds and hot water thermoses, the local opium of the masses, well mate and soccer and for some marijuana too, which is legal.


After the market, we headed to El Cerro, the hill, for a spectacular view of the city and to see the monument to the murdered and disappeared Uruguayans during the dirty wars of the South American dictatorships of the 70’s. The monument is a simple glass installment with the names of the victims about 100 in all, many of them women, stenciled in white.


I don’t know much about the poverty statistics in Montevideo, but clearly there are many impoverished families living on or near the hill. Taking a bus to this remote part of the city was like crossing into another country. What I saw, reminded me very much of the houses and conditions in Guatemala, a much less developed country than Uruguay: poor sanitation conditions, trash overflowing, skinny and snarling, territorial dogs all about. Many of the roads leading to houses were not paved. My daughter keenly observed that there weren’t as many advertisement in the neighborhood as we had seen in the city proper, but there were more political campaign slogans and graffiti.



Kids of all ages playing soccer



Montevideo Prison Mall

On Day 3 we took a city bus down to Pocitos, a hip beachfront area of the city known for art galleries, casinos, diverse architecture, and a prison mall. We took some photos, got a workout at a fitness installment on the waterfront, had lunch and a cortado at a cafe recommended by a famous local artist named Febo Aycardo, who we met randomly on the street, and checked in it at a prison mall. It’s not run by prisoners, but rather was converted into a shopping mall to satisfy the endless consumer desires of ravenous capitalist shoppers. A typical youth might be seen walking down the street in a GAP sweatshirt.

At the cafe recommended by the artist Febo, I ordered dos panchos, which are hotdogs. Much to my surprise, the hotdogs were served boiled and bare on the plate with french fries. Our table had a bottle of mustard, but no ketchup so I asked for some which amused our waiter, who brought a cold bottle to our table. I was hoping for a local twist – maybe a dog slathered in avocado and goat cheese with a tomato relish or something. And the fries were nothing special; “McDonald’s-like, said Isabel; “reconstituted potatoes, added Loreto”. Anyway, the cortado was good, with lots of froth. Our friendly waiter treated us all to a round of fresh squeezed orange juice and a bonbon.

My wife bought a Luis Suarez sticker from a 80 year old price gouging street vendor for 100 pesos or roughly $5.00 U.S.; a sticker we found out should only have cost 4 pesos or about 20 cents. But we weren’t too upset. I am actually stoked to have the Luis Suarez sticker because of all the drama associated with his name. As you may know, he is the Uruguayan superstar soccer player who was expelled by FIFA from the World Cup for biting an Italian player. Apparently, he has quite the reputation as a biter.

On the way home, I bought a Uruguayan wine, a 2012 Traversa Tannat Roble Reserva made from the local tannat grape, blended with a small amount of merlot. It tastes very much like a typical dry Italian wine, earthy and bright, with notes of cigars, cherries, leather and dark chocolate with light tannins; immensely quaffable and for 112 pesos, about $4.94, U.S., it was the bargain of the day.

Despite the toxic air and sidewalks with lots of dog poop – watch your step – the city is genuinely pretty. The more we walk around, the more I like it. It has a laid back cosmopolitan feel to it with people of all ages walking around drinking mate, the regional alternative to coffee made from the dried leaves of the holly plant. The mate is stuffed in a gourd with a metal straw and then filled with hot water from a thermos and sipped, and quite often shared with others. People here don’t seem terribly stressed or in a big rush all of the time.


South America Travelogue – Montevideo

Santiago Day 3

We were in Santiago for 3 days and actually did not see much of the cordillera because we stayed in Lo Valle Campino, a hillside community near the airport, no Andes in sight, obscured by hills and smog. Nena took us to El Centro which I guess translates to downtown where we met up with my niece Nati and her boyfriend Andres to watch Chile vs. Holland. Fanaticos were out in force ready for a grand celebration that never happened as the Orange clad Dutchmen lead by striker Robben outplayed the scrappy Chilean squad.

Downtown Santiago is a linear collection of buildings and shops for miles and miles. It has a little bit of a NYC feel without all the tall buildings and the sense of neighborhood. It felt like a giant outdoor shopping mall.


Graffiti is in abundant supply and some curious and colorful murals adorn city walls and subway structures, some of it good, some not; some sanctioned, some clearly not.


Our gracious Santiago hosts, Milton and Nena, made us feel at home in their tidy house with a living room constructed of pine wood adorned with local art. In addition to good conversation and cheer, we ate well. Nena served up Cazuela, a typical Chilean soup made with a clear broth, squash, beef, corn, potatoes, peas and green beans cut french style with pebre (a hot sauce) and fresh cut cilantro to sprinkle on top. She also served fish soup, fillet of reineta (a local fish) and Pastel De Choclo, a distinctive corn-based casserole. Wine poured a plenty, all local reds and whites. My favorite was the sweet late Harvest Riesling that had just the right balance of sweetness and acidity.

Montevideo, Days 1-2

From Santiago, we took a short flight to Montevideo and then a local bus from the Carrasco International airport to the city. We got off at our stop dragging our heavy bags, the heaviest weighing over 22 kilos, an oversized LL Bean bag. As we looked around for another bus to take to our friend’s apartment, we crossed a busy intersection, bags rolling behind us and I tripped over the bulky LL Bean bag my wife was dragging in front of me, getting good height and landing on my stomach atop my own bag, which served as sort of an air bag. Fortunately, I didn’t break any bones and only scrapped the bottom of my left hand that I used to help break my fall. The hand burned for a bit but seemed fine. When we finally got to the apartment, I noticed it was bleeding. I rinsed it off and applied a triple anti-biotic ointment I had brought along just in case. My youngest daughter, who witnessed the fall, could not stop laughing, to the point that she drew tears and a hiccup. I was not amused at the time. There were many locals standing around who also saw my tumbling act and god only knows what they must have thought of the strange gringo doing odd acrobatics with an orange bag.

If you know Spanish well, you will immediately notice that the Uruguayan accent is distinct. It’s hard to describe, but it has a sibilant quality, a sort of airy lisp that is pleasant to the ear, or at least to my ear. The people seem nice and accommodating thus far, although my wife had a bad encounter at La Chacra supermarket. All seemed fine at first. When we entered the store just as the sun set, a radio station was playing the song “Southern Nights”. The workers seemed friendly enough giving us recommendations on pasta, red sauce and the butcher prepared us a good cut of beef (lomo) that is popular in the country.  Uruguay is a meat eating place if ever there was one. And not surprisingly, beef is its major export.  But trouble began when my wife tried to buy the groceries unwittingly with my daughter’s debit card and her own ID. Obviously, the names didn’t match and they gave her a hard time about it. Ultimately, I had to pay with my debit card using my ID which matched. My wife asked the cashier to double bag some things but the cashier threw the bags at her in a huff and told her to “do it yourself”. True story. On a side note, I bought a combination corkscrew that cost 85 pesos or about $3.7 U.S. which turns out we didn’t need because there where 3 just like it in the kitchen drawer of our apartment.

We bought two 960 ml bottles of beer, one called Patricia, a hoppy and light lager, and a Pilsen Especial, which truthfully was not very special. The Patricia cost 57 pesos, ($2.49) and the Pilsen, 62 ($2.70). I doubt the locals drink these forgettable examples of Uruguayan swill. Being a local now for the next 7 days, I won’t be drinking the stuff either, well at least not the Pilsen.

The Internet here is interesting. For one, the government issues every resident, from what I can gather, equipment to enable free Wi-Fi – “Automatic for the People”. Our friend’s apartment has a modem/router with this free Internet but as we found out, it’s good for only 1 gigabyte of data per month which is little more than a few Google searches, 10 minutes of a movie on Netflix and about 4 photos uploaded and posted on Facebook. So, being the nice guests that we are, we used up her data plan as soon as we got on the Internet. After much bureaucratic maneuvering, several phone calls and a visit to the government owned Antel office, we, or more accurately, my eldest daughter  managed to “recharge” the 1 GB of data that we used for about 200 pesos ($10) and now we hope this gets us through our week. We pledged not to stream any movies or videos and only to check and send emails de vez en cuando.

We ventured downtown by bus (which is about the only mode of public transportation), got some maps of the city, headed to the Plaza de Independencia, to see the green statue of founding father Artigas, had an early dinner at the Cafe Brasilero that had free Wi-Fi, sent some emails, watched a World Cup match – Ecuador v. France, bought some beer and wine, which I am now sipping, the wine that is, a Uruguayan Gewurztraminer which cost about $8.60, that is, to be frank, slightly syrupy, not unlike a Viogner, and leaves a sweet and unpleasant medicinal cough drop like aftertaste. This recommended wine is unbalanced, but drinkable.


The tourist information clerks said that Uruguay is known for meat and in particular, the Chivito sandwich, a carnivorous delight and what I ordered from the Chilean waiter at the Cafe Brasilero in an area of town called the Old City near Plaza Matriz. This cafe has been around since 1877 and sports antique chairs and tables, brass chandeliers and a big screen TV for world cup enthusiasts. It seems to be a good place to chill, get connected, have a bite and a Cortado, (the local version of a latte) which we did, or a drink, which we did not. The Chivito consists of bacon, ham, beef, tomato and lettuce served open-faced on toasted bread topped with a sunny side up egg surrounded by lettuce and fresh cut french fries, all for 230 pesos or about $10.

We walked a lot on our first day in the city. My pedometer had me at over 14,719 steps or 6.9 miles, which is the farthest I’ve walked by far since I began using the app on my phone back in October.


Buses spew diesel fumes, and generally foul the air. Hybrid buses have not yet come to this big city nor has a subway system. Though we are not too far from Buenos Aires, the air is anything but good. And to make matters worse, everyone seems to smoke, and not just cigarettes, but weed too which is legal here.  With the air thick with toxins, and the population dieting largely on red meat, it’s a wonder the lifespan here is 76 years old.  Maybe I’m exaggerating, but it seems that most people are dressed in black. I’m not sure if this is just tradition for this time of year, which is the beginning of winter, or maybe it’s simply a fashion statement. People seem happy enough, but dress, ironically, as if going to a funeral.

Tattered Mural

Way Down South Day 1

Dawn Near Lima, Peru 25,000 feet up

Dawn Near Lima, Peru 25,000 feet up

Where to begin, if to begin.  Stressed.  Tired.  Cranky and disoriented at Terminal 8 at JFK International in search of a flight out to Santiago, Chile after missing our flight.  We had an overly ambitious travel plan to drive from Boston to NY at 12:30 pm and catch an 8 pm international flight.  There would be no room for error, or delays.  And delays were all we encountered from Bridgeport, CT to the Bronx. Traffic, accidents, construction, slow cars, hidden cops and a few unplanned stops.  But I was hungry and the self-designated driver!!! What should have taken only 4 and one half hours, took nearly 7.  We arrived at the car rental return place finally and Frazier, the friendly return clerk and World Cup enthusiast, rushed us to Terminal 8 in record time weaving in and out of traffic like a expert taxi driver.  Despite his Mario Andretti like effort, we were late nonetheless, by two minutes, and our seats were given to folks on standby.  After much pleading in Spanish with the mostly helpful and sympathetic LAN Chile staff, we were put on standby for the next flight out to Santiago via Lima and we did get on that flight in the end which left about 2 and a half hours later than our original flight, which would have put us in Santiago at 6 am. As happened, we made it to Santiago by noon.  It could have been worse…a lot worse.

If you happen to get stranded at JFK, hope that it’s not in Terminal 8, which reminds me of the REM song, “Driver 8”. But if you are stranded there, here’s a tip:  shuttle over to another terminal before all the “restaurants” close.  If you don’t, you’ll have to make do with the Juan Valdez Cafe that serves over-priced chocolate muffins, pre-made sandwiches and salads intended for the carnivorous traveler.  Drink the coffee if adventurous, that is to say if you are addicted to Starbucks or, as in my case, Dunkin Donuts.  If you happen to be traveling on Lan Chile Airlines, go ahead and starve yourself and wait for the meal on the plane which is is sure to be decent as food goes 8 miles high.  I had the merken spiced chicken with crunchy green beans and a curiously spongy brownie. LAN serves free booze, good for the nervous flyer, and I’d recommend the Sauvignon Blanc which will be re-filled upon request.  For the beer drinker, enjoy a free Heineken or two, if you like GMO free brew – but you’ll have to request it – the flight attendants’ carts only display wine.

We landed in Lima around 8 am with a two hour layover and boarded a 787 Dreamliner bound for Santiago.  The Dreamliner.  It had been a dream deferred for me and for the troubled Boeing model too, but now all battery systems seem to be in order and the plane truly flies smooth as a dream and reliably it seems for Lan Airlines.  The wingspan of this luxury liner is truly something to behold.  It’s like the length of a football field and one would think the thing would be awfully difficult to fly, but it glides as agile and elegant as a butterfly in flight. And the entertainment system is second to none.  I listened to Radiohead’s, Kings of Limb, and could have watched any current movie or TV series I could have imagined, from VEEP to House of Cards.  Instead, I played Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (the British version) and I might have become one, had it not been for the fact that I did not know the expression “Down in the Mouth”.

Los Andes

Los Andes over Chile from 787 Dreamliner window seat 32C

And so it goes or went as it were and I’m no British millionaire but I safely arrived with family in Santiago, Chile and have enjoyed visiting with our friends and family.  We’ll leave for Montevideo on Tuesday for a week and then fly to Rio for 3 and back to Chile for another 2 weeks.  Our adventures have only just begun.  Stay tuned for more posts.  If you’d like to see photos and more stuff from our trip, follow our exploits on twitter #cazuelangrits.


Cruise Control Warning


If you’re between the ages of 18-30, you probably shouldn’t drive with cruise control for three days straight in France, according to a study recently published.  Researchers put subjects in a driving simulator equipped with cruise control or some sort of “speed limiter” for three days and found that the youngest had the hardest time staying alert.  Frankly, I’m surprised that subjects didn’t become delusional after 3 days on the road.  Maybe there’s something monotone about French roads that produces some sort of hypnotic state among the young, or maybe it’s that wonderful air ride of the Citroen that has something to do with it.  Older drivers I guess are more experienced with sleep deprivation and really long road trips.  The study concludes that cruise control can be good to have on the open road to reduce speeding – like on a long straight road in Texas in the middle of nowhere with no other traffic or cars for thousands of miles – but for youngsters, best keep your foot on the gas or break as the situation dictates in traffic…well, at least in France while driving or gliding a Citroen with that smoooooooth suspension.