Posts Tagged ‘Brazil’

The world is a big, funny place. Practices and activities that are perfectly normal in one country might be verboten in another.

Even in countries that have had a stable government for centuries, some absolutely archaic laws still stand, even though legislators and citizens alike know that they’re ridiculous.

Try not to break any of these wacky laws on your next trip abroad.

Not in Thailand you don't girl.

Not in Thailand you don’t girl.

Don’t go commando in Thailand

In Thailand, it’s illegal to leave one’s domicile if not wearing underwear. Letting the fresh air sweep round your fundament is a no-go!

A Western mind immediately wonders, “How would the police know?”

But let’s be frank, visible panty lines are preferable to Thai jail.

Please don’t infringe on the property of elves

In Iceland, modern road developments may not encroach on the traditional homes of, er, magical creatures. Actually this is still to be ruled on by Iceland’s Supreme Court.

However, in 2013, an elf advocacy group called Friends of Lava halted the construction of a major highway project due to fears about disturbing the elf habitat.

We kid you not.

Save space for the aliens

Brazil has had its share of bizarre laws. There is a municipal law on the books in the state of Mato Grosso that sets aside land in the town of Barra do Garças for an alien airport.

Just in case, you know, the little green men come calling.

Listen to the ladies

Women make the laws in the all-female town Noiva do Cordeiro, located in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais.

This made international headlines last month when the town issued a public invitation for suitable men to meet and hopefully marry some of the single female population. The important caveat is, men need to abide by the women’s rules.

This makes a lot of sense, considering that Noiva do Cordeiro was founded by a woman who was excommunicated after leaving a forced marriage in the late 19th century, and populated over the generations by women who had nowhere else to go under some of Brazil’s more conservative and chauvinist family laws.

Leave your medication at home

Don’t bring your medication to Japan.

Visitors to Japan may not bring Actifed, Sudafed, Vicks, or asthma “inhalers” into the country. Check your toiletries bag! Nothing with pseudoephedrine or codeine shall pass!

(This is one we have broken personally lol)

Get your pet a passport

In the EU, circus animals need passports to travel between member states. Circus mice can travel under a collective passport. It’s up to the veterinarian in the member state of departure to verify that all animals’ passports are up-to-date.

We imagine that getting stuck behind a travelling circus at airport passport control could be the worst. Especially if the elephants have eaten recently.

Put a nappy on your donkey

In Juiz de Fora, Minas Gerais, Brazil, a peculiar piece of legislation requires that horses and burros wear nappies.

Don’t chew gum in Singapore

Pretty much everyone knows about the chewing gum ban in Singapore. (And its concomitantly gum-free streets.) It’s illegal to import it, sell it, or bring it into the country for personal use. Doubtful they’ll jail you for accidentally having a few sticks in your handbag, but better to just leave the bubblegum at home when you travel here.

Leave your suit of armour at home

It is illegal to wear a suit of armour into the Houses of Parliament in London. Presumably in case you are about to launch an armed insurrection.

Don’t eat mince pies at Christmas – phew, this one’s a myth.

In England, it is often claimed to be illegal to eat mince pies on Christmas. This went on the books in the Oliver Cromwell era, is broken en masse by British citizenry every holiday season, and placed near the top of a recent poll of “most ludicrous laws in the UK”. In fact, it’s a nonsense. There is no such law, it was repealed by Charles II after the Restoration. Munch away with gay abandon.

Leave the pink hot pants at home

That's gotta put a man off grilling his shrimp.

That’s gotta put a man off grilling his shrimp.

Visiting us in the Wellthisiswhatithink locale? Allegedly, women may not wear pink hot pants any time afternoon on a Sunday in Victoria, Australia. So as one website said, “Yes, wear those fuchsia Daisy Dukes to church on Sunday morning, but put on something more modest for your afternoon barbecue.”

Except we are sorry to disappoint you, again we can’t find reference to the law anywhere, other than it keeps getting repeated on websites around the world.

If you were to turn up in pink hot pants at an Aussie barbie we’d reckon you’d get chucked in the pool. You have been warned.

Next week: states in the USA that still consider it illegal to engage in oral sex.

The blogosphere has today gone mildly bonkers over Shakira’s “sexy” performance at the Final of the World Cup. It’s all over the internet.

Seems to us, people may have forgotten her most famous performance and video. Currently 165 million hits and counting!

 

Cracking song too.

We suspect her performance will be remembered a lot longer than the Final itself, which wasn’t a great advert for the game. No lack of huff and puff and back and forth, but most of it unsuccessful. Argentina were left to rue a hatful of good chances missed, with one beautiful moment from Goetze to win the game for Germany.

 

Thank you Brazil: now, onto Russia, which somehow we suspect will not be quite as much fun for all concerned.

Thank you Brazil: now, onto Russia, which somehow we suspect will not be quite as much fun for all concerned. Photo:AFP

 

Overall though, the World Cup has been a superb showcase for the way the standard of football has become equalised around the world, with standout efforts from USA*, Australia, Algeria (who must have watched the final thinking “We could have beaten them!) and Costa Rica among the less fancied nations – especially Costa Rica – and impressive efforts from less-well-known but more major teams such as Holland, Chile and Columbia, and disastrously poor performances from previous powerhouses like, notably, England, Italy and Spain. And, of course, for the monumental slaying of Brazil 7-1 by Germany in the semi-final, which broke a nation’s heart and became a talking point for the ages.

Suarez-Hannibal28Biggest worldwide news of the tournament (sadly) was undoubtedly Luis “Hannibal Lechter” Suarez being banned from all soccer for a couple of months for biting an opponent for the THIRD time in a competitive game.

Cynics will note that didn’t stop Barcelona paying E88 million for him two weeks later. As in most sport, bullshit talks, money walks.

The other big news was the number of goals.

There were 136 of them in the 48 group games – an average of 2.83 per fixture. This was a record for a World Cup, with six more than 2002. After that the goals slightly dried up (Brazil v Germany aside) but we still saw a joint record 171 for a tournament – level with 1998.

There has been quality as well as quantity. James Rodriguez’s left-foot thunderbolt, Robin van Persie’s acrobatic header, Tim Cahill’s strike that thumped the underside of the crossbar before bouncing down over the line – all creating memories that will last a lifetime. And Miroslav Klose came into the tournament needing two goals to become the World Cup’s all-time leading scorer. He got them. The 36-year-old Lazio player scored with his first touch, from a yard out, against Ghana and become the joint top-scorer in World Cup history, alongside Ronaldo. He then scored his landmark 16th in the 7-1 rout of Ronaldo’s former side Brazil.

Horror moment was Brazilian wunderkind Neymar nearly breaking his spine following a knee in the back. Whilst the supremely talented young man was seriously injured, fracturing a vertebrae, we can all thank the good Lord it wasn’t more serious.

Teen World Cup fan Axelle Despiegelaere scores L'Oreal modelling deal after photo goes viral. Ten million women shout "Bitch!"

Teen World Cup fan Axelle Despiegelaere scores L’Oreal modelling deal after photo goes viral. Ten million women worldwide simultaneously shout “Bitch!

So what was your best moment of the World Cup?

For us it was the “vanishing spray” referees could use to mark the “ten yards” that defenders need to retreat from the ball at a free kick. Such an incredibly simple idea which should instantly be adopted in all leagues. FIFA, are you listening? Well done; now make it happen without delay!

So, your best moment? Do share. And no, we don’t mean the girls in the crowd, one of whom has now scored a modelling contract with L’Oreal.

We simply can’t believe, in 40 years of watching football, that no-one ever picked us out and offered us a deal. For a diet plan, if nothing else.

Jenny Craig, where are you when we need you?

And so it is back to domestic football, and in just a few short weeks all eyes will turn to the English Premier League for one. Which means I need to catch up on my sleep before the joy (or otherwise) of following the fortunes of Southampton FC at 2 am in the morning – new manager, new players, new goals. Who do YOU think will shine in the EPL this year, and where will Saints end up? Do let us know!

*Was this the World Cup that saw football break through its final frontier to become genuinely popular in the USA? Time will tell.

A friendly time-zone, a successful team and a travelling support that was bigger than any other, all came together to create a unique blend that led to record TV audiences and crowds of tens of thousands watching on big screens Stateside. Even Barack Obama watched from Air Force One and the White House.