I have visited Hong Kong three times between the early 1990s (when it was still under British rule) and 2016 and always enjoyed the city. It’s a bustling, fascinating metropolis of cultural contrasts, poverty and wealth. The food – if you figure out where to eat – can be amazing as well. Definitely go. For a taste, check out this fantastic video by National Geographic.
Brazil is still trying to overcome the stigma of the devastating Zika virus. But now it’s facing another huge problem: rampant gang and street violence and crime. So right up front I say exercise caution if you go. Keep your valuables out of sight when on the street. Carry as little as possible. Be street smart!
Now, having said that, Brazil is an amazing country full of wondrous things. And the people are friendly and fun-loving. And now, Brazil is even cheaper for citizens of the United States, Canada, Japan and Australia. South America’s largest country recently reduced its e-visa for those countries from $160 to $40. And you can find 4-star hotels at a bargain. Furthermore, as more flights are added between the aforementioned countries and Brazil, getting there will be even more inexpensive. More flights, more competition, more savings.
Now more than ever is a good time to travel to Brazil, as the country clamors for more tourists who have unfortunately stayed away. My advise? Find a local you trust who can show you around and help make your experience even more enjoyable.
You learn a lot talking to random people on the street.
I was on Hollywood Boulevard – that’s the avenue with all the stars on the sidewalk with the names of famous people – when I saw a couple of men polishing one of the stars.
They said they worked for the company contracted to maintain the stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. They do everything from repairing broken stars (the ones on the sidewalks, not the human kind) to simply cleaning them and buffing them to a nice bright shine.
It was during my conversation with one of the cleanup crew members that I learned that some stars can suddenly come into infamy and require extra attention from the crew.
A celebrity falls from grace and suddenly their star are a target of anybody who wants to vent their displeasure.
These days, President Donald Trump’s star has been needing some extra loving care as it has in recent months and days become the target of vandals – Trump supporters refer to them of “libtards” “‘losers” “haters” and worse – still angry over Hillary Clinton’s loss to The Donald.
I decided to take a stroll to see how bad the damage to the Trumpster’s star was this time, having been plastered with “RESIST!” and other political stickers the previous day during a Gay Pride Resist March, an otherwise peaceful and uneventful event that drew more than 100,000 people.
Until I got there, the star was pretty much being overlooked by the throngs of tourists because The Donald’s name was barely visible under the glue gunk left after the stickers had been pealed off.
Here’s a photo of Donald Trump’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame – earned for his celebrity hosting The Apprentice – a day after the vandals struck.
Actors Kevin Spacey (House of Cards) and Irwin “The Fonz” Winkler have stars closest to The Donald’s but their stars were untouched by the vandals. All other nearby stars were also left alone. Only Trump’s star was hit.
Of course, President Trump is a highly controversial figure who draws passionate opinions from all sides of the political scale. As I live streamed the damaged star with commentary on Periscope, crowds of tourists that gathered either condemned the vandalism or laughed heartily about it. One woman even said she would “desecrate” it herself if she thought she could get away with it.
By the way, the Los Angeles Police Department is reportedly reviewing security camera footage to hopefully find the perpetrators.
It’s not the first time The Donald’s star has been vandalized. It was hit back in October 2016 when he was running for president.
There have been other minor cases of vandalism, according to Hollywood Boulevard regulars, such as people sticking chewing gum on the star, or intentionally dropping gobs of whatever food or sticky, sugary drinks onto it. At this rate, The Donald may have to fork over some of his millions for 24-hour (probably armed) security. He is, after all, a darling of the National Rifle Association.
By the way, I got my own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. As far as I know, nobody has tried to get their dog to crap on it. 🙂