Monthly Archives: May 2010

Afro-Belgian musical group Zap Mama has effused pan-African rhythm and flow for the last 20 years, badooing and doowapping on politics and partying in English, French, and Bantu. Started by the striking Congolese-born, Belgian-bred Marie Daulne, and using their voices as musical instruments, the all-lady ensemble carries you from London to Lyon to Lagos with a mix of traditional West African rhythms and their diasporic progeny: soul, reggae, funk, jazz, salsa, and house. I’ve recently rediscovered them on my iPod, so I thought I’d share.





Atlanta-based fly blogger and brother Jay interviewed me a few weeks ago for his international travel site, Jay Travels. The resulting madness went live this Tuesday, featuring my musings on Greenland, Mickey Ds, and prostitutes. Here’s an excerpt:

Have you ever experienced a problem when traveling (passport, victim of crime, etc.)?
Once, in Rio de Janeiro, I was walking home from the gym with a Brazilian friend and while we were talking, a kid of maybe 9 or 10 came up to me and started talking in Portuguese. I told him, in Spanish, that I couldn’t help him and he grabbed my wrist. I, in typical American fashion, yanked my arm back and told him not to touch me (or as we say in Florida, bag back!). He started yelling at me in Portuguese and I yelled back in Spanish, then turned to make my way home. He came up and kicked me in the butt, then ran back across the street.

Things escalated from there, with him throwing a rock at my foot and my friend pulling me away from the scene because Lil Man was about to get the whippin his daddy clearly wasn’t giving him. Meanwhile, my friend kept commenting how kids these days don’t even seem to fear two over-six-foot-tall men anymore. When we got back to the house, my anger had turned to anxiety because I was lucky the kid only picked up a rock as opposed to pulling out a knife or gun. And it didn’t matter that I understand all the socio-economic backstory behind this young, black street kid; I was identified as foreign and subsequently as an easy mark. That ended my short-lived love affair with Rio.

Check out the rest of the interview here. Thanks, Jay!

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This is the first of a new monthly series of eye candy at Fly Brother, imaginatively named VTP (short for Vintage Travel Posters). We’ll see how travel companies and bureaus have been enticing people off the couch since international leisure travel first became a bourgeois conceit. Our first destination: the marvelous city of Rio de Janeiro, where both terrestrial and corporal landscapes have been hot commodities since the 1920s.

Fly Brother welcomes your views. If this post hit the spot, please comment and/or click.