Oddly Enough Blog
News, but not the serious kind
Welcome to a remote Russian village where “public transportation” means stepping onto a tightrope at one end and getting off at the other. Unscheduled stops aren’t recommended.
By an odd quirk of history, nearly everybody here can walk the high wire. Learning is a family affair, and don’t expect to hear parents saying “You kids come down from that tightrope, it’s dangerous.”
Well, here’s one of my recurring nightmares. Not getting married – that was great – but standing out on the ledge of a tall building. I’d rather ride in a gyrocopter, or visit that new Grand Canyon skywalk.
Anyway, these two people both work as exterior cleaners of tall buildings, so they decided to incorporate rappelling into their ceremony, because like they don’t get enough of that on regular days. You’ll note in the caption below we’re careful to mention that the groom is the one on the right, just in case you’re confused about which is which.
Excuse me? I’m supposed to pay you so I can walk out there and look below my shoes into eternal bottomless nothingness? That’s not how it works. You offer to pay me four million dollars to walk out there, and I still say no. Not even if you throw in a t-shirt that says, “Mom and Dad visited the Skywalk and aaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!”
They don’t call it the Road of Death for nothing. Every two weeks on average, a vehicle plunges off this Bolivian road into the ravine below, in some places nearly three miles down.
Little shrines and crosses mark almost every perilous curve, and you’ll see human traffic lights – people who stand with green and red signs to control the flow of trucks and buses. They are unpaid, but get tips from grateful drivers.
Picture it. The ultimate romantic adventure. Riding the rails to the roof of the world. A $12,000 ticket on a five-star, ultra-luxurious train from Beijing to Lhasa, climbing through some of the most breathtaking scenery on Earth.
That’s the good news. The bad news is, this so-called luxury train will feature — hold on to your fur hat — karaoke! That’s right, if the natural beauty and spiritual serenity of Tibet start to bore you, you can pass the time singing “Country Roads” along with a machine.