You may not remember the “seven deadly sins,” but you’ve probably lived a healthy portion of them. Well, I have, and I’m sure I’m not alone. Jean Tang over at CNN.com has come up with a few ideas to help you live your forbidden fantasy. So, if you’re into envy, gluttony, greed, lust, pride, sloth or wrath, there’s a destination that will cater to your basest of desires.
Crave a step up in society (envy) as a helicopter shepherds you above the opulent homes of the wealthy Los Angeles ‘burbs, and gaze upon the celeb digs that you’ll never call home. Or, fill your stomach to the point of bursting (gluttony) on an 18 lb. hamburger at Bubi’s in Windsor, Ontario.
A few others:
- Greed: ogle some of the largest private collections of Renoir, Matisse and Cezanne in the world at the Barnes Foundation in Merion, PA (near Philly)
- Pride: recreate your body at the affordable Heartland Spa in Gilman, IL; two nights for two peopl start below $800
- Sloth: Define your own movie marathon at The Roxbury in the Catskills from a 400-disk collection, and then do nothing but watch
- Wrath: Kick ass and take names on the mean San Francisco streats with a bout of Muay Thai (Thai boxing) at Fairtex Muay Thai Fitness
- Lust: CNN sends you to the obvious: Hedonism; I won’t bore you with the details
[Thanks, CNN, for helping us all indulge]
With the Beijing Olympics in full swing, you’re probably getting more than your daily suggested dose of swimming (how about that from-behind finish in men’s 4×100 relay, eh?), gymnastics (bummer to that girl who twisted her ankle minutes before her event), basketball (China got schooled two days in a row), and beach volleyball (playing with the lenses out of your sunglasses is apparently the new fashion).
Yet if you’re just sticking to what NBC (or BBC or CBC) is feeding you, then you’re missing out on a whole lotta of the Games. To start, there’s 35 sports encompassing 53 disciplines (swimming and water polo are in the same sport, “aquatics”, but considered different disciplines) and some 400 events in these two weeks. Of course, I won’t try to argue that some of them are particularly exciting–handball anyone?
There are, however, several sports that make some pretty good watching–and will make you that mysterious sports connoisseur at the water cooler. My favorites:
- Water polo–there’s some intense competition boiling over in this sport, culminating in the US’s domination over China this past weekend, 8-4. And right now, I’m watching a rerun of the women’s match between the US and China (keep in mind the US is the reigning world champ and this is the first year China has sport an Olympic team). Won’t ruin the down-to-the-wire finish, but you can find out the results here.
- Boxing–some of the best match-ups around can be found here in Beijing. Alas, the Americans aren’t doing as well as they hoped, with two boxers already out after the first round. There are six more still in contention, though the most-anticipated boxer in these Games is the Russian middleweight Matvei Korobov
- Rowing–my favorite sport in what has been traditionally the least exciting spectator sport (even my fellow rowers agree) is a must-watch this time around. The Americans in the men’s eight are the defending champs, but with the Chinese pouring money into their new program, and Germany, Canada, and Britain close on their heels, this race is completely up in the air.
- Table tennis–OK, so ping pong is actually one of the most popular sports in the world, with at least 40 million regular players. But I can guarantee you won’t find it on NBC prime-time, namely because Americans, well, suck at it. But if you’re looking to see the real version of that Forrest Gump shot where the balls fly at 70-80-90 mph, this is it.
I dabble in a bit of sports writing in New Zealand, so when I’m on the road I try and get along to a local sports event. It’s a great way to get a feel for a place.
Here’s my top five suggestions for on the road sports experiences.
- Watching Boca Juniors in the cauldron of Buenos Aire’s La Bombonera soccer stadium
- Chowing down on hot dogs at a Yankees vs Red Sox game in the Bronx (and sorry New Yorkers, but the standard of food available was the worst I’ve seen at any sports event in the world)
- Discovering the joys of Australian Rules Football at Melbourne’s cavernous Melbourne Cricket Ground.
- Feeling every punch and sharp elbow watching Muay Thai (kick boxing) at Lumphini Stadium in Bangkok (with just maybe the best food)
- A day at the races (above) in the Sri Lankan hill town of Nuwara Eliya. I never did work out how you could place a bet on the horses, but the chill-laced snacks went great with a local Lion beer.
Click here for my article on the sleepy Sri Lankan town that’s surrounded by tea plantations.
Where else have readers sat in the bleachers drinking beer and cheering on the local team?
Thanks to PhantomMenace on Flickr for the pic.