White noise is a random signal (or process) with a flat power spectral density. In other words, the signal's power spectral density has equal power in any band, at any center frequency, having a given bandwidth. White noise is considered analogous to white light which contains all frequencies.

Who am I?

Neo-hippie cinephile. Follower of the great Jim Morrison who once said "If the doors of perception are cleansed, everything would appear to man as it truly is, infinite."

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Official Rio Post

The first thing that hit me about Rio were the red-tiled roofs of houses adorning the side of the main road we took from the airport, taking me back to those underdeveloped areas around the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport in Calcutta - people drying their few clothes under the tropical sun, little boys in vests playing football on the clay pathways. That usual companion after long flights, Fatigue was nowhere to be found, whisked away by Herr Wanderlust probably.

There are two types of people in this world - ones that can haggle and ones that cannot. Very solidly placed in the second category, I was left wondering how you could haggle with someone who had a perfect body like our rental car salesman, too much of that hybrid sport that can only thrive in South America - Foot Volley, probably. The city then came by with its urban accessories like malls and people, nothing less than a wealthy superficial aristocratic lady, after the hired help had made us comfortable.

The street urchins in Rio are very creative. The traffic light going red is the green signal for them to start their balance extolling acrobats. The more business minded and less balanced ones place nuts, candy, or whatever little treats they have on offer on the mirrors of the stopped cars, operating on the same principle as a strip club - you can only touch it if you buy. From what I observed though, seems like this trick only traps the tourists. All these guys have an impeccable sense of timing, mind you, quickly removing their paraphernalia and themselves from the asphalt just before the light goes green, disappointing my quest for some blood on the road.

For someone who isn't much of a cloak and dagger fan, I am quite a big tunnel freak. Rio didn't disappoint me in this regard, with its at least four or five tunnels. Add to that the crazy traffic, it only quadrupled the time we were in tunnels; granted I was squeezed up with three other guys in a microvan, all smelling like rugby players after the flights, but still, it was uber-magical. They are smart about tollbooths there. Not only do they have smiling attendants at the shaded checkpoints, they even have albeit, lesser smiling, but smiling nonetheless, or maybe squinting because of the sun (couldn't tell exactly), out in the sun, so that the huge number of cars lining up do not have to stop longer than necessary.

As we reached our hotelonthebeach, we realized that European fashion sensibilities abounded here. While that can be a good thing most of the time, our glasses, made in the conservative non-Miami US of A, fogged up every time we saw men, some of them well into their sixties, in nothing but minispeedos and their natural curly white, black or gray sweaters. The sand, though is distracting enough to be inviting. A closer investigation revealed that the beaches didn't actually have sand. It was pure raw sugar, dyed light chrome yellow.

There must be an ecological imbalance of some sort in Rio, because the people there eat a LOT of meat. All you can eat BBQ restaurants abound like fast food joints in the US, or roadside tea shops in India. Of course the meat is fresh, and more importantly for me, procured naturally. My politically incorrect readers will be interested to know that the meat of the younger animals are considered delicacies. Tropical fruits are of course popular, with coconuts as fresh as in Goa, though with water not as sweet. Crepes, which I think is a French affaire primarily, are pretty big here, with local delicacies like Strogonoff (not the German kind) wrapped up to look like neat parcels for your taste buds, in addition to the usual chocolate and fruity varieties. Rio residents are not completely selfish, however. What they take from Nature, they give back in almost equal amount. After dinner, it is common practice to lounge around in one's living room, exposing one's legs and arms for Nature's little messengers - the mosquitoes. Now, I understand that sucking human blood is a dirty job fit for only evil CEO's and the IRS, but I guess someone in Nature's world has to do it too.

Soap operas are huge in Brazil, as big as cricket in India, or Obama in the US. Much to the delight of that imaginary mischief maker, Chance, one of the biggest soap operas in Rio right now is called "Caminas das Indias" (Path to India). When people I met there uncovered by roots, I was instantly a star. It didn't matter whether it was a lawyer, a housewife, a saleswoman for toddler stuff, a waiter, or whether they spoke English or Portuguese; no one could get enough of me. I was bigger than Gisele and Adriana put together. I was being asked to translate little phrases like "arrey Baba" and "achha" and "ja" and "chal". My curiosity piqued, I decided to tune in on Tuesday at 8:45 PM to see just what I owed my fame to. Sunidhi Chauhan, in her every husky voice let people know that there was a big aag in her jigar as the gates, the gates to the mystic land of India that is, opened for one and all, and men in pagdis with plastic smiles in the ethereal namaste mudra greeted us as we steadicammed in. The next day a lot of lives were turned upside down, imaginations shattered and plenty of unmentionable calamities befell the naive public of Rio, as I revealed with perfect nonchalance about the lack of elephants, impeccably pressed sarees and perfectly symmetrical hair partings back home.

The flow of traffic isn't ebbed by nightfall, as the little red lights inch forward. Buses are packed pretty much like the ones back home, but these machines are better and bigger. So they hold more packed people, resembling night trains to Auschwitz or Buchenwald. Red lights serve only aesthetic purposes, though legally you can only "go on a red after 10 pm". When on the road behind a wheel, the denizens, even the mild mannered happy-go-lucky ones like Sambaman transform into nieces and nephews of Vin Diesel and Paul Walker, with hunched backs and squinted eyes and the urgency of dysentery patients. On one occasion, Jesus, who was in one of the back seats, was able to read the wattage reading on one of the front lights of a merging bus. The justification for such driving is of course practice for late night travel, when if travelling less than 140 kph or through my beloved tunnels, you can be stopped and mugged. Oh well, even paradise isn't without its flaws I am sure!

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