gasp! I need some air, and was searching for it at - of all places- on google, semi-geek that I am, when I came across this website. Not quite what I was looking for, but refreshing nevertheless.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Do you need a visa?

If this page is updated as regularly as it should be, then here's a great resource that consolidates visa requirements for a wide array of international travel:

Its not legal proof, but is a great starting point to read up on whether you need a visa or not!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Wintuk - a big disappointment!

Cirque Du Soleil shows have become a fond favorite for Soma and me - ever since we saw the 'O' at the Bellagio, Las Vegas, some 2 years back. The last Cirque show I had seen in New York was Allegria - playing at Randals Island a few years back, and had found it quite captivating. A few months back, on another visit to Vegas, we chanced upon $50 tickets to Ka - at the MGM Grand - and that was just as magical as the O.

If you've seen any of the Cirque shows in Vegas, you know what I'm talking about - huge, really huge stages, one changing into a swimming pool with mermaids leaping up to where the stage was, one going up in the air, turning to a vertical, and spinning freely. These shows are as magical as entertaining, and most people are too tranced-up to speak for a few minutes after.

In fact, after seeing the O, when we went for a Broadway performance of The Phantom of the Opera - which, in my personal opinion, is as good as Broadway shows get - we found it pretty lame, like watching a 70's action movie after having seen a current blockbuster.

So, as a result of all this, our hopes were really high for Wintuk. We had purchased tickets - all of 200 greenbacks for each seat - back in March, for a show in November. With the details coming out at a trickle, we were waiting eagerly for 8 months for the show date to arrive.

Meanwhile, in order to have fun while preserving the best for the last, we went for a performance of the Big Apple circus - at the Lincoln Center - a few weeks back. What's a little circus going to do, when the Broadway shows could not stand up to the O and the Ka?

Well, the date finally arrived, we went in to the Wintuk show - on our 3rd anniversary - with the highest of expectations. And then the show started. And we felt the $440 I spent on the tickets very, very dearly. Marginally better than the Big Apply circus, with practically the same shows - jugglers, hula hoop dancers, clowns. No magic stage. No magic at all, period. Can't say we didn't give them our best shot - we were seated in the second row, while we were some 20 rows deep in the O, and for Ka - the last minute purchase - we were stuck in a corner, with a partial view of the stage, and some 40 rows away from the action. For this, from the second row, the magic was completely missing. I was almost falling asleep at times, and when I was not, was looking at the watch to see how much is still to go.

What a disappointment. On our anniversary, too. Shame on you, Cirque Du Soleil, for ripping us so. For those of you who are thinking of parting with your money for this show - save it, and go for the Big Apple or the Ringling Brothers instead. At least that's $40 or so a ticket, for, say, 85% of the same.