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SolaceSoul

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SolaceSoul last won the day on March 6

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  1. In order to boost tourism, Tropical Trump plans to drop visas for US citizens (and Canadians, Australians, and Japanese) entering Brazil altogether. Although this is very promising news for tourists to Brazil, do not expect a travel authorization document requirement to be eliminated altogether. It most likely will be replaced with a quick, on the spot, visa-like ETIAS or a travel document granted at the airport. https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2019-01-16/brazil-plans-to-drop-visas-for-americans-to-boost-tourism-minister Brazil Plans to Drop Visas for Americans to Boost Tourism: Minister Jan. 16, 2019 BY JAKE SPRING BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazil plans to eliminate visitor visas for Americans, the country's tourism minister said on Wednesday, as President Jair Bolsonaro seeks to turn around the lagging tourism sector and engineer cozier relations with the United States. The visa initiative is part of the Foreign Ministry's plan for the first 100 days in power of Bolsonaro, who assumed office on Jan. 1, Tourism Minister Marcelo Alvaro Antonio told Reuters in an interview. "Our intention is really to eliminate visa applications for Americans," Antonio said. Bolsonaro won the presidency running on a right-wing populist platform and is an open admirer of U.S. President Donald Trump. He has sought to realign Brazil with the United States, unlike the leftist Workers Party government that led the country for 13 of the past 15 years and favored relations with fellow developing economies. "The left has treated the United States as an adversary, but not our government," Antonio said. "President Bolsonaro wants to embrace the United States as a partner of Brazil." Brazil is Latin America's largest economy but has long punched below its weight in tourism. The country currently receives 6.6 million foreign tourists a year, roughly half that of New York City alone. Brazil will also seek to eliminate visas for Canadians, Japanese and Australians but the timeline is up to the Foreign Ministry, Antonio said. A Foreign Ministry spokeswoman declined to comment. Currently, U.S. citizens pay $44 for a two-year visa, or $160 for a 10-year one. Antonio said bureaucracy increased for Americans seeking to visit Brazil under the Workers Party government, which supported equally strict treatment for Americans seeking Brazilian visas as Brazilians face when going to the United States. Other plans to overhaul tourism policy include doubling the country's spend on foreign tourism advertisements to more than $34 million by 2023, said Antonio. An existing target of doubling international visits to 12 million annually by 2022 remains in place, he said. The government also is seeking to convert its national tourism board into an agency, allowing it to partner with private enterprises like airlines, which is currently forbidden, Antonio said. (Reporting by Jake Spring; Additional reporting by Anthony Boadle, Editing by Rosalba O'Brien) Copyright 2019 Thomson Reuters.
  2. As I mentioned above, some posters here are arguing over a distinction without a difference. The main difference between the ESTA and a visa is that an ESTA can be obtained electronically through an online form, while the tourist visa must be obtained at or through an embassy or consulate. The travel rights of entry and restrictions are the same for both.
  3. Never mind. I found a WaPo article that attempts to clear up the confusion. It seems that the ETIA is categorized as a “travel authorization document” and not a “visa” — which for anyone reputable who works in US. immigration law will inform you that is a distinction without a difference: ”A spokesman for the commission said the E.U. decided to establish the ETIAS in summer 2018. In 2016, the European Commission proposed ETIAS, “an automated IT system created to identify any security or irregular migratory risks posed by visa-exempt visitors travelling to the Schengen area, while at the same time facilitate border crossings for the vast majority of travelers who do not pose such risks,” according to the fact sheet, which the commission released in July. It added: The ETIAS authorisation is not a visa. Nationals of visa liberalisation countries will continue to travel the EU without a visa but will simply be required to obtain a travel authorisation via ETIAS prior to their travel. ETIAS will be a simple, fast and visitor-friendly system, which will, in more than 95% of cases, result in a positive answer within a few minutes. An ETIAS travel authorisation does not reintroduce visa-like obligations. There is no need to go to a consulate to make an application, no biometric data is collected and significantly less information is gathered than during a visa application procedure. Whereas, as a general rule, a Schengen visa procedure can take up to 15 days, and can in some cases be extended up to 30 or 60 days, the online ETIAS application only takes a few minutes to fill in. The validity will be for a period of three years, significantly longer than the validity of a Schengen visa. An ETIAS authorisation will be valid for an unlimited number of entries. The ETIAS travel authorisation will be a necessary and small procedural step for all visa-exempt travellers which will allow them to avoid bureaucracy and delays when presenting themselves at the borders. ETIAS will fully respect this visa-free status; facilitate the crossing of the Schengen external border; and allow visa free visitors to fully enjoy their status.“ https://www.washingtonpost.com/amphtml/world/2019/03/09/americans-must-soon-register-not-get-visas-travel-some-european-countries/
  4. My non-political reaction = UGH. My political reaction = cue Radiohead’s “Karma Police”: “this... is... what... you... get.” “The European Union announced on Friday that American travelers will need a new type of visa -- a European Travel Information and Authorization System or ETIAS -- to visit the European Schengen Area.” https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/us-citizens-need-visas-to-visit-europe-in-2021/index.html
  5. Jacqueline Bissett still looking good!
  6. Flex in Atlanta is still open, and by all accounts, still thriving. The area around it has gentrified rapidly, so its surprising that it has lasted this long and hasn’t been sold for yet another high-rise. I used to enjoy visiting various bathhouses whenever traveling. In the USA, the last one I visited was Club Lauderdale in Fort Lauderdale several years ago. I believe it’s still open. I think the one in Tampa as well as the one in Miami is still open. A few years ago, there were two in Dallas but I believe there is only one left. Same as in Houston. Pre-internet days (not just during pre-height of the AIDS crisis), bathhouses were a popular hookup method, and in some cases, were good for relaxation and working out. Also, the physical quality of the patrons was higher. Now? To be kind, not so much. As a previous poster mentioned, if one is into physical appearance and has an age range preference, the dying bathhouse scene in the USA is not worth the cost or the time. The Internet and dating apps have changed the game. Also, in major metro areas, private clubs and sex parties — usually on invite-only emaillidys and strict membership requirements by category) have replaced bathhouses (and adult bookstores / peep shows). Outside the USA, it seems that the bathhouse, or sauna, Illa’s remained more popular. I know several Americans who wouldn’t be caught dead in. Bathhouse in the USA, but whenever they travel abroad, cannot wait to get to the local sauna.
  7. I met a few who have asked me to give them a few US dollars, just out of curiosity. However, it was never in lieu of payment in Brazilian reais. When requested, I would give a $1 or $5 bill for their collection.
  8. Kev, regarding a boyfriend experience / tour guide, whether in Salvador or Rio, if you have the money, you can find a garoto at the saunas with the time. Regarding the nappy Afro look, there are a few at the saunas like that in Rio, but not many. Actually, even at the Salvador saunas, that look isn’t exactly plentiful. But in statistical terms, maybe 10-15% of the garotos in Rio saunas are darker with kinkier hair, with another 50% in the moreno / brown / mixed category and the rest white / Caucasian in appearance. In Salvador, I estimate the numbers are: 30-35% darker / black, 50-60% moreno/ mixed, and 5% (at the most) white.
  9. The answers to all of your questions are all opinion, so YMMV, but as someone whose first-ever trip to Brazil was Salvador, followed a year later by Rio and São Paulo, here goes my .02: 1. There are definitely more darker-skinned men and women in Salvador da Bahia PER CAPITA than in Rio. However, Rio is bigger and not nearly as laid-back as Salvador. IMHO, as a first-timer, you are going to have to work a lot harder for sex in Salvador than you would in Rio. Are they more beautiful in Bahia than in Rio? That may depend on your personal tastes. In general, Rio tends to be more body-conscious than anywhere else in South America, so you will find more built or muscled men and women who look like fitness models or who have had really good work done. Salvador da Bahia men and women tend to have more natural builds, and you might see a much greater concentration of natural hair styles with kinky hair, dreads, Afros, etc. 2. Looking for one guy to connect you to men and women? If you’re looking for someone “pimpy” like a Manny/Freddy/Francisco in the DR, but In Salvador (or Rio), I can’t really think of anyone similar that is truly open with that (I’ve been going to Salvador since 2009), but once you get there and hang out on the Praia Porto da Barra beach sidewalk, trust me — someone (women more than men — I know this because I’ve had to shoo many a beautiful brasileira baiana away!) will approach a new male tourist. The guys that work the beach barracas (who get you umbrellas, chairs, drinks) also know what’s up too (of course, don’t ask them this immediately, use their services and have them get comfortable with and more trusting of you before you spring it on them). Also, the outdoor cafe across from the beach, especially on Sunday afternoons, used to be a great meet and greet spot, and the older Brazilian man that owned and ran it was good for connections, but now that it has new Chinese ownership, this has died down significantly. Also, the Pelhourinho district is filled with hoes. It also has a well-deserved reputation for drugs and drug addiction, so there’s that. 3. Whether men in Salvador are more “trustworthy” than in Rio seems like an odd question. If you’re referring to crime, statistically, Salvador is more dangerous. Individually, just like anywhere, people are the same, good and bad. I can tell you that, personally, the worst theft experience I ever had in Brazil was in Rio — and that was something I should have avoided — and the only thing I have had stolen from me in Salvador was some sunscreen and tanning lotion off my beach table when I was napping — again, something I could’ve avoided. That being said, particularly as a first timer traveling alone, letting your guard completely down is inadvisable. There’s also less job opportunity in Salvador than in Rio, and fewer educational opportunities, and the Northest is just plain poorer and less developed — so with that comes greater risk for crime — petty or otherwise. 4. GOL is not nearly as fancy schmancy as Delta, but it will get you there safely. My opinion is if you’re a budget traveler, it’s worth the savings. Some people are more aviation snobs — I don’t subscribe to that as much. My next flight to Salvador will be on LATAM using a similarly priced ticket — nonstop. tl:dr — For first-time Brazilian sex tourist seeking darker men and women, Rio might be a wiser option than Salvador. But Salvador, with its slower, more laidback pace and African-influenced culture and views, is a nice diversionary trip, though maybe a bit harder to procure sex for newcomers unfamiliar with the language or the lay of the land. Enjoy.
  10. 6 Things Insecure People Do to Make Themselves Sound Smarter It's all smoke and mirrors. “Many average-intelligence people believe they have superior intellects. They aren't just tricking the people around them--they're tricking themselves, too. 5) The person has an over-the-top vocabulary. Someone using big and obscure words (or jargon) can convince others that they know more than they do by making what they're saying hard to understand.” https://www.inc.com/quora/6-things-insecure-people-do-to-make-themselves-sound-smarter.html
  11. A tl:dr answer to your question: Most garotos would not want to be paid in any currency other than Brazilian reais. Paying in USD or any other non-Brazilian currency would require them to incur about a 10-15% currency exchange hit at a cambio. The only three incidents I could envision a garoto accepting USD (or any non-Brazilian currency): 1. The garoto is about to travel to another country and can use that currency there; 2. The client agreed to pay an extra 10-20% to cover the currency exchange fees; or 3. The garoto just likes to collect currency from around the globe, like coin collectors or stamp collectors.
  12. This scam is also extremely common in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic — often with actual police involved in the scam. Most reputable tour guides for sex travelers (seeking men or women) dutifully warn upfront about engaging with anyone that even looks close to the age of 18. The slicker scammers will get what could be an innocent photo of the tourist seemingly engaged with the underaged boy or girl (like sitting on his lap on the patio of a restaurant) to bolster their claims. I have also heard of this occurring on beaches popular with tourists / sex tourists. Cuba is also a place where you’d want to check everyone’s ID —- by law everyone must carry one, anyway. It’s so common in Latin and South America that I just assumed that this crime of opportunity is also used in other hot spots there, including but not limited to Brazil. Although I have never witnessed or encountered it, that could be because I have no attraction to anything that looks barely legal and therefore, wouldn’t engage anyway. Nonetheless, it’s probably a good idea to check the ID if there is any doubt whatsoever. Hotels (if you use them) and some apartment building front desks will usually require IDs from visitors, anyway. Side note, and not to scare anyone (ok, maybe just a little): anyone planning on photographing or videotaping anyone in a sex act or with exposed genitalia (which could be loosely defined as “pornography”), by USA law, MUST not only check IDs, but maintain proof of that ID in easily accessible records at all time. The laws could be similarly strict or even stricter in other countries. As soon as you hit US soil with the file of those videos or photos (or you upload them to a US-based site — like Xtube), that law applies. 18 USC 2257. So... have fun, but watch yourselves.
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