Lynn Dike

The wonders of home

2007-08-08 08:38

Lynn Dike

So the Seven Wonders of the World have had a wonder update. The original list was compiled in the second century BC, finalised during the middle ages and included such gems as The Lighthouse of Alexandria and the Colossus of Rhodes. Yes, I must admit, ignoramus that I am, I'm also going "what?" and "It was where?"

It was probably about time, considering that the Great Pyramid of Giza is the only one of the original seven that is still standing. My personal favourite on the old list is the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, a fabulous and awe-inspiring place that nobody has ever proved actually physically existed. Right, definitely time for a few new locations. Those that aren't mythical places of fantasy..

The new Seven Wonders of the World project offered the globe the opportunity to take part in an election on the 21 potential sites, and those that garnered the most votes were declared the winners. What a fantastic idea, get the whole world to cast their ballot! The people's choice - chosen not by one man, but by millions around the world.

Oh wait, I forgot to mention, you had to vote over the internet, or by phone if you were really desperate to run up your phone bill. Right, so let's qualify that as the "whole world with Internet access" can vote. Not too many thoughts from deepest darkest Africa then? However, more than 50 million people did take the time to vote, most of them from Asia and Latin America.

Some local seven wonders

So what if we had a few local versions of the seven wonders. Number one on my list would be the terrifying Zimbabwe inflation rate, predicted to hit 100 000% by the end of the year. Eventually I'm sure they will just write it as the infinity symbol and leave it at that.

But never fear, according to Bob, it's merely just the result of a plot against him by the usual suspects, i.e. the US and the UK. I'm secretly dying to see Bob's next tirade against the infidel; I want to see if he's even noticed that Gordon Brown has replaced Tony Blair.

On that note, perhaps the best solution for Zimbabwe would be the sudden and unexpected discovery of huge oil reserves. George W will be over in a flash; well as soon as he could find Zimbabwe on a map and figure out where Africa is of course.

The might of the US forces would descend, to rid the world of tyrannical rule and set the people free. Because all nations have the right to freedom, democracy and the American way - which loosely translates into swooping in as all-conquering heroes and giving the people the liberty to allow you to pillage their oil supply.

Home soil

South Africa is full of wonders that defy description. Take the political career of Jacob Zuma. The man is the original boomerang with more lives than a cat. Only Mr Zuma could come out of a rape trial with more supporters than ever, a hit song and a new lease on life.

How about Naas Botha's front teeth, surely a monument to the greatest living resemblance to Bugs Bunny? But on the other hand, I don't think the particularly unnatural shade of Patricia Lewis' blonde hair should be ignored either. Certainly a colour never found in the natural world. Actually I'd put a full Wanderers Stadium for a one-day international against Australia where South Africa wins as one of my seven wonders too, but hey that's just me.

So the new list includes the Great Wall of China, Machu Picchu in Peru and the statue of Christ Redeemer in Rio, all worthy winners. But the wonder that I wonder most about is the Taj Mahal. An everlasting symbol of love and passion from a man to a woman. Considering that I'm the kind of woman who battles to get a man to change a light bulb, a towering monument of marble is pretty impressive, and way beyond my powers of persuasion.

All I can say is that she must have been some kind of woman. Getting a man to put his feelings down in stone, now that's truly a thing of wonder.

Send your comments to Lynn.

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