Warning: Anyone with “socialist” leanings should not read this blog for the next two weeks. We are taking a trip that will make people either jealous or angry. This is not a budget holiday.
So, here we go. It started. We were picked up in a large black Mercedes (S class long version), compliments of Emirates Airline. This is part of the first class ticket. We chose Emirates because the price was about 20% of a Lufthansa ticket (I don’t know how companies can justify paying those prices for their executives) and 40% of a Singapore Airlines ticket. We must fly via Dubai to reach Singapore, but the price makes it worth. And, Emirates first class is reputed to be better than SIA. It goes without saying that it is better than Lufthansa, because Germans would complain about people having so much luxury.
Anyways, the driver was ten minutes late, but I was relaxed. It’s Saturday, and we are flying first class. There will be little traffic and no lines at the airport. The drive was pleasant, because I was not driving and did not have to worry about parking. The drive even wheeled my wife\s suitcase to the check-in desk. I had to manage my own, but have had plenty of practice.
Check-in took literally two minutes. There was no line. But, the plane will be delayed by one hour. Again, I do not care. We have plenty of time in Dubai for the connection, and there is an Emirates lounge. Depending upon the airline, food and drink is plentiful and varied. Champagne is common. I do not usually partake of the feast, because I do not eat or drink on flights. I might make an exception or two on this trip. For those poo souls destined to fly in the North America, travel in other parts of the world is different. Lounge access is part of the deal; one does not need a special membership. Unfortunately, first class passenger share the lounge with business class in Frankfurt. Dubai will be different, but more on that later.
Next report should be from Dubai, where we should arrive about midnight...
Once upon a time, the pinnacle of American technological prowess was putting men on the moon. Now, it has come to this...
I could not help but think of primitive man, who marveled at the slightest show of strength and probably also worshipped rocks. This “event” speaks worse for humans than the pet rock craze of a few years back. The Egyptians build pyramids; Americans move a rock. Hurrah!
As the author of the above article concludes...”it reflects a growing incapacity of many Americans to distinguish between events which are appropriate occasions for reaffirming social bonds and experiencing exhilaration and those which are meaningless and wasteful spectacles.” And, money is available for such frivolity, but not to treat the sick, hungry, and indigent.
I dislike feeling at home when I am abroad.
George Bernard Shaw
Interesting news from Asia...
The ship that is supposed to carry us in luxury from Singapore to Hong Kong via Vietnam collided with a container ship on a recent voyage.
I am less concerned about the collision than I am about the weather in which it occurred. There was fog. The weather in Vietnam should be warm and sunny, not conditions usually associated with fog. I learned that fog forms when the temperature and dew point are close. I recall the month of March in Vietnam as being hot and humid. One cannot see much from a cruise ship in the fog...
My only fear is that Vietnamese authorities will impound the ship on its next voyage, now underway, from Hong Kong to Singapore. That would mean that we will be standing at an empty dock next week. Of course, worse might be the impounding taking place when we are on the ship. Then again, that might be an interesting experience...
The joys of Photoshop...
One can experience a country, before even getting arriving.
PS. The hat is a souvenir from my first visit.
Climb up on some hill at sunrise.*
Everybody needs perspective once in a while, and you'll find it there.
* Sunset, Ed.
Plants are different that humans...or at least most are. But, you knew that (I hope).
My point is that humans can handle the weird weather better than plants. Unseasonal temperature gyrations have been playing havoc with germanation. Humans can don or doff (useful old-fashioned terms) clothing and turn up or turn down heating; plants gotta take what hits them. Flowers have sprouted and trees have blossomed in record warm temperatures, only to be hammered with falling mercury. They have no place to hide and cannot retract sprouts or blossoms. With any luck, nature has provided hardy genes (no pun intended...or maybe unconsciously...since 90% of our actions are unconscious or so I'm told by people more intelligent than me).
Other choice, which humans have, is to travel to warmer climes. Which is exactly what I will do the day after tomorrow. Then, I expect to moan about the heat and humidity. Doffing clothes will not help, but air-conditioning should...
Today is Wednesday. We fly on Saturday. The only thing to do is pack the suitcases (most things have been laid out) and to pick up travelers checks.
I am hoping for good weather and smooth seas. Of course, the forecast for Singapore says "oppressive", but I knew that. I also know that my wife will be surprised and cling to air-conditioned spaces.
I recall my last visit to Singapore, when I forgot its geography. Too late, I learned that it lies on the equator. I neglected to apply sun cream, because I expected to sit only for a few minutes by the pool. That was a painful lesson, which I will remember on this trip.
Look forward to boring reports, which will be filled with cliches and bland observations...plus a few
It's a sad and stupid thing to have to proclaim yourself a revolutionary
just to be a decent man.
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.