Archive for March 14th, 2009

Travel Peeves

One of my peeves is around airports that are far away from the main city they serve.  For example – Tokyo airport.  After flying a bazillion hours, the last thing I want to do is get on the Narita Express train to Shinjuku… and ride it for 1.5 hours.  But since there’s no other viable way to get there (bus – which probably takes longer), this is where I have found myself.  Other examples of this would be Kuala Lumpur International Airport and Orlando International Airport.

Another peeve are the passengers who open their window shades during the flight.  On Singapore Airlines, after the meal is finished, the flight attendants tell the folks to put the window shades down – this makes it easier for people to watch their TV screens as well as adjust to the new time zone since if it’s night time / dark in the destination, it might as well be dark inside the plane.  But it never fails… hours into the flight, when people are sleeping, some jackass will open his window shade and flood the plane with light.

This also happens when there is turbulence.  The message to fasten seat belts will come on and a passenger miraculously thinks he will somehow be able to “spot” turbulence so he opens the window.

Here’s a bit of info for these people:
YOU ARE 35,000 FEET UP IN THE SKY… FLYING OVER AN OCEAN.  YOU CAN NOT SEE ANYTHING OUT THE WINDOW ASIDE FROM THE PLANE WING.  CHANCES OF ANYTHING INTERESTING BEING ON THE WING (LIKE THE CREATURE FROM TWILIGHT ZONE) ARE NIL.  ZERO.  ZIP.  NADA.  KEEP THE WINDOW SHADE CLOSED.

Of particular annoyance are the people who check what is going on outside every 20 or 30 minutes.  In their mind perhaps they’re thinking they are at the top of the mast on a ship and waiting to yell, “Land ho!”"

Onto more pleasant things.  I should be arriving at Shinjuku station (the world’s busiest subway station) in an hour.  Will haul my luggage through its miles of underground passages to meet my friend Nobu and go out to dinner at his friend’s place.  I am going to eat yakitori until wooden sticks are coming out of my throat. I love Japanese food.

After being in the same clothes for hours I am feeling a bit gross.  Either I try to hurry somewhere to take a shower or I drink some sake so I numb myself to how I am feeling.  I think I’ll choose the latter.

Oh, and a tip for you folks that fly SQ on the 747s… don’t sit in seat 47A.  The bin above that seat has some bottle that the flight attendants need to use frequently, and to get to it they stand on the armrest of the seat repeatedly throughout the flight.

(Written on the HP Mini 1000 while riding the Narita Express to Shinjuku.  Konichi-Wa.)

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Music

I’m on the airplane, flying across the International Date Line as I type this.  Finished watching “Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist” for the third time.  It has a great soundtrack; I suppose one could say it’s all indie bands.

I had an amusing conversation with my ex-girlfriend about music while at dinner the other night.  She had always been passionate about what she was listening to.  A connoisseur of independent music – who had that trait that many music lovers do… they turn up their nose at other people’s music.  Very much a “Your music is so uncool that it offends me that you listen to it.”  Similar to how one may be apprehensive talking about their favorite wine with a sommelier, the thought of mentioning a band I liked to my ex was coupled with fear of her tearing into my mass-market, did-I-just-listen-to-the-Walmart-clerk-recommendation-to-find-this behind.

She was telling me about a guy she dated recently and how he was an even bigger music snob than her, and that prompted her to apologize for how she acted in the past.  YES!  This is why I am friends with ex’s… even years after we have dated I can still get pleasure from one admitting fault!  (I’m kidding).

Anyway, after watching Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist, I am pleased with myself for being able to identify the majority of bands whose music is used.  Band of Horses, Modest Mouse, The National, The Raveonettes… score for me!

Now where’s that Blink-182 on my Zune player…

(Written on the HP Mini 1000 on the plane heading to JAPAN!  4 hours and 30 minutes until touchdown and a Narita Express ride away from su-su-sushi)

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