Having done much more travelling than normal this year (and certainly much more than is really fair), I thought I would jot down a few random musings and thoughts about going cross-cultural. Have felt it necessary to lighten the mood somewhat after a string of fairly heavy posts.

  • The UK smoking ban is a jolly good thing – one of the first things you notice when you get off a plane in Europe is that they don’t have a universal ban everywhere.

  • Garlic is a good thing – but not necessarily at breakfast.

  • Speaking of food I’m very happy and actually keen to try new food and different tastes when I go to a new place. That’s one of the joys and privileges of travel and it is also a way of showing appreciation to the hospitality of hosts. But not at breakfast. Breakfast is when I really do need what I’m used to if I can get it (ie coffee and cereal with cold fresh milk). But of course, if that’s not available, I’ll graciously comply with local custom.

  • It is much more sensible (and unstressful) to have X-rays and security checks at the individual gates instead of at passport control & departure lounge entrances (like at Frankfurt airport). Having them all in one place causes stress, anxiety and, in some quite rare cases, depression and major suicidal tendencies (ie at Heathrow & Gatwick).

  • Coming back from Croatia (and changing in Frankfurt) was weird – we were in two large Airbuses (Croatia Airlines from Zagreb to Frankfurt, and Lufthansa Frankfurt to London) that were to all intents and purposes empty. This is unequivocally a GOOD THING (environmental concerns aside). In case you don’t believe me, here is the evidence. What’s not to like?

empty-plane2.jpg empty-plane1.jpg


And now for some cunning travel tips:

  • Plane food always comes at the wrong times. So don’t rely on it either for a balanced diet or a balanced day.

  • Always ask for an upgrade at check in. Carry a walking stick/cane to improve your odds. You just never know where it might lead. It might even lead to an upgrade. Or as happened to me the other day on the Miami-London flight, when I got to the gate I found that I had been upgraded from one bulkhead seat in economy to another bulkhead seat in economy. I suppose it was the thought that counted. Except for the fact that I found I was sitting for 8 hours next to a cross between Prince Charming from Shrek2 and Mr Universe. I had leg room of course (which he didn’t really have, being a little under 7 feet tall); it was simply that I struggled to breathe for most of the flight.

  • Duty free is never all its cracked up to be. It’s neither your duty, nor is it ever free.

  • Never assume that the ethnic clothes bought on the all-important local craft market visit will suit you when you get home. However, if a local takes you there and gets you what they think is appropriate, then that is usually fine and dandy (as will you be).

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. metamorphe

    Nice one! Hope all well

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