Thought for the day…..”Actions and consquences are a packaged deal”
” Life is a one-time offer. Use it well”.
Travel has just got easier for me. The USA, as usual paranoid about security has introduced rules which stop TOURISTS like me from getting the ESTA electronic visas. If you have visited any of the countries on the USA list, then you are now ineligible for the ESTA visa. This also means that you cannot transit the USA. The American government cannot get it into their heads that there are TOURISTS who visit countries like Iran, Iraq and Sudan to learn more about the culture and life there. But paranoid American officials now consider TOURISTS like these as a security risk. So it is an easy decision for me, no more visits to the USA. I will take my TOURIST dollars/euros/dirhams somewhere else.
And now I see that Australia is also becoming much like the USA. Now at international airports in Australia, they have made the body scanner machines compulsory. Of course they are saying that there is no danger to the public, but officials also said the same thing with the original body scanner X-Ray machines, until it was discovered that there WERE health dangers with the scanners. So when they tell me that there is no danger (officials also said the same thing after the Chernobyl nuclear accident) then I do not believe them. So I will not be compulsorily irradiated because I am innocent. So now I will be avoiding Australia as well, including in transit. And apparently, Australia wants to start trials of facial recognition technology at gateway airports to avoid the need for passports. How much more big-brother is coming??? So two countries on the off list (USA & Australia). Makes planning the next trip easier. Their loss, my money will go to other countries. And is it not about time that these stupid rules about liquids are abolished??? Since when has a 200ml tube of tooth paste or shampoo been dangerous??
And why do they make the pilots go through security checks as well? Are they afraid that the pilot might get control of the aircraft?? Has no airport official ever seen the STUPIDITY of making pilots (who have full control of the aircraft) go through a security check? I watched one pilot at Brisbane airport recently having to remove his mobile phone from his pocket to go through security again. Yet no official has ever questioned the logic of such a stupid procedure.
Having been attacked and robbed recently by a bandit with a bushknife (see the previous post) I was searching around for a new Fuji camera. I was amazed to see on a website with sample images from a Fuji camera, and advertisement for stab-proof jackets (see the screenshot below). Either my internet is being monitored, or it was an amazing coincidence….
and a photo from the now-stolen camera…..again great sharpness and colours from Fuji…..
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Thought for the day….”Success is more aptitude than attitude”
“Heaven on Earth is a choice that you must make, not a place that you must find.”
As part of my job, I get to travel a lot, and you tend to notice the differences between countries. At Singapore Changi (code SIN, and possibly the best airport in the world) recently the drinking fountains were closed for maintenance. Being Singapore, with its fantastically well run services, the airport managers had thought to provide bottled drinking water at the water fountains so that passengers were not inconvenienced. Travel further up to Norway, which you would expect would also be a well run country and things are the opposite. In the Scandic hotel in Bergen, the orange juice machine was out of order, but nobody had thought to provide juice in jugs next to it. Next hotel (again a Scandic hotel) and the coffee machine was out of order. Just a handwritten sign on the machine saying that it was out of order. Again, nobody had thought to provide a thermos of coffee to make up for the failure. And as part of the ‘improvements’ to standard rooms, they do not now provide tea/coffee facilities in the standard rooms. Gone also are tissues in the rooms, individual shampoo and conditioner and soaps.
And as if that was not enough, the Scandic hotels in Bergen (not cheap, as nothing in Norway is cheap) have decided that they will not put cutlery, cups or serviettes on the tables. It is the same as the airlines, customer service is disappearing. Scandic hotels may be happy to ask high prices in order to stay in their hotels. The prices rise, but the service levels fall. There comes a point when you say that enough is enough. Why pay high prices for less service?? Perhaps they should let Singaporeans run the hotels in Norway??
And to end the day, a photo of the sunset near Alesund on the 18th July 2016….wonderful end to the day..
and another photo from the archives…..happy boys in Albania
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Thought for the day….”Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get.”
A photo that is history now….a Singapore Airlines 747-400 taking off from Zurich airport in Switzerland. Known as the Queen of the Skies, almost 400 tons lifting off for the 11 hour flight to Singapore. Zurich (code ZRH) is a great place to take aircraft photos, as the authorities there actually encourage people to take photos, and even organize special photo tours. Great that the managers there have seen the value of photographers, and make it easy to take photos, rather than trying to prevent it like so many airports do today. Not only that, but Zurich is actually a good airport to fly into or transit, run with the usual Swiss efficiency. The photo below was taken during one of the organized photo tours, although even from the normal viewing decks, it is easy to get some great photos.
and some faces from the harbour market in Helsinki, Finland……
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