Thursday 10 January 2008

Back home

Getting back

Having spent 19 days on holiday, I still had to phone up the travel agency because my arrangement for a hotel-to-airport transfer had been left off the roster.

After a few phone calls, I was told a taxi would arrive to pick me up by 13:50 which gave me a few hours to have breakfast at Moby’s and an hour at the Internet cafĂ© a few blocks down the road.

Getting to the airport was easy and once I got in line for check-in it was no more like I would be travelling Comfort Class, it was like waiting for dis-Comfort service as the queue for Economy Class moved at almost three times the speed of ours, one could only wonder what was so difficult about checking in the lot of price insensitive people like me who were travelling Comfort Class.

Why do I say price insensitive? I have been reading The Undercover Economist and the scales are falling off my eyes as to how I have been fleeced and cajoled into spending a lot more than I need to for anything I purchase, be it goods or services – a must read for anyone who is looking for a dummies guide economics.

Not back to doors

I was in this ‘shorter’ queue for 70 minutes, but which time I was trying every stretching, yoga or bending move I could think of to alleviate the pain in my back – my cane was definitely not helping here because it is useful for when I saunter or walk but not when one is standing still.

Through the pain, I was offered a window seat, I went through security checks remembering that I had bought a few pairs of shoes for my birthday and consciously decide they would not have fiddly laces but buckles or zippers.

One pair of shoes did have buckles and the other was a pair of boots with zippers down the inner sides – it shows how the encumbrance or rather the inconvenience of travelling through London Heathrow where the strip tease includes taking off your shoes can affect decisions further down the line.

These footwear would be easy to take off and put on, though at one time I wondered if it was not folly to take two new pairs of shoes on holiday without having worn them in.

Below sea level

When I finally got on the plane, I found my window seat was really the emergency exit, I could not see myself doing the doors at 35,000 feet, no, not even at 4 feet with a back like mine.

The air steward eventually persuaded a couple to take up my place and the one next to it as I was moved to a three-seater shared by two.

When we got to Amsterdam Schiphol, it was interesting to see the altimeter read as low as -15 feet below sea level – as it were, it was once a lake reclaimed in 1852 – is it any wonder that God created the world and the Dutch created Holland?

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