Random journey observations

February 15 2006

Just a few notes from the road:

  • My colleague Andras was a gracious host for my 24 hours in Budapest, taking me to see a few of the key sites.  It looks like a city that I could spend days in, with dozens of museums and historical buildings, and a quaint old city/castle.  Then there's the Danube...I think a Danube journey from Vienna to Bucharest via Budapest would be a fantastic summertime activity.
  • Budapest has not gotten the memo -- apparently, black is the new black, at least for outerwear.  On several occasions Tuesday night, a bus full of commuters rolled by -- and the visual was a wall of black coats.
  • Paying the equivalent of Eur. 38 for internet access in a hotel, anywhere in the world, is ridiculous.  I just couldn't do it, whether IBM was buying or not.
  • Being awoken by an Apple telemarketer who, for whatever reason, was calling my cell phone number (would I really have given them that?), to hear a sales pitch for an extended warranty, at US$2 / minute roaming charges, is not a good thing.  (Yes, I had a good reason to have the cell phone on overnight)
  • Was Mike Lazar the only geek who noticed that I had an exit row economy class seat on my outbound Chicago to London AA flight?  And did he know just by reading my location for that blog entry, or did he run over to seatguru.com to check the seat maps?
  • The Kiwis know how to make a sauvignon blanc like nobody else.
  • The queue for security at the Heathrow flight connections centre today was much shorter than yesterday morning's debacle.  But there were still many clueless people in line who didn't understand that the 20 signs saying "take your laptop out and put it in a separate bin" meant take your laptop out and put it in a separate bin.
  • I did it for the miles -- with the flight that I'm on now, I'll pass 2 million cumulative miles in the American Airlines AAdvantage program.  I'll blog this separately in a few days, once the miles post.  This feat comes on the same trip when I've visited my 45th country overall, with at least two more new countries scheduled in the next three months.  Cool.

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