Mixed Blessings


 

This blog was written two years ago in the summer of 2018. Reading it today brings home to me just how quickly our world can change. I have to wonder if the international air travel industry will ever return to what it was. The incredible logistical and technological capabilities which I have depicted here have been brought down by invisible microbes. 

Who could have possibly ever imagined this scenario in 2018?

 

‘On a flight from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport to Dubai Airport – 8 hours – with a connecting flight to Kuala Lumpur, I thought about the logistics of modern air travel.

To get my flight out of Schiphol, I had to sit around for a few hours before my flight departed. It was June, tourist season, and Schiphol, even by its own standards, was busy. It took me quite a long time to check in and get through security. The length of the cues and the number of people crowded into a confined space was daunting. And it was the same on the other side of security. To buy a sandwich and coffee meant standing in another long cue. 

Schiphol was one the busiest airports in the world. On average, 150,000 people a week came and went. There were many busy airports in the world of course. Dubai was another one.

Once in the air and mercifully away from the thronging crowds in Schiphol, I reflected on what I’d experienced.

I was just one person in a vast global operation which involved millions….

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Rotterdam – The City of Howard Roark

Rand Ann

 

I have lived in Rotterdam on and off for many years, using it a base for travels in Europe and Northern Africa. I can’t say that I’ve ever found it to be an attractive city.

The point is, I don’t like modern architecture.

However lots of people do.

This is something I realized when Rotterdam began appearing in international tourism surveys as a must-see destination. 

And why?

Because of its ‘cutting-edge’ architecture.

I really couldn’t believe it.

Rotterdam?!

It seemed as if there were an awful lot of people around who had no taste.

Give me one of Europe’s old historic cities any day!

Then a time came when my attitude to Rotterdam changed…..

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Star Gazing Part 2

 

When I bought my binoculars with the intention of travelling to the deserts of Central Australia, those deserts didn’t seem so far away.

A few days driving, something like that.  

But then the restrictions on travel were ratcheted up – and up – and before I knew it, damn well everything was far away.

One couldn’t go anywhere excepting the supermarket and petrol station.  

Stay at home was the idea.

Home? Anya and I had never actually had a home.

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´Your Country´s Burning!´ – Part 1

It was on a Saturday night in January 2020, shortly after Anya and I had returned from a month of walking in La Palma. We´d arranged to go to Anya´s niece´s place, who´d invited some friends around for the night.    

It was meant to be a pleasant, convivial evening.

But thanks to me, it turned out a bit differently.  

 

It started with flamenco and ended with aboriginal fire stick agriculture.

Quite a distance to travel in a few hours: Spain to Australia.

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