austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

You might be off to Egypt

Landed! Arrived, safe, sound, home again. Ready to sleep. Possibly asleep already; you know what I'm like. With any luck I'll be awake for the Enterprise finale and it'll be an entertaining spectacle of some sort, for good or ill. I'll catch up on comments later, I promise.

When I called for a Singapore taxi the night before, I thought the reservation system would let me talk to a person, but since they had my phone number and pickup point in the database they assumed I wanted the taxi right then, and dispatched one. I had to call again and go to some push-button menu option other than ``reserve a taxi'' to cancel that one and get the taxi for the time I wanted. This is in the name of convenience.

At Tokyo, the airport changed the posted departure time of my connecting flight, moving it ahead 15 minutes, making a formerly adequate stop a tight squeeze. But I rushed, and made it, to find that -- even though the gate had the earlier time too -- they were boarding and lifting off at the original, later times. Thus with economy of effort they gave everyone the experience of being late for their flight, and of their flight being late, all the while staying exactly on the posted time.

One of the other people waiting at Tokyo, describing the long leg of the flight (eight and a half hours, not the longest I've enjoyed by far), said ``that's when I wish I was a changeling and could just drop into my bucket'' for the flight. Airlines would be able to do more business were they able to shape-shift their passengers.

Trivia: By 1968 only ten vessels of any time had managed to navigate the Northwest Passage. Source: ``Northwest Passage,'' John Bockstoce, National Geographic, August 1990.

Currently Reading: The Victorian Internet, Tom Standage.


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