Saturday, February 27, 2016

Random Travel Thoughts

The following is the product of a jet-lagged and overly-caffeinated mind that has not slept in 28 hours. Any logic or lucid thought is purely accidental.....

  • This now-concluded trip to Brazil is the 32nd trip I've made to that country. As expressed in a previous post, I have a love/hate relationship with the country. I do really enjoy aspects of the culture and country. I am very fond of the friends I've made down there. That said, I'm greatly concerned at the changes I've seen recently. Clearly, the economy has slowed down dramatically and a air of cynicism and pessimism amongst the people towards their government and future is evident.  According to one of my friends, there is a growing drain of Brazilians who do have money leaving the country for places such as the U.S. and Portugal. Government corruption, the Zika virus, and the rush of preparation for the Rio Olympics are the hot topics in the news with a sense that, as one Brazilian told me, "everything is broken". Unfortunate. 
  • As a seasoned frequent flier, there are really only a couple of things that try my patience or unnerve me:
    • The destination airport being shut down due to weather while the plane I'm on is on its final approach, thus causing the pilot to have to circle the airport in a holding pattern until the airport opens. This happened yesterday coming into Sao Paulo. I counted 9 complete "orbits" of Sao Paulo over the course of an hour with the thought "I wonder how much fuel this thing has?" crossing my mind a few times. 
    • Mindless fellow travelers that are completely unaware of how their behavior and actions affect others on the plane. I believe Robert Fripp termed such people "boobies". I encountered an exceptional "boobie" yesterday who had no awareness of his butt being in my face for the better part of 10 minutes while he organized his carry on luggage. 
    • Excessively long queues at customs. Last night a "leisurely" 2 hour layover turned into 2 stressful hours waiting to get my passport, leaving me 5 minutes to get to my flight.....ugh!
  • When the aforementioned stress-inducers happen, a good remedy is to listen to some good music on the iPod. What worked for me last night:
    • Mike Monroe
    • Jimi Hendrix
    • Djivan Gisparian
  • I don't care how hygienic a person is. 24 hours + of travel will make the cleanest and prettiest amongst us a stinky mess.
  • After a long journey, there is no greater joy than coming home to loved ones, taking a shower, and sleeping in ones own bed....something I plan on doing in approximately 5 hours..... 

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