Thursday, 10 July 2008

A note on: Travel

I got picked up at 6.30am last Sunday to fly out to Miami and am now blogging from the IBM site in Boca Raton. I flew with American Airlines for the first time in ages, and it was crappy. I was told at check-in that I had an exit row, but that turned out to be a big lie and I was in the middle of a row. On realisation of this, rather than sitting straight down, I hovered until almost everyone else was sat down and then swooped on a spare aisle seat which made the flight just bearable. In flight I got a rude reminder of what a grumpy bunch the AA cabin crew are; they're all getting a bit long in the tooth and make you feel like anything you ask for is a real inconvenience to them. As a serial stander on flights, watching them nattering in the back of the plane it seemed like they were way more interested in their own activities (eating, reading, sudoku, gossiping) than in helping passengers have a pleasant experience.

What was my point? Oh yeah, pleasant experience. Here's some of the things that help to contribute to my comfort and enjoyment when travelling:

Nike Dri-Fit tees - cool when it's hot, hot when it's cool, these are very flexible and keep me comfortable. One of these and a micro fleece and you're pretty much set for anything.

Shure EC3 headphones - wearing these with the foam sleeves results in a combination of ear plugs and headphones which block out external noise so you can keep your volume down low and your ears relaxed. As an added benefit, you can't hear people talking to you so they're good for nOOb avoidance too.

OGIO Street laptop pack - this sweet rucksack has a plethora of pockets and is a really nice size to manage everything you need for 1 or 2 nights away. I have an Extreme Blue branded one courtesy of Matt Whitbourne.

Ear plugs -this is a trick I learnt from May. Always, always, always take earplugs. Then no matter where you end up you can shut out the world and get some sleep.

Samsonite Sahora Spinner luggage - When I were a boy, suitcases didn't even have wheels, now they have 4 wheels. Once you've tried a case with 4 wheels there's no going back; 4 wheels means you can gently push rather than drag your case and also spin it round and round hilariously as you walk.

Clinique Travel Essentials - it's cool to take care of your face, so I use Clinique's cleansing/shaving/moisturising gear in less than 100ml containers so they can go in my hand luggage.

Back to American Airlines - they have this slogan: "We know why you fly". I can only assume they've interpreted why I fly as because I enjoy being served by surly staff, watching badly dubbed "films" and eating not very nice food. I prefer my own interpretation which is "because work make me".

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