Sunday, May 20, 2007

Advances in travelling

I'm in the USA again for the week. Another business trip to the same place as always. After half a dozen trips it begins to feel more like a realy looooong commute, and less than a big voyage. Still a couple of things were different than usual, so I'm blogging them. Nothing game related, so you might want to skip this. :)

What's the first thing you do when coming out of bankruptcy? You buy yourself a fancy home-entertainment system. At least that seems what Delta has done. I love it, they now have a video on demand in-flight entertainment system, loaded with lots of different movies, plus TV series, plus a special HBO TV series section. The whole thing is Linux based, as I learned when the computer decided to reboot in the middle of a movie. Good to know that this doesn't only happen to Windows. Besides films there is music and games. Even on a long transatlantic flight you don't have the time to see it all, there is so much stuff.

I don't remember whether I've ever done this trip on a Sunday before, usually I go on a Monday. Apart from losing one day of my weekend, it turned out that the planes are fuller on Sundays. I got stuck one hour in a huge queue at immigrations and arrived at the gate of my connecting flight just in time for boarding. And it isn't even Memorial Day yet! (At which time I plan to be safely back home)

The last change over previous trips was that I had finally gotten around to organizing myself an Avis Preferred card. Not that I get any frequent driver miles from that or anything, but it makes getting your pre-reserved car a lot easier. Before I always had to go to the Avis counter and have somebody typing all my personal data into a computer, where for some reason the data weren't even stored, so I had to do it all over again on the next trip. With the Avis Preferred card you don't even have to go to the counter, your name is displayed on a board showing where your car is, and the keys and contract are in the car. I just needed to show my driving license to the guard at the gate, and I was on the road. Practical.

I haven't gotten around to do any shopping yet, except for a bottle of water at a supermarket. But I plan to take full advantage of the dollar nowadays being worth about as much as the Turkish Lira (okay, okay, I exaggerated there), and buying stuff on the cheap at this very favorable exchange rate. At its height in 2000 a dollar bought you 1.20 Euro, now less than 75 Euro cents. As my salary is paid in Euros, my purchasing power in dollar terms has increased by 60% just from the fall of the dollar. I was just reading how world poverty has decreased in the last decade, with poverty being defined as "less than $1 per day". Made me wonder how much of that decrease in poverty was due to $1 being not worth as much as before any more.

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