Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The dos and don’ts of aeroplane etiquette

source: Guardian 

A plane had to be diverted on Sunday after a fight broke out when a man used a banned device to prevent a fellow passenger reclining her seat. The Knee Defender is a $21.95 mechanism-jamming lock that attaches to a tray table and is obviously aimed at stratospheric gits. A cup of water was thrown, and both passengers ejected from the United Airlines flight. The rules of reclining, stowing and interacting are different in the high-pressure environment of a commercial aeroplane. Here is a handy etiquette guide to avoid a mile-high clubbing.

DO practise arm-rest diplomacy

Space negotiation in confined seating is a balancing act between comfort and good relations. This is not to pretend you're involved in anything other than a zero-sum land grab – this is a literal arms race, but we're discussing etiquette.

Look to international relations – US-China is a good model. Civility is paramount. Gradual encroachment is key. Get in behind their elbow. If you lose the higher ground, wait for their inevitable trip to the toilet. OK, it's not exactly like international relations.

DO order something weird to get your food first

Passengers with special dietary needs get served first, so it pays to be one, or at least say you are. It's queue jumping, yes, but it's very hard to get caught. Of course, you may not be the only pretend vegetarian or kosher-requiring charlatan on board. To really jump the queue, tell them you're a bean-intolerant milk-swerver who can't eat sugar or salt. Your food will be awful, but you probably deserve that.

DON'T try to jump any actual queues

Anyone who buys any sort of priority boarding privilege is an oily, money-palmed weasel. People with physical difficulties should get on first, everyone else should just wait. The rule is compounded when flying budget airlines, where such "better than you" hypocrisy will almost certainly be met with a strategically deployed Knee Defender© – or it would if the seats reclined, which they don't.

DO snitch

Restless-legged children kicking the upholstery off the back of your chair, tinny hip-hop leaking from headphones, grown men in sombreros happy-slapping each other, are all perils of flight. The mature thing would be a discreet conversation between parties, leading to a happy compromise. But screw that awkwardness. The cabin crew are your personal secret police, expert at meting out polite cease and desists. Go rat to them, and avoid frosty stares and "accidental" chair bumps for the rest of the flight. Speaking of which …

DON'T flirt with the flight attendants

You're not George Clooney; you have very dry skin and are wearing compression socks. You're not on Concorde in the 70s, and the cabin crew are not geishas.

They're there to keep you safe. You don't wink at your GP, or a hygiene inspector, so now is also not the time to pull out a feeble line about special access to your cockpit. Do think about adjacent passengers, who you've just invited to imagine your frustrated onanism. No one wants to witness a crash and burn, especially on a plane.


Nepal Trip 2015

well....just bought ticket for Kathmandu


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Nepal - my next trip?

Membuat Visa Nepal | Never Stop Travelling

Last Letter Home from Foley

I do cry reading this touching letter from Foley. RIP Jim. Even  I don't know him, I mourn for himLast letter home

Dear Family and Friends,

I remember going to the Mall with Dad, a very long bike ride with Mom. I remember so many great family times that take me away from this prison. Dreams of family and friends take me away and happiness fills my heart.

I know you are thinking of me and praying for me. And I am so thankful. I feel you all especially when I pray. I pray for you to stay strong and to believe. I really feel I can touch you even in this darkness when I pray.

Eighteen of us have been held together in one cell, which has helped me. We have had each other to have endless long conversations about movies, trivia, sports. We have played games made up of scraps found in our cell… we have found ways to play checkers, Chess, and Risk… and have had tournaments of competition, spending some days preparing strategies for the next day's game or lecture. The games and teaching each other have helped the time pass. They have been a huge help. We repeat stories and laugh to break the tension.

I have had weak and strong days. We are so grateful when anyone is freed; but of course, yearn for our own freedom. We try to encourage each other and share strength. We are being fed better now and daily. We have tea, occasional coffee. I have regained most of my weight lost last year.

I think a lot about my brothers and sister. I remember playing Werewolf in the dark with Michael and so many other adventures. I think of chasing Mattie and T around the kitchen counter. It makes me happy to think of them. If there is any money left in my bank account, I want it to go to Michael and Matthew. I am so proud of you, Michael and thankful to you for happy childhood memories and to you and Kristie for happy adult ones.

And big John, how I enjoyed visiting you and Cress in Germany. Thank you for welcoming me. I think a lot about RoRo and try to imagine what Jack is like. I hope he has RoRo's personality!

And Mark… so proud of you too Bro. I think of you on the West coast and hope you are doing some snowboarding and camping, I especially remember us going to the Comedy Club in Boston together and our big hug after. The special moments keep me hopeful.

Katie, so very proud of you. You are the strongest and best of us all!! I think of you working so hard, helping people as a nurse. I am so glad we texted just before I was captured. I pray I can come to your wedding…. now I am sounding like Grammy!!

Grammy, please take your medicine, take walks and keep dancing. I plan to take you out to Margarita's when I get home. Stay strong because I am going to need your help to reclaim my life.


LAPORAN laman Slate dan BBC News menyebutkan, saat masih ditawan ISIS, wartawan AS James Foley (40) sempat mengirimkan surat terakhir untuk keluarganya. Surat itu dikirimnya via rekannya yang juga sempat ditahan ISIS, tetapi kemudian dibebaskan. 
Namun, surat itu tak berbentuk tulisan. Pasalnya, kalau ini ketahuan ISIS, maka surat tersebut akan dimusnahkan. Foley pun saat itu mengakalinya dengan meminta temannya itu menghafal isi suratnya. Dia juga meminta temannya itu untuk mengirimkan surat tersebut kepada orang tuanya. Saat rekannya itu bebas, teman Foley pun langsung menelepon Diane, ibunda Foley. Dia mendiktekan surat Foley tersebut yang telah dihafalnya itu. 

Soal surat dari Foley ini terungkap setelah Diane mempublikasikan itu via Facebook. Dalam surat tersebut, Foley menyatakan kerinduannya kepada orang tua, kakak, adik dan neneknya.  Dalam suratnya itu, Foley  juga mengungkapkan kenangan saat masih kecil saat dia diajak ayah dan ibunya naik sepeda. "Dengan hanya mengingat kenangan indah bersama keluarga dan teman, hati saya langsung diliputi kebahagiaan," ujarnya dalam surat terakhirnya itu sebagaimana dipublikasikan Diane via Facebook.  
Foley juga mengungkapkan, kalau dirinya sering mendoakan orang tua dan keluarganya selama disekap ISIS sejak November 2012. "Tak ada yang lebih baik di penjara selain berbicara dengan Tuhan sesering mungkin," ujar Foley yang dikenal sebagai penganut Katolik taat itu.

Masih dalam suratnya, Foley juga menuliskan bahwa selain sering memikirkan kenangan indah bersama orang tua, dia juga kangen dengan kakak dan adik-adiknya, Katie, Mark, Michael dan Matthew. "Saya ingat saat saya bermain serigala-serigalaan dengan Michael . Saat itu saya mengejar Mattie (panggilan Foley untuk Matthew-red) sampai ke area dapur. Mengingat hal-hal seperti ini, membuat saya bahagia," ujar Foley lagi dalam surat terakhirnya itu.  Dia juga berpesan, tabungannya yang tersisa di bank AS untuk diberikan kepada dua adik tercintanya, Mark dan Matthew. 

Dia juga menyatakan kebanggaannya dengan jiwa petualangan kakaknya, Mark yang membawanya berkemah dan bermain salju  ke sejumlah kawasan di AS.  "Saya bangga dengan kamu, Michael. Terima kasih atas kenangan indah bersamamu dan juga Katie," kata Foley dalam suratnya yang membuat banyak warga di Facebook menangis. Ini bisa dilihat dari ribuan komentar yang diberikan pengguna Facebook terhadap surat yang dipublikasikan ibunda Foley itu. 

Dalam surat terakhirnya itu, dia juga menyinggung kerinduannya kepada sang nenek yang dipanggilnya  Grammy. "Nenek Grammy, jangan lupa yah, minum obat dan juga jalan kaki supaya terus fit. Teruslah menari juga, Nek. Saya ingin bawa Nenek jalan-jalan ke Margarita, kalau nanti saya bebas. Nenek, sehat selalu, yah, karena saya ingin Nenek panjang umur dan membantu saya menata hidup saat bebas nanti," ujar Foley kepada sang nenek di akhir suratnya yang sangat menyentuh itu. (Huminca)***