My Musings (Sundays)

Category Archives for My Musings (Sundays).

3 September 1967: Sweden switches Road sides

I have been having an on-going debate with a US friend about which is the best side of the road to drive on. I have lived most of my life in left hand driving countries. Most of the world, however, drives on the right. Fifty years ago today, Sweden switched the side of the road they drove on from left side to the right side. This fascinating video explains that “fateful day”: These images show the impact on streets: Stockholm’s tram system was shut down as a result of the change. It was resurrected in…

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Off to Japan

Japan will be my 69th country – and my 18th Asian country. (After Brunei, Cambodia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Laos, Macau, Maldives, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam). I have been fascinated with Japan since studying it in my High School Modern History class. From the Edo Period with 260 years of stability and isolation ending in 1912 before the country slid into militarism culminating sadly in World War Two. Then came the last 60 years with its massive economic and technological growth. Home to 127 million with 35 million people…

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Excitement of Qantas Gold for Life Muted by Qantas non reaction

In the 2009 movie “Up in the Air”, George Clooney fantasises about the time, he will hit ten million miles. When it finally happens and the airline hands him his rare ten million miler club card, he is lost for words. I have just reached “Lifetime Gold” with Qantas after 20 years in their Frequent Flyer Program. This means I get all of the Gold-level perks including: 75% bonus on points Business Class check-in Greater checked baggage allowances (which I rarely use) Airport lounge access, and better access to upgrades For the rest of my life…

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162nd Blog in Top 1000+ Travel Bloggers

The Top 1000+ Travel bloggers started in April 2014 with 1000 travel bloggers and 700 additional bloggers have since joined the community. The main objective of this success tracking program is to give each blogger a regular personal score that reflects as accurately as possible their success in their activity – in this case, blogging about travel.   The #travel1k score has been designed to measure digital & online influence. The scoring algorithm is not perfect but it is an interesting measure. For a numbers nerd like me, it is fascinating! My ranking is 162nd…

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The Afternoon I almost Died

On Friday June 2nd, 1977, I almost died in a bomb attack on my school bus. The Number 12 in Jerusalem was blown up minutes before I boarded. It was on a spring Friday in the Northern Hemisphere. I walked along the bus route to the terminus and then to the bus station and caught a much later connecting bus, getting home in the dark. (You just get on with life in this moments) My parents were frantic having heard about the bomb blast on the radio. There were, of course, no telephones and no…

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Standing in Solidarity against Evil

Like many, I am dismayed with the bombing in Manchester which killed 22 people- mostly children. I am also saddened by the attack on a convoy of buses in Syria which killed 68 children last month. Let us not forget Yemen and South Sudan where more children die daily. Holding hands and singing KumBy Yah is not going to stop these atrocities but nor is bombing to pieces a whole lot of homes, villages and communities. We know neither of those strategies will work. The globe needs a new way forward. One that does not support the…

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Qantas Gold for Life- After 20 years

A minor monumental moment happened this week for me, when Qantas shifted me from Lifetime Silver to Lifetime Gold in recognition of the 385 flights and 562,430 miles flown with them since I joined the Qantas Frequent Flyer programme 20 years ago in 1997. (Plus the few hundred thousand miles on partner carriers such as American, British and Cathay Pacific). Lifetime Gold is the equivalent of One World Sapphire. I am pretty excited by being a Gold member for life. It means that while I am alive and Qantas is in business  and they do not change the rules (important…

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What is the WORST City you have ever visited? And Why?

I have been to almost 200 cities with more than 100,000 people. True to my OCD form.  I have ranked them all from 1 onwards! Last week I added Vientiane in Laos, which was better than I imagined. In the same week, I also flew to Helsinki which I loved) bringing me to 194 cities! Can you imagine, I went from a daily maximum of  37°C  (98.6°F) 3to a maximum of 5°C  (41°F)  in the same week? That took some ingenious packing and adjusting.   This led me to consider that I have a definite list of the…

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I just flew my 1199th Flight -This trip was with Thai Airways

  Thanks to a sublime Thai airways Business Class experience this week, my travel clock ticked over my 1199th flight! Next year, I will have been flying for fifty years and on average I have flown 24 flights or 55,000 km (33, 000 miles) a year. The reality is that it took me 31 years until I flew my 100th flight! My 200th was in 2004. My 500th just five years later in 2009 and my 1000th was in 2014!So now I can say I have spent over five months of my life inside planes travelling a distance equivalent to…

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