Saturday, December 13, 2014

Travel Observations, edition 37

On my way back to Ottawa after a productive few days in The Hague.  What have I learned/re-learned/observed?
  • My habit of watching bad movies on flights works out pretty well.  Stuff that I really want to see I will see with Mrs Spew via netflix or our Canadian movie channel.  Bad stuff?  Probably not, so why not see Hercules, Into the Storm, Maze Runners, The Other Woman, and their ilk?  They are not good movies but they are entertaining/diverting.  Indeed, Leslie Mann proved yet again that she is very funny.  
  • I remain a big fan of Nexus (had the right passport this time) as it allowed me to GOES through the passport line in Newark quickly.  Also love being TSA prescreened---keeping shoes on, computer in bag, belt on body--so much less trouble.  On the other hand, the US Embassy in Ottawa has done too good of a job promoting NEXUS as the machines in Canada had a long line (maybe two machines are not quite enough).
  • Time while traveling is relative but still felt wrong to booze up at the lounge (gold status pays off!) in Amsterdam.  On the other hand, a beer garden for lunch in Newark?  Please... with a nice view of NYC.
  • I remain a big fan of Indonesian food which I almost only get in the Netherlands--not much in Ottawa or in Montreal.  
  • Something always happens when I am gone.  We have had furnaces crap out. This time, not just a heap of snow (Mrs. Spew got by without New Snowblower 101), but also possessed toilets, gurgling not unlike the fireswamp.  Thus far, no ROUS's but we shall see.
  • I lost a second neck pillow.  Damn, must staple these things to the back of my head. 
  • Oh, I am finally giving into electronic submissions of papers.  The final paper for my Civ-Mil class was due the day I landed in Amsterdam, so I had the students send them to me via email as pdfs.  I found it actually easier to whip through the grading of about half while flying back, as I could read them on my ipad (which I no longer have to turn off when taking off and landing).  
  I do need to keep learning, as I do keep on traveling.  As soon as I got home, I got a new invite to go to Belgium in April.  I will not be driving around Brussels this time.... that is one lesson I learned from the last time.

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