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Traveling n all June 30, 2007

Posted by Sharath Rao in America, reminisces-2000.

To resume on a numerical note, watch this number.

0.0000298507463 %.

I found out that there are about 67 million domestic flights each year in the United States. The above number represents the percentage of those flights I have travelled this year. πŸ™‚ (10 so far, 7 in the last 10 days ).

So a few things have come out of all the travelling. Here are few observations that have come out of the past few days. Infact every other time I travelled, the travel itself formed a minor part of the time spent outside home. This time around though I spent enough time travelling to actually think a few things through :

  • Eating crappy food, whether in airports, bus stations, on the flight is one of the most discouraging aspects of travel.
  • If you are travelling without luggage to check in, it is not really too bad. I don’t really mind all the security checks at the airports. Over the past 2 weeks, I have been singled out once ( out of 7 times ) for those random detailed checks. But when I see that I am in the line along with a US Marine in uniform and another 75 year old white woman, I am given to think its still okay. The TSA who are in charge of all the airport security do an amazing job given the challenge of their task.
  • I have come to a conclusion that one of things about the US I really don’t like is the color pink ! Its all over the place – over 50% of the girls (<15 years old perhaps ) seem to be in pink. Pink trousers, pink tops, pink sweaters, pink backpacks – some overdose that ! I know this is funny but I have never seen so much of pinkish stuff anywhere and any time.
  • Of all the flights ( less than 20) I took between Aug 2004-May 2007, one of the flights were delayed. Of the 7 flights in the last 2 weeks, 1 was cancelled, 1 delayed by 3 hours and 1 oversold tickets and hence I was booted out of it.
  • Travelling is especially putting off when its official and you have to get somewhere in time and in decent shape for a challenging assignment ( like an interview ). I have not learnt to make use of the time in the long lines, or even in flight/bus.
  • Managing papers in your pockets – receipts, tickets, boarding pass for previous, current, past flights, someone’s phone number, bus/shuttle timetable, cell phone, passport/ID, odd pieces of papers with important information. Well, I must put more effort in planning this sh*t out next time around.
  • Not able to check email, catch up with news and other random stuff online is another big minus.
  • I am in general impressed by how well-behaved American kids are in flight and airports. They are typically given their own little luggage ( which includes a soft toy for young girls ) and they do a good job carrying that around. At least thats my impression as a spectator. But spare me the pink please !

I will be blogging the whole of today to make up for lost blogging days. Life is short πŸ™‚



1. Harini - December 2, 2009

1. I agree good food makes traveling so much more memorable.
2. I think it is important to appreciate their work and the fact that they do it honestly. Good stuff.
3. Obviously, not too many girls in your formative years.
4. A friend of mine was returning from NYC on the Sunday after Thanksgiving by the Boltbus. Her bus was to leave NYC at 7.15 pm and hadn’t shown up until 8pm. When it finally did, the driver announced to the tired and restless crowd: “I have driven for seven and a half hours up and down. I don’t feel like driving anymore. I need a break to think about it. If I do come back, then we will go. Else you will have to go tomorrow”. Oh, he did show up an hour later. And drove Priya home.
5. It’s weirder when you meet the professor in the airport lobby in the morning, think it’s a familiar face, meet the same person in the school elevator and then finally face him for a job interview that afternoon. Post spring break travel back from Detroit, MI.
I discovered the iPhone was the perfect way to care of the rest
6. Organization. Structure. Meticulousness. Maybe I should stop commenting. Seems like someone is showing me the mirror.
7. iPhone in the airport. Delta / NWA flights for travel. πŸ˜€
8. The economy thrives on pink. Malcolm Gladwell, Stephen Dubner, Steven Levitt and even Greg Mankiw will talk about it soon. Find your cover soon.

Life is indeed short. Get back to blogging.

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