Wednesday, February 28

Pale blue is still blue...

Last minute delays actually used to be welcome surprise wished for. An exam postponed on the day before. A customer deadline canceled on the 11th hour. Man, how much ever wished for, never really got one. But now, here I am totally out of place with the three extra days I got at the (t-5)th hour.

Thank God with the max number of tylenols I ever had in my life I am now out of fever. But back home things were not so good as they were made to appear to me? Ian was on drip yesterday and Alhamdulillah getting fine now after his dehydration from vomiting.

And I am still playing around with my tickets. Till two days back it was go back. Then it was like extend for a week. Then go back and come again after 3 days. Costly, did you say? Well, there is a good travel expense control mechanism. They will go through your travel bills and check your individual receipts. What they will not do is to check why you did the travel in the first place.

Insha Allah I will anyway fly tomorrow. I mean I will go to airport and board the plane if they allow me:) Thanking AA for letting me sit somewhere. Do not blame them man, people do not expect service here either! There was a lady in front of me in the rebooking line at airport who was wondering
I dont know why they should be putting up the hotel bill when the problem is weather which is not in their control?
So you got it? I thought industry take these risk into accounts either directly or through the insurance companies and then charge it back to the passengers...

Monday, February 26


When I read the story of JetBlue passengers stranded in the plane for 8 hours, I could not believe it. How could they do it? Well, now AA taught me if Jet Blues, AA also can blue.

So my story goes after I boarded the AA flight back to Tokyo saturday morning. ETD 10:10 AM when the pilot announces he is going for some extra gas:) wonder why. Then he goes towards some runway, says the other runway is closed because of heavy wind in some direction. And after a long time he announces we are next in queue. So far, thanks to the two Tylenol tablets to suppress my fever, I was so drowsy and sleepy to have any concept of time. Nor to understand an hour is 60 minutes and two hour means 120 minutes. Good or bad..

Good news it was until he suddenly says there is an engine trouble that he wants to check up. So taxi back to the terminal, and in another half an hour or so, they fixed it. Passengers were allowed to use their phones, iPods, laptops and anything they want to. Thats when I found that my iMode mail can work in the US!! And now the happy crowd inches back to the long queue of planes to the runway. Good? not yet.

Does not look like any plane is moving.. so the pilot who is concerned about Kyoto protocol decides to switch off the engine. Comes the fourth hour and he says the new decision. Go back to terminal and then the agents will explain to us the next step. Back at the gate again and doors not open yet. They want the captives in the wagon while they take a decision. And announce it. That they have decided to cancel the flight.

Story does not end. Next one hour was queueing up at the counter for rebooking. When two ladies came up and handed over a hotel room for the night stay, a $10 food bill (hmmmm..)and a 1-800 number to call later for rebooking.

Back to my room, picked up the phone and tried the number with great expectations. Your current waiting time is approx. 69 minutes... Man... I decided to give me a good rest instead over another pair of tylenol. And with many tries in the next 24 hours finally I got through on Sunday evening.
How can I help you sir?
Ok, not possible to book you for today sir.
You mean an upgrade? Thats a good suggestion from you, but I cant do that.
The earliest I can give you is Wednesday morning, same flight.
Seat number? No aisle, no window seats. I am putting you in the middle.
So I will be flying out on wednesday and until then I should fight out my fever... insha allah..

Wednesday, February 14


dashing thru the snow.......

Valentines Day

Originally uploaded by We ourselves Irene and Ian.
I never wished anyone for a Valentine day yet. So far. I still do not believe love has become something to be comemmorated once a year. That we need Landmark or Archies to express love. Nor scraps or mails. Love buds blooms and sheds throughout the year. In the hearts of people where there is space left for it.

For everyone who care about love, who value love, who love love, a budding tulip from me.

Happy Valentines day


No grey roads. No dark rooftops. No green grass. White spread over like a sea on land.

All in little more than an hour. The flight time from Haneda to Shin-Chitose airport. Probably the first ever trip that I planned more than two months before and executed. Though till last day was wondering if my wind-cheaters would do the trick to keep me warm at Sapporo. Thank God I did buy proper jackets, gloves and water-proof shoes on the 11th hour. Or a little earlier than that.

Sapporo as a city does not look any different from an average Japan city. The JR announcements sound similar, ticket gates and displays look familiar. People have similar faces, they cross the road the same way and even the mini skirts and knee high boots keep presence unaware of the mercury around. Even in the sub zero temperature, high school girls still wrap wool only on the upper parts of their body.

Difference, a few too. Like the interesting road numbering. All roads are North-South and East-West. And from the center of the small city, the road numbers North 1, North 2, East1, East 2.. West 1, West 2 etc. So easy to locate. Our hotel was close to N2W2. Just look for Kita2 Nishi2. Good. And because of the one ways, road crossings become green for orthogonal crosses everytime. That means you can cross a road diagonally. At least practically.

Kids had the best time in life. Snow, snow, snow and snow and more snow and still more snow all around. Pickup, make a snow ball and throw. Do that again. Yet again and again. I have been warning them on the ice flakes on the sidewalks which could be dangerous. Until I actually lost grip and fell down myself. Well, it was not as dangerous as it could have been:) Thank God.

Satoland was real fun. The entire farmland covered in snow and a lot of activities for kids. Like huge slides. Like the snow-man workshops. Like the bamboo ski lessons. Rolling over the snow slopes. The snow sculptures at Satoland and Oodori and the ice ones at Susukino did not catch much attention and it looked very normal with so many around. But they really look superb in pictures. They say they bring in around 400 to 700 truck loads of good snow from other locations of Hokkaido for this festival.

And the sashimi and grilled crab - yummmmmmy.

Monday, February 5

No new Blogs?

asks Anoop.

Blogging improves when workload increases. A way to relieve and relax. Under low load, you have nothing to relax about.

Varicose has been keeping me bothered ever since. But I lost the habit of commuting by bus. These days I am on train. With a book in hand.

Just finished another of Toni Morrison's famous books. Beloved. A heavy reading. The same theme of black America. Story woven through the final days of slavery in power. To the beginning of the slavery-ghosts-in-power era. When the niggers realise they have a heart that actually beats. That they have a day that they could decide what to do with. Beloved. Symbol of the days that were to follow haunted by the hurts, better-hurts and the lowest yets. Of the mindset that still wants to think the hacksaw was less worse than the white man.

Now have an Economist in hand. Talks about the perils of globalisation. About the people who lose livelihoods. The contrast between bosses that get fired honorably vs the workers who lose out miserably. If you thought this is anything similar to what the Marxists say back in Kerala, you are mistaken. Nor this has to do anything with Veerendrakumar's GATTum Kaanaacharadukalum (GATT and the invisible strings). Though Economist has a box on dying cotton farmers of India, and how and why India lead a 3W team on Doha rounds to get American subsidies cut, the focus is more on the jobs US and other developed countries lose to Bangalores and Chinas. Interesting..

Tata went all the way up to 603 pence to proclaim their pride. Corus bosses will be happy for that huge a price. But for the Corus labour this would mean more imminent cuts. And Tata has announced that too. No guarantee on Corus jobs.

And here I sit with nothing much to blog on. Though I keep visiting my Google reader for updates. And gets surprised by Anoop talking money, stocks, investments, mutual funds. I moved a little ahead and registered for ICICI Direct. The application form has come on mail. Not decided to download or not. Depends on what Anoop writes next!