Posts filed under “Travel”

Back in the USSA

Ahhh, its good to be back in the USSA (United States Socialists of America), where profits are private but all the risks are socialized!

I am settling back into my routine, but a few final thoughts from Berlin (my overview from the trip is here).

The general impression I got in Europe was that the USA is a confusing and bizarre place. From afar, the various debates in the USSA — there’s trillions of dollars for banks, but no re-regulation; the more aggressive battle is over nationalized Health Care — are both perplexing and somewhat laughable to the Europeans.

The US remains a source of great interest. Popular culture, from music to TV to films is enormously influenced by what is generated in America. Obama is wildly popular over here — much more so than in the US. They seem to appreciate a US President who engages in diplomacy and interacts with various leaders. In case you were unaware, George W. Bush was not particularly liked worldwide.

There is sort of an interesting perspective, kinda “Hmmm, let’s see what sort of whacky trouble those Americans will get into next” attitude. On the one hand, the USA is still the wild west, a fast growing, grand experiment in economic freedoms. On that front, it is a shining example to the rest of the world. But it was allowed to go off the rails, with seemingly little repercussions to the various CEOs, politicos and bankers responsible. That is totally mystifying to people over there.

In European’s eyes, the US populace seems terribly uninformed about most political matters — and vote accordingly. Europeans seem to be able to debate an issue without the vitriol and rancor that accompanies the rabid partisanship in the US. (One German $1+ Billion dollar fund manager privately remarked that Rupert Murdoch would be prosecuted in much of Europe). The two party system of the US is thought to be utterly corrupt, and is a joke in Parliamentary countries. Europeans recognize the United States as a “Corporatocracy” — government for and by Corporations.

The Economy here isn’t all that bad, and people remain somewhat optimistic.

Back to the usual banter a bit later . . .

Source: John Sherffius

Category: Economy, Psychology, Travel

Ich bein ein Berliner

Whenever I travel, I like to do a full economic assessment of the locale, a post-trip post-mortem. Oftentimes, it is not worth writing up, but Berlin was fascinating enough to jot some thoughts down. Quite a few things were memorable from this trip. (I’ll post some photos later below) Berlin is a world class city,…Read More

Category: Economy, Travel

What To Do in Berlin?

Wholly unrelated to the prior post (US Job Hunters Look Overseas) I am leaving this evening for Berlin, to speak at a CityWire Conference . I’m flying back Friday, but over the course of 3 days, I will have one morning, one afternoon and one evening free. What’s fun to do in Berlin?

Category: Travel

Damn Annoying: Traveling the US by Air

So.

Here I am.

Winging my way back from a long business trip – I left 10 days ago, and with any luck, will finally stumble home some time in the wee hours Wednesday.

The experience was a whirlwind tour of the best and worst airports, airlines and aircraft the friendly skys have to offer. Perhaps there is something of value you can find in this. Otherwise, I just spilled ~1,300 words from seat 1A for naught.

First leg: Continental from LaGuardia: We leave November 10 – damned daylight savings day. Our early 6:35am flight becomes 5:35 am – an ungodly hour to travel, even with the bonus “fall back” hour. Paranoid I would arrive late, I get picked up extra early, and dropped off at La Guardia for Continental flight 633 to Dallas by way of Houston a little after 4am.

The Continental desk is a mess – there is a huge line, except for those who got an online boarding pass. I selected seats on the phone with an agent, but I do not recall the suggestion to print boarding passes (That might have been helpful). Because the tickets were booked via Orbitz, the upgrade to 1st class is $857. No thanks.

Without the printed boarding tickets, we must endure this l o n g line. Despite being there 90 minutes before the flight, I begin to wonder if we are going to make the plane.

If this an attempt at behavior modification, to encourage people to print e-boarding passes, it may have backfired. I make two mental notes: 1) Always print out the boarding pass; 2) Don’t fly Continental anymore.

45 minutes later, we are at the desk. We pay $20 per bag. I ask about the upgrade to 1st class (the machine says $150), but the harried agent suggests we can do it at the desk. We breeze through security, but at the gate, they tell us its $857.

Fuck Continental.

At least I reserved an emergency aisle, so the 3 hour flight has extra leg room. Reiterate the don’t fly Continental mental note. (Flight quality B+, Check in experience F)

Read More

Category: Travel

Smart People, Big Ideas, Wild Experiences

This has been a helluva week of travel — NY to Dallas to Austin to Detroit. This post is set to launch after I takeoff for San Francisco. I will return home early next week. My mind is brimming with ideas — About asset management, travel, investing, politics, speaking engagements, food. I had many stimulating…Read More

Category: Investing, Travel, Weblogs

Off to Dallas

Lite posting today — flying into the Big D. See you at the Cowboys game. More later . . .

Category: Travel

Did Customs & Immigration Cost US 2016 Olympics?

Embarrassing reflection of our administrative incompetency as a nation being  discussed at the NYT’s In Transit blog: Chicago’s Loss: Is Passport Control to Blame?: “Among the toughest questions posed to the Chicago bid team this week in Copenhagen was one that raised the issue of what kind of welcome foreigners would get from airport officials…Read More

Category: Travel

Tracking New England Fall Foliage

Yes, there is a website for this: > click for updated map

Category: Travel, Weekend

Walking Across China

The Longest Way 1.0 – one year walk/beard grow time lapse from Christoph Rehage on Vimeo. The Longest Way 1.0 – one year walk/beard grow time lapse (Via boingboing)

Category: Travel, Weekend

Vancouver . . .

Lovely town! Nice parks, outdoor cafes, plenty of tourists walking about. Flew in on an Air Canada 767 (great sleeper seats), got from the airport to downtown rather quickly during rush hour. The Fairmont hotel is quite nice, so far, the local restaurants  are very good (Azia). I am trying to figure out what town…Read More

Category: Travel