“Where in the World is… Mickey? Imaginary Tourism as a New Sport, ” Mickey Glantz.18 March 2010

Written by M. Glantz. Posted in All Fragilecologies

Published on March 21, 2010 with 2 Comments

Mickey at East China Normal University (ECNU), Shanghai

I thought I would blog on events on getting to and in China, Thailand and Kenya, as there is a lot going on in each of these countries. This is like an imaginary trip for those who can’t go with me to provide a feeling about what is happening on main street in other countries. Anyone can take such a trip in reality or in imagination, given the volume of timely information on the Internet, whether it is news about tourism,

Denver International Airport: First stop

Denver International Airport: First stop

economy, policy, environment or culture. So, join me this trip on the “information highway.”

Now I am going to shanghai, leaving my home at 5am.
OK. So, I am all packed and ready to take an airport shuttle. I was told I need 2 to 3 hours to get through the airport check-in, security and to the gate. that is a “crap shoot,” as all could go smoothly and I could end up twiddling thumbs at the gate. Or, there is some holdup somewhere along the way and I will get to the gate after others have boarded.

The challenge of boarding an airplane today is not a fight for a good seat but a fight for overhead luggage space: where to put that roll-on bag?

Like others, we rush to get seated on the plane early for the space but then we end up sitting there for up to an hour as others board and they get ready to take off.

I will go through San Francisco to go to China. I picked San Francisco over Los Angeles, because it is a user-friendly airport … if traveling international. The risk with flying through San francisco’s airport is … fog! if there is a tight connection, there is a risk you can miss your connection. to avoid that risk I decided it would be better to take an earlier flight.

So, on a usual trip, the shuttle van driver has trouble finding my house which is on a cul-de-sac. Many times i have had to run outside in snow to flag him down as he passes to and fro looking for my house. I’ve come to expect it.

I am always nervous about the van getting to me on time. There are few options to get to the airport here, unless you drive and park your car. van is easier and it drops you at the airline portal.

my biggest problem is not the luggage per se. it is with the carry-on bag. i have a short attention span. well, that is not really correct. i have no attention span. never did have one. never will by now. so, i stuff my carry-on with games, articles and books on an array of topics because i have no idea what will hold my attention.

I should note that i have flown a gazillion miles so far and i did most of it in the back of the plane — economy. i am used to it, but having flown so much in the past I now get a chance for an upgrade. hmmm. upgrades, yet another travel stress. did i get it? the hope for better food and more leg room is appealing but it is a bit like the lottery: lots of hope generated but if you don’t get it, lots of frustration. maybe it was better before, when you were happy to get a seat and a place to put a carry-on bag under your feet if not over your head.

Well that represents what goes on for a typical international, multi-city work-related trip on the day I take an international trip truth is iI am as tired getting off a plane to Washington Dc as I am getting off the plane at Pudong airport in Shanghai. The good news is that I do not get jet lag.


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  1. Ah, the joys of contemporary air travel. Overstressed frontline staff with little support from their management, who in turn are forced to focus on mainly the short-term bottom line, coupled with increasingly aggressive passengers who want everything while paying ridiculously low fares. I have been most successful at avoiding as much air travel as I can get away with. It increases quality of life immensely.

  2. Yup, I am finding more and more that air travel drives one into frustrations.

    And, I agree with Ilan too!
    I try to hold on to my ever short- no longer ‘long term’ memory… whensoever I can recall the last experience, I hold unto my car keys and decide on the possible 9 hour ‘calm ride’ before considering a short air travel.
    Of course, this is only limited to mainland and to time constrains… but the quality of life, and our peace of mind is priceless!

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