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Friday, 22 August 2014

Remember postcards? A rectangular square of cardboard with a picture. We used to send them to people, way back before emails and text messages and Facebook and Instagram. Well I still do regularly send postcards – to my mother (pushing 90) and to Maureen’s aunt (sailed past 90).

But it’s getting increasingly difficult. First it’s getting harder to find the postcards – although I had no problem in France, Italy, Turkey, Malaysia and even Dubai in the UAE recently. Then you have to get stamps, which can be even more difficult than the postcard. In Greece I failed, got the cards, couldn’t get the stamps because it was the weekend and the post offices were closed.

IMG_7976 - postcards to mom 540And then you have to find somewhere to mail them. Is there a postbox/mailbox at LAX – Los Angeles International Airport? I had the cards and stamps, this was the last chance to mail them before I flew out.

‘There are no mailboxes anywhere at the airport,’ I was told at the information desk at Terminal 4 where I arrived. ‘They closed them all for security reasons.’

‘There isn’t one here,’ I was told at the Tom Bradley International Terminal (I was flying to Australia), ‘there may be a mailbox at Terminal 2, but I don’t think so.’

‘Not here,’ the Terminal 3 info desk told me, so I marched on to Terminal 2. I was getting the complete LAX tour between flights. ‘There may be one near the Starbucks,’ the nice woman at the Terminal 2 desk told me. ‘I don’t think it’s there anymore, but at least you can get a coffee.’

I continued on and there was a cabinet of mail delivery boxes for airlines – Air Canada, Air China, Air France and assorted other airlines (why way over here in Terminal 2?) and a subtle little slot labelled ‘Outgoing Mail’. I hope it worked.

IMG_7963 - 2014 08 19 - BA LAX approach 540▲ Flying in to LAX half an hour earlier I had a magic moment. Right beside my American Airlines 737, coming in to the parallel runway, was a British Airlines double decker Airbus A380. LA sunset, final approach, undercarriage about come down, wonderful!

IMG_7976 - postcards to mom 540


22 August 2014 | Living

Remember postcards? A rectangular square of cardboard with a picture. We used to send them to people, way back before emails and text messages and Facebook and Instagram. Well I still do regularly send postcards – to my mother (pushing 90) and to Maureen’s aunt (saile...

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Persepolis-0104 - 540

More on who flies where – Iran versus Iraq

9 August 2014 | Transport

So most airlines can’t fly over Iraq and as a result airlines heading north or south from or to the Gulf cities (Dubai etc) are flying a little bit to the east over Iran. Including Delta and United? The US has no diplomatic relations with Iran, US companies are not...

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Ostia Antica – where is the mosaic?

8 August 2014 | Places

Lido di Ostia is the beach resort for Rome, it’s nothing special but convenient if you’re flying out of Rome Fiumicino, the main Rome airport. I had an early morning flight so I decided to stay there and have a look at Ostia Antica, it was the port for ancient Rome, b...

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Avoiding Flying Over War Zones

2 August 2014 | Transport

I commented about flying over war zones in my blog on 9 July, a week before MH 17 was brought down. And followed that up with more thoughts on where airlines fly on 29 July.Yesterday I flew from Singapore to London on Singapore Airlines SQ 308. Singapore Airlines had ...

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2006 11 20  - Iran-Iraq-Turkey Kurdistan region, EK 777 540

More on Flying Over War Zones

29 July 2014 | Transport

I’m sure I was not the only one thinking about the practice of flying over war zones before MH17 was brought down on 17 July – check my posting from 8 July about flying north from Dubai over the ISIS disputed parts of Iraq on a Qantas A380. Today Emirates have anno...

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A Notable Qantas A380 & a War 40,000 ft Below

9 July 2014 | Transport

▲  Sometimes flights are interesting all the way. When I looked out from the Tullamarine Airport (Melbourne, Australia) terminal at the Qantas A380 I was about to board I could see its name just below the flight deck windows: Nancy-Bird Walton. It was the first Airbus...

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Holiday in Cambodia

6 July 2014 | Media

There’s not much vacation time in Laura Jean McKay’s electric collection of short stories. Dark short stories, nobody is having a really good time whether they’re foreign visitors on a train heading for a Khmer Rouge ambush soon after Cambodia reopened in the early 19...

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Harald Bluetooth & his Viking Phone

4 July 2014 | Living

I love the way one experience leads you to another. Surprisingly often I go somewhere and what I see instantly makes me want to see something else. Earlier this year, at the enormously popular Viking exhibit (it finished a couple of weeks ago) at the British Museum, I...

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IMG_6456 - Niyama, Maldives 542

Over the Maldives – fine stonework below (and maybe MH 370)

29 June 2014 | Places

In a recent posting on Istanbul I commented how on-the-ground reality could run well ahead of our up-to-the-minute internet, with a photograph from the Galata Tower of the Golden Horn, Istanbul’s historic inlet from the Bosphorus. The new (early 2014) Golden Horn Metr...

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IMG_4888 - Hagia Sophia (Aya Sofya) 271


26 June 2014 | Places

◄ My recent Turkey travels featured stops at assorted archaeological sites and museums – recently excavated Göbekli Tepe,  Nemrut Dağı, Gaziantep where the museum features wonderful mosaics from the Roman city of Belkıs-Zeugma, Catalhöyük, the amazing ruins at Sagalas...

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