Monthly Archives: August 2014

‘Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son’: Spaniards have had enough of drunken tourists

Copyright : Vincens Forner

Some very naughty boys flying the Italian Flags in Barcelona Copyright : Vincens Forner

Dahlings, it seems like our Iberian friends are not only complaining about S&M hotels but the bawdiness of their visitors.

In Barcelona, there were local protests after some Italians tourists ran around naked for 3 hours without the police doing anything. A photographer from El-Pais, Vincens Forner captured them ‘in flagrante delicto‘. From the Guardian

“The tipping point was a trio of naked Italian tourists. As photos of the group frolicking through the La Barceloneta neighbourhood last Friday morning circulated on social media, some residents said they couldn’t take it any longer.

A hundred or so Barcelona residents took to the streets in several spontaneous protests this week, demanding that municipal authorities do more to help what they call a scourge of “drunken tourism”.

“Here tourists do whatever they want,” Vicens Forner told El País. A local photographer, he was the one snapping photos of the Italian tourists as they wandered his neighbourhood for three hours in the nude – even popping into a local shop – while horrified residents looked on.

Continue reading..

Let ME entertain you : Trend in In flight entertainment systems

Ultra bright entertainment systems on a United flight

Ultra bright entertainment systems on a United flight

A trend in inflight entertainment  (IFE) is for the airlines to remove the back seat  systems and replace them with entertainment delivered over the airplane’s wifi system. The passenger will then connect to the server with their BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) choice.

This will reduce costs for the airlines in that it will reduce weight (cheaper fuel) – each IFE weighs about 13 pounds – and reduce on maintenance costs as they age and break.

A software driven solution will be easier to maintain, tailor to the airplane needs and upgrade. An often quoted statistic is that 75% of passengers carry a BYOD which sounds about right.

For customers who do not bring a device, a tablet will be available to rent.  The problem of flat batteries are taken care of by providing USB or AC charging outlets per seat.

The Canadian airline WestJet announced in February that they would be going down this path. However, not all are following where Delta  announced that it’s newer planes, it would be running a system called “Delta Studio” which provides both options – screen and wifi. Some airlines are looking at going another way – putting in HDTV grade screens.

Which then brings up the subject of entertainment content. As a captured audience with not a lot else to do for the next few hours, you are a premium consumer. Continue reading..

Iron man gets goodbye from Dubai

Whoah !

Whoah ! Ralf Buchholz Guinness Book of Record holder

Dahlings, Dubai Government officials thought they had met they devil incarnate when the encountered Rolf Buchholz. So being like any rational Goverment Official, they refused him entry into the country. From BBC news:

The 53-year-old German has 453 piercings on his body and face, as well as two horn implants on his forehead.

Mr Buchholz told the BBC that airport staff said they feared he may be practising “black magic”.

The computer expert was recognised by the Guinness Book of Records in 2012 as the world’s most pierced man.

Mr Buchholz told the Associated Press news agency that he was initially allowed through immigration, but was later stopped prior to customs and put on a flight to Istanbul.

As a result, his scheduled appearance at the Cirque le Soir nightclub in Dubai’s Fairmont Hotel on Friday was cancelled.

Herr Buchholz, has 453 piercings of which 278 of which are around a certain part of the male anatomy.

So why customs and not immigration? Perhaps the customs officials didn’t want to bother checking his precious metals after he had answered the question”Anything to declare?”.

“Ja, let me show you.”

Ciao for now, Cleo.

Ripping Yarns : Scuba diving artist covers underwater museum exhibit with stranger covering

'Yarn bombing' : A project by artist Agata 'Olek' Oleksiak

‘Yarn bombing’ : A project by artist Agata ‘Olek’ Oleksiak

(WTF)² is probably the best summary to the story of the Polish Artist, Agata ‘Olek’ Olksiak who is supposedly wanted in Mexico, for illegally covering sculptures at a Mexican underwater Museum with crocheted covers.

1. Crochet? WTF

2. An underwater museum with sculptures? WTF.

Having never heard of the Cancun Underwater museum, I was amazed to find it has a 4.5 star rating on TripAdvisor.

Having never heard of the artist Agata ‘Olek’ Olksiak, I was amazed to find out that crocheted covers are her thing in life. She even covered the Bull in Wall street.

And there was I thinking that Underwater basket weaving was a joke to describe a useless degree.

BlaBlaCar is a Ja Ja Ja : App for digital hitching

R2R thumbs up‘BlaBlaCar‘ is an interesting idea that literally is part of the Sharing economy.  It is an web based business that you use for sharing a car journey with someone where you contribute to the costs. It is a form of digitial hitch hiking. From Bloomberg:

People who sign up to drive on BlaBlaCar offer rides to passengers in 12 countries, including France, Germany, Spain and the U.K., at prices that undercut other methods of transportation. In England, a peak-time train ticket from Manchester to London costs as much as 160 pounds ($267), whereas a quick search on the BlaBlaCar app showed the same trip being offered by a dozen different drivers for 12 pounds.

Since it is unlikely to be used as a ‘job’ like a taxi, it is not attracting any of the legislation. Unfortunately it’s plans are only to operate this in Europe.

This is a fantastic idea and gets a big Roads-2-Roam thumbs up. In addition, the prices are extremely reasonable.

Character Assassination : NYC clamps down on characters harrasing tourists

CleopatraDahlings, looks like the big Apple is clamping down on some worms where it is proposing legislation to licence the people who dress as cartoon characters in order to hustle tourists for pictures in Times Square.

But what about real life Batman or Spiderman ? Surely, they be consulted as they operate in Gotham City. I know they exist as I saw them in the movies.

What do you mean they are just cartoon characters also? Pfhaa. You’ll be telling me next that the Emperors of Roam are not real either.

Ciao for now, Cleo.

Flying on fumes : Are aircraft leaks poisoning cabin crew?

Airplane warning

Airline advisory?

As if we don’t have enough hassle with flying: Is Your Airline Poisoning You? asks Bloomberg.

Richard Westgate. A former pilot with British Airways, Westgate died in December 2012 after more than a decade of illness that he believed had been caused by long-term exposure to jet-engine lubricants bleeding into cabin air. Samples of Westgate’s blood and tissue were provided to Mohamed Abou-Donia of Duke University Medical School, an expert in organophosphate poisoning, who published the results of his investigation late last month in the Journal of Biological Physics and Chemistry.

According to Abou-Donia, Westgate’s tissues were riddled with clear evidence of organophosphate poisoning, including significant brain injury. “It was the worst case I’d seen in all these years of doing this work,” Abou-Donia told me.

In theory, organophosphates — which are derived from jet-engine lubricants and the chemicals added to them — should not be floating in cabin air. All jets (except for Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner) pressurize their cabins using warm, compressed air that’s “bled” from the jet engines and recirculated through cabins. Seals are meant to separate the air from the oil and other chemicals.

Occasionally, however, those seals fail or leak and result in a “fume event” that contaminates the cabin. Such events happen with disturbing frequency: An online search brings up numerous fume events with human health impacts from recent years. A 2014 study by the Australian Transportation Safety board reported that it had received reports of “over 1,000” such cases between 2008 and 2012. While most were “minor in consequence,” others included “a single flight crew incapacitation event and a further 11 minor injury events to crew.” 

Oh, the joys of travel.

‘El bent for Leather: Spanish S&M hotel ordered to be delayed

Torture sign.

Coming soon to a Hotel near you.

Dahlings, I LOL’d after reading  about  a S&M hotel in Spain being delayed by local opposition. From the Telegraph:

The hotel, due to include 20 S&M-themed rooms and a dungeon, was preparing to open last week in a village of 2,500 residents in Valencia, but was prevented from doing so after the mayor of “quiet” Vilafranca, complained.

Set to be called Roissy Castle, the hotel was the brainchild of a local businessman who said he wanted to capitalise on the bestseller’s popularity, according to the Spanish expat newspaper The Local.

“With the Fifty Shades of Grey phenomenon in full swing, I saw a business opportunity that hadn’t been exploited yet in Spain,” he told the newspaper.

One of the reasons for the opposition, is that it is near a church.

Since Spain is such a conservative country based on conservative Catholic principles, I understand their opposition.

Can you imagine the embarrassment if the local Bishop needed to conduct a Spanish Inquisition and ended up with fur lined handcuffs instead?

Ciao for now, Cleo.

Kicking someone when they are down: Sickly looking passenger kicked off when not actually sick

Keith Richards. Need I say anymore?

Keith Richards. Please don’t fly Delta.

Dahlings, Delta kicked 72 year old Suzzane Hays, off a connecting flight after a fellow passenger complained that she looked ill. The poor dear has already flown in from Ohio and was on her way to Orlando. From the article

Before Flight 19 would depart from Detroit to Orlando, there was a problem. Hays said a passenger who was next to her decided to talk to the airline crew about her looking tired and drowsy.

“Then she came back and said they’ve moved us because I might be contagious,” said Hays. “Contagious with what?”

Shortly after that, Hays said she was asked to leave the airplane. She said she was devastated.

“I started crying and crying,” she said.

Hays said she was told if she did not cooperate, they would call the police to escort her off the aircraft

Other sources say that Delta then gave her a $20 voucher for ‘soup and tea’ – as if that will cure her pale complexion ! – and she caught a later flight without incident.

After reading this, my ancient diety friend, Set, popped up and whispered a travel tip in my ear: “Cleo, Next time you are stuck in a middle seat on a full flight, simply call up the FA and say that the person in that isle seat next to you has a funny complexion and looks contagious. It may help that if you add that in your opinion you are ‘fearful for everybody’s safety’. Ten minutes later, that coveted Isle seat now becomes free !”

Thank you Set, you wicked devil.

Ciao for now, Cleo.


China Syndrome vs French connection : Some Chinese tourists not liking Paris after actually visiting

Shenzen's Window of the World: Quickest way to see the world..

Shenzen Window of the World: Around the world in 80 minutes..

Dahlings, Bloomberg had a story about the Chinese tourists who have this ideal image about France and when they actually visit , they have a rude awakening about the place. Complaints include stolen bags at the airport, dirty streets and targeting of Chinese by pickpockets.

Like their Japanese counterparts, first-time visitors from China — fed on media reports and movies like “, An American in Paris,” or “Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amelie Poulain” — arrive expecting to see a quaint, affluent and friendly European city with smartly dressed men and women smelling of Chanel No. 5.

Instead, they discover Paris’s grittier side — packed metros, rude waiters and pickpockets intent on robbing cash-carrying tourists — all of which sends them into psychological shock.

“Chinese people romanticize France, they know about French literature and French love stories,” said Jean-Francois Zhou, president of the Chinese association of travel agencies in France. “But some of them end up in tears, swearing they’ll never come back.”

Et pourquoi mon ami? Violà, je cite Bloomerg:

Because they carry large amounts of cash, Chinese tourists are often targeted by pickpockets

“Sometimes, they’ll try to pay for an ice cream with a 500-euro bill,” Zhou said. They usually convert large amounts of yuan to limit money-changing fees, and the use of credit cards isn’t as common in China as it is in Europe, he said.

Chinese media reported that 48 tourists were robbed in May as they headed to their hotel in a suburb of Paris. In France, the problem was highlighted by the mugging of a group of Chinese tourists in Le Bourget, near Paris, said Muriel Sobry, police chief of 8th arrondissement of Paris, which covers the avenue des Champs-Elysees.

“Paris is a romantic city, but it’s naive to believe it’s crime-free,” she said.

I visited Shenzen a few years ago- see photograph – and walked around the “Window of the World”. Here you can get a bit of France, England, Germany (Complete with ‘Franziskaner’ beer), Ancient world and the Mario Brothers in same place.

If WoW really wants that authentic European experience they need a few adjustments: import some pickpockets, drunken locals, change names of ice cream to Gelato and increase price to 13 Euro each, Industrial strikes and wet weather.

By the way on Paris: Don’t take it personal. The Parisians hate also each other. Their hate is really a form of love. They love to hate you !

Ciao for now, Cleo.