Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Germany trip 2016, part 1

We have arrived in Germany for a family holiday. A few observations, mostly on the trip getting here.

I very much liked the airport of Singapore, where we had several hours of stop-over. They are making a great effort to make it a place one enjoys spending time in. For example, every terminal has at least two gardens. We saw the 'enchanted' garden featuring many ferns and sculptures, the orchid garden, the sunflower garden on a rooftop, the Koi pond, and the butterfly garden. Our daughter was particularly enchanted by the Kois and the butterfly garden. In the latter she was also extremely happy to see for the first time a pitcher plant (Nepenthes); she has an interest in carnivorous plants and only knew it from books.

Of more general interest is perhaps that Singapore airport has numerous options of reclined seats or even rest areas with couches so that people can sleep. Many other airports I have seen appear to want to avoid that, going as far as to deliberately make seats in waiting areas as uncomfortable as possible. Maybe they think that resting passengers will make the place look shabby? I certainly prefer the way they are doing it in Singapore. Again, that airport is great.

During the flights I finished reading Robert Rankin's The Japanese Devil Fish Girl, which was rather enjoyable if you like silly. He just seems to be a bit too much in love with certain turns of phrase that he uses over and over, e.g. "[character] did [action]ings". I also started reading Arthur C. Clarke's Report on Planet Three and other speculations and am a bit disappointed about that one. But that is probably a post on its own.

Something I never noticed before are all those universal power outlets are suddenly becoming available on aeroplanes and in hotels. Very useful.

Since being back in Germany I find it odd to suddenly be surrounded by all these German speakers. Our daughter has found the first Gluten Free bread that she liked, ever; would be great if that company existed in Australia. My wife had to laugh at finding that one could fully open the window of our fifth storey hotel room at Frankfurt airport, something that we are not used to any more from Australia. During our most recent stay in a hotel there one could not even open it a slit, and the room was accordingly stuffy.

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