Assessing Privilege

Being behind on blog posts affords the benefit of having more time to contemplate my experiences but adds the risk of forgetting nuances. Blowing the dust off a three-month old trip and the thousand photos that accompanied it is a bit of an endeavor, but this post starts another month and a half before that. In January, I had a business trip to China that began with me watching the sun rise from business class, a perk of work travel while on a German contract.

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The trip was short and didn’t leave much free time to ponder. The last time we saw blue skies was just before we descended into the industrious smog, but on our last day rains the previous evening washed away enough particulate to allow the sun to poke through just after sunrise.

Privilege-2

 

Less than two months afterward, I would watch a sunrise coming into the same airport (albeit from “poky” economy class), this time, though, en route to a destination where the forecast predicted no smog but rather enveloping fog.

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Assessing Privilege

Chasing Elevation

Being so close to the mountains, I had hoped — and expected — that I could ski several times between December and April and figured that by the end of the season I would know enough about skis and my type of skiing to buy skis. A lack of being around in December and a dearth of snow in January made skiing a lot less common than thought, however, and by February I began to get fidgety about not being in mountains so close they are home. Thankfully, I was saved from the doldrums of valley life by… commercial aviation!

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Chasing Elevation

A Tale of Tails

In the last year, I’ve been fortunate to fly on four planes I never figured I’d take: N777UA, the 747-8I, the 777-300ER, and, this year, the 787. Over a decade separates the first flight of the 777 from that of the 787, and although the two might look alike at first glance, it’s surprising how little the new plane seems to differ to the unsuspecting passenger. After all — a widebody is a widebody, right?

Singapore 2014-34

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A Tale of Tails

Whither weather

I was supposed to spend two weeks in Blaichach followed by one week in Singapore. The flight over to Europe is nearly always exciting because it’s a flight that allows you to see the sunrise, but with all the rain leading up to my trip I wasn’t sure what would happen. (It worked out; I saw the sunrise.) But really the uncertainty became less about German weather and more about conditions in Singapore.

Ultimately, my itinerary changed to spending one week in Blaichach, one week in Singapore, and one more week in Blaichach. The week before I left for Singapore, fires in Indonesia caused massive haze issues through much of Southeast Asia. I wasn’t sure what weather to expect when I landed; the day before my flight, the PSI readings had set a new record.

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Whither weather