Supermoon shining bright

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On the plane I spotted the Supermoon shining high and bright above the Earth. It’s a beautiful sight to see that reminds me of Murakami’s iq84. How mysterious it is indeed and how it has provoked countless imaginations and stories across the centuries.

The moon is both full of power and beautiful in its own quiet unmoving way. Its romantic when seen together by two lovers and scary if you are alone in a quiet cemetery with dogs howling.

I wonder if the moon knows its power.. Maybe not. What do you think about the moon?

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Amsterdam: Tickets, Discounts and Wifi

I am in Amsterdam and have a day today before the meeting starts and so we are headed to see the Floriade 2012 which is a world Horticulture Show organized once every ten years. Later today I will tell you about it first some tips on the tickets you can use to get around Amsterdam during your trip.

After my walking tour of the city ( which I shall post about later from my netbook) I realize that I need some transport to save energy. In Amsterdam, the tram is the best option.

Single tickets are 2.5 euros which is expensive coming from Thailand. If you are there for a day you can have the day ticket for 7.5 euro, 24 hours for 12 euro, 72 hours for 16 euros, 96 hours for 20.50 euros. You can get these tickets from the info and ticket office opposite Central station or at Leidseplein. 168 hours (7day) tickets for 31 euros can only be bought at Central station. Single and day passes can be bought on board the trams.

Most important though is to remember to check in and out when using the card which you do by just holding it to the scanner on the trams.

Tickets for excursions to Zaabschan (windmills 36 euros) and to the tulip gardens of Keukenhof can be bought at the info offices which save you valuable time. Unfortunately we couldn’t use the excursion to Floriade since we wouldn’t get back on time for a meeting but you can buy the entrance tickets and ask them to print out the train schedule for you. 🙂 Pricewise going on your own and via excursion is about the same but you have to connect trains and bus which is a little hassle.

Wifi? Wifi at the hotel is expensive so I rely on the free ones at local cafes and Starbucks :). The airport shuttle which takes you straight to your hotel for 16 euros also has free wifi as well as this local train I am now. Wonderful, I am addicted to the Internet.

if you take the airport shuttle both ways the ticket is 26 euros but you have to buy the ticket from the counter.

Thats all for now 🙂

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7.30am @ Frankfurt Airport

A rushed week getting ready for the trip, I am finally started on my journey and it feels good.  There’s something about travel that stimulates the mind and awakens the senses.  I’m coming back to Europe after having been absent for awhile.

After eleven hours on the plane I have arrived at Frankfurt where I am waiting  to take my connecting flight to Amsterdam.  It’s a two hour wait and it’s really not that bad at all.   Passing through immigration and getting to your gate already consumes a fair bit about of time.  And if you forgot to take out your laptop when passing through the x-ray machines, you get  a little added excitement.  My netbook and I were taken along to a little operation room to the side of the x-rays by a large and impressionless man.

Everything works like clockwork here in Germany.    There are few sounds, not many announcements on the speakers, all you hear are the sounds of people’s clothes as they brush along as their owners rush towards their destination.    Frankfurt is a business hub and the airport is full of business people.  This particular  Monday morning it’s all black suits accompanied by black carry-ons.  I start to be conscious of my height.    Germans are tall.  Everyone seems to be at least 1.80m high.

Walking pass pretzel stalls and sandwich shops that just really tempt your tastebuds, I find a little spot with which to cosy up and await my flight.  I’m sitting at the gate for the flight to Krakow waiting for my flight to Amsterdam.  Here, I’ve got a view of airplanes and supply trucks going along their business.   I’ve got a little coffee machine (compliments of Luthansa) with which I enjoy watching because I don’t drink coffee, and a  supply of fresh English newspapers.   Hollande has won the French election against Sarkozy.

It’s really quite pleasant here.  I people watch from afar.  After 7.30am the crowds change.  The tall silhouettes of black change for slightly more colourful clothes.  Shades of grey, khakis and some splashes of colours.  A red bag here and there.   The scene becomes a bit more international.   I suddenly start hearing Chinese.   A group of Chinese people have formed the seats into a little circle besides me as they await their flight to Krakow.  The old capital of Poland.  It reminds me of my time there.  The Chinese remind me that this is the new age.   Business knows no boundaries.   20 years ago, seeing a black haired person in Poland was an oddity.  Now it must be commonplace.

It’s almost boarding time for me now.  In just an hour or so I shall be in Amsterdam!