Tag Archives: netherlands

Remember, remember, a hectic November.

Sometimes it seems such a shame there are just 24 hours in a day here on planet earth – normally. But it is possible to have less (why would anyone want that?), or – hurray! – to have more, if you’re careful with your choice of globetrotting-by-plane or certain-national-border-hopping-on-the-ground, that is…

But there are also occasions when you can lose a whole day, as in – a certain day you never see at all, it just passes you by or just never exists for you, and not because of a sleep-athon or coma or some such… I wonder – does that make you a day older? Younger? Hmmm.

So, how can you have a day just never occur for you? Well, here’s an example:

You board a plane, let’s say on August 28 and 14:30 in Santiago de Chile, and 14 hours later, with no night falling during that time, you land in Sydney de Australia. The local time at the destination: 17:30. But the day? August 30! WHAT? Where’d the full 24 hours of August 29 go? It disappeared down a black hole of time, aka the International Date Line. But if the IDL is imaginary… so, that means the day disappeared because of something only imagined and not real? Ok, I’ll stop there before your brain fries more than mine…

To help soothe your frazzled brains, herewith, a few entirely unrelated pics for your viewing pleasure, just when you need them most:

On the other hand, I’ve often had days that never seem to end.

For example, I’ve been woken up at around 2am by my alarm clock (hate that) in Thailand after a partner conference so as to get to the airport in time for my flight departing at 6am – to Tokyo (a timing/route mercifully since closed). Next up – a connection to San Francisco, California. All that in ONE calendar day (kinda), which ends up lasting something like 35-40 hours. Of course, one’s mental state upon arrival at the final destination is a cross between that of a vegetable and a zombie: red eyes, one side of the face lower than the other, perma-frown, very grumpy, etc., etc.: not a pretty sight. But what can you do? Duty calls.

So that’s how regular long-haulers lose or gain hours to their lives up in the air. Meanwhile, down on the ground you get a similar thing, only on a much smaller scale. You can’t go anywhere near as fast as a plane, so the most you can add or take off a day is an hour or two, possibly three at a stretch; more – only if there are two hours’ difference on a border and daylight saving time affects things.

So where can you get spookily-vanishing or magically-appearing hours of a day on the ground?

Read on: MMMM: Must-see Magnificent Maritime Museum!…

LCY – AMS: Quicker flight than the taxi ride to the airport.

Sometimes, trying to save time sees you spending even more of it…

Every now and then you hear a frustrated business traveler complaining about it taking longer to get to the airport than to fly to their destination. Well, this time that business traveler is me, for I’ve just set myself a record: a recent drive to an airport took twice as long as the flight itself! It was in London, but the airport wasn’t Heathrow or Gatwick or Luton, it was London City Airport – just 18 kilometers from our hotel near Hyde Park: a lot nearer. But we were driving for a whole 90 minutes! Oh my grrrr.

// And before you wonder why we didn’t take the Tube, let me just explain that we had with us fat and heavy suitcases to see us through a whole week of business traveling across four countries. Tried it before; the only conclusion: never again! The Underground is far too cramped for comfort with big suitcases.

Read on…

Flickr photostream

  • Japan / Jun 2024
  • Japan / Jun 2024
  • Japan / Jun 2024
  • Japan / Jun 2024

Instagram photostream

What Does Amsterdam Smell of?

A month ago the first leg of my month+ journey went in a smooth arc southwest from Europe, then down – right down to the bottom of the earth; then it was back up north (er, where else?:) to Saint Martin (the island) – specifically the Dutch 40% thereof (not the French 60%) (confused?!?!) – where the worlds’ craziest beach is and where we had our SAS-2017. Next, it was back home to Moscow. But not directly…

No. First of all, that would have been impossible (no direct flights). Secondly, it would have been boring, as we’d have missed out…: Amsterdam!

So off we flew – from the same runway where we were getting our kicks on Route 66 Beacon Hill Road earlier that day. Only… we didn’t blow anyone over. As I wrote in yesterday’s post, normally planes begin their acceleration from the beach end of the runway, blasting the tourists behind them as they do; but our KLM plane did it the other way round. Another strange thing: flying from the Netherlands to Holland took… eight hours and 15 minutes. And there was me thinking the country was not so large :).

All righty: Amsterdam!…

So, as the title asks – what does Amsterdam smell of? I mean – in the old city center along the banks of the canals? Yep, you guessed it: ganjer! Practically everywhere!

Read on: so we went to a museum…

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A Vague Hague; but That Beach!

From Utrecht we headed back west, this time in a car, over to The Hague. It was time to be tried – not in court – but by detailed speeches: my own, the first at the International ISCC One Conference Protecting Bits and Atoms, but more about that in a bit.

On the eve of the conference I got in a bit of one of my favorite pastimes – strolling around the place I’m visiting on business – which this time was the seat of the Dutch government and parliament (not to be confused with the Dutch capital – Amsterdam).

So, what can I say? Overall impression, in one word: dull; in three words: a little boring. Though a coastal city with a wonderful beach (see below), it was just a little too quiet for comfort. But then again, it’s low season. Folks were few and far between both in town and along the coast. “Like at midnight in Norway north of the polar circle: the sun’s shining but there’s no one around,” my travel companion A.B. articulated. “Indeed, A.B. Or just like at midnight in Iceland,” I corroborated.

One thing I will say in the Hague’s favor: its beach is just awesome!

Read on: Visiting Kaspersky Lab BNL…

The City Where the Bicycle Reigns Supreme.

In London we hopped onto a plane and off we flew across the North Sea – to Amsterdam.

Not that we had long in ‘Dam, for we were whisked straight off to, first, Utrecht, then the country’s political center, The Hague, for a spot of business.

In this post: Utrecht – the city of the bicycle.

Bikes are everywhere here. No really everywhere – the place is overrun with them. And if you’re on foot you’ve got to watch it: a moment’s absentmindedness and before you know it there’s a bicycle bell trilling behind you hinting that you… kindly move out of the way (polite, the Dutch:). I think they should introduce caps with wing-mirrors fitted, which should be mandatory for all newcomers to the city, i.e., for all those not born here and so without the required special sixth sense for detecting incoming two-wheeled hazards.


Read on: The atmosphere = laid-back…