Miscellaneous Ramblings by TCB

Posted on November 4th, 2010
Categories: News

 Why doesn’t someone make a plan? I’ve never in my life seen so many ditches being dug and filled, then dug and filled, then… Laying ultra high-tech optic fibre cables for our new and improved Internet providers. Let’s get high-tech and talk to each other instead of causing mayhem on the side of the road.

 This is an old chestnut — airline taxes and surcharges. There is absolutely no transparency — what are we paying for? The sad thing is no one can give you a straight answer and, believe you me, I have tried. Airlines are now tax collectors for the governments of the world; a fare to London now attracts almost as much tax and surcharges as the airfare itself. But this is not the end, more like just the beginning. Germany and now Austria have just introduced a carbon tax and a host of airports around the world charge on departure for so-called airport improvement taxes.

 We drove to Western Kenya for the children’s half-term and what a pleasure that was. New roads all the way and very little traffic — bliss. This might seem like a strange statement, particularly for our overseas readers. Our roads have been so bad for so long it’s still a novelty to drive on what you folk would term as normal. The road across the Rift Valley from Mahi Mahiu to Narok is brilliant with only the odd warranty work going on, well signposted, 100-metre diversions — no worries. Beyond Narok to Sotik to the north of the Masai Mara is a blast; Kisii town is a construction site, no signposts but helpful traffic police, although it has to be said they were taken aback on being asked for directions. I’m assuming that they are not asked very often — probably given a wide berth for all the right reasons. That said, they were exceptionally courteous and their directions were spot-on.

 Just back from Australia, meeting with the folk who supply the software that brings our little e-magazine to you. Clever blokes those Ozzies. There and back in 7 days, I’m out of my mind, I know. One of the highlights was travelling Qatar Airways to Melbourne via Doha. The aircraft on the outbound flight from Doha to Melbourne was just out of the box, and the new on-board technology was awesome. Aside from over 500 movies and TV shows to choose from — on demand of course —there was a Jukebox feature on the music channel where you could select up to 70 songs, move them to your Jukebox and listen à la iPod. Brilliant! But more brilliant was the GoogleEarth-type map — on landing it defied description. If you’ve ever used GoogleEarth, you’ll know there is a slide feature to zoom in or out. Well, in this case the aircraft was doing the zooming-in, quite literally. Hard to explain, but a definite wow factor. A great airline with all mod cons – to be highly recommended.

 Australia too is a brilliant destination, there somehow seems to be an affinity between our two countries — probably borne out of both of us punching above our weight in the sporting arenas of the world. Beer’s good too; mind you, so is ours – but their wine… Now that’s another story.

You’ll be reading this on the fundi website for Kenya ‘Word of Mouth’, a happy idea and I’m chuffed to be part of the blogosphere. CLICK here to get in touch.    [email protected]

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