26 January 2010

Book Club 2009

Last year i resolved to start reading the books that i probably should have years ago but, for one reason or another, didn't.

2009’s Book List (in no particular order):
  1. Asimov, Isaac; Foundation and Empire
  2. Austen, Jane; Pride and Prejudice
  3. Gibson, William; Mona Lisa Overdrive
  4. Lee, Harper; To Kill A Mockingbird
  5. Melville, Herman; Moby Dick*
  6. Clarke, Arthur C.; 2001: A Space Odyssey
Moby Dick i must admit i only made through halfway. Tough read. Yeah, i’m a pinhead. And Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead is still waiting.

Why only five and a half books in a year? I usually read in bed and, well, on a good night i make it through five to ten pages before sleep takes over.

But, already devoured in 2010 was Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood. Next up, Massimo Carlotto’s latest (i love Carlotto): L’amore del bandito.

Edit (2010.02.07): I just remembered i'd also read Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five. So that’s a whole six-and-a-half books for 2009! Nyaaahh!

08 January 2010

Back In The UE/IT

Lufthansa LH 3841
Rome Fiumicino (FCO) - Frankfurt International (FRA)
Partenza: 10:10 lun 21 dic 2009 / Arrivo: 12:10 lun 21 dic 2009
Was informed i would be issued my seat for the second part of my journey at the gate in Frankfurt. Hmmm.

Lufthansa LH 0442
Frankfurt International (FRA) - Detroit Wayne County (DTW)
Partenza: 13:40 lun 21 dic 2009 / Arrivo: 17:00 lun 21 dic 2009
Departure delayed
Landed in Frankfurt to discover a near-riot scene at the Lufthansa gate. Apparently the flight from the day before was cancelled (apparently after waiting six hours on the runway) and a lot of people were looking to be reassigned seating. After asking if this was the line for the Detroit flight, i let slip “all these people actually want to go to Detroit?” Whilst watching a situation between some Turkish passengers and a Lufthansa representative, i was issued my seat by another agent. I don’t recall how long the departure was delayed but with the tailwind we arrived in Detroit with only a 20-30 minute delay.

Luggage lost (i forget their euphemism).

At my insistence for some assumption of responsibilty on their part (“Where are all my Christmas gifts? What am i going to wear tomorrow?”) i was issued a US$100 travellers’ check for clothes/expenses.

Heard about the “death or glory” Nigerian who set inadvertantly himself on fire on the Amsterdam-Detroit (i guess he wanted to go to Detroit too). The US embassy was alerted weeks before by the man’s father. US Intelligence’s reaction: too vague a warning. And now the elephant is again frightened by a mouse.

Luggage recovered and delivered on 23 December at circa 5:30am EST.

Lufthansa LH 0443
Detroit Wayne County (DTW) - Frankfurt International (FRA)
Partenza: 18:59 mar 5 gen 2010 / Arrivo: 09:05 mer 6 gen 2010 (il giorno successivo)
Flight cancelled due to “computer problems”
What does that mean, “computer problems?” At 22:00 we were informed that the flight was cancelled, we were issued vouchers for hotel and/or taxis and instructed to call the Lufthansa 800 number for information the following morning.

The following morning, i did as instructed and called the 800 number. I gave the representative my name and flight number and asked what my situation was. She shortly afterward informed me that my itinerary for tomorrow would be Detroit-Zurich-Frankfort-Rome. I said calmly but firmly that was unacceptable. I would not take a tour of Europe to accomodate them. After a longer wait on hold the woman, obviously flustered (i seriously have no idea why) told me that my itinerary was to be Detroit-Frankfort-Rome, basically the same except with a 24-hour delay. I even asked the woman why she was angry when it should be me the angry one, to which she replied in a frigid tone, teeth clenched i swear, “I'm not angry, sir.”

Just to verify this was so, i called again a few hours later and found my flight was confirmed as stated. By another representative.

Lufthansa LH 0443
Detroit Wayne County (DTW) - Frankfurt International (FRA)
Partenza: 18:59 mer 6 gen 2010 / Arrivo: 09:05 gio 7 gen 2010 (il giorno successivo)
Departure delayed circa one hour
The delayed take-off made my connecting flight impossible to catch. Does Lufthansa care? This has become just sloppy. A second-rate airline. The Lufthansa rep at the gate just couldn’t care less.

Lufthansa LH 3844
Frankfurt International (FRA) - Rome Fiumicino (FCO)
Partenza: 12:25 gio 7 gen 2010 / Arrivo: ? gio 7 gen 2010
Departure delayed circa 45 minutes
The gentleman at the new gate couldn't tell me when the flight would arrive, hence the question mark.

Lufthansa, never again.