Posts Tagged ‘travel’

Arrival in Shanghai

March 16 2016

I am told that the plethora of good things that come my way is unfair.  I have just come to expect luck to be on my side.  For example, yesterday, I lost my phone in the airport.  I knew it was found and didn’t worry, so I calmly called myself and heard someone else answer.  Then, when I walked onto the plane and was given a new seat: in first class, with fully reclining seats, I was extremely grateful, but not surprised.  What I was surprised to find out was that my flight was 12 hours long!  (I didn’t pay attention to this detail before …)

In first class, they greeted me with a mimosa and pajamas.  So, I put on the pajamas.  Shortly into the flight, one-by-one, the flight attendants came over to check out the new Delta pajamas (turns out I was the only one who put them on, and this was the first flight that they offered them on!)  As usual, I befriended the entire cabin crew before the end of the 12 hour flight, and now I have super-comfy new PJs.

The food was super good in the first class cabin: smoked trout appetizer, a lamb dinner, and an ice cream bar (which I opted out of).  There were a few other things too.  The chair fully reclined, and was more comfortable than most hotel beds that I’ve slept in.

Then, I arrived in Shanghai and took a bus from one airport to another (about 1 hour bus ride). On this bus ride, I saw the largest billboard that I have ever seen.  It was about five times as tall as billboards usually are wide.  And, it hung over the highway, where there were three or four lanes of traffic in each direction and a huge median.

And, finally, after checking into my hotel, I ordered my first authentic (as authentic as an airport hotel restaurant that also serves pizza can be) Chinese dish: Shanghai food is meat of chaos.  It was quite yummy.  🙂


Always Stay to the Left

June 7 2014

On the bus from Tokyo to Tachikawa (where I am visiting the Institute for Statistical Mathematics), I realized that Japan drives on the left side of the street.  ( I am not sure why I didn’t realize that either time I was on the shuttle between the hotel and the airport).   In fact, this driving rule is a very important thing to remember, even when not in a car:

When walking into a building, stay to the left.  Otherwise, you wind up doing a dance with someone.

On escalators, stand left, walk right.  In fact, the Japanese are much better at following this rule than Americans are of following the stand right / pass left rule.

And, most importantly, when a bicycle is coming straight at you — move to the left … ASAP!  I’ve almost caused several accidents by going the same way as the bicycle.  Luckily, they were better at bicycling then I was at walking, and so all collisions were avoided.

Flying Just Got Better …

January 12 2014

Flying Just Got Better ...

A few month ago when Dave and I were in the Atlanta airport, we were told to go to Terminal E to find the best food in the airport. Not having enough time to go to another terminal, we bought some mediocre airport food instead. This week, when flying through Atlanta again, I had 1.5 hours in between my flights, and I made it over to terminal E (although I went to T first by accident). The food court there was amazing! Very clean, and no one around. I went into One Flew South.  The staff was incredibly nice to me.  I walked in 8 minutes before closing, and they sat me down telling me to take my time.  Although I was very tempted by the sushi (flown in fresh!), I decided to go with the duck confit sandwich paired with the Mettler Zinfandel.  Both were delicious choices.  I look forward to my next layover in Atlanta so I can go back!  (They also do take-out, so I will go even if I don’t have time to sit down).


October 1 2013


A pie chart explaining my expenses for the past 6 months. It is quite amazing, although not surprising, how travel takes up 68% of my spending.

Jet Lag

September 30 2013

Dave is sick and I am operating on a time zone somewhere in the Pacific ocean.  We both just returned from a trip across the Atlantic.

Last week, i was in Russia.  I think the fact that I had little sleep in Russia (waking up early and going to bed late) has caused me to become over-exhausted on my 24 hour return journey.  Or, maybe it was the fact that my journey was 24 hours … in either event, I slept until 3:00 today.  Now, I worry about waking up in time for a meeting on Tuesday at 10:30 a.m.  I hope I can adjust my schedule in time! 

While I was in Russia, Dave was in Heidelberg, Germany for the Heidelberg Laureate Forum, where Abel, Fields, and Turing Laureates were there to meet young scientists like David.  There, he met a few people who knew me, one of whom said that David says my name wrong.  Thinking it was someone who says “fah-see” instead of “fay-zee”, I asked how they said Fasy and if it was someone from topology.  When he said it wasn’t my last name, it was my first name, I immediately asked how he says my first name.  When he responded, i found out that she was right: Dave does say my name wrong.

What did I eat?

August 18 2012

This week, I (and a few others) came down with a case of food poisoning Tuesday evening. I was able to walk around town without feeling like my stomach was exploding by late Wednesday morning, but Tuesday night was a sleepless night for me.

Today we will be taking a night train to St. Petersburg.  It departs around 10:30 this evening.  We dropped off some clothes to the laundromat this morning, so hopefully they will be returned to us before the train departs (otherwise, I will not have much left to wear!)

Gasthof Staudachstub’n in Kirchberg

April 5 2012

(for English, see below)

Vor einigen Wochen bin ich in den Skiurlaub nach Kirchberg mit zwei Freunden gefahren. An zwei Abenden haben wir im Gasthof Staudachstub’n gegessen. Der Gasthof war super! Das Essen aus regionalen Produkten und kulinarische Spitzenklasse. Ein Brixentaler KochArt Buche schreibt über diesem Gasthof: «Machen Sie eine kulinarische Entdeckung – die Spezialitäten von Martin Flecksberger sind wahre Gaumenfreunden. Wir empfehlen unsere hauseigenen Produkte (Jungrind, Kalb), gewürzt mit Wildkräutern der Region, die nicht nur gesund und schmackhaft sind, sondern auch wichtige Vitamine und Mineralstoffe enthalten. Ab jetzt auch selbstgemachte Würste in verschiedenen Variationen kreiert und natürlich mit wertvollen Kräutern gewürzt.»

Jetzt zu unserem Essen:
Wir haben verschiedene Speisen bestellt. An beiden Abenden haben wir Suppe gegessen. Natürlich hatte David Frittatensuppe.  Das ist Davids Lieblingssuppe. Die Gulaschsuppe war meine Lieblingssuppe.  Als Hauptspeise haben wir am ersten Abend Jungrind, Hirsch, und Schweinsmedallions gegessen.  Am zweiten Nacht hatten wir Hochzeitschnitzel, Spätzle mit Speck, Fleischpalatschinken, und Gröstle (ohne Spiegelei).  Spätzle mit Speck ist nicht auf der Speisekarte, aber der Chef war so nett und er hat es gekocht!  Wir wollten Nachtisch bestellen aber wir hatten keinen Hunger mehr.  Das Essen war größer als unserer Bäuche!  Beide Abende gab es Schnaps auf’s Haus.  Ja, das Essen war lecker.  Außerdem war das Service hervorragend.

Beide Abende haben wir erst eine Stunde vorher reserviert, aber es gab keine Problem.  Der Gasthof hat am spätesten geöffnet als andere Restaurants. Als unser Taxi nicht gekommen ist, hat die Kellnerin ein anderes bestellt.

Der David hast sein Spätzle mit Speck!

A few weeks ago, I went skiing in Kirchberg with two friends. On two evenings, we ate in at Gasthof Staudachstub’n.  This restaurant was great!  The food there was local and a true culinary art.  The Brixentaler KochArt Book said the following about this restaurant: «Give yourself a culinary treat – the food from Martin Flecksberger is a true taste pleaser. We recommend the meat (from our farms), seasoned with local wild herbs, which are not only tasty, but also contain healthy vitamins and minerals. enthalten. They also have home-made sausage of different varieties, of course, seasoned with herbs..»

Now, for our food:
We ordered a variety of food. On both evenings, we started with soup. Naturally, David had the Frittatensuppe (pancake strip soup); this is his favorite soup. The Goulash soup was my favorite. On the first evening, our main courses were beef, deer and pork medallions. On the second night we had “wedding” schnitzel, Spätzle mit Speck (see photo), meat-crêpes, and Gröstle (a Tirolean potato dish with speck, mine was without the fried egg). Spätzle mit Speck was not on the menu, but the owner was so kind as to make it for us anyway. We would have ordered dessert, but we were no longer hungry when we finished our meals. The food was bigger than our bellies! At the end of the meal both nights, we were given schnaps from the house.  Overall, the food was delicious, and the service was excellent.

Both evenings, we only reserved one hour in advance, but this was not a problem.  The restaurant was open later than the other restaurants.  On the second night, when our taxi did not come, the waitress ordered another one to bring us there.

(By the way, thanks to Michael to for editing my post for me, despite the fact that he did not let me say “der David” in my review.  However, I did use “der David” in the photo caption.)

Back in the USA!

November 1 2011

Yesterday, I flew back to the USA.  I walked out of Europe in the “citizens/EU” line because the foreigner line was too long … no questions were asked.  When I came back, I wrote that I was a US citizen, but a visitor to the states on the declaration form.  It worked quite well.  This is the first time I did not get 600 questions upon re-entering the USA.

I managed (luckily) to work the whole plane ride.  While eating lunch, I decided to take a break to watch a TV show.  The selection was quite poor this time round.  The Golden Girl episode was the same as the Golden Girl episode that I watched going to Europe in September!  And, there were fewer choices for episodes to watch then there usually are.  But, I watched 30 Rock.  It was the first time that I have seen that show.  It seemed pretty good.

Cryptic Message

October 14 2011

Diana is currently gallivanting around Europe (literally), and will be arriving in Vienna soon.  The other day (when I was sick), I spoke with Diana on Skype.  I forget most of the conversation, other than she was on her way to Budapest and will arrive in Vienna in a few days.  We talked about going to the winery on Saturday, and thought maybe she will meet up with me in Krems.  The end of the conversation was we would talk later in the week (at least this is what I think happened.  My recollection of this conversation is really quite poor.)  Yesterday, I sent her several options for how we can meet up to go to the winery.  Today around 18:00, I received this email from Diana:

After receiving, this message I was confused.  Was she to arrive today or tomorrow?  9:40 am or pm?  I sent an email back, but she did not respond.  So, I started to discuss the email with Jersey Frank.  We decided that since she said “got a bit delayed” and there is a  bus from Budapest that was scheduled to arrive at the airport at 9:40 p.m., that she was on her way.  In addition, the email was sent at approximately the time the bus would depart Budapest. To play it on the safe side (and to take an opportunity to get out of Maria Gugging), I took my work into Vienna to wait to see if she arrived.

By 10:15 p.m., I realized our guess was mistaken.  So, I enjoyed a glass of Sturm at Cafe Drechsler (where I had been working for the past hour).   I was actually quite productive during my time traveling to/from Vienna, and during the time I was at the cafe.  And, I bought some Bagels for breakfast tomorrow! Oddly enough, I even saw someone I knew at the cafe.

Diana has since responded to my email to let me know that she will arrive on Sunday morning.  She must be enjoying those thermal baths too much.  So, all is well now.  I don’t feel like I lost a friend somewhere between Budapest and Vienna anymore.

And, I can’t wait for Diana and Lisa to arrive on Sunday!!!  It will be an extra special week for me, with both of them visiting!