My Travels


Don’t freak out if you look online today and see the quoted fares much higher than they were yesterday. That’s because of a new law effective today requiring all travel providers–meaning airlines, travel websites, and travel agents– to only advertise pricing inclusive of all taxes and government fees. No more misleading advertising listing $99 one way fares to Europe only to get dinged with a “fuel surcharge” or “taxes” for 500+ and paying 700+ roundtrip. However, please do be careful. The new rules for advertising only are applicable to the required taxes and fees. Be aware that extras such as premium seating or baggage fees are not required to be included in the published advertising, but are required to be disclosed on the website at the time of purchase.

On another note, other changes effective today are as follows:
1. Reservations may be held for up to 24 hours before payment.
2. Cancellations are allowed within 24 hours of booking as long as that booking is before 7 days before the flight.
3. Passengers must be promptly notified of delays of 30 minutes or more.

being in my own bed is so relaxing.

1.  Flying First Class- Internationally, I’m usually in either Coach or Business.  Never managed to get in a true International First Class cabin. US domestic First doesn’t count as it’s essentially just coach with a larger seat.

2.  Flying on Emirates-  Not sure why, but I’ve always wanted to fly Emirates.  Maybe it’s because of the sponsorship of Arsenal and seeing the jerseys.

Yes, I will obey….I will fly Emirates.

3.  Flying the A380 F-  I regret not saving my money up in college and flying on the Concorde, the fastest passenger plane ever built.  I figured might instead fly the largest passenger aircraft..an Airbus a380 in F!

 

 

Going for a month.  Looks like my itinerary is looking like Taiwan, Hong Kong, China, Singapore, and Thailand.  I have some planning to do.

When I was a child, I always liked getting postcards from friends when they traveled. If you’d like to get postcards from random locales when I travel, please email me your name and address and I’ll add you to my mailing list. If you’ve already received postcards, there is no need to email me unless you’d like to get more.

Please email me at:  postcardATjonathanchao.com (replace AT with “@” symbol)

Gotta love it.  Going to my favorite restaurant TODAY.

www.seafood.co.th

It’s always been my dream to play with the big cat…and I did.


Feeding and playtime with a 4 month old baby tiger.

Walking a 7 month tiger.

I have more pics–some of which of are me holding a 450 pound tiger…but I’m not sure if I’m going to share as of yet.

I love beaches.  Something about the warmth, sun, and water make me relaxed.  I’ve been to a few of the top beaches of the world already (Hawaii/Cyprus), but I want to visit the following beaches:

Paradise Beach (Mykonos Island)
Red Beach (Santorini)
Phang Nga Bay (Phuket)
Sanur Beach (Seminyak, Bali)
Sanur Beach (Seminyak, Bali)
Saline Beach (Saint-Barthélemy)
Eleuthera (The Bahamas)

The Transportation and Security Administration would like to remind you that the current threat level is ORANGE…

THREAT LEVEL GRAPHIC

I don’t believe the threat level was ever below orange. I know for a fact that the threat level has been continually set at Orange for at least a year, if not more. Now, doesn’t that strike you as odd? If there was such a high risk for an attack, wouldn’t it have happened by now or would Kip Hawley or his comrades have mentioned exactly WHAT risk we are facing by now? We’ve seen the attention go to from the silly items as toenail clippers to perceived threats of Knives, ID checks, to liquid bombs.

Now lets look at the facts: On 9-11, America saw terrorism from an outside source hit home. Four planes were hijacked. Of those, three were crashed into buildings and the last one crashed into a field. The hijackers were armed with pepper spray, box cutters, and an outdated action plan of of dealing with hijackers.

The tools used in the 9-11 attacks were allowed by the airline and authorities to be carried on board. Even if on 9-11, the items were caught by the private security firms, the items were perfectly legal to be brought on board and thus not confiscated. We all know what happened then. Those exact same items were used in 9-11 and and required new thinking in the process of dealing with terrorists.

Previous to the 9-11 attack, the standard operating procedure during a hijacking was to follow the hijackers demands. Why? Well previous to 9-11, with one notable exception, the standard hijacking demand was “bring me to XXXX (insert any city here).” To protect the passenger and a multi-million dollar plane, the demands were met. Most of the time, the planes and passengers remained unscathed. Bring me to Cuba!

Now, lets see what the TSA says is the REAL threats are and preventing another attack on our transportation system. Lets look at this objectively and put some rational thought behind this.

First it was knives.

Sharp pointy objects. Sharp objects (box cutters) were used to hijack the planes on 9-11 and could be used to kill. With enforced steel cockpit doors on all planes, it is sort of difficult to “storm (a.k.a break into)” the cockpit with knives, kill the pilots, take control, and crash planes into buildings. Lets face it, a 9-11 style attack won’t happen again. Fellow passengers now will do exactly what happened on flight 93- fight back. For the past couple of years, there have been documented incidents where airline passengers have fought back at unruly passengers deemed a risk, subdued them, and arrived safely at their destination. They have done this even if it wasn’t a credible threat.

Analysis: Having a knife really doesn’t change the outcome. If terrorist cannot get into airplane cockpit = Airplane doesn’t crash into tall building and kill thousands. It can be a passenger safety issue, but no longer becomes an aviation security issue. The threat is neutralized between passengers willing to help, reinforced cockpit doors, and a new procedural resistance to hijacking.  Risk Level: Same as Michael Jackson getting plastic surgery to look like he did when he was 8.

On to the next threat, the SHOE BOMB.

In 2001, Richard Reid attempted to ignite his shoes lined with plastic explosives to take down a plane. Not exactly so shocking as a 9-11 style attack, but still a threat. The TSA reaction? Everybody take off your shoes! We’ll scan the shoes for explosives. Do you feel safer? You shouldn’t. Four years later, in a 2005 TSA report concluded that the X ray machine cannot detect explosives. Now three years after the report, I haven’t heard them broadcast the fact that they cannot detect explosives. The only accurate ways to detect explosives as A) the explosive swab test B) a special trained explosives scent dog C) the explosives particle test. However, as it stands you STILL need to take off your shoes at the X-ray. I asked a few screeners earlier this week why the shoe carnival removal requirement was in place- the reply was, “To detect explosives.” One more off topic thought- have you thought about how nasty the floors are? Thousands of dirty feet walking over the same area that is cleaned maybe once a day. Bleh.  Threat  level- Same as a black man joining the KKK.

Analysis: You cannot detect explosives via an x-ray, use a method that actually works. Don’t implement foolish bureaucratic procedures that actually waste time for the ILLUSION of security(read: taking off shoes for x-ray), aggravate travelers with procedures that actually detract from security. Either A) swab all shoes B) have a dog sniff everyone’s feet C) run EVERYONE through the particle test. Just feel worse because you probably just picked up a nice foot fungus on your last trip through security.

The LIQUID Bomb! This one really makes me laugh. The threat: British intelligence picked up electronic details of a plot to use liquids to create a liquid bomb to destroy a commercial airliner. Since 2006, we have not been allowed to bring on board more than a 3oz containers placed in a zip lock baggie.

Analysis: As this reporter found out, the liquid bomb threat is based more on Hollywood fiction rather than reality. Even if it a liquid bomb were possible, the terrorists wouldn’t do so on a plane. Why blow one up? Terrorism is government by intimidation.  Blow up a plane, no intimidation there.  Shock and awe!  Remember that?  Threat level – Same as finding a live a Jackolope

Apparently we, the American people are OBVIOUSLY intimidated. However, as the saying goes, “we’ve thrown the baby out with the bathwater.” The TSA misses all the actual threats, but does just enough to satisfy Ma and Pa Kettle.   I don’t get the orange level, but will say the terror level should currently be in the blue or green.  I miss the America I grew up in.

OH yes, forgot to say: Happy New Year NSA!

I am currently looking for a mid level marketing or sales job.  If you know of any available positions, please let me know.  I prefer small to medium companies (less than 500 employees) and prefer to be located in either San Francisco or an expat package in Taipei, Malaysia, or (Shanghai/Beijing) China paying in USD.

If you find me the job that I can accept, I can award a bounty of one of the following:

Dinner with me or a date at a fine (i.e. expensive) San Francisco establishment
1 Coach airline ticket to either Europe or Asia.
2 domestic coach tickets or 1 FC Domestic ticket.
$200 Cash

Oh yes, my gratitude is free!

Thanks!

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