Monday, March 05, 2007

Red Alert! Red Alert! Whooop! Whoooop! Whooop! (Llama)

So I'm back in Cambodia. I made my plane reservations Friday afternoon, the very last possible time I could have made them since the travel office is closed on the weekend and my flight left Monday morning. The original cause of this emergency trip was because it appeared as if the double entry process our data entry contractor is using was failing, resulting in much dirtier data than we could accept, as high as 3%! After a bit more discussion and contemplation, however, I figured out that the denominator in our little calculation was wrong... alot wrong... rather than an error rate of 3/100, it was really 3/100,000. A very acceptable level.

However, my boss never lets the facts get in the way once he has made up his mind. So here I am back in Cambodia. I'm trying to not get so stressed this time... for example, I'll leave work today and probably not think about again until tomorrow morning. And that's.... OK! (Ah, remember Stuart Smalley? Back when Al Franken was just a comedian and not a pundit? Why is it that as soon as someone expresses an opinion, they cease to become attractive to anyone that doesn't share that view? For example, I use to think Dan Miller was amusing, if a bit full of himself... now that he's gung ho on Bush I can't stand to listen to him. Hm, has this aside gone slightly off track?)

So one comment about traveling to Cambodia that I forgot to document last time... the good service of Asian airlines. I flew Thai Airways, but in my experience this is a regional thing... or perhaps just a "non-US" thing. So here's the latest evidence that the Asians run laps around the US when it comes to service. The flight between Bangkok and Pnohm Phen is about 50 minutes... I think that's even shorter than the hop from BTR to ATL. In the US that would mean you get a pack of peanuts or pretzels and, if you are lucky, a soft drink. But I'm in Asia, now, babbbyyy! Awwww yeah. With the plane about 50 feet off the ground, and still at a very steep incline, the hostesses jump up and start working. This is fairly big plane... six seats across. What is that, a 737? Something like that. Airbus 360... Whatever. They wheel out the meal cart and start serving. Everyone on board gets a hot meal, complete with salad and desert; fresh juice, soft drinks, coffee or tea, and even a glass of wine. I think it's not just that Japanese guy from Heroes, but every Asian must have the ability to stop space/time... it's the only way I can figure that they are able to serve everyone and get everything stowed away again in time for landing. Did I mention complimentary newspapers also?

Oh, and less you think they charge out the yin/yang for this service, my round-trip ticket, booked just 3 days before departure, costs 9,460 Baht, or 270 USD.


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