Your personal drone photographer

Oh juxtapose once again.

There are luxury travel companies offering packages that takes drone videography of your journey (read here) in the name of seeing where they’ve travelled from a different perspective. And back on the ground, there would be professional shooters photographers to assist in taking selfies of you (and your partner), without the hassle of you doing it yourself. Yep, no more selfie stick or stretching your hands out…

You see, this touches so many topics. We’ll just comment on three.

For one, it seems not only wedding couples are getting feted for such treatment these days. Though yes you do pay for them. No need for selfies? Heheh, normally Mel & Suan asks someone’s help to take a photo when possible. It’s free by the way. You just need to return the favour if requested. Nope it may not end up with a professional looking photo, but do you really want a photographer following you all over? Ok, ok some do relish the attention…

And those drone photos and videos. How would you know if those were really your journey(s)? Could had been edited seamlessly and easily these days…LOL. Hey, if Mel can cook edit, so can you! Seriously we don’t think anyone remembers Martin Yan, hence you are not likely to find that funny…but we digress. You might have read about our post on drone photography here, guess it will be a little challenging to get that kind of photos with a drone. Perhaps one day there can be an under-water drone that helps divers take photos like the one taken for us (by a diver) in Okinawa of a whale shark.

Finally, the ones who call themselves “travellers” are going to see red on this one. Camera (phone) toting tourists jamming up the streets, not appreciating local culture and norms already creep these folks out. Now, you have an entourage? OMG. Someone’s gonna have a heart attack! LOL.

Would you fork out the $$$ and sign onto these tour packages?

The Dutch re-invented walking

Huh? Who invented walking the first place you ask. You know in Singapore we have been struggling to manage mobility devices. These are the small electric motor driven bicycles, hover boards or kick scooters. The issue is how to share the limited walking path with pedestrians. Bear in mind there isn’t as much of a bicycle culture like in the Netherlands (where we lived a while), sequestering a part of the road for bicycles or these mobility devices.

But today we are not debating this issue.

Rather, we are making reference to the fact such electric mobility devices do not give you any exercise. Ok, perhaps the kick scooter without a motor. Since you are virtually dependent on electric power for movement for most of these devices. How would you like such a device that will get you to where you want and yet give you an exercise?

Consider the “Lopifit”. Instead of cycling, you can now threadmill your way to work (read here). Really? Yep. Walk on the device as if you are strolling or Walking at a fast pace. The choice is yours. Know that as you do your health app in your phone or watch will be clocking the distances covered. Up to 50 miles (80km) on one charge, you can scooter walk your way from Changi airport to Jurong (far western end of Singapore) and back! Now that should help burn some of the calories that you might accumulate later in the day…

Not bad eh?

Since Singapore is moving towards putting in more infrastructure to facilitate these personal mobility devices (PMDs) and goad folks to be car-lite, this invention comes at an opportune time! For a ‘low’ price of just approximately US$2400, you will define mobility in a way no one else will!

Will anyone buy this?

What is the dirtiest item in a hotel room?

Hey travelers, what is most important to you when it comes to travel accommodations? Did we hear you say : a clean hotel/hostel room? And does that come with expectations of a clean bathroom and towels too?

Whatever the form of accommodation, be it a hotels, hostels, dormitories or apartments, we believe you look for a constant (high) level of hygiene standards. The last thing you want is to fall ill while you are on holiday because the room you are staying is crawling with bugs, big (bed bugs…) or small (bacteria and viruses).

So where do you think is the dirtiest part of your room?

This may seem alarmist, but if this article is to be believed it is the remote control. Although this may seem to apply only to hotels and apartments, come to think about it that’s logical to apply this to dormitories and hostels too. We cannot believe that the cleaning of the room will include the remote in the case of hotels. Besides with the large number of rooms, the cleaning is more than likely focused on the prominent things. And do you think your AirBnB host routinely clean the remote too? How about the remote in the common lounge of the dorm or hostel? Seriously?

It may not be the fairest of assessment, from reading around and just putting our thinking caps on, perhaps there is a list of top 3 worst things to touch or use without being careful:

  • TV remote control
  • Bathroom sink and toilet seat
  • Switches – be it for the lights, power etc

For us we believe if you do not habitually touch your mouth or eyes, than most of this don’t matter if you wash your hands regularly with soap (not just rinse in water). Some authors recommend you prepare sanitation wipes to take preventive measures.

What would you do?

Are you overworked?

If one reads history like Mel does, then it did surprise him that despite the improvement of labour rights over the last 150 years, we are all working harder than the serfs of the middle ages ever did!

Really you ask?

Well if you believe this report, you’d think that these poor serfs had it much better than the average office stiff/drone today! To think these near slaves have 150 days off in a year? And some of us work weekends these days? Because the article cited sources, it was the ever inquisitive Mel that did some researching into the history of the supposedly dreary lives of peasants 5-600 years ago. In the western European context (his favorite).

The findings:

  • Farming, as it still is today is intense, but usually only at field rotating, planting and harvesting. In between its like watching grass grow (literally). Yes this is simplifying it, but like herders the serfs watch their farms – to keep away pests etc. It is not back breaking planting throughout the whole year. Many a time it was spent drinking ale…Statistics are hard to get, but Mel found out that some monastery in England was giving their serfs a gallon of ale per day in the late 1300s according to historical records.Ok, shortage of clean drinking water was another reason…but still, ale?
  • Serfs probably spent more time on other things such as maintaining their tools, homes etc. Which is actually not so far off from what farmers do today. And for the womenfolk, working on fabrics, housework etc while minding children. We know of some folks in the US (ladies) who quilt in the fallow months today (not medieval times).
  • Sundays were definitely a day off – as serfs file off to church. If you look up the feast days of medieval England you will find 45 of them. Not sure if each and every one of those are days of revelry or rest. But they are days off the farm.
  • Serfs had to work for their lords as part of the feudal contract (yep there’s one) and this could be 2-3 days in a week. But at the same time they also participated in the manorial lord’s activities such as feastings, joustings, hunting etc. Yes it would be callous to compare that to work vacations, but hey that’s a comparison!
  • And serfs did also have rights – such as help from the lords during crop failures, a medieval sort of social security. Just like unemployment benefits. Who foots the bill? The manorial lord of course!

It is not a totally fair comparison, because today we have mostly 5-day work week. Which means 104 days of weekends + the paid vacations and public holidays.

medieval-feasts
45 days of this every year? Wow.

Conclusions

With many now working long hours in the weekdays (12+ in many cases that we know of) and some hours over the weekend, we can safely say we might not have it that much better. Ignoring the threat of plagues and wars, materially yes but socially and leisurely perhaps not.

Would this convince  you to be teleported back to medieval times as a serf?

Fountain of youth or wine?

Happy hour. First questions asked is: when will last drinks be ordered? Is it 7pm or 8pm? And even if you’re happy during these hours, you still need to pay. A little less but still have to pay…

How about free drinks? And wine for that matter…are we on to something?

Why yes! Presenting free flow of wine (here) that you can drink off a fountain. Can you imagine that. All you need is a glass. Because its literally free flowing. Sponsored by a vineyard and a non-profit organization, the fountain WILL flow 24/7 according to its sponsors and managers…It’s main aim is to provide pilgrims following the Cammino di San Tommaso with a refreshing drink to quench their thirst. For those who don’t know, this is a route from Rome to Ortona spanning 140 miles to reach St Thomas’s resting place.

So technically if you are not on the pilgrimage, no happy hours for you. Imagine that, getting all spiritual…don’t pelt us!

Actually this is neither new nor unique since this idea was originally fermented and implemented in the hills of northern Spain. Heard of the Compostella pilgrimage anyone?

Will you get to Abruzzo just to enjoy a free flow of wine? Because Mel & Suan have not touched the boot and heel of Italy, why yes for us we’d sure like to go! The road trip was planned many years ago but could not be brought to fruition. Perhaps we now have a perfect excuse to make this drive to the southern tip of the peninsula and cross over to Sicily too!

Traffic jam in the air?

We posted some time back how the volume of travel traffic has been continuing to grow (here) despite the great recession of 2008 and seeming economic decline/crisis (depends on your view) in the last 8 years.

Well, more forecasts have come to light (read here).

Can you imagine the following:

  • 7.2 billion (yep with a capital B) people will be flying across the planet in the year 2035?
  • That’s almost 20 million passengers per day, every day of the calendar year!
  • Assuming each flight takes 300 people, that’s 67,000 flights per day.

There may be >43,000 airports all over the world according to IATA, but most of the flights will be concentrated in hubs. Imagine the traffic jam! Recall that we also delved into the topic of how all these flight congestions in the air is managed (read here). This will become ever more challenging. Let’s hope that the technology and processes keep pace with flight volumes. And keep us safe!

Then there is the trend of ever more security measures being deployed in response to risks posed by terrorist groups. Set aside your environmental concerns for a moment. What do you think the consequences will be? Longer wait times at the security check? It gets really crowded at the attractions you want to go see? Longer queues for transport from the airport?

In a world where almost half of its inhabitants are on the move for some reason or another, just how will travel journeys be like in 2035? What do you think?