They call it ‘crop dusting’

Something a little humorous today.

Alright, this can be serious stuff for some. Readers who fly often enough know that one frequently need to release tension at their rear ends while in the air. Yeah, we’re talking about farting in public. And specifically on the aircraft. Many explanations are pro-offered for this, including this article from the Huffington.

HAFE – High Altitude Flatus Expulsion. What a mouthful.

Essentially it means flatulence, or in other words – passing of gas out of you know where. So why do we have to HAFE in the air? Well that probably varies from person to person, but it is mainly due to the gas in the intestines expanding when you get higher up in altitude. Lower pressure outside the body, higher inside…

And there are suggestions in the article on how does one can combat it. Keeping it in is NOT one of the solutions. In fact, the medical professionals interviewed for the article suggests that keeping it in will not only lead to discomfort but also more bloating and pain. It may even lead to inflammation of the colon. So, one have to learn to let it go. Aye…. feel better now?

Avoid salty and fatty food and drink more water. But wait. Did we not know that food served on the plane are normally more savory? Read here for our take on that. How about walking about the plane to ‘improve the flow’? FAA regulations discourage ‘loitering’ about the plane… Perhaps anti-gas medication is indeed one of the better solutions but we personally would not consider it. We still think the ability to let go is best.

Afterall, when you are on your journey you want to be in the pink of health when you arrive at your destination. Nothing is worse than being cramped up when you land. If there is need to visit the lavatory more often on the plane, so be it. Don’t hold back, its good for you.

Hmm…wonder if the same effect takes place when we get to places of high altitude? HAFE you experienced this when you fly?

A beery good drink at 35,000ft

You might recall that we mentioned briefly in our post on gorgeous airline food (read here) that one’s sense of taste appears to be ‘dumbed’ down from the altitude (and perhaps attitude) and also the high decibel sound in the cabin.

And you might also have read that, when flying try to avoid drinking alcholic beverages.

What if the airline you were flying with tells you they have brewed a fine draft that has been crafted to taste its best at 35,000 feet in the air? The daily mail’s article tells that this is being served to first and business class passengers for selected flights between March and April. So by now, this offer is over…

But today the point of our post is not how to have a beery good drink 10km up in the atmosphere.

There is much debate about the affects of alcohol on the health of passengers when flying. Some cited research suggests that with low air pressure from the altitude, our blood is effectived thinned. This is said to accentuate the affects of alcohol. Others disagreeing, believe that the air with lower oxygen level leaves less of this vital element in your brain leading to intoxication. Either way, perhaps this might explain why people get inebriated and exhibit anti social behavior when flying?

A spate of incidents on planes in the last 12 months had prompted some airports to even consider banning alcohol not just on planes but also in the terminal itself! We had wrote previously about badly behaved passengers.

We have a tipple or two when we fly. Is a drink while flying ok? What do you think?

Long term effects of travel (flying that is)

You might recall that we made mention about how flying dumbs down your sense of taste (read here). Well, yet more articles had been circulating about the health impact of long distance flying. This is probably applicable to road warriors who ply the skies for work.

We are quite ‘avid’ fans of reading the UK Daily Mail, travel section only of course…all to trawl for a good story. And one of their article suggests a wide range of potential health problems afflicting those sitting for long periods in that aluminium can – hurtling at supersonic speeds. Heheh….as if we all did not know of it already.

The list of acronyms representing the different ailments that can afflict one on flights is quite long. And not being medical professionals, we are cannot comment on whether these effects are real and impactful as suggested.

One thing we did note from the article is the amount of UV and cosmic particles one can be exposed to while on a longer haul flight. Wow, 56 minutes of flying is like 20 minutes on a tanning bed…so on an intercontinental flight of 12 hours…Wonder if that would be less if we flew at night? LOL. Seriously, can someone answer that?

The other would how sitting for long periods might lead to increased cardiovascular disease (not just DVT). Sigh, being office workers how are we to avoid sitting down in meetings or at our work desks?

What do you do in your daily lives that may mitigate the effects of flying? Mel and Suan exercise quite regularly. Do you think taking flight will negate the therapeutic effect of the vacation?

Manage stress with travel?

Not sure if you are familiar with the saying : “Health is Wealth”. There was one flight in which both Mel and Suan coincidentally watched the same movie. The Japanese satirical movie’s story centred around how a squire worked for a samurai lord.

In the story, this squire falls asleep and is visited by the first god. This one’s the god of health. In it, the god told the squire he was about to take away his health. A healthy dose of conversation took place as part of the movie… The squire awoke and thought nothing of it. Some time later, he fell ill with fever and could not get out of bed. It was difficult to sleep but when he did he dreamt that the wealth god had come.stress

“Aaargh, away with you wealth!!” cried the wealth god to the squire and as quickly as he came he was gone. When he finally awaken, our squire was surrounded by family. They sobbed to him : “oh how the samurai lord has seized all our moneys and treasures for his war!”. All the events that followed and the stress cause the squire to fall into a coma – clearly shocked. It’s dark and gloomy and all the squire could see was the mist. Then a clearing. A figure. A hideous looking figure of a man. That our dear friends was the god of death!

If this report is true, it’s definitely alarming!

We once heard from friends posted to work in the Philippines that people they knew in the corporate circles were ‘dropping like flies’. Perhaps they drank and partied too much…but…and this is a true qualification; many years back we had good friends who reported having gout and hypertension. And these folks were at the height of their early 30s. All because of the food we eat and the little exercise we do. And it seems that apart from lifestyles and diets, stress of life (and/or work) are very likely factors too.

While it is one thing to manage our diets, it may be quite another to manage stress. Can travel help distract you from stress or will it worsen the situation? Remember our post on whether you are overworked? Do you feel stress is overwhelming you?

If so, what do you think you will do about it? We travel to unwind. How about you?

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?

Is travel really ugly?

Several weeks back, I chanced upon a small post in the Huffington. The gist of the post was the juxtapose between reality and social media projected perceptions. In her article she admitted that her posts on instagram suggested a fabulous trip of glorious meals, stunning landscapes and probably the odd thing or two you discover as this young traveller backpacked and trekked from Lima to Patagonia.

Of course the reality is totally different if you care to read her article or follow her on twitter.

Is she right that travel is about how to juggle your personal belongings at the security scan? Is it the experiences of delays, lost items or the exhaustion from walking all day? One man’s meat is a another’s poison we guess.

What is definitely true is that there is little if any dialogues or feeds you will find easily on social media that shares negative travel experiences. And even if it was, it appears more often than not to be toned down in “softer” language. For example in our recent journey to Russia, we did not mention that the group was held back at the immigration checkpoint in Moscow airport. Huh?Ugly tourist

No not all of us, just that one lady who spoke little English. Apparently the immigration officers took the lady to an interview room. You can imagine the frantic reactions of our guide. Will we mention any of this in the journalogs? No.

Will we also tell you that we witnessed how a team of pickpockets try to create a commotion with one dropping his mobile phone (a really old one at it) hoping that some good tourist Samaritan will help pick it up and lose a wallet in the process? No.

Will we tell you about the fellow tourist that messes up the ladies’ toilets at each stop? No.

The list will go on, but we are sure you get the picture. Even in this blog post we refrain from telling it all, perhaps out of concern that it will put off folks from even reading us. Or perhaps we have it in our psyche to only share the good news, such as the luxury flight we took (suites) or the great shopping we had…

If you do follow us, what would you like us to write about?