Feb 13 2024

Uber in Rio


We used Uber to get around in Rio de Janeiro. They’re not always cheaper. Once we took the taxi at the half cost of Uber, which was also a long wait. Waiting around for a Uber is the downside of it. But it’s convenient: just open the app and you don’t need to stick out your credit card.

Bloomberg News reports Uber has a banner quarter, up 30%, while Lyft is down 80%, which has very limited worldwide presence. My last encounter with Lyft was horrible, from both the driver and the company.

The location service is spotty in Rio. Many times, the drivers couldn’t find us. One time at the beach, the driver of a Black Fiat (lic ending I33) drove away from us, that was a terrible experience. We would spend next 30 minutes waiting for another car. It drained my battery as well. If I were to cancel it, Uber charges me a cancelation fee. It doesn’t seem fair.

On our trip to the GIG airport, the driver has a yellow tank in his truck. What is it?

One interesting thing to note: many Uber cars in the airport are mini, without a truck! We put our two carry on in the front passenger seat.

As of now, I still haven’t figure it out how to tell Uber the number of passengers, other than myself.

Above my pay grade topic. Uber 的季度业绩表现出色, 增长了 30%; 而 Lyft 则下降了 80%, 在全球范围内的业务非常有限.
几年前在旧金山Lyft 的司机无缘无故说我的狗在他车里💩了 加收$80. Lyft不调查 (照片的meta data was striped …) 说收的对… 当然我赢了. 这么烂的公司 简直了.

今天Uber 小哥看俺在照相 好心提醒俺 “… 小心 不要被人抢手机…”
这是来后第一个提醒. 俺觉得Rio 挺安全, 虽然最好的酒店都有些惨不忍睹 周围环境本应该高大上 但也就是New York 23 街的感觉.
满大街卖冰/水的小贩们 人手一个收银机. 在这个背后 不知道信用卡公司的努力
相比之下 德国🇩🇪小商店都还是现金…

😜高于我的薪资等级的主题

 


Feb 13 2024

Amex @ GIG: Plaza Premium Lounge


Third floor at T2 @ RIOgaleão – Tom Jobim
Rio de Janeiro

… more pix at Google Maps

This airport lounge is pretty good, especially when our British Air flight is delayed.

The cream of wheat is wonderful. The coffee barista is efficient.

However, they don’t have bottled water, from the tapes only.


Jan 21 2024

Ush: Ushuaia airport


V9401 Ushuaia
Tierra del Fuego Province, Argentina

… more pix on Google Maps

Small. Timer. Function well.

Our cruise chartered plane touched down at Malvinas Argentinas International Airport at 1:21pm. On the bus at 1:40, drove off 9 minutes later. It’s 15 minutes ride to the port. We boarded our ship at 2pm.

I only have a carry on but the couple in front of me to the bus have retrieved their checked in luggage. I’m pretty impressed with its efficiency.

… one too many aerial photos -:) taken with my iPhone.


Jan 18 2024

Greyline: city bus tour


Two of 24 stops are at their store front.
Buenos Aires

… more pix on Google Maps

Due to Antarctic cruise, we came to Buenos Aires.

This is my first time taking a hop on and off double decker city bus tour, because Buenos Aires’ public transportation is difficult to use, starting from buying the metro card. I don’t have feelings for the city due to my own ignorance – didn’t read any books on it, so it’s a lazy and easy way to spend a few days here.

For the same tour bus line, there are different rate on different site. So do your homework. We got ours on TripAdvisor: 24 hours $30 and 48 hours $35. 72 hours ticket isn’t available when we looked today.

Gray Line, reported, is the largest. It has 24 stops, runs every 20 minutes, from 10am to 6pm, BUT each stop starts and ends slightly different BE SURE to check the ending time at the stop you intend to get on at day’s end. The site offers English, Spanish and Portuguese languages. It has 24 stops with little sign and area, so you won’t miss it. At some stops, the line is very long. So be prepared to wait for the next bus.

We got on in the morning at 10:30am. We walked a little before decided to get on at that stop when we saw a few people waiting with their phones out – an easy sign that it’s the stop. We didn’t time it, but the bus came within two minutes. It was pretty full but everyone got on and have a seat. Some has paper code and we’ve digital. After scanning, each couple was given a map, and each was issued ear bud to listen to the recorded guide. Language it offers in English, Spanish, probably more, I didn’t check.

Passengers are mostly kept to themselves, except the couple behind us. As it turned out, we’re from the same state -:) and he asked early on if we’re here for the Antarctic cruise. They just landed in BA, and will sail on Celebrity, out of Ushuaia this Saturday.

 


Jan 17 2024

A flight attendant on Delta

This review is for a female flight attendant in the main section, on Delta flight DL0101, from Atlanta ATL to Buenos Aires EZE on January 16 (took off 9:18pm arriving BA the following day, at 8:39am – all local time).

Is asking a flight attendant to help me to close the overhead bin door a ‘favor’?

… on Google Maps, Yelp

It was sleeping time during the flight. The hall was dark. I opened the overhead bin door and put my bag back in, but unable to close it. I’m too short, apparently. I looked to my left, hoping my husband would have done his business. No, he hadn’t but I saw the tall and slender flight attendant with short hair was watching. Leaving the bin door open, I’d think it’s dangerous. When I saw her making no move, I tried the second time. Still unable. Guess I don’t grow tall in a few second. So I walked to her, and whispered, “Can you help me to close it?!”

Please is part of my sentence structure but this time I left it out, because of the situation – it’s her job and she made no attempt to help.

She said, “what?”
“Close the bin” I said. Thinking isn’t it obvious?!?
“Are you ask me a favor?” She said.
“No. I’m not.” I thought it’s her duty. Isn’t it dangerous to leave the bin door open while in the air?
By now my husband is out of the bathroom, who closed it in a snap.

I remembered this attendant: when we met in the aisle before taking off, she coldly walked straight at me, as if I wasn’t there. How rude!

As I was walking away, she said, “if you ask for a favor, you should say please.” Is she teaching a kid, or talk down to a little old Chinese woman?
Why did she consider closing the bin door a favor?

A few hours later, at breakfast, I asked for a supervisor. An attendant said, “what’s up?”
I asked her if closing the overhead bin door, a part of their job? And what is that  short hair attendant’s name. She said, “Ill talk to her in a minutes.”

“Ma’am, I’m asking you two straightforward questions.”

“I’ll talk to her in a minute.” The supervisor repeated.

“What’s your name?” I asked.

“I’ll talk to her in a minute.”

Guess the supervisor’s name is I’ll talk to her in a minute.

What’s going on in the corporate America? No one wants to take any responsibility.

I guess their names are off limit too. So I took two photos (side and back) to identify the attendant and the ‘supervisor’ – I did ask another woman who assured me, the lady I was speaking with, is a supervisor.

… the flight attendant who won’t help to close the bin door and the supervisor I spoke with…

Unintentional, I’ve been flying – almost exclusively – with Delta for decades. Have been a satisfied customer. This kind of rude behavior is a first, actually is the first from any airline: leaving the overhead bin door open.

Their chief customer experience officer is Allison Ausband, hope she’ll handle this matter correctly.


Nov 22 2023

High speed train … ha ha ha


Is this travel writer insane? Incredible high speed train?!? Hellooooo

Reading the headline on Travel & Leisure, I got very excited … then quickly cooled down:

  • 250 miles from Orlando – Miami
  • 3.5 hours by car
  • 3.5 hours by this high speed train that cost $59 to $149 one way

What’s the heck!!!

Here is another set of facts

  1. Shinkansen, or bullet train in Japan, since 1960s
  2. TGV in France, since 1970s, 1981 Paris↔Lyon
  3. Euro Star only needs 2.37 hours run London↔Paris
  4. Maglev travels 286 mph in Shanghai, China

The media standard is so LOW now

Florida’s Incredible New High-speed Train Now Goes From Orlando to Miami — and I Was One of the First on Board
Everything you need to know about riding Florida’s Brightline train from Orlando to Miami.

By Skye Sherman Updated on October 30, 2023

As Brightline’s self-proclaimed No. 1 fan, I’ve been waiting impatiently for its Orlando extension.

Being a travel writer and central Florida native living in West Palm Beach, I feel like this modern high-speed train was made for me: not only can I hop between home and Miami (or Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, or Aventura) with ease, I can now sprint up to Orlando to see friends and family and include Orlando International Airport among my options when booking flights abroad, no three-hour drive required. (In fact, I recently booked a return flight into MCO instead of my usual PBI or FLL just because I could.) Heck, my husband and I might even become Annual Passholders at Walt Disney World now that the journey is this seamless.


Oct 14 2023

TPA: Tampa airport


4100 George J Bean Pkwy
Tampa, FL 33607

A very modern airport.

… more pix on Google Maps: my blog on TPA in 2023, got 6 helpful votes.

My first impression a few years ago, was very pleased, and even a little surprised: functional, clean, pleasant.

A few years later, I still think it is.

Then yesterday on a pick up, I discovered it’s cell phone lot.

Wow – this is a whole new level of well designed public facility. As you going in, it’s to your right. It has a big parking lot, bathrooms, vending machines, dog bags, car charging stations, arrival info board…

THANK YOU Tampa.

My last time using JFK … urrrrrhhhh cars waiting to pick their loved ones up, were parked on the side of the roads into the airport, in the airport… it was just dangerous to all, and chaotic.

For this particular pick up, with Southwest: it landed as the schedule: 5:31pm. The passenger is off the plane by 5:39 and we drive off the airport at 5:45.

TPA 👍


Sep 25 2022

Swan Hellenic’s Vega


4:57pm on 2022.9.27 @ Qeqertarsuup Tunua, Greenland

This is my 3rd cruise trip, the first time on a small ship (definitely prefer small – no more big cruise), sailing on SH Vega to the Arctic. (More trips from Swan by Cruise Norway; Atlas.)

Vega is part of Swan Hellenic fleet, has made her maiden voyage two months early, in July 2022. (My last river cruise where the brand new ship’s bathrooms already smell terribly.) My first glimpse of Vega


Sep 25 2022

Cruising the world


2022.10.06 @ St. Anthony

My cruising experience is relatively shallow, nearly none. But after the Arctic trip with Swan Hellenic Vega, I definitely will cruise more, with the smaller boat (under 200 passengers). It’s definitely more intimate, when and where you can have good conversations with well travelled fellow passengers and crew members alike; some interesting lectures, food and wine

Some of my journeys. For Rhine trips, I toured on my own with ferry rides.

… other news


Sep 22 2022

Zero Car Rental


Reykjav