Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Tokyo-Narita Airport

Last May 26, 2010 or more than a year ago, I set foot on Tokyo-Narita Airport Terminal 2 for the first time. I've been to Terminal 1 (mostly US airlines) since 2004, I even thought that the Narita airport was "small" then. Not until I set foot on terminal 2, mostly for Asian airlines.

The reason why I came here was that my original flight, Tokyo-Manila (Delta Air, from the US) the day before, was given to passengers whose flight the day before was cancelled. Delta was forced to bring us to a hotel in Chiba, near the airport, the previous night, and booked us to Philippine Airlines (PAL) the next day as the Delta flight to Manila that day was also fully booked.

I was fascinated by its hugeness and modernity, glass and steel structure. There were so many passengers, mostly fellow Asians.

This huge billboard tells departing passengers all the scheduled flights within the next six hours or more, including their status (on time, delayed, cancelled). The info are posted in Japanese then English and vice versa.

After the airline check in area, passengers go to the various shops or the immigration area, then to their boarding gates. Very clean and modern airport indeed.

It is impossible to get lost as there are proper directions to all boarding gates. There are more than a hundred gates there, am not sure if gates for domestic travel are already included here.

Walkalator to some far gates. The main duty free area are behind this area. Only a few small food shops are posted in these areas.

Finally, the departure lounge at the gate where passengers will take their plane. Spacious, natural lighting. That's one beauty of glass and steel structures. There is ample sunlight to come in, reducing electricity consumption.

May 10, 2010, I wrote this:

This coming Saturday, I will go back to the US again. I will go to Chicago to attend the 4th International Conference on Climate Change (4th ICCC), May 16 to 18, sponsored by the Heartland Institute. I will talk about the conference in another note. And since I am accumulating air mileage, I will take again Delta Airlines. I started getting mileage with Northwest airlines before, now merged with Delta.

A Delta air flight to the US always stops at Narita-Tokyo International Airport, whether going to California or the Mid-west. Since I’m going to Chicago, I can choose to land either in Detroit or Minneapolis international airports, Delta’s 2 big hubs close to Chicago.

 Narita airport is not really big if compared to other Asian international airports, say those in Hong Kong, Singapore, Seoul, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur. It is sort of circular in shape, the walkalators are not very long. But it is very modern, typical glass and steel structure.

The escalators are very quite and produce very little noise when moving. This walkalator is cool: short but with live “twig” like flowers on both sides.

The duty free shops are not that plenty, but they are very neat.

The toilets are also very clean, like this one.

Some art works on glass in one of the several passengers waiting areas.

And if people bring along their kids, there is a small and well-padded children’s play area.

I haven’t gotten out of this airport though. I always pass by here only as a transit passenger. Delta Air cleans, re-fuels and re-supply with passenger food and drinks all airplanes going to the US. Normally about 12 to 13 hours from Narita to Minneapolis or Detroit.

I hope to visit Tokyo someday so I can get out of Narita airport too.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Pinoy jokes, Part 3

Recently I was posting some short Filipino jokes in my facebook status. They're getting lots of Likes and comments, much more than my political and economic commentaries. Which means many of my friends appreciate me if I deliver more jokes than political commentaries? :-)

Here are the Pinoy jokes I blurted out in fb recently, with their funny additions:

1. Customer: Miss, may wi-fi ba kayo dito?
Jollibee/McDo cashier: Wala po Sir, meron lang kami mango fi and apple fi.

Sa Pan de Pidro, Pan de Manila, madaming tina-fi.
Sa Pizza Hut, madami sila pizza-fi.

Restaurant owner: Bakit mabilis maubos mga toothpicks natin?
Waiter: Ewan ko Sir. Kasi ako pag gumagamit ng toothpick, binabaliki ko rin dyan.

Customer: Bakit madali mabali toothpick nyo dito?
Waiter (asar): Ewan ko sir, sa dami ng gumamit ng toothpick na yan, kayo pa lang nakabali.

2. Q: Bakit may sabaw ang balut?
A: Ikaw nga ikulong sa shell ng matagal, saan ka ji-jingle?

(Pero jingle nga ba yon? Di kaya pawis na tagaktak dahil hindi naman air-con ang shell ng balut?)

3.‎ Aanhin ang ganda, kung wala namang Papa
- Kung gusto mong maglandi, tiisin mo ang hapdi.
- Aanhin ang maganda, kung di naman malandi.
- Aanhin ang gwapo, kung mas malandi pa sayo.
- Ang lalaking mabilis maglakad, may hinahabol na gwapo.
‎- Aanhin pa ang damo, kung meron namang shabu.
- Ang hindi marunong lumingon sa pinanggalingan, may stiff neck.
Or may utang na iniiwasan at ayaw bayaran.

4. Patient: Dok, bakit nang ma-opera mo ulo ko, hindi nakasara ulit?
Doctor: Mabuti yan, at least open-minded ka na ngayon.

Isang Pinoy na doctor nag-introduce ng isang "special device" pampalaki ng male sex organ, zero side effect. Ang tawag sa device na yon ay magnifiying glass.

Anak: Nay, tutoo ba yong kasabihang "first love never dies"?
Nanay: Aba oo. Tingnan mo yang tatay mo, hanggang ngayon buhay pa ang animal.

5. Here is the expected max temp today from PAGASA: Baguio 24 Celsius, Cebu 32 Celsius, Davao 31 Celsius, and in Marikina they sell shoes.

Q: Ano mangyayari pag nawalan tayo ng weather bureau?
A: Mawawalan tayo ng PAGASA.

Ang tawag sa maliit na meteor ay??? meteorite.
At ang tawag sa maliit na asteroid ay??? asterisk.

Ang tawag sa star sa hilaga ay... northern star.
Ang tawag sa star sa timog ay... southern star.
eh ano tawag sa star sa gitna nila?.... bitu-ween.

6. Tagalog ng: Deduct - ang pato
Defeat - ang paa (ng pato?)
Detail - ang buntot (ng pato?)
Predicate - pakawalan ang pusa
Dedicate - pinatay ang pusa.

Contemplate - not enough pinggan.
Punctuation - pera pang-enrol
Ice Buko - Is my hair ok?
Tenacious - sapatos pang tennis
Calculator - tawagan kita mamaya
Devastation - sakayan ng bus
Protestant - tindahan ng Prutas.

7. Ang tawag sa maliit na aso -- kapiraso.
Sa maliit na kambing -- kapiranggoat.
Sa maliit na pusa -- cat-titing.
Sa maliit na pato -- panduck.

May dyu-mingle na tao sa kabukiran, may 5 hayop nakakita sa kanya, tapos nag-ingay sila:
Kambing -- may umi-iheeeeee! Baka -- Oo ngaaaaa!
Aso -- Wow, wow, wow! Manok -- nakakataaaaa-kot!
Turkey -- Kelaki-lakiiiiii!!

Bakit palaging nakayuko at nahihiya ang:
biik -- kasi baboy ang nanay nya
sisiw -- kasi tatay nya walang itlog, nanay nya ang may itlog
batang kambing -- kasi nanay nya may balbas at bigote.

Biik: Nay, sino tatay namin?
Baboy inahin: Ewan ko anak, kasi nang ginawa ka namin, nakatalikod man ako.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Atlanta Airport

Exactly a year ago today, I was in Atlanta Airport, on my way from Detroit to Houston via Delta Air. Perhaps there was no direct flight between those 2 cities, but there were plenty of flights between Detroit-Atlanta, and Atlanta-Houston.

It was my 2nd time actually to land in Atlanta Airport. The first was in April 2008 when I attended the Atlas Liberty Forum held in that city.

This is a big airport, judging from the big number of people and passengers who are inside the various terminals....

And from the big number of airplanes that land and take off in this airport. See here, there were probably 8-10 airplanes behind us on queue for take off, mostly Delta Air planes. The other airport I saw then with a big number of airplanes on queue whether for landing or take-off was La Guardia airport in NY.

I think there are 7 or 8 terminals parallel to each other. One can go from one terminal to the next via walking and walkalators, or via the underground airport train. This walkalator is almost empty, not because there are not enough passengers between these two terminals, but people are using the train. It's free, to move from one terminal to the other.

The doors in front of a train station under the terminals and runways.

One thing I notice in Atlanta is that almost all staff at the airport -- ground crew, personnel in various food shops, bookshops and souvenir shops inside the airport -- are blacks. I think there were some whites too but I hardly saw them. Atlanta is where Martin Luther King came from.

The underground train. No train pilot, it's operated from a control room from afar.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Chicago O'Hare Airport

A year ago today, I landed again in Chicago O'Hare Airport via Delta Air. I went there to attend the 4th International Conference on Climate Change (4th ICCC) sponsored by the Heartland Institute, a free market and independent think tank based in that city. The first time I went to Chicago was in late April 2004, when I attended the Heritage Resource Bank meeting then the Atlas Liberty Forum. My trip then was sponsored by Atlas.

I have almost zero recollection then of this airport when I first came here in 2004. What I could remember was that it was one of those big airports in America. Well, Chicago hosts some of the tallest buildings in the US, next to those in NYC perhaps.

Like in most big international airports, it is almost impossible to get lost as there are clear signs going to what terminal or concourse, or where the baggage claim is. No need to ask other people or the information center.

A boarding gate for Delta Air. I don't remember which airline uses this as its main hub. Maybe American or Continental?

The waiting area for the airport buses going to certain destinations and hotels. These airport buses and hotel limousines look sturdy and cute. I think I took a van going to my hotel, Marriot Magnificent Mile Hotel, right in the center of the city.

Will write about the city in another blog post.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Gramercy Condo, Tallest Building in the Philippines

Rhis building still under construction in Makati City, should be the tallest in the Philippines once it's finished. It's the Gramercy Residences, owned by Century Properties, along Kalayaan Ave., Makati City. I took these photos last weekend. This 76 storeys structure is too high if viewed near its foot.

Another view, from the 25th floor of Millennium Plaza, a building beside it. My sister in law lives in a studio in this building.

Another set of residential buildings on one side near the Gramercy, the A-venue Suites. These buildings are finished already.

Top view from the website of the Gramercy. It's the building on the right.

Lower photo is that of Bel Air village and some of the buildings along Sen. Puyat Ave. (formerly Buendia Ave.) A good view in front of the Gramercy.

I am not rich to buy any unit in those modern and tall condo buildings, I can only write about them. And this post is not an "endorsement" of the condo as I do not know the terms for buyers and potential owners of a unit in those tall buildings. 

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Detroit Airport (McNamara Terminal), Michigan

I wrote this in March 12, 2009:

It was my 6th time in that airport (3 arrivals, 3 departures). My 1st time was in 2004 and it would also be my 1st time to visit the US. I was fascinated by that huge airport of glass and steel then. It’s one of the main hubs of NWest Airlines.

What I like in this airport is that it is one long terminal (should be about kilometer, +/- a few meters), so it is very easy to find your departure gate. There are plenty of walkalators on the long stretch, and there is a small train on the top that moves people from the north gates to the southern gates, with a stop at the middle. It is clean, spacious, fast, and unmanned.

On the left side of the terminal are mostly (perhaps entirely) domestic flights, and mostly (if not entirely) international flights on the other side. If you’re coming from any domestic flight to Detroit and moving to an international flight, and if you’re lucky, you come out from the left side of the terminal and just move to the right side.

There are plenty of duty free shops and food shops over the whole stretch of the elongated structure. There are also plenty of clean toilets along the whole stretch. There is alao a water fountain in the middle, it's good. And there is an underground pass with lights and music, but I did not bother to check it even once.

But although this airport is beautiful, I don’t wish to see it again in my succeeding trips to the US eastern side, except perhaps when Detroit City is my final destination. Six times is too much actually, when I have not seen other big US international airports. Thus, I need to take other airlines perhaps, Asian airlines in particular.

Additional pictures and observations today:

An elongated terminal with boarding/arrival gates on each side. It is difficult to get lost in this airport as all one has to do is take the walkalator, or the skytrain, and move from one end of the terminal to the middle or the other end.

The escalator going to the sky or elevated train station. There are 3 stations there: north, middle and south stations. The glass and steel structure makes this structure neat and nice to look around.

Inside the train. It has no pilot or operator inside, it's operated from a control panel somewhere. All it does is move from the north station to the south and back, morning till evening.

This is the train track. The train should be running at around 40-50 kph, so transfer from end to end should take just a few minutes, including a stop at the middle station.