Soon, four articles from last November's Athens trip will be posted, and now you are here in Athens. As readers of this blog, we always need to pay attention to the timeline.ReplyDelete
Even though the weather forecast called for rain, you only needed an umbrella when you went out for dinner from the hotel. As always, we are amazed at your ability to bring good weather.
Certainly, if you only read about your pre- and post-flight experiences and the introduction of IHG properties, it may not seem important where you are going. However, looking at the picture of the Acropolis with clouds in the background taken from the hotel lounge, I can feel the reality that "you are indeed in Athens now."
Japan may be a developed country in terms of safe train operation management, especially for Shinkansen. However, I feel that there is some danger on the conventional lines, particularly in depopulated areas. Even so, it's scary that all the devices for safe train operation management in Greece are manual.
If I were your sister, I would definitely ask you in a confident tone, "There was a train accident near Athens, but you must have gone there, right?" or "You must be in Turkey now, right after the recent earthquake?" You say "Bingo" twice, but your sister can see through your actions.
Yamada Denki sensei,Delete
Sorry for those chronological confusions but it will be easy for the next Athens article, be cause I lost my iPhone! (lol). So I’m using ‘backup’ iPhone but it’s iPhone SE2. All of my pictures until yesterday were gone with the iPhone… and the alternative iPhone has only one camera lens.
The train operation in Greece is so ridiculous… as I heard about the background, I was more disappointed in those corruption. Government can’t assign budgets for safety improvements, operators don’t want to work because they don’t think they are well paid, and the trains + signals are old enough to be malfunctioned. Such a pity country… no wonder they went bankruptcy recently.
I am pretty sure my sister has precognition… I have to be careful a bit.
Oh, so you are flying back with Air France this time. I have only flown with them once from Paris to Madrid. In the past, there used to be a route from Itami via Hong Kong to Paris, and I used to gaze at it from the slightly run-down observation deck at Itami Airport, thinking "I want to ride it someday." However, eventually the southern route itself disappeared, and this dream never came true. I have never had the experience of flying through a connecting airport to Europe or going to North America via Anchorage, and I have come to this point without such experiences.ReplyDelete
Air France has a stylish image, and all of their meals, including those for vegetarians, look delicious. I would probably struggle to choose between fillet steak and shrimp. As someone who is not accustomed to traveling, I have never had the experience of choosing my in-flight meal before boarding, but even a seasoned traveler like you sometimes carry over your meal choice and gratefully eat what is served on board.
Yamada Denki sensei,Delete
The recent AF flight from CdG to SFO was… another award ticket by Delta SkyPesos, so it was about 5 years ago. Same aircraft- Boeing 777-300ER, but there was no ‘Le Premiere’ first class so I was at seat 1K. This time, seat configuration is renovated, there are first class and premium economy, so I got the bulkhead of business class. The business class seats were tired and dusty, so I am now expecting a better experience from the modified seats. Air France has old airplanes… they still use A380 to SFO in summer. At least, United is very competitive about the fresh airplanes and seats… at least.
For the preorders of onboard meals, I tentatively chose duck. The logic of this decision was; cost and service timing after the cooking.
- Beef filet would be overcooked, or can’t be rare because of food protection management.
- Shrimps are disappointingly small portions and chewy. It’s an onboard meal.
- Duck will be braised, slow cooked and shredded between the pasta sheets.
If my guesses are correct, the duck dish is the best choice, I thought. See what happens.
But anyway, sauces are so important for French cooking. In Greece, there are barely few ‘sauces’ for meats and fishes. Souvlaki, kebab, whatever the grilled meats and poultries are served without sauce which is disappointing for me. I complained about this to the Lawyer of Athens, he told me that most of those sauces are infringing the flavor of meats, there is only one traditional and common sauce is made with garlic. Therefore, Greek’s favorites are so meat-centric and French people are sauce-centric.
The chronological confusion in my mind was probably caused by my lack of travel experience or infrequent travels. If I were you, I would surely mix up my upcoming travel plans and make mistakes in managing my itinerary. It makes sense why executives of large corporations who travel extensively each hire competent assistants.ReplyDelete
By the way, you lost your iPhone!? It's impressive that you brought a backup iPhone SE2, but it must have been a shock for you to lose all the pictures you took until the day before with your previous iPhone. The alternative iPhone has only one camera lens, so it must be the same model as the one I am using.
From your story, it seems that Greece has many problems besides train operations. When the country's economic situation deteriorates, political corruption is likely to occur, and the government tends to put off budgets for safety improvements. The lack of adequate compensation for public servants and the entire population can lead to a decrease in labor productivity due to low work motivation. I also remember when Greece went bankrupt as a country and the EU exit issue became a big problem. As I read your travelogue, I am beginning to understand the reality of the situation.
Anonymous Denki sensei,Delete
First of all, in regards to my previous excuse of 24 hrs silence, I need extra time, please.
There are two main reasons:
1) I twisted my leg when I was in CdG.
2) I lost my iPhone in Athens.
By the reason 1, I saw my primary doctor to take X-ray. No broken bone but I’m under pain control by good stuff. This must be recovered by next Tuesday, when is the start of visiting Tokyo.
By the reason 2, I went Apple store to receive new iPhone, followed by T-Mobile to restore the phone number. Besides lost pictures of Athens, over 95% of info is restored but I have to check and update here and there… to make my new iPhone almost perfect until my next trip.
It was a long day for me. Now I will take s-zopiclone to kick me out of conscious.
Let me get back to you once the difficulties have been settled.
Anonymous Denki sensei,Delete
Giving confusion by the writing is the failure by the author. In this case, it is my fault giving so many confusions… but I keep traveling the same place again and again. So it is probably a good news that I won’t fly over Athens again, at least within this year. And possibly I won’t visit Athens again because I saw the people serving for public are so much corrupted. I needed a “certificate of loss” for the coverage of insurance, but station master, train policemen or even the officer in charge of “lost and found” didn’t want to help me. They are just lazy and don’t work for anybody. Hence I actually saw the reason why the trains were severely crashed.
Now my new iPhone 14 Pro recovered 98%, I would say. I had to deactivate Clipper (AS Bay Area version of Ikoka) but otherwise are restored. The lost part is; pictures, and the pictures taken by iPhone SE2 are so unimpressive… but sh!t happens anyway. I’m sorry if you are actually using SE2 (2020).
Within EU, they say Greece is 27th corrupt country. There are 28 countries in EU and the worst is Italy… but I don’t surprise Greece goes bankruptcy again. Can you believe one third of national expense is scheduled for pensions? And people don’t work, don’t trust anybody and the society doesn’t trust government, the government is out of service always. I can’t see their bright future… but can see their blight future.
I'm not sure why my name in the previous comment showed up as Anonymous, but it was actually Yamada Denki (lol).ReplyDelete
I don't know if your sister really has the ability to see into the future, or if it's just women's intuition. Of course, you should be a little cautious about it, but you can't fool your sister's eyes (lol).
It's been five years since you last flew Air France. I remember reading about your previous flight, which was booked with Delta SkyMiles, but I don't recall if it was in first class. I have heard that their Boeing 777-300ER has a first class called "Le Premiere." I would love to try that first class someday, but as a land miles enthusiast, the only viable option is to transfer MR points from Centurion to JAL and try to book an Air France award flight. However, it seems difficult to secure a first-class award flight without a lot of flexibility in scheduling.
It seems that Air France uses old airplanes, but they also use the A380 on the Paris to San Francisco route. So, it may be worth considering those routes instead of the Japan-France routes. It's impressive that United Airlines is so competitive in terms of new planes and seats compared to Air France, which must be good news for you.
Yamada Denki sensei,Delete
I’m now trying to catch up as many as I can but not sure I can keep working on this… at least the pain from the right leg is well settled after I was screaming during my shopping time in downtown. I took some “good stuff” from my medicine cabinet. ;)
My sister is very cooperative to me. She stands as liaison to my mom if I can’t give her calls within the right timing – if I’m in Europe, or on the flights, etc. This time I asked my sister to tell my mom that my iPhone is broken and I have to repair it. I had iPhone SE2 but the Skype account must be verified by my primary mobile number. (by the way. Skype works very well these days, and it costs only $3.99/mo for calling worldwide.)
I will report with unimpressive SE2 pictures but “La Premiere” looked outstanding. The seat layout was very elegant and the service was superb. I was behind the curtain, seat 3A, but I could see the “butler” styled attendant brings Cognac to the passengers just before arrival… it was so jealous even though I drink strong alcohol. Business class was decent, and my choice of the meal was correct although my online preorder didn’t reflect to the system. That ‘missing of preorder’ is very French, I think. Things don’t work properly in France. (and Greece either) (lol)
You considered the timing of the service after cooking when choosing duck for your preordered meal on the flight. It's true that beef filet is likely to be overcooked or unable to be rare due to food protection management. I also think that duck, which is usually braised, would be the best choice.ReplyDelete
Thanks to what you said, I realized how important sauces are in French cuisine. You mentioned that there are hardly any "sauces" for meats and fishes in Greece. Is it because the ingredients are good enough that they don't need sauces? At the steakhouse Azabu that we plan to visit on May 26th (Friday), they mainly serve lean fillet steak, so they probably won't use thick sauces and will only sprinkle salt and pepper. But I like the seasoning of that restaurant, so I'm not too worried about it.
Yamada Denki sensei,Delete
As per I mentioned on the above reply, my preorder didn’t go thru in the system of Air France though I certainly received a confirmation email… I was sitting in the very first row in the business class therefore no problem at all anyway. And my guess was right. The passenger next to me, she was drinking some small shrimp with spoonful of lentils, and the guy behind me, he was fighting with his brick-strong but only 4 or 5 oz. sized filet mignon… duck was certainly the winner from my judge.
Today I found a very similar mind-setting and the point of view like Greek. I went Shabuway for shabu shabu lunch. I, of course, asked “water with seaweed,” well… they call it so but it’s Konbu-dashi, as usual. Then a guy came in after me and sat nearby, he asked Spicy Tonkotsu broth for his shabu shabu. I was immediately disgusted and thought such strong flavored broth would devastatingly damage and destroy the gentle tastes of meats and vegetables…
Then I realized that this point of view is very similar to the words from Attorney of Athens.
Conclusion: human being can be so selfish, self-centered and childish if someone has different preferences for foods. (lol)
First of all, I want to apologize and clarify that my daily comments, averaging at 5, are merely for my own satisfaction in maintaining my limited English proficiency, and not a demand for your response. Sometimes, I may even leave comments on older articles, so please feel free to ignore them.ReplyDelete
It seems like you need more than 24 hours of rest. It's unfortunate that you twisted your ankle and lost your iPhone, truly a case of "when it rains, it pours." However, I'm relieved to hear that the X-ray showed no broken bones and that the pain is under control with medication. I hope you recover in time for your Tokyo visit next Tuesday.
It's great that you were able to purchase a new iPhone upon your return. It's unfortunate that the pictures you took in Athens were lost, but it's good news that over 95% of your important personal information was restored. Although there may still be some checking and updating needed, I'm sure that as someone with extensive knowledge, you will handle it with ease. I hope that your new iPhone will be restored to its previous perfect state before your next trip to Japan.
It's understandable that your first day back home felt quite long due to the various difficulties you faced. It's important for you to get adequate rest. By the way, if you need spare Zopiclone, I can provide it during your visit to Okayama in May, so please don't hesitate to ask. Anyway, I hope that your current challenging situation will be resolved quickly.
Yamada Denki sensei,Delete
You already told me older people try responding the messages when he/she received some. So let me try replying to showing my honor to you.
In my case it’s more likely “when it rains, it rains cats and dogs” which I really would like to see cats are falling from the sky. (but not smashed on the ground with bunch of bloods and intestines – you would be okay but not for me)
The right leg pain was settled – I thought so this morning, but when I went out for lunch and shopping, the pain came back severely so I had to do “stop and go” to return my home… I will give footbath or sauna for faster recovery. And even the problem remained, there is a good plan is waiting for me – I will be visiting Hakone with my mom and sister. So I can jump in the Jacuzzi for the relief.
Physically, the rest of missing part of my iPhone is Sapphire Crystal screen protector. There are many of screen protectors on the market but I do prefer the hardest material next to the diamond. But if the diamond screen became available, I can’t buy it…
About the iPhone I lost one, the best part is; it is USA model – means, that iPhone doesn’t have SIM card slot! And it’s erased and locked forever, the thieves must be so disappointed.
Also, I purchased one more iPhone 14 Pro in deep purple… this maybe a backup phone and mirror the whole thing so that I can recover quite easily if next theft happened.
Doctor, I need s-stereoisomer of zopiclone, I don’t want to take racemate one… (sorry for the chemical specific issue. I don’t think you can get anything besides Lunesta though) I anyway bring enough amount of pills. Thank you for offering the narcotic drugs. I love it.(lol)
I would rather request 60mg of sodium loxoprofen by Daiichi Sankyo which is super common and in Japan but none in America. Other cyclooxygenase (COX-1, 2 and 3) inhibitors are on stock. :)
Your response reminded me of when I said during your previous endoscopy that the next one would be during the year of the Olympics. Since then, the pandemic happened, causing many changes, and everything, including your medical examination schedule, was either canceled or postponed indefinitely. Many people, including you, had limited entry and exit, and despite experiencing various symptoms, many patients hesitated to seek medical attention.ReplyDelete
Nevertheless, I still can't comprehend the complexity of the American healthcare system. Depending on the insurance each person has, the cost of medical examinations is covered or not, and it can vary depending on the severity of the symptoms. If this were Japan, I couldn't help but think that it could be covered more uniformly. I was also shocked to learn that you pay more than $3,000 per month for your insurance. I certainly know that America has a cutting-edge medical system, but to access such advanced medical care, you need sufficient financial resources. If you are not wealthy, you may not be able to enjoy the benefits of it. While it may be said that “This is capitalism,” it's still unfortunate. Japan's universal health insurance system is also collapsing to a certain extent, but it still functions to some degree. At least, since becoming a physician, I have been able to practice medicine with a certain degree of discretion thanks to this system. However, it's highly doubtful how long the "socialism system of universal health insurance within the country of capitalism, Japan" can be maintained, and those who will become physicians in Japan from now on will likely face a difficult era.
Yamada Denki sensei,Delete
I do feel replying your message is a king of infinite loop…
During the first 2 years of this novel coronavirus pandemic, I was really concerned ho your clinic is doing… gastronomic symptoms can be a part of symptoms by Corona-chan, aren’t they? But I am honestly, seriously and surprisingly delighted you didn’t encounter any severe diseases at all. (Maybe you did but you may hide that)
For me, the worst part was, Japan went back to the “closed-door” policy which is slightly better than zero-corona strategy by your next door. Therefore, I couldn’t enter Japan, couldn’t see my family, and if I request a visa for seeing relatives, I need to apply visa. This is way beyond ridiculous.
My better-half-san had similar situation with Red Panda. The government of Red Panda cancelled all of existing visas by zero-corona strategy, Lining up 5 hours in front of the consulate was required to reapply a visa, followed by two weeks of waiting time then lining up again… I’m glad I decided to not going Hong Kong. (but I’ll visit Istanbul)
Regarding to my expense of health insurance, sorry for the misunderstandings and correction hereby. I am paying only US$2944.39 every month, but the maximum “out of pocket” payments will be $4,500 if it’s in-network providers, and $20,000 if it’s out of network providers. For example, when I received a series of radiation therapy, which I received 30 gray, the cancer center sent me over $60,000 of bill but I paid nothing out of pocket, all of these were covered by insurance. This is one of the reasons why my monthly payment is so expensive. I am a risky and expensive member for the insurance company. I don’t hesitate about this so I keep asking my primary doctor to prescribe new and expensive medications. For example, the full price of SGLT2 inhibitor is over $300 per month, but no out of poket, even no copayments. So far, I am winning – means, the total cost of those medications I receive is higher than I am paying. So, I didn’t have to die on the street so far. But I am not sure when I switched to Medicare… of course I will purchase supplemental plans for sure though.
America is one of the highest-priced medications countries around the world… and this is the result of the lobbyists in D.C. for pharmaceutical companies. Totally stupid and that’s one of the reasons why I hate GOP.