Monday, July 27, 2009

Gunpla releases Summer 2009

Amongst of the releases, the main focus this month is defenitely on the MG 1/100 GN-001 Gundam Exia. There is also a different kit, MG Exia Ignition Mode. This kit is a limited release with extra parts to make the Exia Repair II mode. Lots of gunpla builders are looking forward to it. So do I. But all other releases are also very interesting and can be ordered at Morgenroete Inc. for Benelux Gunpla builders.
The first batch has arrived!

Second batch is following very soon!

Do you like the MG 1/100 GN-001 Gundam Exia?

Sunday, July 26, 2009

City trip Hong Kong SAR - 4 (Last Part)

Asians are quite electronic-addicts. So are they here. This computer centre was in the district Sham Shui Po. The Mekka for electronic-madmen.
All sort of hardware and software for PC and console gaming are ava
ilable here. I have thought about purchasing a Nintendo DSi here, but on a second would be better to buy one back in The Netherlands due to the region restrictions. (which weren't an issue in the past).

A few days later w
e went to Lantau Island to visit the Tian Tan Buddha. It's worlds tallest buddha seated statue outside and has a excellent view. If the weatherconditions are good - and we were lucky - you can see Macau SAR from the top of the statue.
At Wong Tai Sin Temple we
were witnessing some of many ceremonial buddhism activities.

We have also visited Hong Kong Park at the district Admiralty. HK Park has a nice Greenhouse and an enormous aviary with a great variety of birds.

On the last
day we have visited our grandmother who lives in a adult-day care resort. Because the H1N1 Influenza is an actual item, we had to wear a surgical mask. On the picture: 4 musketeers, my grandfather (left) was joking with us!

Later that night, after being confirmed we were able to jump on the jump-seats again, the PH-BFS 'City of Shanghai' flew us back to the Netherlands. A special note: The 747-400 captain was the same one as on my flight last year from HK to AMS, an unique coincidence.
Unfortunately the last picture isn't that sharp, but it was my best one at the time.
Well, this is it. I hope you enjoyed my mini-trip log.

Have you planned a vacation this summer?

Monday, July 20, 2009

City trip Hong Kong SAR - 3 (City)

During our visit to HK we stayed at The Cosmopolitan Hotel. A high-end hotel at the Wan Chai district. Well...actually it is based in Causeway Bay since the MTR station is nearby. Happy Valley Race Course was situated next to us. Since gambling is illegal in HK, the people are looking for some excitement at the HK Jockey Club and bet on horse races.
Due to the economic crisis the prices for a stay are dropped tremendiously that low, the costs for 1 night at this 4 star hotel was about € 26,00 (US$ 36,50) per night.
In The Netherlands we can't get even the doors opened for us....
Anyway, the location was great we were right in the centre of HK Island.
If you have the
chance getting there, make sure you get the infamous Octopus Card.

This card is your key to mobility. Private transport is almost impossible in HK due to the many traffic-infarctions, so the public transport (trains, underground, taxi's, busses and feries) are excellent!
You can simple charge up your card and pay electronically all your fares. The Octopus is also used for payment at convenience stores, supermarkets, fast-food restaurants, on-street parking meters, car parks, and other point-of-sale applications such as service stationsvending machines.

Eating is a very important activity in South East Asia. So people do not cook very often, as it is very time consuming. No, around every corner they have a restaurant, eating house or markets, so let's eat outside!
The 3rd picture is at a market in the New Territories city Sheung Shui.
Later that day we had a good dinner at my grandparents place.

Hong Kong's skyline is also breathtaking and we were able to see the Symphony of Light, a
n event with a mix of lightshow and music while presenting the skyline and the remarkable buildings of HK Island.

Also remarkable is the building proces in HK. Unlike the European which uses steel or aluminium tubes for scaffolding, the Chinese use bamboo. And they have a few points: It's a product of mother nature, easy to assemble and dissemble, it's weight is limited, also strong and withstands all sorts of stress. And more importantly, the costs are low. Incredible how an ancient method defeats modern methods.

Next time: Part 4 - Cities, Tian Tan Budha and more culture.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Poll results

Well, the poll has already been closed for a while, but nevertheless, the results shows that The United Emirates of Orb are the favorites amongst the voters. Though there were only six voters, 5 out of six have chosen the Orb Union.
It's probably the vision behind this faction that makes sense. The obviously Three Ship Alliance is a forthcoming from the orb faction.

Final results:
Earth Alliance - 0 %
PLANT - 0 %
United Emirates of Orb - 83 %
Three Ship Alliance - 17 %

Thanks for voting and a new poll about the PG kits has been added.

City trip Hong Kong SAR - 2 (Flight)

From July 4th till July 12th I have been doing a short City trip to Hong Kong SAR with John, a friend of mine. The idea to guide him in HK rose way back in 2004, but there wasn't a real opportunity till this summer.
Since John is a KLM employee, he is allowed to take a companion with him and travel with reduced fares. For € 196,00 (US$
275,00) we were able to have a return flight from Amsterdam to Hong Kong.
The other side of traveling this way, is that you are on the waiting list. So, you're stand-by. If there are people who don't show up or the flight is not fully booked, we're in. Leaving with empty seats is not an option, so the economy people who are overbooked will be upgraded to the World Business Class and if there are stand-by travellers, they can also boarding.
We were not that fortun
ate. We were only travel with these flights on the jump-seat, due to overbooking.

These seats are used by the flight attendants only for take off an
d landing, but are far from comfortable.

Well, at least we are going to HK! But the crew was very relaxed and made any efforts (well, almost any) to comfort us during the flight.
They even offered their crew seat (3rd pic), which was much more comfortable than the M-class (economy) version, but not as good as the WBC version. Besides, it was a stand alone seat, so th
ere wasn't anyone to bother you.

Except for the seat, we've had almost a WBC treatment. Due to the available space, the crew even gave me a galley-container to support my legs as I could stretch these fully to take a nap. During the 11 hours, I had a deep sleep for 6,5 hours. I can't remember to have slept this much during a flight!
At the end of both flights we reveived an attention from the crew. This attention was the famous KLM-house and only prohibited to travellers in the WBC. Nice!!
These poclain miniature houses are replica's (with a real adress) of real ancient houses which were built throughout The Netherlands (Like Amsterdam, Amstelveen, Alkmaar, Arnhem, Deventer etc.) during their Golden Age from approx. 1550-1650. These miniatures are filled with Bols Jenever (a Dutch liquor and precursor to gin made from Juniper berries)

During the flight, the attendants provided us with loads of snacks and drinks and took some time to make a chat. My brother was also on board on the flight back to Amsterdam.
The last few years I heard a lot of negative complaints about the cabin crew. KLM flight attendants would be very snobbish or not very polite.

I have been flying KLM for more than 25 years and I cannot share the above. All the flights the attendants did their job properly. Alright, the atractiveness is not like Cathay Pacific crew (which some of them are very atractive), but that is not an issue of importancy.

What are your experiences with cabin crews? (all airlines)