Long queues at airports

Recently, I traveled to Korea and experienced long queues, which made me wonder about the reasons behind them.

Check-In Queue: Even though there was a check-in terminal, it refused to check me in. Probably due to visa requirements and COVID-related checks, which I assume will disappear soon. So, even though I checked in online and only had carry-on luggage, I had to queue. The process took longer than usual, and it seemed slower than before. The time dedicated to each passenger was much longer than pre-COVID, and the number of open stations was insufficient. I am not sure whether it is due to new systems, visa requirements, or untrained staff.

The same thing happened on my way back from Gimpo Airport. If it previously took me two minutes to check-in, it now took ten minutes, and I was one of the faster ones. Even though Japan canceled requirements for COVID tests or vaccines, I was still asked about it and had to spend time proving I am qualified. The number of open check-in stations was much less than I remembered pre-COVID.

Security queues: There was a long queue in Haneda, probably due to the number of tourists or the new introduced systems. It took a while to pass security. Gimpo, on the other hand, was very short and easy. They were using the same old systems, and there were many open security stations.

Immigration: Entry to Korea took about an hour, which was much longer than in the past. Previously, when Korea citizen’s queue was empty, staff used to direct the foreigners to the empty lanes to expedite the process. However, this did not happen this time, and although the Korea citizen’s queue was empty, all foreigners still had to stand in the same queue. The system was not that different, but it took longer than pre-COVID.

Conclusions? I am not sure if I can draw any conclusions, but I speculate that new systems, which are supposed to reduce “friction,” may actually increase it.
Airlines have let go of their ground staff and now rely on new hires or outsourcing, which may contribute to the issue. Additionally, the number of open stations is not sufficient. I hope this improves quickly as international travel becomes normal and COVID restrictions are lifted in most countries around the world.

JL001 Medical emergency

Flew back from SFO to HND on Thursday (PST). About 3 hours into the flight, announcement asking for a doctor or nurse to assist in a medical emergency.
This requested was repeated several times, with Cabin attendants running back and forth.

About half way over the Pacific, the pilot announced we will land in Anchorage due to the medical emergency.
Flew back (1.5hours) to Anchorage, medical team boarded the plane, took the patient and it took several more hours to fuel, get approval for revised flight plans.

Landed in Haneda at about 1AM, 6 hours after the planned schedule. As there are no public transportation at this time, we received a commitment to repay expense up to 10,000 yen.

Now, what I did not write in this post is the emotions and feelings during the flight, medical team boarding the flight and result.

As we were leaving the plan, a foreign (American?) woman, stopped and hugged several of the cabin attendants with tears filling their eyes.

I hope I will not forget this.

Brompton Cycling

Using my Brompton Bicycle very often.

During my vacation, I travel to different locations in Tokyo (by Train), and cycle around there. Besides enjoying the scenery and good food (which of course I plan ahead where to eat), I really enjoy the experience.

Unfortunately, I realized I don’t take enough photos during these trip.

The following are the two only photos I took from my Asakusa (浅草)area tour.




Sky Tree


Brompton Bicycle

Bought Brompton P6R.

Ordered them last week and got them on Saturday. Was thinking of riding them half way and take the train, but ended up riding all the way home.

Maybe I am stating the obvious, but riding a bicycle is better than riding the train. Found interesting places, parks, beautiful streets.

The only question is, how often will I use them and make sure they are maintained well.


Selfie Stick

Don’t get it.

Why would people walk on the beach with a selfie stick, taking a video of themselves.

Doesn’t it seems to them too staged? What do they plan to with this video? A memory? Show their Friends?

I do take photos, but seldom of myself. A photo or a video is a good way to remind me of an encounter, a specific event. But I never considered documenting myself walking on the beach.

Generation gap, or generation vanity ?

Guam Onigiri Seven

Guam is great, but the food is American.

More than 8 years in Japan and it seems my tastes and stomach are not in favor of fat greasy food.
So, you can imagine what a great relief I found in Onigiri Seven, a Japanese food stand which serves tasty and reasonable Japanese food. From Onigiri to Udon, Gyudon and more.

Highly recommended.




I enjoy hearing people telling their stories. In Cafe, restaurants, Bar.

Even during business travel, one can have a chance to meet people and hear the stories.

Everyone have a story. Some are standard, some boring, some interesting and some exciting. It is many times not about the story, but how people tell their own story. Humbly, boastful, facts or spicing it with fiction.

A few stories I heard recently.

  1. A girl who lived one year in Vancouver, had to go back home and have two jobs to help support her family. One standard marketing day job (a bit boring), another working in a bar.
    Story told in English, humbly, facts, not from pain or frustration, not apologizing , a strong woman
  2. The owner of the bar (in Korea), which can speak Japanese, proudly explained why she can speak Japanese (but cannot speak English), story told in a boastful over the top manner, proud face.
  3. Woman during lunch talking with a man, explaining how she ended up working in a translation section of a big foreign company. How she has always been a “freelance” employee, never a formal employee a company. She taught English and then scouted to work as translator. Was this a date ? Were they work colleagues? Could not figure it out. Her story was humble, facts with hidden pride. “I am different”; “I look Japanese, but not really”.  Green shirt, magnificent colorful nails (with green again).





Energy Monitor – Mac OS

Available from Mavericks, but just “found” it.

As I work outside the office VERY often, this may be the most important monitoring tab for me. Not only the applications which consume a lot of CPU time in a certain time, but the ones which consistently drain my battery.

Google Chrome and Outlook look the main culprits while Apple application are better

Energy Monitor


I find it quite difficult taking photos while on family trips.

No time to relax, to set the camera as I want to, to wait for the right light, right moment.


Nevertheless, two photos from the weekend:




Second one, Long exposure, not Tripod. Was quite surprised it turned out ok. (not very good though)