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    • CommentAuthorgrenville
    • CommentTimeMay 14th 2011
     
    I haven't been here for a bit. I'm living in in Rome right now. I also live in Istanbul and Cairo. In Rome, I like to try two new restaurants a day. I love Italian food. I can't get enough of the stuff. I was in Manila, but I ate something bad and had to be looked after in a Makati apartment for a few weeks. I was pretty sick. I'm having a break from Asia except some resorts in Thailand which I love. I'll probably be in the US later in the year.

    I'm working my way through a huge stack of books and ebooks on ancient Rome and Byzantium and then going out and looking at the places where events took place either here in Rome or Istanbul, North Africa and the Middle East. Its a lot of fun. If you travel a lot and have a few hundred thousand frequent flyer miles to burn then it helps to have a historical hobby.
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      CommentAuthortallman
    • CommentTimeMay 16th 2011
     
    grenville! Good to hear from you. Are you on vacation, or are you working? Or a little of both? Sounds interesting, nonetheless. Where are you headed in the US?

    Nothing special going on here. Doing well. Working, living, etc...

    ~Mark
    • CommentAuthorgrenville
    • CommentTimeMay 18th 2011
     
    I'm working, but I've learned to combine it with pleasure. I'm a consultant of sorts in a somewhat esoteric field which means lots and lots of international travel. If you've seen the Clooney character in Up in the Air, that's me more or less. You need to have an interest to go with the travel or it will kill you. I try to stay as much as I can in little hotels in historical areas and get out and do the history and take a couple of days off to do ruins and interesting things tours. I'm in Istanbul right now just down the road from Hagia Sophia -- a truly magnificent building.

    I'll be all over the US, but will try to base in San Francisco because the airport (apart from the lounges) is almost International standard, though I will probably end up in New York, which I love and it has great food and a rich architectural history, but awful airports. If you fly three or four times a week airports are the paramount consideration. The prospect of having to fly in the US is depressing. Maybe the GOP will agree to big tax increases and decide to spend the necessary trillions on infrastructure modernization. What do you think the chances are?
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      CommentAuthortallman
    • CommentTimeMay 18th 2011
     
    Probably unlikely, but politics are politics. We'll probably end up with a futuristic, country-wide monorail. That no one will use. I don't fly often or anything, but it's quite a miserable experience, so despite my misgivings about government spending, I might actually support that sort of infrastructure investment. Airlines seem like a poor investment in the free market, despite the amazing usefulness of the service. I haven't done a detailed analysis on it or anything, but I suspect there are some weird negative feedback loops going on there. Indeed, you'd be in a much better position to judge that sort of thing than me!

    Anyway, I hope your esoteric field isn't quite as soul-sucking as Clooney's in Up in the Air, and I'm glad you've found a way to make the best of the copious travel. Most folks I know that took high-travel positions burned themselves out pretty quickly, so it's not an insignificant accomplishment.

    ~Mark