Monday, May 26, 2008

The Window Seat

I rarely get to sit at the window seat during any of my travel due to a couple of reasons. No. 1 reason being that it's usually not available. No.2 reason being that I prefer the aisle seat for need of foot space (Note to aircraft designer: what's with putting the front seat on MY LAP???). Today my leg from Bankgok to Tokyo was one of the rare times that the flight was empty. I had the luxury of sitting at leisure all by myself in a triple seat. I slid over to the window seat and watched the plan take off from the Bangkok airport. Boy oh boy, what a view it was. Bangkok is indeed very beautiful and green. I was kicking myself for stowing away my camera in the over head bin. I would've loved to take some pics of the beautiful sight surrounding the Bangkok airport. (Which means I probably have to supplement this post with pics from Google maps.. how boring :-P).

[Insert] Can't find it on Google maps.. but check picture towards the end of the post for an idea of what I'm talking about.[End of Insert]

One of the things that struck me immediately is the vast amount of rectangular water tracts (very similar to land tracts) all around for miles together. I notice that all these water tracts were surrounded by thin strips of land probably to put fences on. Each of these water tracts looked to be agricultural of some sort (I would guess paddy, but not sure). And for a good 20 minutes after taking off, all I could see was these vast water tracts. Each of these water tracts were fed with water through man-made channels from one of the rivers that snaked across the land. Amazing!

Suddenly it struck me how different the agricultural plots looked here as compared to the US. Here all the plots were rectangular from the air. However, the last time I had noticed something like this from the air in the US, I remember them being circular. I sat and thought about it for a little while and then concluded that it probably is because of the kind of labour involved in the agriculture in each of these regions. In the US, most farms are run by 2 or 3 people. Very automated.

Very machinery oriented. I have seen a type of machinery arm which spokes out radially from a central point in the farm. This arm then rotates around the entire plot (supported by wheels underneath), and sprays water, pesticide, etc. Hence, when you look at the land from the air, it looks like someone took a compass and drew a circle on the plot of land. Put together many of these, and from the air, the entire stretch of agricultural land looked to me suddenly like a row of circular lights.
Below is a Satellite view from Google Maps of what the circular tract I'm talking about.

The plots in Bangkok were all rectangular, probably indicating that these were all labour intensive (inspite of being mechanized). It makes more sense for a row of people to start at one end, and comb the entire stretch of the rectangular land not missing out an inch. It's harder for people to start out at one point in the center and walk out radially. Probably miss out a lot of land between the radial lines.


[Insert] I found similar plots when I arrived in Tokyo also. Check out the picture below which I shot from the plane just before landing in Tokyo Narita airport. Hmm, the whole world seems to be working in one way.. except for the US looks like.

[End of Insert]
On an unrelated note.. MMMMMMMMMMMM.. Thai Airlines undoubtedly has the best croissants and danish that I've ever had. I wonder who the caterers are. It was totally orgasmic!!! THE PERFECT CROISSANT! Just heated to the perfect temperature, perfect softness, perfect dosage of butter when it was originally made, perfect taste, perfect aroma. Umm.. just melted in my mouth!! I even shamelessly had a second helping (though I"m trying to go on a diet to loose the 2 kgs I've gained in the last 2 weeks).

My excuse was that I had to make sure that my first one wasn't an exception. Sure enough, the second one was as perfect as the first! Note to myself.. try and fly Thai next time to Japan once again just for this! Haven't tasted one like this in the US, Europe, China or Korea! Definitely worth the pain of having to walk the entire length of the Bangkok airport to catch my connecting flight! Definitely THE longest walk I've had inside an airport (other airports in the US/Singapore have trains inside them). Oh hey!! Definitely feel better now. 2nd croissant totally compensated for by the longest walk inside an airport ever. How perfect is that??? Absolutely the PERFECT CROISSANT!

The air hostess walking by just noticed the content smile on my face. At peace with myself....



Blogger Nithya said... guy who chks out the landscapes instead of the air hostesses....Impressive :)

9:35 AM  
Blogger Rhapsoder said...

Lol. Nithya.. you know me. I don't mention such stuff ;-)

The air-hostess was busy somewhere else!

12:26 PM  
Blogger Rhapsoder said...

And.. I would think that she'd get pretty offended if I took pictures of her randomly!

12:26 PM  
Blogger Touche' said...

Manu prefers not to wash his .... in public, Quarts :P From Amsterdam fly toilets to Tokyo farmlands to Thai Airlines croissants! I guess any pastry or dessert wud give u the same ORGASMIC feel to u :P

Goin places.. eh? BTW... nice post. Kudos to the analyst in u :)

5:07 PM  

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