First blog entry from 34,000 ft

If you know me, you’ll know that I’m a sucker for cool new technology. (However I do have some blind spots: I still haven’t got a TiVo. Perhaps I really do believe in network services, in which case TiVo is a short-term fad and a technological dead-end. We’ll see. More prosaically, I donb’t watch much TV.)
Anyway, Lufthansa now offers internet access from their long-haul aircraft, and so I decided to buy an hour of access for $9.95. Latency is quite acceptable, the sign-up process (using Boeing’s Connexion by Boeing) is very straightforward.
Right now we’re at 34,000 feet (FL340 if you prefer), just crossing the Outer Hebrides of Scotland and heading towards Iceland and Greenland. We left quite late – once again, a couple of passengers didn’t board, so we had to offload their baggage; then we had to de-ice which took longer than I expected. However with light headwinds we are told that we should arrive on time,
Reading material on the flight is Kate Fox’s “Watching the English”, a wonderful bit of rigorous sociology/anthropology disguised as a book “for the intelligent layman”. As an expat Englishman, it’s fascinating to explore where some of my weirder* behaviours come from – but also how much of my “Englishness” I’ve lost! For example, I now tend to tip the bar staff in a pub, which is terribly gauche. (Hell, I miss my local pub. I’d love to be a “regular” somewhere other than Starbucks.)

* By American standards, anyway, but then most Americans don’t understand the English.

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