Tag Archives: uk

Airport snow and dodgy landings

An older thought, but one I wanted to capture. When visiting Finland – still covered in a blanket of white in mid April – we wondered why Heathrow seems to collapse at the slightest dusting of snow.

It seems it’s partly due to the lack of expertise, equipment and manpower to clear the snow – but given that aeroplanes are overengineered to cope with adverse weather conditions (as you’d hope), there had to be another reason – and after all, Heathrow could learn its lesson and buy a few more snowploughs for next time!

One reason, it seems, is conservatism on behalf of BAA – with every airline in the world flying into LHR, it hardly matters what standards Boeing manufactures their planes to, or the quality of BA’s training. It’s the maintenance staff at Air Qumran and the risk posed by its hungover pilot who’s never even seen a snowstorm, much less landed a plane on an icy runway slick with a fresh dusting of powder.

I don’t blame them on that front. After all – we all learn defensive driving these day so we are prepared with other driver’s competence – why not manage an airport the same way?

Generational vs cultural differences for the Internet in Malaysia

Malaysia is the 5th “most connected” country in Asia (data 3 years old but should still hold mostly true). So it’s with some surprise when I come visit home that there are vast differences in the way we do things. We don’t check online for local garages – we drive around and find ones that look good or word off traditional word of mouth recommendations. On the other hand, Dominos Pizza in Malaysia accepts online payments, in a country that has traditionally shied away from e-commerce due to high levels of fraud, and we managed to pre-emptively order a lot of Emily’s baby kit from an online store before we arrived.

Hard for me to always establish which differences are due to culture – it’s a hard-bargaining, fraud-averse environment here – and how many are due to generational differences. Most of our visits here are spent with my parents and aunts and uncles – who are of a different age, shall we say.

Regardless of what the cause is, I’ve taken some delight in spreading a few bits of my digital-era practices here. A couple of aunts have been introduced to Apps, I’ve been evangelising true Smartphones whilst battling against aging Nokias and so on. The motivation is more than slightly self-interested – it’s lovely to have my family more connected to our lives as we share them digitally – including the ongoing development of young Emily and our other adventures…

Cousins – what do you think?? Digital Guru Shayna?