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February 25, 2004
FDR and beyond...

FDR feels like a videogame tonight. The pieces of London under the wheels of our cab make the ride feel like flying a Spitfire through a heavy storm at night. My pilot has a conversation with the base. I am making sure we will not be followed by any one of the other fighters. We are flying really low, to avoid serious trouble, radar and such nasty stuff. We are fighter 2N12 he is Rahman Saipur. Our landing flaps are a little rusty and so whenever we slow down, there is a screeching sound: metal on metal.
Will we make it to the home base? Did Rahman make sure we have enough fuel? I am trying to make look over his shoulder, just briefly, don’t want to distract him.
We will soon fly through the park. There will be tunnels and bare shadows of trees. We will fly very closely between old stone walls. They will be so close I will be almost able to touch them… so close…
My pilot is the best. He will bring us home safely. The machine might be howling as if it were a slightly injured horse, but I know we will make it… Go Rahman, go… It will be 15.70 +50, because it is a night by night…
How does one properly tip a pilot?


you never tip in london. at least, that's what everyone tells me. (are you really in london?) the funny thing is...everywhere you go you find little tip offering cups and every bill says "service not included". i don't get it. Taxis are always thrilled to get a non-brit because they know they will get a little extra.

Posted by: christy on February 26, 2004 02:45 AM

You can tip in London. It's not illegal. One appreciates good service, as everywhere. But it is not taken for granted (neither the good service nor the tip).

And you are not kicked out of the restaurant if you don't tip, although you may notice that cab driver speeding away at a slighter higher pace and possibly also still with your luggage in his boot. No, I am just pulling your leg there.

Posted by: Tom on February 26, 2004 05:43 AM

It is very strange that I was not able to find a link to this information on the web. So here is a quote from the Encyclopedia of New York (a great book available in a store near you.): "FDR Drive. A controlled-access highway running along the east side of Manhattan Island from the financial district to Harlem. Built under the direction of Robert Moses during the administration of H. La Guardia... Much of the landfill on which it is constructed consists of the rubble of buildings destroyed during the Second World War by the Luftwaffe's Blitz on London and Bristol. Convoys of ships returning from Great Britain carried the broken masonry in their holds as ballast..." (Kenneth T. Jackson)...
I am in New York, still, but the land under FDR Drive is from London...
And Spitfires were the very fast planes the Brits used to protect their skies...

I like tipping... : )

Posted by: Witold Riedel on February 26, 2004 08:36 AM

hmmm...i had a feeling it wasn't a literal reference. Is anything literal on this site?? geez. For the record, FDR is also an acronym for (Flight Data Recorder), which could be a sneaky way to imply a "trip abroad". I give up. : ) And to make matters worse I am now MORE confused (as if that was possible) about the british tipping culture. wonderful.

Posted by: christy on February 26, 2004 09:22 AM

Christy, I certainly did not want to step as a teacher in front of the class... sorry if it appeared this way... I wrote the entry in the cab last night... so it is possible that it is a little different than some other entries here...
I think I should probably say less, write more, hmm... : )
Tipping is good.. isn't it?...

Posted by: Witold Riedel on February 26, 2004 09:50 AM

teaching is good.
little differences are good.
tipping is definitely good...

Posted by: christy on February 26, 2004 11:33 AM

How wonderful! I was riding on the rubble of a faraway place unknowingly! Neato...sort of. I wonder what ancient surprises lay under my computer chair?

Posted by: Ali on February 26, 2004 03:19 PM

Courtesy is a delightful gesture, it shouldn't be necessary to have to pay for it.

Posted by: Tom on February 26, 2004 05:15 PM

: )

Posted by: Witold Riedel on February 26, 2004 06:02 PM

You should have said hello last night!

Posted by: Eliot on February 27, 2004 04:25 PM

I love the photographs you have been taking recently, but miss your drawings terribly. Interestingly I have been using a square to draw for every post much like you used to do, although I am practicing for album art. I must admit the idea came from you... and so did incentive to buy my Wacom tablet, which I love.

Thanks again.

Posted by: Ben Up The Tree on February 27, 2004 04:31 PM
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