Mystery on ADN

I joined app.net just over an year ago, when I was kinda getting bored with twitter. I reached 3000 posts just a couple of days back. I may not have been much active and not have posted as much as most of my follows and followers have. I also have not been able to really participate and contribute for  continuous conversations on most of the topics like others have. But, I’ve always been enjoying been able to part of wonderful ADN community and also reading almost each and every post in my time-line. I find people in ADN much more engaging, responsive and somewhat caring than any other social networks that I’ve been part of. And most of them are innovative and creative too.  

On ADN, I’ve also made a couple of good friends, whom I had felt that I can talk anything &  everything and there have always been responses to my posts from them.  Among the people who I’ve been following there are and were also a few people, whom liked so very much for some reason or the other. I loved to read their posts and chat to them than others. 

Since recent past, I’ve been noticing a increasing trend that some of the most active pioneers are leaving ADN. A few weeks (or even months, I’m not sure) @andrewthornton had left and unfortunately I only found out when I did not see his posts any more and asked about his lack of posts. Followed by Andrew’s departure, @charl, all of a sudden ‘unfollowed’ all. She had a posts count of 47K . In her  earlier blog posts  @charl stated that  she left ADN, because she did not feel comfortable about the people on ADN. Since her original brief blog post, she has now posted an update here. Then, this morning, I learnt too has left ADN. Ronnie has also been a very active early adaptor on the ADN. All these 3 friends, I have always admired and liked so very much and its  sad to see them going. Now, I see Charlotte has actually explained reasons behind her departure; but other two - it’s a mystery to me! Is there anything mysterious going on ADN, that I’ve not picked up or noticed? Or have I been ignorance..? I hope, one day, some day I would be able to find out. Unfortunately, all these have begun to happen in the midst of me talking to some of my colleagues  here about ADN, how good ADN is and asking them to check it out & join!

Then to Lusaka from Harare...

After finishing work at the Flight Kitchen in Harare, we boarded the flight EK714 to Lusaka. It was rather a quick journey and we had the same crew whom we flew with the day before. I had a glass of bubbly on boarding, followed with cold platter in-flight. We arrived in Lusaka 40 minutes past 7 in the evening. We had our female Airport Manager meeting is on the arrival and cleared us through immigration, after visa was granted. The General Manager of the Flight Catering Company was there too to receive us and was kind to drive us to the hotel. 

Hotel

We were booked at Radisson Blu Hotel, which was about 7.5 kilometres away from the  Airport. Radisson Blu is a newly opened luxurious property with Standard, Business Class & Superior rooms. We were given  classy Business Class rooms featured with extra amenities such as in-room Nespresso machine and free high speed wireless internet access. 

Both the spacious room as well as the bathroom are very nice and clean.Rooms were fitted with King size bed, closet, safe box and work desk - all very nice. The only issue I had was, at the checking in and after obtaining the room key card, my room door did not open and after even getting the second replacement card, it did not work. In the end, the hotel maintenance staff had to come and re-programmed my room door and issued me with the 3rd replacement. 

Radisson Blu Lusaka was one of the best hotel that I had stayed on my travels in Africa and the staff were nice & polite. Being the Business Class room guests, we were also entitled for free buffet breakfast the next day morning. The breakfast  buffet spread offered 

a wide range of both intercontinental and local dishes and was good quality. 

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Hotel Lobby 

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Business Class Room 

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Bathroom (Obviously!) 

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 liked this one…

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Mosi Larger - local beer 

Back in Harare...

The first time I travelled to Lusaka (Zambia) and Harare (Zimbabwe) was 3 years ago, even before the airline started operation. I flew to Lusaka via Nairobi and after a couple of days work in Lusaka, travelled to Harare. At the time, there wasn’t actually a fully operational flight kitchen in Lusaka, except the old building next to Lusaka Airport that operated a small flight catering kitchen for Zambia Airlines. After Zambia airlines was closed down, flight kitchen too had literally closed down. During our visit, we learnt that one of the International Flight Catering Group Company had acquired the old Zimbabwe Airline Flight Kitchen we were visiting. In fact, we even met the founder/CEO of the company and he offered that they will renovate the old building and install new kitchen equipment like Blast Chillers,cold rooms &  dish-washer and recruit staff to operate a Flight Kitchen to cater to our airline. Looking at the status of the facility at the time and the volume of work that need to be completed, we had our doubts whether all what the founder/CEO said was realistic. 

In any case, we wanted to look at all other available options for aircraft catering. So before we travelled to Harare, we even was considering whether the hotel we stayed - Intercontinental, Lusaka were able to do aircraft catering for us. We understood that sometimes back Intercontinental used to supply aircraft catering to British Airways in Lusaka. After having look at the facilities (or lack of aircraft catering specific facilities)  at Inercontinental , we ruled out taking catering from the hotel. 

Our next look out for flight catering was in Harare and Cater Craft - a  large Flight Catering Facility located within the proximity of the Airport. It was a purpose built Kitchen with a massive capacity to cater all international airlines that had previously operated to Harare. 

This time, I arrived in Harare flying from Dubai via Lusaka. I have two of my other colleagues with me. 

Flight

EK713 June 10th, 2014 operated by Airbus A340-300 in Three Class configuration. Business Class cabin was fitted with old type seats in 2-3-2- abreast. Even in First Class, no Suits.  The flight pushed back  10 minutes behind the schedule due to the ‘Jam in the single runway operation, Captain mentioned in his PA, before take off. The pretty & charming  filipino air hostess worked in the left aisle introduced her self as well as introduced the seat and the facilities to each and every customer, which I thought was really nice. Pre take off drinks offered from round tray had Orange, Apple & Champagne. I opted for a glass of fresh orange juice. Hot towels too were offered before take off. 

Soon after take off, the drinks and meal order was taken for the 1st service, which was called ‘Lite Bites’. I asked for Iranian Chicken and was promptly served, after offering the drink of my choice. 

Lunch was served about two hours before arrival in Lusaka and was consisted of appetiser plate, salad and a main course. I had Prawn Machboos. Hot towels were offered after the meal service as well as prior to landing in Lusaka. 

After one and half hours stop in Lusaka, the aircraft departed for Harare. A cold platter lunch meal was catered  from Lusaka to Harare was loaded in Lusaka. It was just about 40 minutes flight and the same crew operated the short sector. We arrived in Harare around 1750 local time. 

The Airport Manager Harare was there to meet and assist us in obtaining visa and visa was granted for US$ 30/= We were then transferred to the hotel by the hotel shuttle bus. Checked into The Rainbow  Towers Hotel - which is our crew hotel and is supposed to be the best hotel in Zimbabwe. 

Hotel

The Rainbow Towers  Hotel is a pretty standard property with clean rooms. Rooms are fitted with basic facilities such as individually controlled air-conditioning, telephone, double bed, work desk, TV, mini fridge, Safe Box (mine didn’t work though)  and WiFi. Room WiFi connection was rather crappy though. The bathroom had a wash basin, toilet and shower cubicle, Hair dryer. White clean cotton bathing towels as well as basic toiletries too were supplied. 

The hotel has 3 restaurants - Harvest Garden, Kombahari and Teppan Yaki. After having look at the food offering, we decided to have a  light snack at the coffee shop, located in the main lobby. After having the dinner, we retired to our rooms as we were tired after flying for almost nine hours. 

We checked out the hotel the next day morning. Checking out process wasn’t very smooth though, having to wait for about 15 minutes os so. 

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Hotel Entrance

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Lobby

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Room 

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King Size bad

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Part of the bathroom 

Local brew 

The Flight Kitchen 

We visited the one and only Flight Catering Company in Harare - Catercraft for unit inspection and food presentation. I immediately noticed there had been a few improvements overall, since my last visit there 3 years back. 

On the wall at main entrance to the Flight Kitchen, I spotted this photo that had Vickers Viscount, that was operated by Air Rhodesia owned by Rhodesian government, before it became Zimbabwe.

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Posting from iPhone on the go

So here I'm posting this from my iPhone Evernote app, while I’m  waiting in my car till Stephie finishes her ballet lessons. Not sure why, as I'm typing this post I got a notification to say that my post has already been published in 10Centuries. That shouldn't be so! That said, I'm very impressed with the ability to either back date or schedule future blog posts via Evernote and also web dashboard! Back dating feature is first class for me to post about all of the important milestones, events and more importantly the world travels that I've made and haven’t been able to put on record. Awesome! 

The photo below was just taken from iPhone and this is a famous landmark mosque located close to our home in Dubai and the place I dropped Stephie for her ballet class a while back.

Evernote Camera Roll 20140525 192513

Aero id

A few years back, I had this craze of grabbing and registering domain names and just only using a couple of them for my websites. The others, naturally ended up loosing as I never took any interest to renew them on it’s annual expiry. Even the ones that I used for my blog and the other for the industry forum site, too ended up getting cancelled because I had stopped blogging and also disbanded the forum due to flooded with spam.

In the recent past, my interest in domains and wanting for on-line presence has somewhat been growing and as a result, I started this blog. Over the last few days, I’ve also been thinking grabbing another couple of domains and put them to good use. In the first place, I was toying with the idea of starting another blog or even back to a community forum for the industry I’m in. With that in mind, I wanted to grab a {dot} aero  domain - Aviation industry based top level domain. However, to register {dot} aero domain isn’t as simple as registering any other domains and there are some steps to follow. The most important is to obtain an aero ID by submitting an application on-line and as long as you can provide proof that you’re in the Aviation field, it really is a painless process. After you submit the application on-line to , SITA .AERO Office ,you will have to wait for their approval and to send you unique  AeroID and Password to you. I got mine just less than in  ten minutes of submission, which I thought very good. They also sent me a list of Registrars, where I could register my preferred name in the {dot} aero domain. I still haven’t been able to make up my mind of a suitable name for registration and am  still thinking whether I should just go and register my name or should I come up with another industry related common name. Now that I have my AeroID, I don’t think I should really rush; but give some more thought and grab a suitable domain for registration. On the other hand I also noticed, {dot} aero domains are not cheap. A single year registration costs you $80 and I’m not too sure I could afford that right now. Will wait & see…

Lost & Found

Oh well.. this post isn’t about my wallet that was lost & found. But the blog post I composed yesterday on Evernote, I thought had gone missing. After checking at the backend Jason  confirmed that the post never went through. Because, I still had the post in my 10 Centuries Notebook on Evernote, I re synced the note that contained yesterday’s blog post. Viola! the post with the photographs appeared on my blog site in an eye blink. The more I use  10Centuries platform, I seem to be liking it. I strongly recommend every one who’s interested in setting up a blog site should check it out. 

Where did my previous post from Evernote go...?

After about 3 months, I did a blog post on Evernote to sent to my blog site here. As it was about my recent travels to St Petersburg, I had a couple of photographs attached to it. Not sure, why, I still don’t see my post appears on the blog. So, now I’m sending this post just only text, again from Evernote to check out whether there are any issues with posting from Evernote. Let’s see…

My recent trip to St.Petersburg, Russia

April, 27th,2014 St.Petersburg, Russia

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Nevsky Prospect - The 

Street

 in the front of 

Corinthia St.Petersburg

 

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Arrived in St Petersburg around 1640hrs with two of my other colleagues at work on a business trip. This was my 2nd trip to LED, since I first went there in August 2011 for initial Catering Tender evaluation. Stayed at Corinthia Hotel St. Petersburg" in the city.

After checked into the hotel, I went out with a few cabin crew to have a dinner at a Russian Restaurant near by the hotel. After hanging dinner before leaving the place we had dinner, I realised that my wallet with cards and cash was not in my trouser pocket any more. It was  a horrible feeling as I had my entire per-diem,  and my Credit Card, UAE ID, Driver’s License, e-Gate card, Medical Insurance card and Liquor permit in the wallet. Thinking that I must have dropped it, I asked the waiters, whether they found any wallets, they all said no. In the end I had to given up my hopes of getting the wallet back and returned to the hotel.

The following morning I woke up around 0400 and called the Credit Card issuing bank and blocked the card. 

I missed my breakfast in the hotel that morning and left for work at 0800 in the morning. We visited Transpit our current Caterer. The food preso and the Ops evaluation were done and we finished around 1700. After getting back in the hotel, I spoke to the concierge to see whether he could help me to find the restaurant that I lost the wallet and indeed he did. He was so kind enough to call the place and inform about loss of my wallet and the guys at the restaurant said that they got it! I praised the lord Jesus ! I hurried to the restaurant to collect my wallet back. All; but cash was missing from it and honestly, I didn’t mind that I lost all of my cash, as everything else were in tact inside the wallet. I had a feeling of releived and thank god!  

The next day, we checked out from the hotel and drove away straight to the second Flight Kitchen to get on with our work. I noticed, the place has improved their infrastructure since I last visited. We finished our work round about 1500 hours, leaving a couple of hours for us to get the airport, go through check-in and other formalities, before get on the flight to Dubai at 1830 hours.

All in all the trip was good, except the horrible experience I had. 

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Any one in my industry might think this is a Catering Hi Loader (Truck) that transport airline food trolleys to load onto the aircraft; but nah! This was spotted on the streets in St Petersburg. 

New Years Eve..

Like last year, we are spending the New Year's Eve at our home in Dubai this year too. Monica has planned a house BBQ for a few of our church friends. It all started with one of the friend's family wanted to come to our place to watch fireworks that would be irrupted from iconic Burj Khalifa - the world's tallest tower which can be seen from our home. All of these guys who are coming home tonight are a part of church's charismatic renewal prayer group and apparently they don't drink alcohol. But the irony is that I'd like to have a couple of drinks myself and that means, it would only be me taking alcoholic drinks. I don't know that would be ok though. I'm also thinking, should I offer those guys a drink for being polite or whether it will offend them. Not too sure what's best approach or I might just casually take a drink myself, while offer them a non alcoholic beverage. Let's see how it goes.. Have a lovely New Year's Eve everyone!

Posting from Evernote

Hello, inspired again by the good work of Jason  I’m back here after sometime. I’m checking out another awesome feature that Jason has built in to his 10Centuries Blogging service - the ability to post a blog post or even photos right from Evernote. That’s pretty cool. So I’m writing this post from my Evernote app on Mac. 

A week or so back I asked Jason whether our blogs are hosted in ADN; Not! apparently all 

data is hosted on Jason's servers in Japan. He also mentioned that 10Centuries has been two years older than ADN and it’s not that tightly integrated. 

According to Jason, right now,10C also accepts posts from the web dashboard, email, Evernote. He is also working on another project that any one would be able to post & maintain Books on-line.

Thank you, Jason for all your awesome work to the community.

So this is a short post for now and perhaps I will try to write a bit longer post later in the week.