Officials in Venice are fed up
with trashy tourists and are distributing leaflets and putting
up posters with a new set of rules. It is now forbidden
to sit or recline under the porticos or on the steps along the
Procuratie Nuove or the Ala Napoleonica, the buildings that
ring St. Mark's Square. It is forbidden to stop
to eat or drink anywhere other than at tables set up out by
public restaurants, to litter or leave behind wastepaper, cans,
bottles and any other type of solid or liquid waste.
The sale of takeout food is being banned around St. Mark's Square.
Officials are also looking at directing foot traffic through
the Square. Decency patrols are enforcing the new rules
and visitors who litter, eat in un designated areas or loiter
under impermissible porticos may be find up to 500 euros.
Rate the hotel
loyalty programs. A great chart at http://tinyurl.com/3dktfc
for the Olympics. The Chinese government is attempting
to educate the citizens of Beijing to adopt better manners.
Beijing is a city of spitters and the government wants to avoid
embarrassing visitors with its citizens behavior.
The city has mobilized thousands of volunteers and paid workers
to conduct surveys, send out text messages, herd people into
queues, warn against spitting, distribute brochures and study
pedestrian behavior. The 1th day of every month has become
voluntarily wait in line day when bus and subway patrons
are urged to queue properly at their stops. The
campaign slogan is "Its civilized to queue properly, its glorious
to be polite." The government has distributed 2.8
million pamphlets on etiquette training to 870,000 people in
the service sector, including wait staff, bus conductors and
taxi drivers. Having just returned from Beijing,
I can say that, to the surprise of many of the Chinese themselves,
this campaign is working. Little spitting was observed
and many queues in the subway every day, not just on the 11th
of the month.
The limit domestic travellers can claim for lost luggage
increased this year to $3,000 but note that the amount of items
the carriers will not pay for has expanded over the years.
Most airlines contracts of carriage specifically exclude heirlooms,
cash, electronic equipment, any work-related samples or items,
antiques, computer equipment and related items, documents, film,
fragile items, irreplaceable items, jewelry, keys, manuscripts,
medication, paintings, or one of a kind works or art, perishable
items, pets/animals, photographs, photographic equipment, securities,
silverware and watches. Especially note that you need
to know what is packed in your bag if it is lost. On international
trips that originate in countries that have not ratified the
Montreal Convention, passengers may obtain up to 1,000 SDRs
per passenger. An SDR is an international currency that
is equivalent to about $1.50 US. Those countries that
fall under the Warsaw convention are limited to $9.07 per pound.
Before you fly be sure to double check how much you can
check. Just as airlines reduce the amount you can carry
on some, like Spirit Airlines, are charging a fee for even the
first checked bag.
Flying at the end
of the month. Again this summer we are seeing airlines
cancel flights at the end of the month because of a shortge
of pilots/and or flight crew with enough hours to staff the
aircraft. Be careful when choosing flights the last few
days of each month.
The Kennedy Space
Center in Cape Canaveral hosts a daily "Lunch with an Astronaut"
program, where you can get a chance to talk with a NASA
astronaut over a meal. For more information go to www.kennedyspacecenter.com