In which we present a regular round-up of news from the world of Grown-up Travel
Travellers at Gatwick walk 1.2 miles to board flight
New figures have revealed that passengers flying from Gatwick’s North Terminal can expect to walk up to 1.2 miles to reach their departure gate.
The study, carried out by Direct Line travel insurance, compares the distance that passengers must travel at some of Britain’s busiest airports. It showed that travellers at Gatwick face the longest walk, using the distance from the terminal entrance to the furthest departure gate.
Despite Heathrow’s position as the largest UK hub, the equivalent journey from the airport’s Terminal 5 was 0.76 miles, placing it second behind Gatwick.
Journeys at Manchester and Stansted came in at a more manageable 0.57 and 0.48 miles respectively, with part of the journey at Stansted made by way of a new transit system.
Gatwick’s 1.2 mile hike also places it ahead of many of the world’s busiest airports, including New York JFK, Tokyo, Paris Charles de Gaulle and Hong Kong.
However, it is only half the distance that passengers travelling from Beijing Capital airport can expect to face. Those departing from the airport’s Terminal 3 have to contend with a mammoth two mile journey to the furthest gate.
Direct Line also recorded long distances at Atlanta, Zurich and Frankfurt, leaving Gatwick in fifth place worldwide.
Different cultures, different greetings
My friend and sculling coach Gabi Cipollone won her first Olympic gold medal as a teenager from East Germany in Montreal back in 1976.
Four years later in Moscow, she won her second, barely having recovered from back surgery. What’s more, her first Olympic race made sports history as the first year women were allowed to compete in sculling events. Awesome, isn’t it?
I once asked Gabi what it was like to participate in the Games. Surely she’d tell me about the intensity of competition; the pressure to perform; and the thrill of just being an Olympian, win or lose.
Wrong. Gabi’s quick reply was: “I’d never seen Chinese food before; or people from India, South Africa, or Bermuda.” All of a sudden the world seemed overwhelmingly huge, and it was all contained in a few buildings at Olympic Village.
“Wait until after your race to try your first hamburger,” her coach cautioned. The world of culinary adventure would have to wait. But meeting new people from other nations certainly could not. That, too, proved to be quite an adventure.
The first instinct for many North Americans, whether athletes or businesspeople, when greeting someone is to stick out our hand, look directly at the other person, and smile.
Unfortunately, in some situations, this could mean making three mistakes all at once. Methods and styles of greeting vary greatly around the world, as do dining customs, and it is important to know what is expected in differing circumstances.
After all, it’s the moment of greeting when crucial first impressions are made.
Here are some tips on meeting people from varied cultures, whether you’re at the Olympics, at an international business conference, meeting new classmates, or on vacation:
* When greeting Asians for the first time, it is a good general rule not to initiate the handshake. You may be forcing physical contact that the other person finds uncomfortable. Many Asians, particularly the Japanese, have learned to accept the handshake when dealing with Westerners. Since the bow is the customary greeting in Japan, a slight bow of the head when responding to a proffered handshake greeting is appropriate.
* Most Latins are more accustomed to physical contact. Even people who know each other only slightly may embrace as a greeting.
Rise in overseas visitors to the UK
The UK welcomed an increased number of overseas visitors in the first six months of this year.
Foreign residents made 14.75 million trips to the UK in January to June 2012 – a 2% rise on the total for the first half of last year, the Office for National Statistics said.
The amount these overseas visitors spent during their visits in the first six months of this year reached more than £7.81 billion – a 2% increase on the January to June 2011 total.
The increase in numbers and spending for the half-year came despite a dip in numbers in June 2012, which saw 2.59 million overseas residents’ visits compared with more than 2.85 million in June 2011.
Spending by overseas residents has been boosted by North American tourists who have made 5% more visits to the UK in the first six months of this year than in the January-June period last year.
UK residents made more visits abroad (6.08 million) in June this year than in June last year (5.60 million) but their total number of trips for the first half of this year is unchanged at 25.95 million.
Spending by UK residents during trips abroad rose in June this year, while total spending for January to June 2012 – at £14.34 billion – is 2% up on the first half of last year.
Cockburn, Cock Wash: Some of Australia’s most unusual and bizarre names revealed
There are town names which are downright embarrassing, and then there are those likely to cause breakouts of giggles and a lot of red faces, and thats just among the men.
Then again there are the names which are just weird and unusual – and it seems Australia has plenty of both.
While the US town of Toad Suck has been today been given the dubious honour of “most embarrassing or unfortunate” town name, there are plenty of names closer to home likely to give it a run for its money in the weird stakes.
The Arkansas town pipped Climax, Georgia and not one but two Borings for the title in the family history website Findmypast.com, which asked 1754 people from a short list of American communities with oddball names.
But a quick scan of Aussie towns and suburbs reveals a plethora of names equally as hilarious and unusual names including Dog Swamp in WA, and the NSW towns of Come By Chance, and Grong Grong.
But if you’re easily amused and possibly slightly immature stop reading now because these names will make even the toughest blokes blush.
Chinaman’s Knob is the name of a hill in Victoria, Cock Wash, the name of a town in South Australia and then there’s Cockburn (WA) named in honour of Vice Admiral Sir George Cockburn.
And if that’s not enough to spark fits and giggles the towns of Rooty Hill (NSW), which refers to roots exposed in fields around the hill following floods, and Tittybong in Victoria sure will.
Residents in those towns shouldn’t feel too bad though, the Queensland town of Banana definitely has one of the most unusual especially given it is full of cows.