Friday, June 02, 2006

A Comparison of U.S. Cities

As many of you know, latesly I've had the opportunity to travel quite a bit. Mostly because of work, but also a couple of personal trips (such as my current visit to Lubock TX.)

I've noticed interesting differences in place that I've been,and I think sometimes these differences tell tales of the cultural attitudes in each place. Read on and you'll see...

Seattle -vs -Dallas:
I've noticed several differences between the way things are at Sea-Tac -vs- Dallas:

There are soldiers everywhere. How can I tell? Well, they are wearing plain clothes, but they all have the same hair-cut and they are hauling around mounds of military issue duffle-bags.

There are soldiers everywhere. How can I tell? They are in uniform - desert fatigue, with standard issue combat boots, and a little patch on their left lapel with things like "PVT FST CLS JENSON" and that sort of thing on them.

What do I derive from this?
Option 1:
In Seattle the soldiers are afraid to appear in uniform because they might be mugged by protesters?
Option 2:
(I hope more likely) In Seattle the soldiers were inbound and in Dallas outbound.

The airport intercom:
"Ladies and gentlemen, we are having some technical difficulties with flight 2454. Please stand by for further information." Sometime later: "Ladies and gentlemen, if you are on flight 2454, please be advised that that flight has moved over to terminal B 64. You will begin boarding in 15 minutes at B 64."

The airport intercom:
"Those of you who are on the flight to Lubbock. We've got problems with the aircraft right now, so that flight will most likely be delayed a few minutes." Sometime later: "About that flight to Lubbock. Folks, they can't get the aircraft fixed right away, so they've given us another aircraft right over at terminal B 64. So, you folks will need to board over at B 64. That's the 11:30 flight to Lubbock. Thank you!"

This difference really fascintates me. Dallas is a much bigger airport, but from what I understand much more efficiently run that Seattle, in spite of the fact that the airport personnel are less formal. In Seattle, on the other hand, while we are (demon?) possessed with a nagging sense of "Everything must by orderly and politically correct" - they are much more formal over the innercom - they only say the flight number (not even mentioning the city name, and so you have to dig out your boarding pass and check it even if it isn't the same city.)

Well, well, more differences to come...

(and more soon on the family get-together...)


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