Not enough popcorn in the world to read this exposé on Booking.com.

Let’s just say that if almost everybody tells you not to write your website in Perl and you still insist on it, then you deserve all of the consequences of that decision.

But they seem to be making so much money than most of the dysfunctionality in the article does not really affect the company.

https://www.volkskrant.nl/kijkverder/v/2019/oud-werknemers-over-booking.com-het-is-een-grote-chaos/?referer=https%3A%2F%2Fpinboard.in%2Fu%3Aalper%2Funread%2F

As the blisters develop and his feet start to bleed, Walton asks the right questions. What are the human and environmental costs of Singapore’s success, and are they sustainable?

His conclusions are more nuanced than either Singapore’s detractors or its cheerleaders would like. The island’s vaunted meritocracy is imperfect, especially seen from the perspective of its Malay and Indian minorities; and the pressures on citizens to perform and conform are so intense that those who do not fit in sometimes opt for voluntary exile.

Not having walked the length of the island (which sounds amazing) but talking about Singapore from afar, I came to many of the same conclusions. Still a fascinating place in so so many ways.

https://www.ft.com/content/fbbb28d2-885c-11e9-97ea-05ac2431f453

Packing List

I used to travel between the Netherlands and Germany at least once a month and pretty quickly I grew tired of forgetting things. That’s why I made a list (in bold, comments added) with the things that I should take or at least consider taking. Whenever I pack my bag, I quickly scan the list and make sure I’ve covered the bases. Maybe it’ll be helpful to you as well.

This and clothes go into a Patagonia MLC bag.

Take knife off keychain

I’ve forgotten to do this more than a couple of times. What makes it weirder still is that TXL/SXF will allow me to fly out with a Swiss army knife but most other airports will not allow me to fly back with one.

Essentials

These are things that are irreplaceable and without which a trip usually cannot happen.

  • Laptop
    Obvious. Macbook Pro 13″.
  • Power cable
    Without this the laptop is pretty worthless. Replacements if you can find them in a local store are upwards of €100.
  • Passport
    Without this traveling isn’t really possible.
  • Boarding cards / tickets
    You could get these from the airport but I print out everything I can at home.

Toiletries

  • Sunblock
    At some point it becomes silly to buy new sunblock at every sunny destination.
  • Toothbrush, paste
    Sometimes I don’t bother to bring any and buy them at the destination airport but it’s more reliable to pack. Often I also take the head of my electric tooth brush.
  • Lipbalm
    I put this on there after I once needed it and paid €11 for a stick at ZRH.
  • Assorted other toiletries
    This is a pain with only a carry-on. I try to usually depend as much as possible on what is available at my destination.

Getting around

These are particularly essential for the Netherlands where you need to bring a card to be able to prove your identity to the various transit systems around.

  • Foreign SIM
    Often this means just my Dutch T-Mobile SIM. I often have SIMs for destinations outside of Europe but those are so short lived that they aren’t reusable.
  • Foreign money / transit cards
    I have ziploc bags per country with the currency leftovers as well as any transit card (Oyster, Suica) or SIM that may still be usable.
  • Power converters
    The US and the UK account for most of my trips where these are necessary. I put these in the ziploc bags with the currency.
  • Paperclip
    I used to need one of these to do the SIM swap. Now I have an Apple SIM pin in the box with all my SIM cards.
  • Keys
    Keys to my parents place in the Netherlands or any other home/office at the destination.
  • Small backpack
    The MLC isn’t very practical to haul around town. I have a tiny Bach day pack that is super basic but fits everything you could need during a day.
  • Canteen
    I usually don’t bother taking this because of weight and bulk, but it is useful for longer trips.

Office

  • VGA dongle
    Trips usually involve some kind of public speaking and as a speaker you should be self-sufficient. Don’t leave this at the venue where you’re speaking.
  • Pens
    I need to carry some quality pens with me. I usually have a four color box of Staedtler fineliners and a couple of Japanese gel pens.
  • Index cards
    Always useful but don’t bring too many because paper is heavy.
  • Business cards
    Trips are usually for business and people appreciate a nicely designed business card.
  • Headphones with microphone
    The standard Apple ones will do for most calls.
  • Noise cancelling headphones
    You need headphones with some noise cancelling effect for during flights. I used to travel with my Sony MDR-7506. They are bulky but if you fly an easyJet to Berlin with those on your head, everybody thinks you’re a DJ. Now I prefer to take my Sennheiser CX-300 II in-ears.

Special wardrobe

  • Havaianas
    Bring if the destination is hot.
  • Running shoes, pants
    Nice to be able to do some sports while traveling.
  • Swimming trunks
    Always bring these.
  • Sunglasses
    I always take my Moscot Lemtosh with me.
  • Hiking shoes
    Whether to bring my decade old pair of Meindls is heavily dependent on the type of trip and the environment.
  • Climbing shoes
    If there are climbing halls nearby, I’ll take these instead of/in addition to running shoes.

Things to check at home

  • Washing machine faucet shut
  • Gas turned off
  • Lock door
  • Fridge empty, leave door open