Planes, Trains & Automobiles

I had the most convoluted commute in to work this morning. Starting in Rotterdam, in the Netherlands. I hopped into a taxi with an incredibly chatty driver, with whom I was having an in depth conversation about how quickly the Dutch language changes, seemingly on a weekly basis. Spelling changes overnight, grammar is completely revised and half the words are being anglicized. The immediate example being the Dutch word for airport, luchthaven, is now just simply, airport. Kids these days don’t even know the word luchthaven apparently. He went on to explain how kids these days can’t read written Dutch from just thirty or forty years ago. It’s just that different. English is the second national language of the Netherlands. It’s a small enough country to not have the cultural heft that identifies with strict language identity and pride like that of France or Germany.

From there I was on to the tiny and charming Rotterdam Luchthaven, only eight gates, two for international flights. It was one of the most pleasant airport experiences I’ve ever had, given how much we’ve traveled, that is saying a lot. Latte in hand, I settled in for a bit of people watching, even though there were only a handful of people there. Once on the plane after a brief delay I was sat in my window seat on the little dual prop plane. Even on this short fifty minute flight, the passengers were taken care of, complete with little cheese and tomato pita sandwiches and squares of chocolate with the coffee and tea service.

I landed at London City Airport on the east side of London (after circling the city half a dozen times and flying so low over Canary Wharf I felt I could reach out and touch the buildings). Right out of the terminal are the platforms for the Docklands Light Railway trains. My usual rail/travel card covered the transit on this train, although at no point did I need to pull it out until my final destination. From Canning Town station on the Jubilee tube line, transferring to either Circle or District Line at Westminster and on to South Kensington. I guess I could add “feets” to my list of transport for the day as well, for the walk up and into the museum :)