Traveling Boy means the travel adventures of the Traveiling Boitanos
Travel adventures of Eric Anderson Boitano
Travel adventures of John Clayton
Travel adventures of Deb Roskamp
Travel adventures of Fyllis Hockman
Travel adventures of Brom Wikstrom
Travel adventures of Jim Friend
Travel adventures of Timothy Mattox
Travel adventures of Corinna Lothar
Travel adventures of Roger Fallihee
Travel adventures of Tamara Lelie
Travel adventures of Beverly Cohn
Travel adventures of Raoul Pascual
Travel adventures of Ringo Boitano
Travel adventures of Herb Chase
Travel adventures of Terry Cassel
Travel adventures of Dette Pascual
Travel adventures of Gary Singh
Travel adventures of John Blanchette
Travel adventures of Tom Weber
Travel adventures of James Thomas
Travel adventures of Richard Carroll
Travel adventures of Richard Frisbie
Travel adventures of Masada Siegel
Travel adventures of Greg Aragon
Travel adventures of Skip Kaltenheuser
Travel adventures of Ruth J. Katz
Travel adventures of Traveling Boy's guest contributors

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Airplane-Provided Water, Ice, Coffee, or Tea

It's important to stay hydrated while flying, but you're better off BYOW (Bringing Your Own Water) rather than grabbing a free drink from the beverage cart.

Tests done by the EPA a few years ago showed that one out of every seven planes had tank water that did not meet federal standards, and in fact contained bacteria like E. coli. Although beverage carts might give you "bottled" water from a large bottle, that bottle could have been refilled using the tank water. Coffee and tea are often made from the same tank water, which is usually not heated enough to kill germs. Ice is also sometimes made on board, so it's best to pass on that as well.

Tipping Etiquette Around the Globe

As North Americans, tipping is a reality, and we are sensitive that the wait staff receives their due. We generally like to tip at the amount of 15% to 20%. After all, the wait staff in North America depends on it.

But if you are confused about tipping in other destinations, we determined what’s best to tip outside of North America.

  • Africa: 10% to 15%
  • Australia/New Zealand: None (the wait staff is well compensated in their hourly salary
  • Caribbean & Central America: 10%
  • China: None. (Tipping is against the law)
  • England: 10%
  • Germany: 10%
  • Ireland: 12%
  • Italy: None (except for great service, where you round out bill)
  • Japan: None. (tipping is considered rude, but you always offer your chef a beer)
  • Middle East: 15%
  • South America: 15

Time Capsule Cinema

Glengarry Glen Ross movie poster

Director: James Foley

Writers: David Mamet (play), David Mamet (screenplay)

Cast: Al Pacino, Jack Lemmon, Alec Baldwin, Alan Arkin, Ed Harris, Kevin Spacey, Jonathan Pryce

1h 40 minutes. Aspect ratio: 2.34:1

109 minutes. Widescreen; 1.85:1

Good Mean Fun
A Look Back at Glengarry Glen Ross
By Walt Mundkowsky

GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS is David Mamet's most celebrated (a Pulitzer Prize) and distilled play – slight but serviceable plotting, expletive-filled dialogues of sourness and spite, nary a female to be seen. Mamet focuses on four real estate agents selling dubious Sun Belt properties, and divides them into complementary pairs: Ricky Roma, the champion closer, and Shelly Levene, formerly productive but now fighting a long dry spell; and Dave Moss, a malcontent and instigator, and George Aaronow, clearly no longer equal to the demands of the job. One of them burglarizes the company office, stealing a batch of prized new leads – that is the narrative engine.

Kevin Spacey and Jack Lemmon in Glengarry Glen Ross
Courtesy photo

Much of the play's explosive impact derives from its confined settings. The three encounters in Act One – Levene and John Williamson, the office manager; Moss and Aaronow; Roma and a prospective pigeon – happen in the same restaurant, and all of Act Two takes place in the ransacked office. Act Two is so tightly wound as to be virtually tamper-proof, but Act One is not so fortunate. It suffers from the "opening-out" Hollywood typically imposes on hit dramas. Glancing allusions must be spelled out (Levene's hospitalized daughter, a brutalizing sales contest). Single scenes must be broken into different locations to diminish their claustrophobic charge, even if that also diffuses their power. New material must be added (Levene's and Aaronow's ineffectual sales pitches), even if it adds nothing. Since Mamet served as screenwriter, these alterations fit seamlessly among the original's component parts, but they lessen the achievement.

Al Pacino and director James Foley
Al Pacino and director James Foley. Courtesy photo

Given director James Foley's résumé at that time (RECKLESS; AT CLOSE RANGE; WHO'S THAT GIRL; AFTER DARK, MY SWEET) he seems a puzzling choice for this assignment. And things get off to a rough start, with a visual style more appropriate for one of Foley's hybrid films noirs – luridly lit public telephones and automobile interiors, and the obligatory backlit nighttime thunderstorm. Several scenes are so clunkily staged that attention-grabbing camera movement or cutting is required to keep them afloat. And there are egregious lunges at the audience, like the little wink Roma gives Moss before moving in to snare his mark. Foley does eventually calm down, but long stretches are allowed to lapse into a kind of Ping-Pong – shot/reverse shot flip-flops, the camera sticking to the speaker. The resulting rhythms are at odds with those of the actors (the Moss/Aaronow scenes are especially disfigured). The transition between Acts One and Two is cleverly managed, though, with the elevated train functioning as a lateral wipe. And Act Two is much more cogently directed; the thoughtfully chosen camera positions enhance the shifts in the balance of power.

Courtesy photo

These missteps in script and direction are damaging but hardly fatal to the enterprise. If anyone wants to see a film of this play, it's because of Mamet's acidulous language and the opportunity it affords skilled performers. Both are splendidly intact. The heavyweight cast delivers the goods without exception (acting is, after all, selling), and at least two of the performances are treasurable.

Al Pacino is arguably too old to play Ricky Roma (the drama gains a dimension when Roma is a decade or more younger than the other salesmen), but he brings enormous vocal variety to the character's lines – now most like a weasel, now very like a whale. In particular, he builds Roma's introductory spiel to his client with such mastery that even Foley's inevitable shot changes scarcely break the spell. And he holds back plenty of power in reserve for the outbursts at the climax.

Kevin Spacey commands a wide-ranging technical arsenal, along with the disinclination to employ it glibly. He turns the feed part of the office manager into something potent and reptilian. His final desertion of Levene ("Why?" –"Because I don't like you.") hits harder than all the f-words Mamet strings together. And Spacey can be physically delicate, to comic effect; he handles the stack of precious new leads as though he were a monk with a sacred artifact.

Kevin Spacey
Courtesy photo

No other character here is drawn with the vivid colors of Ricky Roma, but each of them allows its proponent to leave a strong impression. Alan Arkin's primary perceptions as an actor are comic ones, and he makes George Aaronow's frequent gaps in concentration deliciously funny. They could be funnier still, were it not for Foley's impatience; this is the performance most impaired by the director's occasionally crass cutting patterns. Dave Moss is the movie's attack dog, and Ed Harris' customary intensity is never merely loud, but always cognizant of larger designs.

Jack Lemmon
Courtesy photo

One might have feared that Shelly Levene would send Jack Lemmon straight into his SAVE THE TIGER mode, but he steers a remarkably clean course through the part's difficulties and traps. I can imagine a Shelly Levene with a flintier core, but Lemmon renders him as a particular human, not as a sentimental "type."

An actor of Jonathan Pryce's capabilities is pretty much wasted on the rôle of Roma's dupe; Pryce expertly provides the desired tone of rabbit-in-the-headlights vulnerability. Alec Baldwin's turn, as a vulgar motivational speaker, was created for the film; its absence wouldn't be unbearable. As with Pryce, Baldwin supplies what is needed, in this case stentorian egomania.

Flaws and all, this film serves GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS well. It is unimaginable that one would ever see such a cast assembled for a theatrical run.

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