I am spending a post-wedding vacation in the Dominican Republic these days, and very slowly the stress level in my veins and muscles is leveling down. As you might imagine, I am still reading my emails and checking things here and there, but I do that with a slightly more careless attitude. Many of the emails I skip or overlook will haunt me for the next few weeks, i am sure - but for now, I can't be bothered.

One of the things that I can't get around is leaving this blog alone, though. It just does not feel right to not post anything at all (I hesitate to use the adjective "meaningful") for more than a few days in a row. Now, I know for sure that tomorrow I will have something to announce concerning my book "Anomaly!", and yet I feel I need to share something that I consider interesting here before then.

So here it is - a post about some random observations of a physicist having fun in the Caribbean. They unfortunately do not have much scientific content, nor are profound or insightful - they're just a few things that happened to me, or which I spent some time thinking about. Let me list them in random order.

1 - As my trip involved a flight from Venice to Paris, then another from Paris to Atlanta, and then a third one from Atlanta to Punta Cana, my transfer day was kind of full, waking up at 4AM Italian time and getting to the darn apartment at 10PM Dominican time (that makes it a 23 hour trip). But the length was not an issue. What was very stressful was to have to rush through the Atlanta immigration and change terminal to catch the last flight , as the flight into Atlanta was delayed by one hour, leaving 50 minutes from landing time to takeoff time. I wonder if airlne gurus are thinking about a way to make it easier for passengers in these circumstances. It would already make a huge difference if they could reassure their customers that they are being waited for at their next connection, or anyway providing the critical information in such circumstances; some tracking gadget could easily be concocted for such situations, which would enable airlines to make a more informed decision on whether to leave passengers behind. Unfortunately, Delta did not give us any information (the only bit of wisdom we could get was "go directly to the gate!", doh), not even the gate and terminal number of the connection.

2 - American Express cards are useful in many places, but ATMs in the Dominican Republic seem to definitely not like them.

3 - If you can take an excursion to the Saona island (on the south-west coast of Hispaniola) don't miss it - it is money well spent. We had a disproportionate amount of fun even in the returning boat ride, catching waves on the front hammock of the catamaran, drinking excessive amounts of cuba libre, spotting flying fishes, and dancing on the deck (that was not me).

4 - If you decide to give your arm to a parrot you find in a beach bar and let it cling to it, the only danger as you transport it around its stand for pictures is not coming from above: he will not bite you, they are very intelligent animals. It's rather coming from below: you will step bare-footed on its dung.

I will add pictures to this post as soon as I have a chance...