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Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Airplane watching

I am fascinated by technology in general, but I think that airplanes are a miracle. They’re huge, and yet they fly and it boggles my mind. Also, just like many TCK’s and ATCK’s, I feel perfectly fine at airports. They’re neither here nor there, neither the beginning of your journey, nor the end of it. I love airplanes, and one of my dreams is to fly in the cockpit of a plane and understand how all of these switches and buttons work.

As a child, I would often wave at airplanes, and think that maybe the people would see me and wave back. I would wonder where they were flying and what they’ll be doing at their destination. My husband is also fascinated by airplanes and he often reads about different airlines and types of machines. It is through this fascination that he discovered a great website called Flight Radar 24. It allows you to follow all the flights and find information such as destination or airline.

One of the great things about living in the Netherlands is that it’s small. We live in the vicinity of two airports: Rotterdam International Airport, a smaller airport for cheap airlines and Amsterdam Schiphol, one of Europe’s biggest airports. So, we often see airplanes flying over our heads.

Before you could only wonder where they’re going. Now you can know. You can point to a certain airplane and tell exactly where it’s going. What’s even way cooler, you can point to the sky and say: “we’ll soon see an airplane here, it’s going from London to New Delhi, and is operated by Air India”. This is the power of technology. Klara loves doing that with her father. When the weather is good, I often see them sitting in our backyard in front of the computer and talking about airplanes.

You can use airplanes as a starting point to explain all about other countries and cultures and explaining your child’s roots. For example, when there’s a plan headed for a country where we’ve been, we say that we used to live there. When there’s a plane from Poland or Germany, we say that the grandparents live there. On top of that, in our case, this is the perfect father-daughter bonding experience.

They both love it.  And who knows, maybe it will kindle Klara’s fascination with technology, leading her to become an engineer? Maybe it will cause her to fly and see the world and learn all about other cultures? I think that you can turn every situation into an opportunity to teach your child cultural appreciation, and this is really a great one.

Do you also love airplanes? Do you also wonder where they’re going? Do you want to know? Tell me in the comments!

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  1. I can really relate to this post. My son is only 2 but he loves planes and always waves at them as they fly overhead. He seems to think that is granddad is on all of them because he lives in a different city.

    1. Hi Stephen! Aren't planes great???? I love the idea of grandad being on all of them!

  2. In my early years I used to live under the path of a major civil aviation route.
    I was overwhelmed with frustration for not knowing where those aircrafts were coming from and where they were heading to.
    Today, I finally have an app on my phone with which I get all the information.

    1. Dear Tuscan, thank you for your reply! I've been to Tuscany and loved it (of course, how can you not?). I always said that Italians are blessed with beautiful country, beautiful people and beautiful food! Having said all that, I totally agree with you- I love knowing things! And I think it's great that we can know, instead of just imagine where the plane is going!Technology is awesome! BTW, great blog, just followed on FB!

    2. Thank you so much! I thought the Olga who liked Any Latitude's page could be you. Followed back.
      Well, for me Tuscany is "Heimat" also, and that triggers very deep feelings.

    3. Yes, I am that Olga :)thanks for following me back! Yes, Heimat is less of a place, more about feelings...I have a post coming on that!

  3. What a great idea to use aeroplanes to teach our children about countries!!!

    My mother did some wing-walking a few years back, and she sent my eldest daughter a picture of her atop the plane. Now every time she sees a plane she tells me "Maybe Granny's on it!"

    1. Hi Paul, thanks for stopping by, and for sharing your story. I love this! Children are so funny. Just followed your blog, btw. Thanks! Glad to see a fellow expat in the NL here!


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