Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Half a world a way? Not quite...

According to this interesting tool on an Indonesian tourism website, the straight-line distance between Houston, Texas and Dubai, United Arab Emirates is 8,181 miles.

So, when I told people in Houston before I left that I would be traveling halfway around the world for business, I wasn't being completely accurate.

The earth's average circumference is about 24,881.3 miles (I say "average" because the earth is not perfectly round; some measurements have a slightly different circumference than others, for example the circumference along the equator is 25,046.9 miles). That means that, to technically be on "the other side of the world" from Houston, I'd have to be half the earth's average circumference, 12,440.6 miles away. So, I'd have another 4,260 miles to go before I'd be completely halfway around the world from Houston.

But back in the late 80s, when I spent my summers in Ecuador and my friend Colin was living in Malaysia, the two of us were pretty damn close to being exactly on the other side of the world from one another. The straight line distance from Kuala Lumpur to Quito is 12,223 miles: merely 300 miles short of half the earth's circumference at the equator (which both cities are very close to).

How's that for some useless personal trivia!

Anyway, even though I don't have to truly travel halfway around the world to get back to Houston, Friday's trip is sure going to feel like it. Six hours from here to Amsterdam, another nine and a half hours from Amsterdam to Houston, and a four-hour layover in Amsterdam on top of that. I'm not looking forward to the journey, but I am looking forward to coming home.

This will probably be my last post from this trip to Dubai. I expect to in Houston Friday afternoon local time and be there for just over two weeks before coming back here.

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