this is in response to a post on an CS RTW question about global mobile phones...
i too am in a similar boat. i'll be leaving on july 7th for seven months and have been looking into a communications plan that will keep me happy on all 6 populated continents. over the weekend, i dropped into my local t-mobile store to ask a very distracted man a few questions. over my shoulder stood a tall blond who was fidgeting with a sidekick and without out a doubt, i stood in the way of the t-mobile agent getting some digits.
nonetheless, i discovered that while t-mobile would be the best provider bouncing back and fro from US and Europe. there is no good single provider. t-mobile has the most inexpensive international blackberry (data) plan, but data, voice and text are comparable to cingular, the new at&t. i've heard Europeans get a better plan when they come over to the US on voice and text but not on data. to date i have no one can provide conclusive evidence.
logically, i see my self purchasing an unlocked GSM cellphone and keeping my fingers crossed or keeping my brick like treo. my other consideration is fairly expensive. in june, apple and cingular will launch the iPhone and conceptually it's the perfect device for a world traveler - GSM, WiFi, iPod with 8 gig, Address Book, 2 megapixel camera and what appears to be an SD card slot.
in the end, i've been debating the suitability of have a phone, battery, etc... but then i think of twitter and txt messages... how will i ever live what my friend heather calls the "mini postcards."
sorry for not posting sooner, but my last few days in geneva were mired with crazy weefee (how the french pronounce wifi) and dns issues that precluded me from posting. right now, i'm back in greenpoint, bklyn, laying in my bed two seconds from passing out.
i'll keep this brief and tomorrow give you a lovely little story. though i can not over state that the conversations in Switzerland are leading me down a new road of discovery. in the meantime, check out my comments from the first day at lift.
thanks to our most recent donor! Heath Row
it's 2.50 in the morning before lift. i have to be up at 7 and i can't sleep. thank goodness it's taking forever for flickr to load my photos, otherwise i'd be laying here tussling, envying my hostel's mates ability to sleep. what's this?!?! our third hostel mate just arrived... an asian american just walked in, but now he's walking right back out... wtf!
i wish i could take a page from mickipedia, my 37th donor, and wax poetically about the weather. ok, the weather... since my last serious relationship, every woman envelops me in a thick fog, accidents happen and then one of us departs once the sun is out. i'm starting to think that somehow i've succumbed to what micki calls "open-source dating" or "8 ways to stay single."
yet, these are her prescriptions to heart break, and to me they are results of a desire to find the perfect one... if that day has passed or if that day is in the future, how will i know? have i locked away my heart from pain or the potential for pain? does one follow the dogma of movies and break off all relationships only to regret every chance encounter?
with valentines day just a week away, how can one mend but not feel vulnerable?
ps - maybe instead of blaming "them," i should blame my self and admit that i am a fog - i'm thick, cause many accidents, and depart when the sun is out.
a funny thing happened to me last night...
first, for all mac users don't even think about purchasing a samsung SC-X210L digital camcorder. those suckers use a special AVI codec that is damn near impossible to find decoders. too boot, they are piss poor in low light situations. instead of me finding a good camcorder, i'm going to just use my little pocket point and shoot and a voice recorder. i'm not adverse to using something new, i just find my self able to produce better shots. while sound isn't top notch, noise and sound tend to time shift around me.... more to come later...
while on yesterday's voyage, i met up with my old friend, lucia rollow. we traded our most recent stories while i reviewed head shots she took of me. sitting together, i tweaked. no, it wasn't some drug nor was it a hang over. instead, i was tweaking out on a cup of joe, from a cup of joe. oh lord how i was tweaking. shaking, shivering, and some what unconversational, i found some tea that suited my biochemistry a bit better.
after burning through the itch, i headed to paragon sports to find the cheapest/cold-rated sleeping bag i could find. after a 5 min reorientation with in the store, apparently the owner loves flamboyant colors and the place is always changing, i found my self in the exact same tiny-ass room, where i picked up my camel pack and the same room where my brother picked up his Timbuktu laptop/currier bag.
new york city stores are funny. sometimes you walk into a place and find a sales assistant quickly, other times you have to spar with an attendant to find the right attendant. sex, affluence, prejudge all are factors. don't be insulted, it's part of the game. after a quick discussion on who would help me, and a quicker discussion on what's on sale, adam (the third recommended assistant) cranked out a woman's sleeping bag for US$71 and he tossed in a $5 stuff sack. so apparently, this sales attendant got into a tussle with a baseball bat and his best friend.... he really didn't mind that i was purchasing a woman's light blue sleeping bag, so i didn't inquire about his propensity to get his ass kicked.
some how, instead of heading to drop off my gear, i ended up at Spuyten Duyvil. as the weather turned from humidly cold to pissing rain, i sat in at the Duyvil shooting the shit with my friends. floored in rickety wood, yellow walls, and a red tin roof, i've called the Duyvil my second home. i love the place so much, when it came time to open up a coworking space, i petition beka, from not an alternative, really hard. with a non-stop assortment of unique beers from around the world and one of the best set of taps in America, beka, who lives and works across the street, loved the idea.
low and behold, at 6pm i found my self sharing a cheese plate with beka and eric, my coworkers. in tow, drayton heirs. ironically, drayton (rimes with layton or if you're from my past, dayton) is a nick name. apparently a bad nickname that stuck like glue. sound familiar funny? what's more funny?
drayton, beka, eric and i had a long chat about the history of environmental capitalism and our mutual connections. beka and drayton first met in 2004 in the mits of the north brooklyn redevelopment debate (greenpoint / willamsburg). over the years, beka and drayton have reconnected in brooklyn and amsterdam. on his way back from Switzerland, and on his way to LA, he decided to drop by brooklyn for a bit of R and R.
while most would think this is just some boring ass story of two damn world traveling hipsters, this is where it gets weird. when we were first introduced, we couldn't pronounce each other's names. on the way, out i had to cow out of their invite to manhattan. my excuse, i'm leaving for geneva... inevitably there is the question of why... and i lay into my lift spiel...
"i'm going back to geneva to help host the best damn european technology conference; lift!"
to be honest, i've never really seen a light bulb pop up over someone's head. standing in front of me, drayton's head nearly exploded with the question, "do you know a guy name noel?"
i chuckle, and then ponder, is there another noel in nyc going from new york. cause if so, OMG! now that's weird! as my head quickly swells to deal with the complex question of two noels from new york heading to lift, drayton brings up couchsurfing.com and a post to one of the more elusive CS groups. apparently, before meeting up with beka, drayton sent me a message inquiring about a currency exchange. with 20-30 franks in his wallet, and a desire not to see a changing agent. we quickly negotiated an exchange and eliminated any notion of a second noel from nyc heading to lift.
now that i'm in geneva... it's only going to get better...
btw, flickr photos are coming soon... the wifi here at the hotel is too slow for me to upload them.