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Report from the US, a nice but somewhat backward country.



 
 
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  #11  
Old December 11th, 2008, 10:41 PM posted to rec.travel.usa-canada,rec.travel.australia+nz
Frank Slootweg
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 275
Default Report from the US, a nice but somewhat backward country.

Bert Hyman wrote:
In .home.nl Frank
Slootweg wrote:

5. Americans don't quite grasp what the 'G' in GSM stands for.

They apparently think it means 'the whole world except us', so they
use a different, incompatible frequency.


Most likely due to regulatory issues or already-occupied spectrum.


The latter. But we can't have facts spoil a nice bashing, now can we!?

Nothing personal.

Quad-band phones are easy to come by, but 3G adds a new incompatibility.


And, IIUIC, Telstra adds some new incompatibility by using a different
frequency on *their* 3G (NextG) network. Sigh! (Yes, I know that "3G" is
an ambiguous term in this context.)
  #12  
Old December 11th, 2008, 10:58 PM posted to rec.travel.usa-canada,rec.travel.australia+nz
Frank Slootweg
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 275
Default Report from the US, a nice but somewhat backward country.

Bert Hyman wrote:
In .home.nl Frank
Slootweg wrote:

6. Americans don't quite grasp that SIMs can be put in *other*
phones.

Having a multi-band phone, I went to buy a pre-paid SIM. No such
thing in the US! You can only buy a SIM *and* phone. Duh! I
already *have* a (compatible) phone, *three* of them!


Both T-Mobile and AT&T sell naked SIM cards for their pre-paid services
in their retail stores. Those stand-alone kiosks you find in shopping
malls are often operated by independent contractors who might not know
what you're talking about though.


Hmmm! Before going to the US, I looked at AT&T's and T-Mobile USA's
websites. I didn't find anything like that on the AT&T site (Don't get
me started on AT&T sites.), and the T-Mobile USA site specifically said
that you could get SIM-only only via their website (and because that
required a US ship-to address, that was no option (not counting the
poorer (than AT&T) coverage)).

So now I'm the proud owner of a beautiful, but totally useless
(outside the US), AT&T GoPhone Nokia 2610 phone [1]. It cost me all of
US$ 19.99 (without tax, mind you (Don't get me started on the
without-tax thingie.)), so I'm not complaining. *And* it includes a charger
which is 110-240VAC (not 240VAC-only), so I can use it everywhere for
all my Nokia phones (albeit with plug-adapters, which are needed
anyway)!

[1] I *think* it's *dual*-band, not triple-band, with *both* bands being
the 'wrong' bands, if that's at all possible. Nokia has the bad habit of
not mentioning any specs (like these) in their supplied documentation,
so (AFAIK) there is no way of knowing which bands the phone actually
has.
  #13  
Old December 11th, 2008, 10:59 PM posted to rec.travel.usa-canada,rec.travel.australia+nz
Mark Brader
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 345
Default Report from the US, a nice but somewhat backward country.

Frank Slootweg writes:

4. American petrol/gas stations charge what they bloody well like.

While American petrol/gas prices are still ridiculously low compared
to Oz/Europe, prices vary by upto a *factor* of two within a short
distance ...


No, we didn't misread. Trust me, we are *very* careful reading fuel
prices, especially considering we drove/drive 'around the world' in Oz a
couple of times in very thirsty campervans.


What were the two prices? Did you actually fill up at the lower price?
Did the cheaper station have long lines of cars waiting?

I have an alternative theory.

When gas prices in the US rose to unprecedented levels not so long
ago, some older gas stations were *unable* to display the new prices
because there was a limit to the price their pumps could be set to.

This is not the first time this has happened, and one solution I've
heard of them using on earlier occasions was to display 1/2 of the
true price and charge you twice the indicated amount. Very likely
this is illegal, but it might not be considered a big deal so long
as there was a prominent notice explaining what was going on so that
nobody was deceived.

Okay, now imagine a gas station where they've decided to use this
approach and then the notice accidentally falls down, and they get
careless about replacing it -- after all, nobody could believe that
gas was really that cheap, *could they*?

(Similarly in Toronto, a few months ago when a typical price might have
been $1.279 per liter, I saw one station with a sign displaying an amount
like 27.9 -- you were supposed to figure out that it was $1 above that.)
--
Mark Brader, Toronto | "If you feel [that Doug Gwyn] has a bad attitude,
| then use lint (or Chris Torek...)" --Joe English

My text in this article is in the public domain.
  #14  
Old December 11th, 2008, 11:17 PM posted to rec.travel.usa-canada,rec.travel.australia+nz
Frank Slootweg
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 275
Default Report from the US, a nice but somewhat backward country.

Mark Brader wrote:
Frank Slootweg writes:

4. American petrol/gas stations charge what they bloody well like.

While American petrol/gas prices are still ridiculously low compared
to Oz/Europe, prices vary by upto a *factor* of two within a short
distance ...


No, we didn't misread. Trust me, we are *very* careful reading fuel
prices, especially considering we drove/drive 'around the world' in Oz a
couple of times in very thirsty campervans.


What were the two prices? Did you actually fill up at the lower price?
Did the cheaper station have long lines of cars waiting?


For the *extremes*, the factor of two, the distance between stations
was tens of miles, perhaps 'even' a hundred. We came from the low price
one, did not need to fill up yet and just drove on till we saw a more
reasonable price.

But to answer your second question: No, in a less extreme cases the
cheaper stations didn't have long lines, and what surprised us even more
was that in some cases the difference was as high as 20% (40 cents on 2
dollars) and people were just happily filling up at the high-price
station, while they could *see* that there were no queues at the cheap
station *accross the road*! Yes, we Dutch are 'known'/supposed to be
cheap skates, but 20%?, accross the road?, give me a break!

[...]
  #15  
Old December 12th, 2008, 01:27 AM posted to rec.travel.usa-canada,rec.travel.australia+nz
Bert Hyman
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 724
Default Report from the US, a nice but somewhat backward country.

In b.home.nl Frank
Slootweg wrote:

So now I'm the proud owner of a beautiful, but totally useless
(outside the US), AT&T GoPhone Nokia 2610 phone [1]. It cost me all of
US$ 19.99 (without tax, mind you (Don't get me started on the
without-tax thingie.)), so I'm not complaining. *And* it includes a
charger which is 110-240VAC (not 240VAC-only), so I can use it
everywhere for all my Nokia phones (albeit with plug-adapters, which
are needed anyway)!


That's an interesting aspect of the way phones are sold here (by
T-Mobile, anyway). You can often walk into a chain discount store (like
Target or WalMart) and buy a phone for $20 which includes a $25 airtime
card.

--
Bert Hyman St. Paul, MN
  #16  
Old December 12th, 2008, 02:50 AM posted to rec.travel.usa-canada,rec.travel.australia+nz
John Kulp
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 2,535
Default Report from the US, a nice but somewhat backward country.

Well written and funny, but not entirely accurate. See below.


On Thu, 11 Dec 2008 13:30:33 +0100, Frank Slootweg
wrote:

[Crossposted to rec.travel.usa-canada and rec.travel.australia+nz

For 'reasons' you don't want to know/hear, this time we ended up in
the US - well, actually California, not the real US, but you get my
drift.

I've been to the US on many business trips and worked in California
for about ten weeks. As the rta+n audience is probably painfully aware
of, we pestered the Aussies with not just one trip down-under, but seven
of them. So I feel - probably totally unjustified - qualified to comment
on the US/California from an Oz-traveller's perspective.

So enjoy/suffer, or hit 'n(ext)' NOW.

I won't comment on the 'immigration' disgrace. After all, it's not
fair to judge a country and its people on their government/
'administration', is it? OTOH, I probably *could* be persuaded to
elaborate.

In no particular order, mainly in order of occurance.

1. American rental car rates are a steal.

We payed only 22 Euro - about 28 US$ - per day for a 'compact' car,
including full insurance. Are you kidding me!? For that kind of
money, why would you want to buy/own/maintain a car?


Rates change by season, events going on etc. You should have tried
renting one here in Denver during Obama's convention and see how cheap
they were, though overall you're right. Which says more about
European rental ripoffs than it does us.


2. Contrary to urban legend, American cars actually *do* have a boot/trunk.

The lady at Alamo/National tried to convince us that our two small
suitcases would not fit in the boot/trunk/whatever and tried to
prove that with silly graphics. She offered a quite expensive
upgrade to a 'mid-size'. Being quite dead after the long flight from
Munich (*Don't* ask!), we fell for it. At light the next morning, we
saw that the mid-size didn't only fit our suitcases, but also those
of the whole bloody motel. So we went back and got the booked
compact. We could choose it ourselves and opted for a sporty
two-door Chevy Cobalt. A very nice car, for an American one, that
is. Sadly enough my wife didn't appreciate me, temporarily,
exchanging her for a 20-year old, otherwise I would've looked even
'hotter' than I already did.


Found out what rental car agents on commission do, did you?


3. American cars have built-in invisible nice-ladies.

When we picked up the car it was dark and we could not read the
driving instructions to the motel, so I pulled over and (thought I)
switched on the interior light. A nice lady said: "Are you in
trouble? Can I help you?". I explained what I tried to accomplish.
While she could not point me to the right switch, it was a nice but
somewhat scary experience. The whole trip, we were *very* careful,
not to push the 'nice_lady-button' again.


Boo!!


4. American petrol/gas stations charge what they bloody well like.

While American petrol/gas prices are still ridiculously low compared
to Oz/Europe, prices vary by upto a *factor* of two within a short
distance, sometimes even a few miles or even less. I realize that
there's hardly any tax part in the price, so it's mostly 'cost', but
the real cost can't vary that much within such a small area.


That's what happens when you have free markets that are not
monopolized. You get a choice.


5. Americans don't quite grasp what the 'G' in GSM stands for.

They apparently think it means 'the whole world except us', so they
use a different, incompatible frequency.
Luckily our son has more mobile phones than underpants, so he gave
us - no less than three - 'old' multi-band ones. Problem solved, at
least we *thought* so.


Funny, I have one I bought here that works anywhere in the world.


6. Americans don't quite grasp that SIMs can be put in *other* phones.

Having a multi-band phone, I went to buy a pre-paid SIM. No such
thing in the US! You can only buy a SIM *and* phone. Duh! I already
*have* a (compatible) phone, *three* of them!


Completely wrong. Just do a search for "pre-paid SIM in the US" and
see what you find.


7. Americans don't grasp that mobile phones are actually ... ummm ...
*phones*.

When I wanted/needed to register the pre-paid AT&T GoPhone mobile
phone which I had to buy, AT&T insisted on having me use *another*
phone to perform the registration procedure. Duh! What about using
the bloody mobile phone itself, like is done in every other
country!?


You just found out why nobody uses ATT here. There are lots of other
you know.


8. Americans don't realize that salt-lakes don't need mobile-phone
coverage, but that towns *do*.

When we found out that our (main) credit-card was blocked (In the
*US*, with a blocked credit-card! The sheer horror!), we also found
that there was no mobile-phone coverage in Lone Pine. Later I saw on
the coverage maps, that by stunning engineering the network people
managed to fully cover the big salt-lake to the south-east of the
town, while completely evading the town itself. No mean feat!


You were in Utah. They're too busy taking care of their multiple
wives there to bother with frivolity like that.


9. Americans can't drive.

They have the "Keep your lane" *theory*, which has its advantages
and disadvantages, but they interpret it in *practice* as "Keep the
left lane", which is the worst of all possible solutions, because
now some of them find themselves behind a slower car in the right
(pun unintented) lane, and have to merge into *faster* traffic,
instead of into slower.

On single-lane (per direction) roads, it's even worse. They don't
know how to (not) overtake. Suddenly they find themselves behind
another car, which is driving *less* than umpteen percent over the
speed limit. Totally confused, they stay there, bumper to bumper,
for several minutes. Then they apparently realize that that is not
a particularly civil thing to do and back off. Next they stay
*there* for many more minutes, waiting for the opportunity where
they can't pass or/and it's not allowed to pass. *Then* they pass.
Well, actually they don't. They do something and move to the left.
When a front to front collision is imminent, their automatic gearbox
apparently decides that the car actually *can* accelerate, and they
miss their opponent by an inch, and are on their way to their next
attempt to kill eachother.


You were just running into New Jersey tourists. Most of us do know
how to drive. Except seniors who will signal a turn for about 10
miles.


10. Americans don't have coffee.

Of course we were not stupid enough to just ask for "coffee". After
all we've been to Oz and know that "coffee" is not for human
consumption. So we check if they have 'speciality' coffees. Some of
them have the audacity to claim that they have cappuccino, but that
has everything *other* than (espresso) coffee and steamed milk in
it, and is splattered with all kind of silly syrups which make your
eyes pop. All in all, we had only four decent/good coffees, two of
which in San Francisco. Rather pathetic.


Hmmm. Must be why I load up on Swedish coffee everytime I go there.


N.B. Of course the Americans also do not have beer, but that fact is
so indisputable, I won't have to get into *that* one.


Not even close. We have tons of microbreweries that produce beers
that are every bit as good as any beer anywhere in the world. And
widely availble in any liquor store as well. Try a Sam Adams
sometime.


11. Americans don't realize that you don't *have* to 'deep' fry fish.

Why do they insist on deep frying perfectly good fish, even in
places which are directly on the coast, like Morro Bay and
(Fisherman's Warf in) San Francisco? If they don't *like* fish, then
why not just not order/eat it!? No sense in ruining it for others.


Should have gone to Chinatown where they know how to do fish fine.
They're Americans too you know.


Now some - somewhat - nice comments:

12. Americans know how to merge onto freeways.

Because they're wimps, they merge onto freeways quite flawlessly and
their opponents on the freeway let them get away with it! What's
*wrong* with these people!? Don't they know that if you want to
merge onto a freeway, you just switch on your indicator (if you're
an idiot) and move to the left, tough sh*t on the other guy(s)! And
the other guy(s) do everything in their power, like brake/
accelerate, to prevent them get away with it! *That* is how you/we
do these things!


And the way I always doing it, flipping them the bird as I go by.


13. The American all-way stop system on road-crossings is nice.

It takes a little get used to and is sometimes not very efficient,
but it's safe and nice.


Until you run into little old ladies that can't remember who is in
what order. We call that a Mexican standoff here.


14. Americans actually stop for pedestrians.

This one also takes getting used to, but also is quite nice and
safe. Sometimes you're not even trying or wanting to cross the
street and you see stopped cars all around, patiently waiting for
you to make up your bloody mind.


That's because we don't want them denting our nice cars.


15. Americans are mostly nice, friendly people.

We mostly met and talked with nice, friendly people. That's of
course because we're so bloody nice ourselves.


We love foreigners. They're so cute!!


Some noteable examples out of (very) many:

The ranger at the Joshua Tree Visitor Centre, oops, Center was so
nice and enthousiastic that we changed our plan/route according to
his recommendations, and loved every minute of it.

A car salesman with a good sense of humo[u]r: In Pahrump (Nevada) we
walked from the motel to the 'restaurant'. We passed a car-sales
outfit and the salesman said "Oh, people without a car, and they
have to *walk*! How sad!". I said he could sell me a car if he would
deliver it to my home for a thousand bucks, but he didn't fell for
it. Good on him! (Yes, that's actually proper proper English!)


With the car market being what it is, they'll try anything.


To put things in perspective, they were even so nice to give us a
reference point in a staff-member from hell in a Best Western motel
somewhere. To set the tone, she was 'preceded' by two young,
clueless, incompetent and inaudible others. She managed to treat us
like dirt / non-existing for problems which the *motel* caused.


There are another kind?


Well, that's about it I think, at least for the moment. If anyone is
interested in our actual trip - i.e. where we went, why, what we saw,
etc. - then let me know.

If anyone has any doubts, we *loved* our trip and would do something
similar again in a flash, so you Seppos aren't all that bad!


  #17  
Old December 12th, 2008, 06:48 AM posted to rec.travel.usa-canada,rec.travel.australia+nz
sharx35
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 803
Default Report from the US, a nice but somewhat backward country.



"Frank Slootweg" wrote in message
.home.nl...
[Crossposted to rec.travel.usa-canada and rec.travel.australia+nz

For 'reasons' you don't want to know/hear, this time we ended up in
the US - well, actually California, not the real US, but you get my
drift.

I've been to the US on many business trips and worked in California
for about ten weeks. As the rta+n audience is probably painfully aware
of, we pestered the Aussies with not just one trip down-under, but seven
of them. So I feel - probably totally unjustified - qualified to comment
on the US/California from an Oz-traveller's perspective.

So enjoy/suffer, or hit 'n(ext)' NOW.

I won't comment on the 'immigration' disgrace. After all, it's not
fair to judge a country and its people on their government/
'administration', is it? OTOH, I probably *could* be persuaded to
elaborate.

In no particular order, mainly in order of occurance.

1. American rental car rates are a steal.

We payed only 22 Euro - about 28 US$ - per day for a 'compact' car,
including full insurance. Are you kidding me!? For that kind of
money, why would you want to buy/own/maintain a car?

2. Contrary to urban legend, American cars actually *do* have a
boot/trunk.

The lady at Alamo/National tried to convince us that our two small
suitcases would not fit in the boot/trunk/whatever and tried to
prove that with silly graphics. She offered a quite expensive
upgrade to a 'mid-size'. Being quite dead after the long flight from
Munich (*Don't* ask!), we fell for it. At light the next morning, we
saw that the mid-size didn't only fit our suitcases, but also those
of the whole bloody motel. So we went back and got the booked
compact. We could choose it ourselves and opted for a sporty
two-door Chevy Cobalt. A very nice car, for an American one, that
is. Sadly enough my wife didn't appreciate me, temporarily,
exchanging her for a 20-year old, otherwise I would've looked even
'hotter' than I already did.

3. American cars have built-in invisible nice-ladies.

When we picked up the car it was dark and we could not read the
driving instructions to the motel, so I pulled over and (thought I)
switched on the interior light. A nice lady said: "Are you in
trouble? Can I help you?". I explained what I tried to accomplish.
While she could not point me to the right switch, it was a nice but
somewhat scary experience. The whole trip, we were *very* careful,
not to push the 'nice_lady-button' again.

4. American petrol/gas stations charge what they bloody well like.

While American petrol/gas prices are still ridiculously low compared
to Oz/Europe, prices vary by upto a *factor* of two within a short
distance, sometimes even a few miles or even less. I realize that
there's hardly any tax part in the price, so it's mostly 'cost', but
the real cost can't vary that much within such a small area.

5. Americans don't quite grasp what the 'G' in GSM stands for.

They apparently think it means 'the whole world except us', so they
use a different, incompatible frequency.
Luckily our son has more mobile phones than underpants, so he gave
us - no less than three - 'old' multi-band ones. Problem solved, at
least we *thought* so.

6. Americans don't quite grasp that SIMs can be put in *other* phones.

Having a multi-band phone, I went to buy a pre-paid SIM. No such
thing in the US! You can only buy a SIM *and* phone. Duh! I already
*have* a (compatible) phone, *three* of them!

7. Americans don't grasp that mobile phones are actually ... ummm ...
*phones*.

When I wanted/needed to register the pre-paid AT&T GoPhone mobile
phone which I had to buy, AT&T insisted on having me use *another*
phone to perform the registration procedure. Duh! What about using
the bloody mobile phone itself, like is done in every other
country!?

8. Americans don't realize that salt-lakes don't need mobile-phone
coverage, but that towns *do*.

When we found out that our (main) credit-card was blocked (In the
*US*, with a blocked credit-card! The sheer horror!), we also found
that there was no mobile-phone coverage in Lone Pine. Later I saw on
the coverage maps, that by stunning engineering the network people
managed to fully cover the big salt-lake to the south-east of the
town, while completely evading the town itself. No mean feat!

9. Americans can't drive.

They have the "Keep your lane" *theory*, which has its advantages
and disadvantages, but they interpret it in *practice* as "Keep the
left lane", which is the worst of all possible solutions, because
now some of them find themselves behind a slower car in the right
(pun unintented) lane, and have to merge into *faster* traffic,
instead of into slower.

On single-lane (per direction) roads, it's even worse. They don't
know how to (not) overtake. Suddenly they find themselves behind
another car, which is driving *less* than umpteen percent over the
speed limit. Totally confused, they stay there, bumper to bumper,
for several minutes. Then they apparently realize that that is not
a particularly civil thing to do and back off. Next they stay
*there* for many more minutes, waiting for the opportunity where
they can't pass or/and it's not allowed to pass. *Then* they pass.
Well, actually they don't. They do something and move to the left.
When a front to front collision is imminent, their automatic gearbox
apparently decides that the car actually *can* accelerate, and they
miss their opponent by an inch, and are on their way to their next
attempt to kill eachother.

10. Americans don't have coffee.

Of course we were not stupid enough to just ask for "coffee". After
all we've been to Oz and know that "coffee" is not for human
consumption. So we check if they have 'speciality' coffees. Some of
them have the audacity to claim that they have cappuccino, but that
has everything *other* than (espresso) coffee and steamed milk in
it, and is splattered with all kind of silly syrups which make your
eyes pop. All in all, we had only four decent/good coffees, two of
which in San Francisco. Rather pathetic.

N.B. Of course the Americans also do not have beer, but that fact is
so indisputable, I won't have to get into *that* one.

11. Americans don't realize that you don't *have* to 'deep' fry fish.

Why do they insist on deep frying perfectly good fish, even in
places which are directly on the coast, like Morro Bay and
(Fisherman's Warf in) San Francisco? If they don't *like* fish, then
why not just not order/eat it!? No sense in ruining it for others.

Now some - somewhat - nice comments:

12. Americans know how to merge onto freeways.

Because they're wimps, they merge onto freeways quite flawlessly and
their opponents on the freeway let them get away with it! What's
*wrong* with these people!? Don't they know that if you want to
merge onto a freeway, you just switch on your indicator (if you're
an idiot) and move to the left, tough sh*t on the other guy(s)! And
the other guy(s) do everything in their power, like brake/
accelerate, to prevent them get away with it! *That* is how you/we
do these things!

13. The American all-way stop system on road-crossings is nice.

It takes a little get used to and is sometimes not very efficient,
but it's safe and nice.

14. Americans actually stop for pedestrians.

This one also takes getting used to, but also is quite nice and
safe. Sometimes you're not even trying or wanting to cross the
street and you see stopped cars all around, patiently waiting for
you to make up your bloody mind.

15. Americans are mostly nice, friendly people.

We mostly met and talked with nice, friendly people. That's of
course because we're so bloody nice ourselves.

Some noteable examples out of (very) many:

The ranger at the Joshua Tree Visitor Centre, oops, Center was so
nice and enthousiastic that we changed our plan/route according to
his recommendations, and loved every minute of it.

A car salesman with a good sense of humo[u]r: In Pahrump (Nevada) we
walked from the motel to the 'restaurant'. We passed a car-sales
outfit and the salesman said "Oh, people without a car, and they
have to *walk*! How sad!". I said he could sell me a car if he would
deliver it to my home for a thousand bucks, but he didn't fell for
it. Good on him! (Yes, that's actually proper proper English!)

To put things in perspective, they were even so nice to give us a
reference point in a staff-member from hell in a Best Western motel
somewhere. To set the tone, she was 'preceded' by two young,
clueless, incompetent and inaudible others. She managed to treat us
like dirt / non-existing for problems which the *motel* caused.

Well, that's about it I think, at least for the moment. If anyone is
interested in our actual trip - i.e. where we went, why, what we saw,
etc. - then let me know.

If anyone has any doubts, we *loved* our trip and would do something
similar again in a flash, so you Seppos aren't all that bad!


Well, I have travelled in the U.S., too. After several dozen trips to the
U.S.,
**MY** bad experiences are a fraction of yours. I suspect it might be due to
your arrogant Eurocentric, obviously chip on the shoulder attitude to U.S.
culture. I am not a U.S. resident nor a U.S. citizen, however I much prefer
to travel in the U.S., compared
to the continent of Europe where the common attitude is that "WE are the
centre of the cultural universe
and the rest of the world are wannabes or boors". :Hell will freeze over
before I
travel to the continent of decay, Europe.




  #18  
Old December 12th, 2008, 06:51 AM posted to rec.travel.usa-canada,rec.travel.australia+nz
sharx35
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 803
Default Report from the US, a nice but somewhat backward country.



"Frank Slootweg" wrote in message
b.home.nl...
AZ Nomad wrote:
On Thu, 11 Dec 2008 13:30:33 +0100, Frank Slootweg
wrote:
[Crossposted to rec.travel.usa-canada and rec.travel.australia+nz


7. Americans don't grasp that mobile phones are actually ... ummm ...
*phones*.


When I wanted/needed to register the pre-paid AT&T GoPhone mobile
phone which I had to buy, AT&T insisted on having me use *another*
phone to perform the registration procedure. Duh! What about using
the bloody mobile phone itself, like is done in every other
country!?


usually the procedure involves popping out the battery and reading
back the ESN and also power cycling the phone. It's kind of difficult
to remain on a call if your phone is powered down.


You need the ICCID of the SIM ('SmartChip TM') and the IMEI number.
Both are on labels on the outside of the package in which the phone,
etc. comes. So no need to power down.

The "Start here to activate your GoPhone(R) Service" leaflet
painstakingly explains all of that, also in Spanish :-), but even if you
don't RTFM (*Moi*?), the nice computerized lady explains what to get
where and even waits till you're done! I *love* nice computerized
ladies!

But more to the point, in other, albeit civilized :-), countries,
mobile-phone SPs don't need all that mumbo-jumbo, the phones come
working right out-of-the-box, including the phone number. You just can't
call anybody *else*, before you've registered [1] the phone by using the
very same phone. Makes kind of sense doesn't it!?

[Other comments - thanks - deleted.]

[1] I don't think I *had* to register my Dutch SIM. They just *wanted*
you to register and gave you a bonus (free credit) if/when you did.
I *did* have to register my Australian Vodafone and Telstra SIMs, and I
had to (sort of) register myself when buying them. ("What's your address
in Australia?". Duh! I'm a bloody furrin tourist, ain't I?


No, but you ARE a first-class ****ing asshole. ****ups like you, please stay
OUT of the U.S.
AND Canada. We do NOT want your ****ing arrogant asses over here. The
Netherlands
is just another 3rd rate nation, you know. But for a good storm, it would
cease to exist. BRING IT ON!!!!! Let's
see a North Sea tsunami!!!





  #19  
Old December 12th, 2008, 11:18 AM posted to rec.travel.usa-canada,rec.travel.australia+nz
Frank Slootweg
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 275
Default Report from the US, a nice but somewhat backward country.

Sharx35 wrote:

Well, I have travelled in the U.S., too. After several dozen trips to
the U.S., **MY** bad experiences are a fraction of yours. I suspect it
might be due to your arrogant Eurocentric, obviously chip on the
shoulder attitude to U.S. culture. I am not a U.S. resident nor a
U.S. citizen, however I much prefer to travel in the U.S., compared to
the continent of Europe where the common attitude is that "WE are the
centre of the cultural universe and the rest of the world are wannabes
or boors". :Hell will freeze over before I travel to the continent of
decay, Europe.


If you tried a parody of the sterotype dumb American, then you
succeeded with flying colors.

If, as I'm afraid, your response was serious, you *are* the
stereotype, dumb and no sense of humo[u]r whatsoever.

We *had* no "bad experiences" (except for the one staff member from
hell). We had a *great* time and I *said* so.

Of course you are fully entitled to your travel preferences, like any
of us is. So if you dislike Europe/the_Europeans, don't go there, plain
and simple.

In any case, *all* sterotyping is wrong by definition, i.e. also
sterotyping of Americans and Europeans (except of course for the French!
:-)).

Luckily - to no suprise - all others picked up on my humo[u]r, irony,
sarcasm, self-infliction, etc.. So if you didn't/don't like it, tough!
  #20  
Old December 12th, 2008, 11:35 AM posted to rec.travel.usa-canada,rec.travel.australia+nz
Frank Slootweg
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 275
Default Report from the US, a nice but somewhat backward country.

[For one member of the audience: That your newsreader doesn't display
invisble smileys, isn't my/our problem.]

Bert Hyman wrote:
In b.home.nl Frank
Slootweg wrote:

So now I'm the proud owner of a beautiful, but totally useless
(outside the US), AT&T GoPhone Nokia 2610 phone [1]. It cost me all of
US$ 19.99 (without tax, mind you (Don't get me started on the
without-tax thingie.)), so I'm not complaining. *And* it includes a
charger which is 110-240VAC (not 240VAC-only), so I can use it
everywhere for all my Nokia phones (albeit with plug-adapters, which
are needed anyway)!


That's an interesting aspect of the way phones are sold here (by
T-Mobile, anyway). You can often walk into a chain discount store (like
Target or WalMart) and buy a phone for $20 which includes a $25 airtime
card.


Yes, that's same in most countries, i.e. also in Europe/Oz (assuming
*you* are talking about the US (my tools are failing on analyzing your
headers, but AFAIK "WalMart" is US-only/mainly)).

"airtime"? *Don't* get me started on that one! Oops, you just did!

That's also a strange and silly concept for 'us' (from Europe/Oz).

*Paying* for the time you *don't* yet/still have a connection?
*Paying* for outgoing *no-connection* calls? *Paying* for *incoming*
calls (while in your 'home' country), possibly from total strangers,
wrong-number, etc.? How silly is *that*?

Luckily you didn't say "X *minutes* of airtime", otherwise I had to
(not) start on *that* one!
 




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