Monday, November 14, 2005

 

US Googlers in London

US-based Cedric (sorry, don't know his real name) comments on visiting Europe:

Buckingham Palace Westminster Abbey

I was in Paris and London this past week, here are a few random thoughts...

  • I tamed jet lag. I have traveled internationally so many times that by now, I have it down to an art. Here are a few simple rules:

    * Start shifting your time before leaving your country. Stay up late (very late) and don't sleep in too much. Note that the point is not really to make yourself tired so you will sleep on the plane (which doesn't help at all with jet lag) but just to start adjusting to your new time in your own environment.

    * On your first day in the new country, don't nap, don't sit (especially on comfortable couches), and don't go to bed before 10pm.

    Also, try not to abuse coffee: the more you confuse your stomach with unusual quantities of drinks and meals taken at odd times, the harder it will be for your body to get used to your new schedule. Ideally, you simply want your metabolism to believe that instead of a 24-hour day, you are just going through a 33-hour day and that your sleep pattern doesn't need to be altered to handle it.

    That's it. Follow these simple instructions and even a nine hour time difference will have absolutely no effect on your body.
  • I flew on one of Virgin Atlantic's latest aircrafts on the way back, and it featured the best entertainment system I have seen on an international flight by far: about fifty movies to choose from, entire seasons of TV series, news, games, etc... It's all there. You can also pause, rewind and fast forward everything at leisure. Absolutely fantastic if you're not the reading type on planes.
  • Cell phone interoperability has come a long way and works close to perfectly now. My trusted 6630 (which took the pictures above) worked beautifully and never lost GSM connectivity. I actually travel with two phones and interestingly, they picked two different roaming carriers while in France (Orange and Bouygtel). This is quite puzzling since both are Cingular, but it was a good opportunity to experiment. No surprise there: both phone calls and SMS worked seamlessly, the only glitch being that one of the two carriers refused to give me caller ID. Not a big deal.

    I also experimented with sending SMS messages back to the US and between England and France, and everything worked fine. Better: even EDGE performed beautifully and allowed me to connect to the Internet through the Bluetooth modem while riding the Eurostar on my way to London (except in the tunnel, of course, but my phone quickly regained coverage when we came out and latched on O2 on the British territory).
Maybe we really live in a connected world after all.

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