Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Calcutta Train Station

by Pa Rock
Anxious Consumer

I will be moving out of temporary quarters and into my new home tomorrow - and  will, at that time, lose my free Wi-Fi.  The laptop that has been my primary computer for the past four years has been sputtering and trying to die for several months now, and I have been doing most of my writing on a net book.  And, since arriving in the States one month ago tomorrow, my primary phone has been a pay-by-the-minute Trac Phone.

So my objective today was to acquire a computer and a phone.  I knew that I wanted to switch from a PC to Apple because my youngest son told me that's what I wanted - and he is a very smart fellow.  Yesterday evening I went to a local big-box store that specializes in electronics.  It was where I bought my PC four years ago, and I knew they have carried a few Apples over the years.  But alas there were no Apples to be picked, and two very nice salesmen actually drew a map for me to the Apple store.

Apple is a quality brand and I expected their store to be somewhat calm and dignified.   The reality was quite different.  It was a madhouse.   People everywhere shouting, barking, grabbing - and there was even one couple who apparently sought refuge in the store just so they could fondle each other.  The whole place was just a few goats and chickens shy of being the Calcutta Train Station back in Gandhi's time.  

There was some efficiency in spite of all the chaos.  One employee caught me as I was drifting in with the crowd and asked what I wanted.  I told her I intended to buy a computer and a phone.  She started speaking into her headset and a kid salesman showed up almost immediately.  Unfortunately, nobody seemed to care that he was my personal kid salesman, and all kinds of riffraff stepped between us to ask him questions that had nothing whatsoever to do with my purchases.

But, the kid salesman was very patient and nice.  It took two hours, but I am now the proud owner of an Air Book and an iPhone.  I am already using the iPhone - learning very  slowly - but the Air Book is still at the store where the files from my PC are being transferred to it.

Here are two things that I have learned already.  My iPhone, which has access to the Internet, creates a personal "hot spot," so if I have the Air Book with me, it has Internet connectivity - as long as my iPhone is nearby.  I can also speak to a telephone muse named Siri who will tell me what the weather is like outside, provide all kinds of other information in response to voice commands, and type and send emails!

My grandfather arrived in Missouri in a covered wagon - and here I am composing emails and sending them around the globe with just the sound of my voice!

What wonders will my grandchildren experience?

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