Now that I am stationary for a while I have to get my technology in place, European Style. Thanks to TMOBILE Global I can put my mobile phone needs aside for a minute and concentrate on stable, steady, strong internet and getting me some good ole brain mushing American TV.
There are a lot of things you have to relearn on the road to satisfying your tech needs outside the United States. First, they write the date different in the rest of the world. I discovered that once I landed in South America. April 1, 2014 in the rest of the world is 1/04/2014 instead of 04/01/2014. It’s subtle but can make a huge difference when you are trying to catch the last day of the sale on Sony HDs. And the temperature – Celsius vs. Fahrenheit. In the beginning I could never tell how hot it would be and eventually it didn’t matter because every day in Central America was hot as hell.
Then there is the currency thing. My head became a human calculator as we journeyed through 14 countries. Thankfully for me, not so much for them, 3 of them used the US dollar. Speaking of money, there is also that little thing about using commas instead of periods. That had me staring at the ATM for a few minutes at 100,00.
Now I am the Czech Republic and everything is in Czech koruna or Kčs for short. (Just to throw one last twist in there our belongings were shipped through a Polish shipping company which demanded the customs deposit be paid in Polish žłoty). So TV prices and printer prices and router prices all have to be converted in my head, or on my XE Currency App, before I can decide that things are a hell of a lot more expensive here and maybe I should have thrown my Printer/Scanner/Copier/Fax in the giant trunk I shipped.
But alas, no, everything from the US requires a converter here and I already had a minor explosion with my trusty, made it all the way through South America and Central America without incident, converter (featured in my last blog – it only sustained a minor burn mark).
So what I need now is an Internet Connection
I have already done an analysis of the best internet provider in our area – which was immediately shot down by my partner’s brother who thinks they are crooks and rob you blind if you cancel your contract. But the quality of their connection looks good and our neighbor – who has risen to management in said internet provider during the 12 years my partner was in the US – has allowed me to use his internet connection and it is rocking even from across the hall. I am still unclear about the router – whether I have to buy that myself or they provide it. I have confirmed that I can rent the modem under their plan, and I have chosen to have them install it because as technical as I am I am only technical in English, not Czech.
The TV selection is a far more complex matter. Even in the four short months we were roaming through jungles television technology has continued to leap forward. The choices are mind-boggling, with price tags to match. I have the added concern of being able to get some American television by any means necessary and that requires that some technical specifications be met. I would never make it through this maze without Google Translate – which automatically turns Czech into English on most websites so that I can do my exhaustive product research. Stay Tuned for my Czech picks.