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Old 02-17-2012, 10:42 AM   #21
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I am constantly amazed at how easy it is to travel. I make a reservation to be in Munich six months from now, then forget about it for 5 months and 27 days. The day before I leave, I pack my clothing, get my passport and a few credit cards. The next day I go to the airport and give them my luggage. I step into a long tube and 8-12 hours later arrive at another airport, where I get a cup of coffee, relax and then step into another long tube. 1-2 hours later I get out of the 2nd tube and find I am in Munich, where my luggage is waiting to be picked up.
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Old 02-17-2012, 12:59 PM   #22
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Hmmmm--Chuckanut must not be going through the same airport security checks I go through---of course, with my double-hip replacements, things do get a bit more complicated when setting off the alarms!
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Old 02-17-2012, 01:04 PM   #23
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OK, I left out the part about security lines, but they make up maybe 5% of the total time involved.
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Old 02-17-2012, 01:24 PM   #24
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OK, I left out the part about security lines, but they make up maybe 5% of the total time involved.
The aggravation of security lines has made us forget how incredible it is that we can be sat in a chair, eating a meal, watching a movie, all while flying through the air at over 500 mph.

While we were in the UK last year we installed Skype on our friends' PC. They are close to 70 yrs old and pretty technophobic but willing to learn. We did our first web cam call last week with them (yes, it has taken them that long to progress to that from e-mail). It blew their minds. We have another scheduled for Sunday. They have never traveled to the US so all this time we have relied on descriptions and photos. Last week I picked up my laptop and walked them through our new apartment, giving them a virtual tour of the place, including the views from our balcony.

Plus, no additional cost to use Skype or similar technologies.

Yep, life is just so convenient.
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Old 02-17-2012, 01:43 PM   #25
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When we were in Central America in the fall, we were amazed at the cheap cell phone service. Ten years ago there were no land lines across the country and telecommunications (and hence business development) was almost nonexistent. Today, people are talking on them everywhere, and not the country's elite or ruling class, either--we saw a barefoot young man on a horse in the countryside, cell phone to ear, as he carried bundles of sticks.
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Old 02-17-2012, 02:05 PM   #26
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In Japan, many ATMs are only open during bank business hours.

Having lived in Europe and Japan/Asia I have to say that the 24 hour availablity in the US is a big plus.

In many countries food/clothing/service stores (and even gas stations) are not open every night and/or Sundays (and the three dozen holidays a year!). Getting better, but not there yet.

And doing a lot of things online is harder than just doing it in person.

Try opening a checking account in France! Talk about Catch 22!
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Old 02-17-2012, 02:32 PM   #27
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In many countries food/clothing/service stores (and even gas stations) are not open every night and/or Sundays (and the three dozen holidays a year!). Getting better, but not there yet.
I am not sure that being open on Sunday and holidays is better. I remember as a youth having great family and friend parties and picnics on Sunday. With the exception of a few people involved in public safety everybody had the day off and we could all get together. Today, that is gone. Very sad.
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Old 02-17-2012, 02:38 PM   #28
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I am not sure that being open on Sunday and holidays is better. I remember as a youth having great family and friend parties and picnics on Sunday. With the exception of a few people involved in public safety everybody had the day off and we could all get together.
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Old 02-17-2012, 02:40 PM   #29
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I am not sure that being open on Sunday and holidays is better. I remember as a youth having great family and friend parties and picnics on Sunday. With the exception of a few people involved in public safety everybody had the day off and we could all get together. Today, that is gone. Very sad.
I agree 100%. But the OP was about the convenience factor; being able to get something done in short order..."quality of life" may be on another forum <grin>
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Old 02-17-2012, 04:16 PM   #30
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Reminded me of a story from about 10 year ago. A good US friend and I share a friendship with a guy (and his DW) from Poland. Whenever the Polish couple travels to the US (about every 10 years) someone in our network of friends tries to provide them a car for a few weeks. My US friend owned 6 vehicles and didn't mind letting the Polish couple take his Olds station wagon (early 80's model with near 200K on it). None of us had any idea of the extensive travel our Polish friends had planned this trip . Upon return (with 17K more miles on the odometer) our Polish friend was exclaiming how well the car had performed. It had only required 2 new tires, a water pump and front brakes. I guess in Poland, that would have been a very good 17K mile trip. The car had to be a gas guzzler as well, but with $1.75 gas (instead of $6 or $8) it must have seemed cheap to fill the tank.

Last summer, in my most recent visit with our Polish friend, he related that his old car (the one he had unfavorably compared to the clapped-out Olds 10 years earlier) was probably going to need to be replaced soon.

All a matter of perspective, I suppose. So glad we live Hawaii. So glad we live USA. YMMV
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Old 02-17-2012, 06:29 PM   #31
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I am not sure that being open on Sunday and holidays is better. I remember as a youth having great family and friend parties and picnics on Sunday. With the exception of a few people involved in public safety everybody had the day off and we could all get together. Today, that is gone. Very sad.
No disagreement there. As long as you enjoy and take advantage of the lifestyle where you live, there is no one way that is better.
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Old 02-17-2012, 06:33 PM   #32
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When we were in Central America in the fall, we were amazed at the cheap cell phone service. Ten years ago there were no land lines across the country and telecommunications (and hence business development) was almost nonexistent. Today, people are talking on them everywhere, and not the country's elite or ruling class, either--we saw a barefoot young man on a horse in the countryside, cell phone to ear, as he carried bundles of sticks.
The cell phone has proven to be such an enabler for low income people that were denied access to economic activity because of lack of land communications infrastructure. That and over the air Internet.
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