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Blog » Update: for Pasadena friends

7 Aug 2008

Update: for Pasadena friends

Filed under: Personal — paulcook @ 12:45 pm

I’ve made it back to South Africa! The flight was long, but broken with a good day in London — visited the Tate Modern art gallery, and met a cousin and friend from some years back (Brenda) for lunch and coffee. Now I’m staying with my parents while sorting out an apartment. Work has kicked in pretty hard already — lots of big projects on the go, which is good in principle, though makes apartment shopping pretty hard!

The day after getting back, though, I went skiing, in Lesotho (the landlocked country in the middle of South Africa). This being Africa, the ski slope was short. One drives through rolling hills covered with golden brown grass, and suddenly comes across a white rectangle on one hill side — this being the ski slope. We were there for four days, during which I snowboarded and skied, and avoided injury (unlike some of the other people there). I’d love to say we then spent all evening carousing … but we were in bed by 8:30pm quite reliable. At least I had jetlag to blame.

I have a new cellphone number: +27 76 115 7408. (Or 076 115 7408 from within South Africa). This was quite an exercise in self education, as my cell company of choice has at least four entirely different concepts for cellphone accounts. One can get contracts that have free minutes for use at any time, or only at off-peak times, in various denominations and in either per-second or per-minute billing. Or there are contracts that are measured in cash rather than free minutes, and for which you buy additional cash allowance once the built-in allowance is used. Then there are all sorts of pre-paid options, including one set where the cost of calls continually varies based on network demand — your phone shows, at any given time, the cost of making a call. All of these are consumer options — there are of course different business options, and another whole set of ways to add data plans for cellphones or directly for laptops.

In the end I gave up thinking, and went to the closest grocery store to buy a new number, bundled with six months free incoming calls, for the eminently reasonable price of R1 (about 15c US). Come the iPhone here (Aug 22, probably), and I’ll re-evaluate. Now I need to learn all the other tricks, like how one can text message airtime from one phone account to another.

I’m looking forward to catching up with more friends here this weekend!



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4 Comments »

  1. I’m happy you made it back in one piece. Good luck getting sorted.

    Comment by gv — 7 Aug 2008 @ 2:40 pm

  2. We found the body, Paul. Don’t think you can get away with this.

    Comment by mdawaffe — 8 Aug 2008 @ 11:03 am

  3. Ah! But is the extradition treaty strong enough for your needs? I think not…

    Comment by paulcook — 8 Aug 2008 @ 11:15 am

  4. I think when the judge hears how you tried to hide it in a pile of dead kittens, some exceptions will be made. That’s twisted.

    Comment by gv — 9 Aug 2008 @ 5:31 pm

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