Samsung Daily

There are things about Mexico I miss. Friends and students, who more often than not were one and the same. The weather. The food. The colonial architecture. The weather. The ciclothon. The easy access to great beaches. The weather. The people. Especially the people. Generally speaking, I much prefer Mexicans to Brits. And, of course, the weather.

There are things I don’t miss. The health insurance policy I had, which in essence was funded by crossed fingers. The patchy water supply. And the cost of gadgets. I love gadgets. I did manage to get myself a very nice camera, but that was thanks mainly to my Bostonian amigo. And I had an iPod Touch from the same source. But new computers and cutting edge smartphones? Out of reach. My reach anyway.

I’d been looking forward to feeding my gadget lust in the UK. I bought a new bike a few weeks ago. A computer is on my Amazon Wish List awaiting my first decent bonus. And I took possession of my new smartphone last week. I’d spent a couple of months lusting after a Sony Xperia Arc. A most lustworthy device. I ordered one, but the shop ran out of stock. I waited. And waited. To no avail. I did find it in stock on another network though, so I cancelled my outstanding order and went to a different shop to satisfy my needs.

I approached the sales assistant. I asked about the Arc. He agreed, it was a fabulous phone. He reached into his pocket and produced a black square brick of goodness. “But have you seen this yet?” he asked, teasing me with a solid chunk of 4.3″  wonderbar. My eyes transfixed on the device. They glazed over. I was transfixed. Hypontised, even. “It’s so shiny…” I wheezed. I was putty in his hands. But enough of this slightly dodgy story with it’s iffy gay porn overtones. I really was sold.

I left the shop with one, the Sony Arc relegated to yesterdays news. The all new Samsung Galaxy S2, released only the day before, in my pocket. Well, in my hands. Where it’s been ever since. Dual core processor. Huge ‘Super AMOLED’ screen. And the latest bake of Android, 2.3 Gingerbread. I’ve been downloading apps ever since. Especially camera apps. The phone has a pretty decent 8mp camera lens on it. Sure, it’s no substitute for my Olympus Pen. But it can still take a nice enough shot. And with all the filter apps and whatnot, it’s a lot of fun.

I did a 365 project from October 2008 til October 2009 in Mexico. That was fun, and the results were great. But best of all, it’s a project I still look at regularly. So many memories. I’m so glad I did it. I’d recommend to anyone that they do a 365 project. It’s a bit of hard work, making sure you get a snap everyday, but it’s a lot of fun. What makes it really worthwhile though is having such a vivid reminder of an entire year of your life to look at long after it’s done.

So I thought to myself, why not do one for the year to come in England? It couldn’t possibly be any easier now I have my Samsung Galaxy S2. Take photo with phone. Upload it to the blog on Posterous. Done.  I uploaded the first photo yesterday. Not the most inspired start. Like last time, there’ll be good uns and bad uns. But, again like last time, the finished product will, hopefully, be worthwhile.


20 thoughts on “Samsung Daily

  1. Kim G says:

    I too have gadget lust. After a good 4 1/2 years with my old Sony laptop, I just broke down and bought a new Toshiba Portege R835-P56x 13.3-Inch LED Laptop with Core i5 (Sandy Bridge). It’s only 3.2 lbs, with a tiny charger to boot, and very snappy. It now makes me realize just how slow the old one was.

    I’m glad you got a cool phone. Now all you need to do is send me the number.

    Hope you are well.


    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where we are appalled at how much gadgets cost in Mexico, even before the IVA.


    • My old Sony laptop was a great device. I look up your Tosh….looks extremely slick.

      I’m appalled how much they cost here. Most electronics (cell phones excluded) cost much the same as they do in Mexico. The one consolation is a slightly better level of expendable income here.


      • Kim G says:

        I’m sorry to say that I won’t likely be in London as often as I’ll be in DF, but when I go, I’ll warn you and see if I can uphold my status as an international gadget-smuggler.

        My friend A who lives in London at one point tried to convince me that gadgets in the UK had achieved price parity with the USA, but I was extremely skeptical. Now you’ve provided me more ammunition for my side of the argument.

        I think the fact that not only do we earn more than most of the world, but we also pay less for most things is completely lost on most Americans. People have no idea how good they’ve got it here.


        Kim G
        Boston, MA
        Where cheap gadgets reign supreme…now if only I could find the “on” switch.


        • Please do warn me! Aside from smuggled electronic goodies, it would be nice to meet up again.

          I often use Apple to judge prices, because the products are the same spec across the word and easier to compare. An iPad2 costs $499 in the US and $650ish in the UK. Says it all.

          Course, it’s a bit more complicated than that. Cell phones seem to be a lot more competitive in the UK, but then we have a lot more competition here I think.

          I did read, pre-recession I think, that as far as wages go the British overtook their cousins across the pond for the first time in a long, long time. How this has been affected since I do not know. But it’s complicated huh. Us Brits will see a bigger share swiped by income tax before we even lay hands on it. Then there’s higher sales taxes, higher prices for energy etc etc. Although we don’t have to pay extra into health care beyond taxation.

          We still had some way to go to match you for expendable income if I remember rightly. And I prefer the expendable income to the non expendable stuff….


  2. Dan in NC says:

    Gary – Filia Canae! No FAIR! It’s not nice to tease your readers!
    Watched the video, only to discover it is NOT available in the US and won’t be for some time!
    Ah well, Best Buy and Fry’s are still better than Dixon’s!
    Congrats on the great toy – now assuage my anger and envy by telling me your
    service/connection fees are a Gazillion pounds a month, and you have to live
    off of beans and peanut butter to cover the co$ts…… Cheers!
    Dan in NC


    • Aw shucks! All good things come to those who wait! Here’s another teaser…

      I am amazed at the accuracy of the speech recognition. I haven’t bothered with any voice recognition software for years, because it was always so awful. The packaging used to assure you that after a while ‘training’ your device, it would be ok, but my patience never lasted that long.

      I’ve found a Spanish translation app, that gets what I say right at least 90% of the time, first time. Then hit the speak button and it’ll even say it for you. I was blown away! The only caveat….it works better with a US accent. It just won’t work with the British pronunciation of words like ‘banana’. American English will rule in the end, you know…!

      We have Best Buys in the UK now you know. And Dixons…alas, poor Dixons. A name that is on a digital store only these days. They all got rebranded Currys.

      The cost. It’s not cheap. £35 a month. But I get more texts, SMS messages than I’ll need and just enough internet.


  3. Rich says:

    I can understand missing some things from Mexico such as the climate and it people. I understand even move about the gadgets because I live in the Dallas area of the US where boy toys were in abundance! I do miss all the new stuff coming out and being able to get my hands on it! Some one else commented on Frys and I did love that store too. Glad to be able to see your posts and like the comments on your new camera and the pictures too.


    • I’ve not heard of Frys to be honest. Best Buy is a must stop whenever I’m in the US. Used to pop into Circuit City too, before they popped their clogs. Always struck me as a bit daft though, opening up stores right across the road from your main competitor, but not doing anything to really differentiate from them. Such is life.


    • Daniel Ramirez says:

      By the way SR,
      We just got some Dell Inspiron N 4010 with intel core i5 processor and 4gb RAM and 500 GB HDD for design area.
      I got mine just one week ago and I like it.


      • I quite like Dell although they can be a bit expensive in the UK. I have my eye on a Lenovo AIO, but a Dell is still a possibility. NJot least because they do a ‘But Now Pay Next Year 0% Interest’ deal!


    • Daniel, you’re grammar is slipping! You obviously miss my classes. You should have said ‘we won’t have this gadget till the middle…’. Remember the rules for until! And now you owe me 2 pesos. Save it for me, and when there’s enough, from future tuition charges, buy my turtles some barbacoa! 🙂

      But anyway. Do you know how much Telcel are charging? Is the phone free, or do you have to pay? Mine was free, and it costs 667 pesos a month. For that I get 500 mins talk, 1500 texts and 1gb internet. It would be interesting to know what it is in Mexico.


      • Kim G says:

        Hey Gary!

        You are grammar is slipping too!

        Check your sentence to Daniel: Daniel, you’re grammar is slipping!

        What’s your excuse?


        Kim G
        Boston, MA
        Where we are horrified we didn’t notice this the first time ’round.


        • It was late. Very late. I’m normally in bed by 10pm! That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it! 🙂

          Hampshire, UK. Where one is quite horrified that one would make such a mistake regardless of any amount of sleep deprivation.


    • Kim G says:


      My friend F has dubbed Telcel, “ChingaTel.”

      I’m sure they’ll charge and arm, a leg, and probably a mistress too for that phone.


      Kim G


      • I’m sure this old ‘arm and a leg’ joke could be converted for ChingaTel!

        Adam was walking around the garden of Eden feeling very lonely, so God asked him, “What is wrong with you?”

        Adam said he didn’t have anyone to talk to.

        God said that he was going to make Adam a companion and that it would be a woman.

        He said, “This person will gather food for you, cook for you, when you discover clothing, she’ll wash it for you. She will always agree with every decision you make. She will bear your children and never ask you to get up in the middle of the night to take care of them. She will not nag you, and will always be the first to admit she was wrong when you’ve had a disagreement. She will never have a headache, and will freely give you love and passion whenever you need it.”

        Adam asked God, “What will a woman like this cost?”

        God replied, “An arm and a leg.”

        Then Adam asked, “What can I get for a rib?”


  4. Daniel Ramirez says:

    I´m really sorry for my grammar mistake. My first though was we won´t, but did it wrong any way.
    I will save these 2 pesos and will get barbacoa in about 2 weeks (my kids birthday and they want to go to Huichapan).
    We won´t know the fees till Telcel anounces it, but surely it will never be as cheap as in England… lucky you ¡
    By the way, how is Paula doing lately with the other babies? When is she going to England?


    • Huichapan….something else about Mexico I miss! The finest barbacoa and carnitas. I always used to bring the turts back so barbacoa. They couldn’t digest the carnitas!

      Anyway, let me know the fees for the phone when they are revealed. I’d be interested. To be honest, the pricing in Mexico did seem to improve in the last year I was there. But still expensive!

      The other turts were adopted by one of Paolas colleagues at school. Hopefully they are all fine. Originally they took in Mr Patel, Angel, Homer and Florecita, but in the end took in Angus and Rosita too. Maybe me and Paola will return one day and at least get Angus and Florecita back!

      Hopefully she’ll be here soon. We’re hoping for June. We’re just being held up by the Mexican postal service at the moment. Some documents I sent her haven’t arrived yet.


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