Friday, April 24, 2009

Dude, Where’s My Charger?

I was talking to my father about travel inconveniences, and he brought up an excellent point: Technology can make some things about traveling easier, but it does introduce a whole new set of headaches. Chief among them is the seemingly constant need to charge gadgets. I remember my friend John and I desperately trying to keep our cameras, computers, telephones, and iPods charged up using one single outlet in a tent in Mongolia. It’s not really a fond memory. The cell phones and music players we obviously could have done without, but I was trying to blog and John is a professional photographer, so we really needed our big battery-powered toys to work.

This new need to charge things kept me from moving into digital photography for a good year. When Pipi and I went to Cuba in 2002, we were told that the island ran on the same voltage as the United States. What we didn’t realize, however, was that our hotel in Havana was a Dutch-run establishment that attracted mostly Europeans, and the plugs all fit continental-style power cords.

The front desk had a few adapters available for guests to borrow, and I remember lively negotiations for them among the members of our group who had brought digital cameras. I watched this drama from a smug distance, and hung onto my film camera until it came to the end of its natural lifespan in Hawaii the following summer. If I hadn’t had to replace that camera then, who knows how long I would have resisted moving into the digital age.

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