Mi novia compró un billete en Enero para ir a Madrid el fin de semana que viene (Abril). A las pocas semanas se pusieron en contacto con ella desde la compañía, Vueling, y le dicen que han cancelado el vuelo. Acto seguido, reserva con Iberia y problema solucionado. No. Porque igual que al comprar el billete te hacen el cargo en la tarjeta en el momento, todavía no ha aparecido el dinero del vuelo cancelado. Como lo oyen. Innumerables llamadas desde el extranjero al servicio de desatención al cliente, siempre la misma respuesta, el tan típico español vuelva usted mañana.
Habiendo trabajado en el comercio, hacer la devolución a una tarjeta es una operación sencilla. ¿Por qué no la han hecho? A lo mejor es que no hay dinero y mi novia les tiene que financiar, ¿no?
Bueno, ya nos dirán algo los de consumo.
Actualización 4/04 14:40: Al César lo que es del César y ya se han puesto en contacto conmigo desde Vueling. A ver si lo solucionan, pero de momento un 10 por inmediatez via blog / Twitter.
Actualización 11/04: A pesar de las buenas intenciones, una semana después no hay rastro del dinero. La visita a Consumo parece inevitable.
Actualización 14/04: El Viernes llegó el dinero, finalmente.
I have tried sushi, sake, karaoke, teriyaki and all the well-known Japanese stuff. I was still missing something, but I couldn’t do anything to arrange it. When I thought that I was coming back to Nederland, it came: my first earthquake.
Indeed it is not the first one. Ten years ago I was in the States and there was an earthquake during the night. I couldn’t notice. Indeed I’m a deep sleeper so the room could be on fire and I wouldn’t notice.
A year ago there was another one in Madrid, but it was during the holidays and I also didn’t notice. Not the kind of thing that you expect in Madrid, anyway.
But since I arrived to Japan I have been wishing for one. A small one, of course, not like the one in Kobe that devastated the city and killed many people. I wanted a nice and friendly one.
So I thought that it was Jorrit moving the bed, but not, it was a real earthquake. A nice and friendly JapShake.
You might think that there is a lot of people sending and receiving phone calls in the metro or the train because Japanese people love their mobiles so much… No.
It was the case some years ago, when the mobile fever started. The situation was so bad that the government passed new laws and calling is forbidden in trains. Even further, the telephone must be set on manner mode (silence or vibrating). Calling or receiving a call is completely forbidden in the metro and in trains you must go to the link between the wagons.
If you seat in the priority seat or stand near it, the telephone must be completely off.
Thus, no *ssholes shouting on the phone, but a calm ride. Isn’t it nice?
Then, what do peple with their telephones during the train rides? They send e-mails (SMS is sooo from the past) or watch TV in panoramic format, turning the screen 90º while holding the main body of the telephone as if they were having a videocall. Isn’t it cool? Still in Europe we are discussing which standard to use.
What you see in the photo is not an advance remote controller for a Home Cinema device but the toilet control. There are three kind of toilets in this country, the plain European one, the traditional Japanese (mainly a hole in the ground) and the hi-tech version of the European.
The latest has some of this functions:
- A heating system integrated in the seat.
- A shower-like function to clean your thing after the unloading.
- A mechanism that opens the toilet when you enter the room.
- (Optional) A massage function in the shower-like function.
- (Optional) A drying function.
- (Optional) A power deodorant.
- (Optional) Music to cover the “launching” sounds.
Thus, the only thing I miss is the iPod docking connector.
Anyway, the reason why I am writing this is because yesterday I used one of this hi-tech toilets for the first time since I am in Japan and I must say that the experience was wonderful. I tried all the functions: spray, soft, bidet and drier, in combination with the massage and the oscillation and the thing is great. There was no music function but who cares.
Now the question: when will we see this things in Europe?
During the last three weeks I have attended many presentations. Some of them are full of buzz-words and I want to summarize them in a new definition for Smart Surroundings:
A new innovative high-speed seamless customised semantic context-aware user-centric face/pattern/image/emotion-recognition-capable high-definition multimedia ubiquitous set of applications, and services developed and implemented using state-of-the-art frameworks, middleware, next generation sensors, RFID, Near Field Communications, optical devices and wireless technology.
Is this buzzword-compliant enough?
A lot of people warned me beforehand about the level of English spoken in Japan. It is not as bad as in my home country, but still. Ordering food in the restaurant is an adventure and asking a price in a shop can be a challenge.
Anyway, the new generations seems to be more prepared, there is awareness about the problem and Erik sent me the link to the solution proposed in the Japanese TV, combining fitness and language, body and soul in one. Please enjoy.
Time goes fast around this corner of the world and I wanted to mention some small thingies about our trip to Japan:
- The temperature in Japanes offices is terrible. In most places we have seen the airco working at 25 degrees, and people are working happily while we sweat our suits.
- It is impossible to find a trash can. For whatever reason it takes minutes to find one. Most of the time I keep the stuff myself during the whole day and drop it in the hotel.
- On the other hand WiFi networks are easy to find, even on board of the Shinkansen, but most of them are closed or you have to pay to use them.
- QR Codes are 2D bar codes. They are printed everywhere in ads, posters, magazines and so on. The idea is that using the camera of your mobile you can take a picture and your mobile will decode and show the information: an internet address, contact details from a person, etc. The idea is quite cool. The most bizarre place where we have found a QR-Code is in the box of the McDonald’s frites. Nevertheless, the macro function of our mobiles’ cameras doesn’t work that well and so far we had little / none success with QR Codes.