View on the Cergy train station from the Axe Majeur.
View on the Cergy train station from the Axe Majeur.
Lately I needed a bit of peace so I went to the Australian country side for a weekend.
In Australia this involves quite a bit of driving as distances can be very big. The further you are going away from the wet coastal regions, the dryer the landscape. But don’t confuse this with the real outback, you need to be prepared to go there, especially if you want to leave the highway.
Our house is surrounded by trees and bushes which is normally a nice thing considering the temperatures during a normal summer. Unfortunately this summer is not really what it is supposed to be. Its cold and rainy. This has the unfortunate side effect the all that nice spiders which are normally populating the trees around the house are trying to share our shelter.
Here you can see our guest from last night, just digesting a big moth which it caught on the outside of our kitchen window.
Sometimes even I am impressed. This one had at least 12cm length even after embracing its pray. Luckily it was gone this morning or I would have had to convince it to search for shelter somewhere else. I don’t like spiders which are so big that they might be able to carry our little daughter away.
I lately found this picture in the internet. A tweet pointed me to it and I had a hard time to breathe normally again after I rolled laughing over the floor. This really contradicts every experience I made with ‘good old’ Germany.
About five years ago a friend of mine, Kenyan with an master in computer science from a well known Russian university, wanted to come to Germany for work because she had several friends in Germany. Another friend of mine who runs his own software development company was willing to see her. Because, like most of the time, everything went on short notice she didn’t have the time to apply for a business visa and came with a visitor visa to Germany. After the successful interview with my friend she tried to get a working visa but was denied and had to leave Germany again.
Everybody who is following the news should know by now that the demographic changes in ‘good old’ Germany are already leading to a lack of skilled workers because the Germans are getting too old. So how can it be that a civil servant can deny someone who is skilled and has a job opportunity in Germany the appropriate visa?
My wife is Chinese. We married in Switzerland and left for China because she wanted to pursue her career as judge. After a while and because her Chinese career was ended by marring a foreigner, we tried to go to Germany. Hahahaha … don’t worry I will never try to come back to Germany again. It seems that my wife only gets a visa for Germany when she is able to speak German. As it is she speaks fluently four languages but unfortunately German is not between those.
Luckily there are still countries in this world which really appreciate skilled workers who want to work in their country and contribute to their society 😉
In Australia you are usually flying when you want to see another city because the distances are quite big and the speed on the roads not very high. My favorite airline is Virgin Blue. The prices are reasonable and they cover nearly all of Australia.
The only issue I have are the delays. Nearly every flight I take at the moment is delayed due to some reason. To make it clear, I do not object against a delay when an error in my plane is found and they have to bring another plane from somewhere to arrange the flight. But to sit at night on an empty Canberra Airport without dinner, all shops already closed and you don’t even get a free Coffee … I think in this point Virgin should reconsider their strategy of keeping their customers happy.
Lately it was the time that I had to replace my old PDA with something new because I dropped it one time too much on the floor. Because we had business in Shanghai and found a shop with “original” iPhones we decided to switch to iPhones.
The first question when you buy something like an iPhone in China is: How can you be sure it really is an Apple iPhone and not a chinese clone? First I would suggest to search for some detailled pictures of original iPhones, they are very slim and have a characteristic position and border of the embedded camera. But I think the easiest way to identify an iPhone is the software on the phone. If you make a photo with the phone and scale it with the multi-touch ability of the iPhone the image scales and corrects the image resolution at the same time so that you can hardly see pixels while zooming.
So we went into this shop and in total bought 3 iPhones. The iPhones were neatly packed, seemingly in original, brand new boxes and my test showed that they were real Apple iPhones.
Before I bought the iPhones I didn’t now anything about jailbreaking and unlocking. I just tried my chinese and my german SIM card in the phone and both worked.
Back in the hotel the problems started. I reconfigured my phone and it didn’t work with any SIM card any more. So we went back to the shop and they made it run within 5 min and gave it back to me. While leaving they told me better not to update the software on the phone myself which finally made me really curious and back in the hotel I started an internet research to find out if the iPhones where original ones.
Especially the Apple Service and Repair webpage was very helpful. One of the iPhones was a replacement part without any guarantee, the other two were already several month old. Conclusion we bought refurbished iPhones sold as new ones. When the battery life of the replacement part showed that the battery was already quite old we decided to go back to the shop another time and ask the sellers directly about the fact that they hid that they sold refurbished iPhones.
The result was not really satisfactory. They changed the replacement iPhone with the damaged battery to another one but that was all.
Because one of us was really pissed off, she called the police later to ask them what to do. The police forwarded us to a special unit which deals with these matters and they told us that only China Unicom is allowed to sell iPhones in China and therefore they will do nothing about our case.
After we got this information I finally understood what happend to my iPhone which suddenly didn’t work any more and had a closer look on the installed software. The iPhones were original China Unicom phones which have been jailbreaked and unlocked!
As final resultI can only warn you to be aware that most phones, even in official China Mobile Reseller Shops like the one where we bought our phones, are fakes or refurbished. This puts the price we payed into a complete new perspective!