Thursday, September 30, 2010

Electric Slide

I had a reader ask me to address a question on my blog. Since that's never happened before, I thought I should give it a shot. Since I'm apparently considered a world traveler now, I think people think I'll know a lot more about other countries than I do.

I am, however, a really good Googler So when this reader (who wishes to remain anonymous) asked me to blog about why different countries have different outlets/plugs, I said I was up to the challenge.

From what I read, it seems that the reason is twofold. First, different countries have different voltages based on their varying power supplies. The plugs are based on how high or low the voltage is coming out of the outlets. A higher voltage power requires a round plug, while a lower voltage requires a flat plug.

The second reason is fiscal. If every country had the same plugs, you could buy appliances from anywhere and use them in your home. If the plugs are exclusive to a country, residents have to buy things that are made specifically for that country, presumably by company that is based there, thus supporting the country's economy.

I hope this is helpful. By the way this could be completely inaccurate, as it didn't come from a really reliable site like, say, Wikipedia. But these explanations sound valid so I'm willing to accept them at face value. Don't worry, ths doesn't mean I'm going to switch over to be a helpful, question-answering blog. There will be plenty of stories to come of general awkwardness and random life experiences.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Smile, You're in...Montmelo

I've been a little negligent of this blog lately. It's partly because I've been working on stuff for and I've been writing travel articles for other sites but I thought I'd write one for my little baby blog too.

I've had this idea for a while of going to ticket machine at the train station and randomly picking a destination from the touch screen, either by the name or not looking and just poking a finger at the screen and seeing which destination was selected. I thought it would be an adventure.

Last week my friends Laura, Jessica and I went to the train station and did just that. We decided to choose by name. We narrowed it down to a few names we liked and ended up going with a place called Montmelo (I liked it because it made me think of marshmallow).

There were a few signs that maybe should have told us that this wasn't going to be an epic adventure.

First- right after we put the money in to buy the tickets, the man behind us asked if we were in fact going to Montmelo, which he apparently spied on from his position in line. We said yes and he asked if we were going for the Formula One race. We answered with an urgent and definitive "No!" lest anyone should overhear it and think we are race car fans. "Well, it's not worth it," he replied, apparently not understanding our response. Strike one, Montmelo.

Second- On the train ride there, Jess and Laura sat together and I sat in an adjacent row of seats along the side wall. I turned in my seat so I was facing them. A young man got on the train and sat in the seat behind me. After a while I noticed that he seemed to have turned in his seat the same way I had so that he was also sitting sideways. Except that, I had turned to face my friend, he was now facing the back of my head. I sensed something in that way that only girls who have plenty of experience with creepers can.

"He's staring at the back of my head, isn't he?" I asked the girls quiety and in rapid English. "Oh yeah," Jess replied.
"And he's got a real weird look on his face too," added Laura.
"Oh God, is he gonna touch my hair?"

Jess and Laura weren't as concerned about this as I was and started trying to figure out which actor he looked like. They determined that he looked like the kid who played Anakin Skywalker and was in that movie Jumper.
"Something Christian," said Laura.
"Oh right, Christian Haydenson!" replied Jess.
"Yes! That's it!" exclaimed Laura.
"It's Hayden Christensen, guys," I broke in. "For real though, is he sniffing my hair?!"
Luckily he got off a couple stops before us. Still, though, Strike two.

We finally arrived at our desitination and began walking around. There seemed to be a church and a street with three restaurants and a shoe store. We walked around the residential streets, cameras in hand, getting some strange looks from the locals
We decided to have lunch at one of the outdoor cafes on the main street. We had a nice lunch. It was a cute little town, but after lunch we went to look for gelato. No dice. Strike three, Montmelo, big time.

We caught a train back to our beloved Barcelona and had giant gelatos (I got a scoop of dark chocolate and a scoop of hazlenut- amazing) and walked around the bustling streets, happy to be home after our "adventure."