Turns out the gypsies were a bit more keen on my phone than previously thought. My T-Mobile bill for £431.88 arrived this morning. There were 32 calls to Romania starting at 1 in the morning. Apparently, that’s enough for T-Mobile to realise that something’s not quite right.
Is it just me, or do banks seem to like technology only when it suits them? Take debit cards. How difficult would it be for debit card purchases to instantly debit an account? Not that hard, with a few web services or dedicated links between banks and card companies. Yet, strangely enough, it takes a day for the purchases to show up on your account, even though ATM withdrawals show up instantly.
What takes it so long? Could it be that if it arrives in your account at an unspecified point in the day, you might not have enough money in your account and you’ll have to pay an extortionate overdraft charge?
I used to edit a magazine called Mapping Awareness. As the name suggests, it was about maps. It was also about GIS systems (geographic information systems. Yes, another of those phrases, such as PIN number, that annoy subs), geographic information, remote sensing and other exciting things.
Anyway, I left MA in 1998, which is now six years ago. My how time flies. A couple of weeks ago, I got my first GIS commission in ages. So I started putting the feelers out to see what’s changed since then. My initial impressions? Nothing. Nothing at all has changed. The same people have the same jobs. The PR people are the same. And everyone’s talking about the same things as they were six years ago. I’m sure that impression is going to change once I start doing a few more interviews, but I feel like I’ve uncovered a Jurassic Park mosquito here.
These thieving gypsies are very cunning. While I was at a supposedly closed bar, they managed to lift my camera, phone and money from my jacket, which was hanging on the back of my chair. Thoughtfully, they left the wallet from which they extracted my euros and pounds. Which was nice.
How do I know they were gypsies? Well, I don’t. But since they ran up £108 of calls to Romania before T-Mobile noticed this was a bit atypical of me and blocked the phone, I’m taking a wild, punning guess that the Romani were behind it all. They probably weren’t, but it makes for an interesting epigram anyway.
I’m on my hols to Kefallonia in a couple of weeks’ time. I’ve been trying to learn Greek using Elisabeth Smith’s Instant Greek, which should give me a reasonable vocabulary in six weeks, it reckons.