alt="Buckingham Palace"
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alt="Westminster Abbey"
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I was in Paris and London this past week, here are a few random thoughts…

  • I tamed jet lag.  I have traveled internationally so
    many times that by now, I have it down to an art. Here are a few simple
    rules:

    * Start shifting your time before leaving your country.  Stay up
    late (very late) and don’t sleep in too much.  Note that the point is
    not really to make yourself tired so you will sleep on the plane (which
    doesn’t help at all with jet lag) but just to start adjusting to your new
    time in your own environment.

    * On your first day in the new country, don’t nap, don’t sit
    (especially on comfortable couches), and don’t go to bed before 10pm.

    Also, try not to abuse coffee:  the more you confuse your stomach with
    unusual quantities of drinks and meals taken at odd times, the harder it
    will be for your body to get used to your new schedule.  Ideally, you
    simply want your metabolism to believe that instead of a 24-hour day, you
    are just going through a 33-hour day and that your sleep pattern doesn’t
    need to be altered to handle it.

    That’s it.  Follow these simple instructions and even a nine hour time
    difference will have absolutely no effect on your body.
     

  • I flew on one of Virgin Atlantic’s latest aircrafts on the way back, and
    it featured the best entertainment system I have seen on an international
    flight by far:  about fifty movies to choose from, entire seasons of TV
    series, news, games, etc…  It’s all there.  You can also pause,
    rewind and fast forward everything at leisure.  Absolutely fantastic if
    you’re not the reading type on planes.
     
  • Cell phone interoperability has come a long way and works close to
    perfectly now.  My trusted 6630 (which took the pictures above) worked beautifully and never lost GSM
    connectivity.  I actually travel with two phones and interestingly,
    they picked two different roaming carriers while in France (Orange and
    Bouygtel).  This is quite puzzling since both are Cingular, but it was
    a good opportunity to experiment.  No surprise there:  both phone
    calls and SMS worked seamlessly, the only glitch being that one of the two
    carriers refused to give me caller ID.  Not a big deal.

    I also experimented with sending SMS messages back to the US and between England and France,
    and everything worked fine.  Better:  even EDGE performed beautifully
    and allowed me to connect to the Internet through the Bluetooth modem while
    riding the Eurostar on my way to London (except in the tunnel, of course,
    but my phone quickly regained coverage when we came out and latched on O2 on
    the British territory).

Maybe we really live in a connected world after all.