So… apparently electronics made in one country don’t always work in another?
I had to find this out the hard and annoying way because while I don’t claim to know everything or be the best at electronics (ha – best), I thought certain appliances were just meant to travel. Why else would you get a “travel” anything? It’s almost like the people who make them have never actually tried them out?
Okay that’s not fair – a lot of it is just my own stupidity, I will admit that. But some of it is just a frustrating part of travelling that others I have talked to agree with. Sure, different countries have different power rates and while it would be nice if it was standard all around the world, I guess that’s also true for many more things than electronics… and more important things.
My frustration doesn’t lie with the multi-prong doo-hickies you have to buy in order to make your camera charger work when you’re doing the ‘round the world thing, but instead in how difficult it is to get a straight answer from people. Me asking ‘will my blow-drier work in Prague?’ shouldn’t be too hard for the guy at the electronics store to answer, my friend who just came back from there or the internet to answer. Hell, I bet I would get a better answer from Siri than from some of the numbskulls I asked!
Most people tell you (or me in this case) quite patronizingly that you need to get an adapter but they never tell you which one or what you should do if it’s the type of thing you shouldn’t travel with. I learned through this fun process that some electronics just need a plug adapter but others need a voltage converter – and others shouldn’t be used at all. Well answer me this, Mr. Smartypants: if I’m not supposed to travel with a hair straightener, why does it say right on the package of the voltage converter that it works with them? Conventional wisdom would say this was all good – right?
Wrong! Apparently what you are SUPPOSED to do is buy a new one in the country in which you’re going to be staying and toss it when you leave. Or don’t straighten your hair. Really? Those are my options? Ugh!
I’ve been told by people that this kind of frustration is just one of the many important lessons you learn by travelling, and to those people I bust their knee caps. That’s the kind of thing you can find out by reading or talking to people IF THEY KNOW WHAT THEY’RE TALKING ABOUT – you don’t need to spend a ton of money to learn that lesson. Travelling is about seeing different things and becoming a better person, not realizing you blew $200 on useless gadgets based on some jerk at an electronics store who probably just plays Call of Duty every night.
Annie’s not impressed!