Tuesday, May 07, 2013

on the train... but not moving

Refresh Your Life with a Train.
(motto on the headrest of the KTX seats)

When you hook into the KTX train's Wi-Fi service, a warning page in Korean comes up. If I'm reading it correctly, it says that passengers get only an hour's worth of Wi-Fi service. A shame, that. I'm going to have to try an experiment: can I turn off my computer after an hour, then turn it back on and get another hour's service? That might be nice.

I'm sitting quietly in Car 6, Seat 2A (window), waiting for departure. It's 12:30PM; we don't leave until 12:50PM. I took a picture of the car when it was empty; now, passengers are starting to trickle in.

The cabbie who got me from my love hotel to Yeosu Expo Station wanted to try out his English on me. The conversation was still 90% in Korean. Friendly enough guy; my impression of all the cabbies in Yeosu has been positive. (Not that I have a bad impression of cabbies in Seoul: there are some bad eggs, yes, but in general these guys are honest, hard-working individuals who do their best to get you from here to there.)

Still, cabs in Yeosu are a bit different. First, there's the fact that fare starts at W2800, not W2400 like in Seoul. I'm not surprised by this; my time in Gyeongju taught me that cabs in smaller cities tend to be more expensive. Second, the cabs in Yeosu have no GPS—at least, of the four or five cabs I took, not a single one had a dashboard map of any sort. Yeosu is probably small enough for the cabbies to carry such maps inside their heads. Old school.

I now find myself staring at my laptop's battery life indicator. 97% at 12:40PM. I booted up the Mac at 12:26PM, which means a 3% drop in 14 minutes. Theoretically, that means about 13% per hour, which ought to mean that I've got at least five or six hours of battery life. But experience has already shown that, after three hours, the battery is nearly drained. The power loss curve steepens as time marches on. Laptop batteries are bullshit; someone really needs to invent a battery that'll last a damn week and require only ten minutes' recharging to get back up to full. Now that would be a battery.

12:44PM. 95%. We'll be leaving soon.

I suppose I'll keep the laptop on for the full hour (until 1:26PM), then try the above-mentioned experiment.

Back in a bit, I hope.


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