Amsterdam: Trouble Adapting

14 Sep

The trade show is over, Dick has arrived, and I’m on vacation in an amazing city. It feels odd to complain, but I’m having trouble adapting. Before I left I was having a minor panic over my iPhone, iPad and MacBook not being able to work there. Did I need a power converter or would a simple adapter work? Would my cell phone work? I thought I was being overly anxious.

My friends reassured me I’d only need an adapter, so I picked up one at Best Buy. But at the hotel, I found the adapter didn’t fit the outlet. The prong configuration was correct, but the plug body was too big for the outlet.

So I had to recharge my beloved devices during the day at the trade show on power strip in the booth. At the show, I could get internet access through a network cable at the booth, but we had to share. So at the hotel: no power, but internet access. At the show: power, but very limited internet access. All frustrating.

After the show ended, we moved to a hotel closer to city center, where they had the same type of outlets so I really needed an adapter. I asked the guy at the check-in desk and they didn’t have any, nor did they know where to buy them. So I wandered the streets searching for one while Dick slept off his jet lag. I finally found this little hardware store with “keys made” sign in the window. I wanted to hug the sales guy who not only had the right adapter, but also explained how the new deeper outlets were grounded, which is why the old style adapters didn’t fit them.

For the cell phone concerns, an internet search said that AT&T doesn’t off cell service, so I’d have to pay very expensive international rates, which I could reduce by upgrading my service. I decided I would upgrade my voice service only, and not use my data services at all. I didn’t know just how how lost I would be without them. As we meandered around the city today, there were a half dozen times pulled over to reorient ourselves and couldn’t find our location on the tourist map. Where was my little blue GPS dot showing my location?

Fortunately, we found that if you’re looking at a map, especially in a tourist area, some genial Dutchman will stop to give you not only directions, but tour advice. A man stopped to help us at the Westpark, and we later saw another man helping these girls too.

What items would you be lost without in your life? Your phone? Your watch? Your favorite cup of coffee?

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Posted by on September 14, 2011 in Travel


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