A Travellerspoint blog

The technology dilemma

55 days to go and wondering: How many gadgets does one family need?

sunny 27 °C

Some day soon I’ll have something more exciting to write about, but at the moment our big concerns seem pedestrian and wholly acquisition-driven: Do we really need a new netbook instead of the (much heavier) laptop that we already own? Can we get by without equipping the kids with Nintendo DS systems?

We’ve eschewed all video games up until now, and are reluctant to introduce them when nobody seems to be clamouring for them. But then there’s that image we have in our minds of a pair of silk hammocks strung up end to end across the porch of a ramshackle wooden bungalow facing a stunning Thai beach. The waves are lapping gently, a $5 massage is 20 paces away, the novel is captivating and the biggest question on your mind is whether or not to bother shaking a coconut down from the nearby tree…And then come those three dreaded words spoken in the tone that makes your eyes bug out from suppressed irritation: “Mom, we’re bored!”

What might I do for a pair of Nintendo DS systems fully loaded with Pokemon everything right at that moment? That’s the question of the day as we look at our budget and compare it to our five-pound laptop, two aging iPod nanos with weak batteries, and total lack of other gizmos and gadgets. If I stare into this computer screen long enough, an answer will eventually emerge, right?

Actually, two DSs and two iPods really just amounts to one gadget per person, and then we would share the netbook or laptop. It doesn't seem so extravagant after that bit of math. As with everything we want to bring along on this trip, the trouble relates to the fact that there are four of us. For example, we'll be in malarial areas for about 100 days—so I picked up the prescriptions for Malarone today. For one person, it would be a box of Malarone. For four of us, it's 700 pills. The first aid kit is nearly full and I haven't even put a Band-Aid in there yet. Packing is going to be interesting.

Posted by The Rymans 19:31 Tagged preparation

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