On a recent trip to Seoul, South Korea, I blogged this:
Our hotel room doesn’t have a toilet in the bathroom. Instead, it has a “smartlet.” The brand’s logo, which I find a bit ominous, is a polar bear.
The device engages me in a level of interactivity I’m not used to in that situation. When I sit down, I hear a chime (Has the elevator arrived? Am I about to begin the next round of a boxing match?) followed by the whirring of a fan. Attached to the wall next to me is the device’s wireless control unit consisting of no fewer than 22 buttons and an LCD screen that begins by telling me the date—a piece of information that I’ve never considered necessary in that situation.
Many of the remote control’s functions are labeled in Korean. Others contain pictograms with various levels of inscrutability. The male and female icons are obvious; less so is the difference between the orange and the green outlines of a person’s backside. Although I plunged ahead, I will not have enough time to explore all the possible permutations of bidet-like fountains, airflow temperature controls and lord knows what else this machine apparently can do.
The key to success as a traveler, I’m convinced, is to relish differences.
I’ve had to wait in restaurants and on airplanes for people who could have used a date and a calendar….
What adorable baby pictures!
Might I also suggest getting one of those “micro universal remotes” or a smart-phone software that allows you to control all these electronic gadgets with a device of your own, like the iPhone L5 Remote software.
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