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Saturday, December 19, 2015

Back to the future

I have been a little sheltered the past 5 years. I have not done much traveling and am activities are generally limited to driving to work, working and returning home. I don't listen or watch the news regularly nor do I incessantly stare at my phone.  I was absolutely shocked when I took a trip to Switzerland via Toronto and I must have looked like I had just arrived from 1982. A few of the surprises.

Toronto has a toll road which monitors your usage by taking a picture of your license plate and sending you a bill. I still have not received the bill but I was in a rental car, so we will see if it gets back to me.

When I arrived at the Toronto Airport parking garage I saw a line of Teslas plugged into chargers while their owners traveled. They also provide valet service at the departure drop off and wash your car and store it in a nice glass enclosed area.

At the gate lounge area the usual uncomfortable airport seats were replaced by couches and arm chairs each with its own iPad for you to use. You could order food on the iPad and they would bring it to you. 10 minutes before my departure the iPad in front of me told me so and asked if I would ilke coffee or Tea before I got on the plane. Presumably it didnt know that would make me want to pee and that is not an urge I want to have when sitting in the center row in economy.

Apparently airlines have stopped serving anything resembling edible food during flights and economy seating has been reduced to less leg room than my knees need to not impale into the seat back in front of me.

Upon arriving in Zurich I was chauffeured to my meeting by a self driving car. I looked at the driver in horror as he had his hands off the wheel and foot off the gas and brake while we were traveling 100 kph in rush hour traffic.

The hotel elevator required I wave my room key in front of a little panel to activate it. Then the room door, lacking any kind of slot for the key required a similar wave in front of the knob. Then upon entering the room the room key had to be inserted in a slot to activate the light and climate control.  It was a miracle I made it into the room at all.

Everything is automated from ordering lunch at a restaurant to getting your boarding pass and submitting customs documents. Old people are standing at the kiosks yelling for help. "Miss, Miss where am I supposed to stick this form?"

Which begs the question. Why is technology putting hurdles in front of me that I am instinctively supposed to know how to over come?

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